Lorenzo Avagnina

From BR Bullpen

Lorenzo Avagnina

  • Bats Left, Throws Left
  • Height 5' 11", Weight 185 lb.

BR minors page

Biographical Information[edit]

Lorenzo Avagnina debuted with the Italian national team in 2006.

Avagnina was a pitcher and outfielder for Avigliana in Serie A2, helping them win promotion to Serie A1 for 2007. Before they played a game in 2007, Avagnina had already played with the Italian national team. He hit .333/.333/.500 as the backup LF to Gino Lollio in the 2006 Intercontinental Cup. In the 2007 Serie A1 campaign, Lorenzo batted .268/.335/.357, now used strictly as an outfielder. He played well for Italy in the 2007 European Championship, providing a .455/.500/.545 batting line; he was third on the Italian squad in average behind Giuseppe Mazzanti and future major leaguer Alex Liddi. In the 2007 Baseball World Cup, he hit .300/.417/.600 in 12 PA but all three of hits came against the last-place South African national team.

Avagnina joined Montepaschi Grosseto in 2008 and hit .268/.384/.338. He only pitched 3 games in relief, but won two of them. In the 2008 European Cup in Grosseto, he hit .375/.500/.563 with 6 runs in 5 games to lead the club in runs, average, OBP and slugging. Grosseto finished second to Kinheim. He was even better in the 2008 European Cup Final Four, going 6 for 8 with a double and 2 RBI in two games.

Avagnina moved to Rimini for 2009. He hit .313/.387/.392 with 26 runs in 42 games, but was just 4 for 33 in the postseason. He was named the league's All-Star left fielder, joining Eddy Garabito and Mario Chiarini as the honored outfielders. In 2010, his average fell to .270 but his OBP rose to .396 and his slugging rose to .400. He drew 28 walks in 39 games then hit .342/.419/.605 with 7 RBI in 9 postseason games. In the 2010 European Cup, he was 9 for 24 with two doubles, a triple, three walks, three runs and six RBI in seven games. During the 2010 European Championship, he was back with Italy after a 2-year absence and helped them win the event for the first time in 13 years. He started off 0 for 10 with a walk and two runs but then fared well off the bench in back-to-back wins over the defending champion Dutch national team. He doubled off Berry van Driel and scored a run in their first game. In the Gold Medal game, he pinch-hit for Joe Mazzuca and struck out against Leon Boyd in his first time up. His second trip to the plate (after staying in at DH), he was plunked with the bases loaded by Michiel van Kampen to force in a run.

In 2011, the outfielder (now with T&A San Marino) improved to .348/.434/.525 with 28 runs and 26 RBI in 41 contests. He was 7th in the Italian Baseball League in average (between former minor leaguers Brandon Chaves and Willie Vasquez), OBP (tied for 8th with former big leaguer Edgard Clemente), slugging (8th), OPS (7th, between Juan Camilo and Chaves), homers (5, tied for 6th with Rodney Medina and Clemente) and total bases (74, 5th, between Olmo Rosario and Chaves). He was 6 for 31 with two doubles, three walks, four runs and five RBI in the 2011 Italian Series as his club won it all.

In the 2011 European Cup, the veteran was 6 for 22 with a home run, four walks, four runs and three RBI in seven games. He was back with the Azzurri for the 2011 Baseball World Cup, he hit .239/.360/.239 as Italy's starting left fielder, driving in only one run in seven games. He had one assist and no errors. A highlight was a two-hit outing against the powerful Cuban national team.

Avagnina was at .306/.371/.408 with 35 runs and 26 walks in the 2012 IBL season. He tied Mazzuca and G.G. Sato for 8th in runs and tied Juan Gonzalez for third in walks. He was 9 for 26 with two doubles, a triple, four runs and a RBI as San Marino repeated as titlists, defeating his old Rimini club, 4 games to 2. He was just 1 for 19 (with 3 walks and a run) in the 2012 European Cup, as San Marino failed to advance to the final four for the first time in three years despite hosting an opening round.

In the 2012 European Championship, Lorenzo put on a show. He went 8 for 19 with a double, two steals, five runs and five RBI in nine games as Italy repeated as European Championship titlists for the first time since 1991. In the Gold Medal game, he led the way, going 4 for 5 with a double, steal, two runs and two RBI while hitting second as Italy crushed the Dutch national team, 8-3. He singled in both at-bats against former major leaguer Shairon Martis, driving in Stefano De Simoni with Italy's first run to tie the game in the third. He came home on a hit by Chris Colabello. An inning later, he doubled off J.C. Sulbaran to score Alessandro Vaglio and increase Italy's lead to 4-2. He scored on a hit by Tyler LaTorre. He then went 1 for 2 off Tom Stuifbergen to end the game. He won European Championship MVP for his efforts, the second straight Italian to win (following Giuseppe Mazzanti in 2010). He was the first outfielder in 13 years to win the award; Danny Newman had been the previous player to do so.

Sources: Defunct IBAF site, Baseball Italy, Italian Baseball and Softball Federation, Mister Baseball, Confederation of European Baseball