NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Former Lipscomb Bisons catcher Chucky Vazquez might not have heard his name called during the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft, but it did not take long for the steady backstop to find a new home.
Vazquez signed a free agent contract with the New York Yankees and will begin his career in Rookie ball with the Yankees West of the Gulf Coast League in Tampa, Florida.
“Just thinking back to when I was a little kid, one of my goals was to eventually sign a minor league contract,” Vazquez said. “To have this opportunity is a big blessing. I would like to thank my family for the support and the Bisons coaching staff for having my back and helping me reach this goal of signing with the Yankees.
“I can’t wait to get out there on the field and show the Yankees what I have.”
With the signing, Vazquez becomes the 13th player under head coach Jeff Forehand’s tenure to sign a professional contract.
“Unfortunately Chucky didn’t get to hear his name called during the draft, but he did get a call from the New York Yankees with the opportunity to sign as a free agent and he could not be more thrilled,” Forehand said. “All he wanted was a chance. We all know he can do it at the next level. Every player wants that opportunity, wants that chance to play professionally and I am just so excited he got his.”
The Miami product earned second team All-Atlantic Sun honors as a junior, becoming the first Lipscomb backstop to do so since Caleb Joseph in 2008.
In his short two-year career in Nashville, Vazquez batted .221 with six home runs, 13 doubles and 35 RBI. He added 34 walks and 46 runs scored while also showing he was fleet of foot with 12 stolen bases in only 14 attempts.
Perhaps Vazquez’s biggest attribute is his arm. He led the team in runners caught stealing in each of his two seasons, throwing out nearly one-third of the would-be base stealers (23-of-75).
His steadiness behind the dish saw Vazquez commit just seven errors in 593 total chances for a .988 fielding percentage.
“I am thrilled for Chucky to get the opportunity to chase his dream of playing professional baseball,” Forehand said. “He has all of the tools and skills to play at the professional level.
“He can catch, he can throw and hopefully he is going to be able to swing the bat. The sky is the limit and hopefully he can get in there and make his mark and stick. We all hope that one day we are watching him play in the big leagues.”