Virgil Matthew Vasquez
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 205 lb.
- School University of California, Santa Barbara
- High School Santa Barbara High School
- Debut May 13, 2007
- Final Game October 4, 2009
- Born June 7, 1982 in Santa Barbara, CA USA
Virgil Vasquez debuted in the majors in 2007 in his 5th year in professional baseball.
High school career
As a high school senior in 1999, Vasquez hit .406 with 8 HR and 39 RBI and was 11-2 with a 1.87 ERA on the mound. As a senior, he went 12-1 with a 2.08 ERA and 121 strikeouts and batted .440. The Texas Rangers took him in the 7th round of the 2000 amateur draft; he did not sign, though.
As a freshman in the Big West Conference, Vasquez (listed as Matt) went 5-4 with a 3.95 ERA. With Santa Barabara struggling in 2002, Vasquez slipped to 5-10, 5.53. As a junior in 2003, his record was 4-4, 5.11.
2003-2006: Minor league career
Matt was a 7th-round pick of the Detroit Tigers in the 2003 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Tom Hinkle and made 11 starts that year for the Oneonta Tigers, getting badly roughed up - 3-4, 6.92 with a .327 opposing average. The one positive was his stellar control, with 10 BB in 53 1/3 IP.
In 2004, Vasquez made major strides with the West Michigan Whitecaps, posting a 14-6, 3.64 record. He led Tigers farmhands in wins and tied four others for the Midwest League victory lead. He also tied Ronald Bay for the most innings pitched (168) in the MWL.
The next season, Vasquez (now going by Virgil) was 4-1 with a 4.21 ERA in 8 starts for the Lakeland Tigers and 2-8 with a 5.27 ERA in 15 games for the Erie SeaWolves. He issued just 23 walks in 130 2/3 IP overall.
Vasquez spent all of 2006 with the SeaWolves, where his record was 7-12, 3.73 for a last-place team. He walked 2.59 per 9 innings and was 10th in the Eastern League in ERA. On the other hand, the man noted for his control hit 20 batters, the most in the EL.
He went 2-1 with a 2.81 ERA for the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League, finishing third in the AFL in ERA. He had a 28-game scoreless inning streak at one point and was the winning pitcher in the championship game.
2007: MLB debut and Toledo
Vasquez opened 2007 with the Toledo Mud Hens, where his record was 4-2, 2.88 with 50 K and 10 BB in 40 2/3 IP before he got called up to the majors when Jeremy Bonderman had to miss a start due to a blister on his finger. Vasquez made his major league debut on May 13, 2007, with an emergency start for the Detroit Tigers against the Minnesota Twins. He was rocked for 9 hits and 6 runs in 2 2/3 innings and was charged with the loss.
Vasquez was sent back down after the start, his roster spot taken by Tim Byrdak.
Post Playing Career
Vasquez became a pitching coach with the GCL Twins in 2015-2018 and Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2019. He was scheduled to be a coach for the newly re-minted Fort Myers Mighty Mussels in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to COVID-19. Vasquez was a pitching coach for the Wichita Wind Surge in 2021 and St. Paul Saints in 2022. Vasquez was also the pitching coach for the Melbourne Aces of the Australian Baseball League in the 2015/2016 through 2017/2018 seasons.