Luis Aguayo: New Palm Beach Cardinals Skipper

Former New York Mets third base coach named 2010 manager of the St. Louis Cardinals' Florida State League team.

In the aftermath of the New York Mets' purge of controversial Vice President of Player Development Tony Bernazard this past July, several key members of their minor league and player development staff also left the organization. One was Mets' field coordinator Luis Aguayo, reportedly let go in late September.

Aguayo, 50, has resurfaced as the new manager of the St. Louis Cardinals' A-Advanced Florida State League affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. He becomes the club's fourth field leader in five years, succeeding Tom Spencer, who was not retained following a 61-77, tenth-place finish in the 2009 FSL. Gaylen Pitts (2007-08) and Ron "Pop" Warner (2005-06) preceded Spencer.

Aguayo, a resident of Veja Baja, Puerto Rico, joined the Mets organization in 2007 as their field coordinator. He had responsibility for most major activities in their Port St. Lucie, Florida complex, including spring training for the minor league teams, extended spring training and the Mets' fall instructional league program.

On June 17, 2008, Aguayo was tabbed to become the new third base coach at the major league level by incoming New York manager Jerry Manuel. That assignment lasted only 93 games. On October 23, 2008, the Mets announced Aguayo would be reassigned within the organization. He was later returned to his previous field coordinator role for his third and final season with the Mets.

In the 2006 World Baseball Classic, Aguayo served as third base coach for Team Puerto Rico under manager Jose Oquendo, the Cardinals' long-time third base coach. Among the players on their roster were current Cardinals Yadier Molina and Ruben Gotay and former Redbirds Joel Pineiro, Kiko Calero and Eduardo Perez.

Prior to joining the Mets, Aguayo spent the 2004-06 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds organization, the final two as the manager of the rookie level Gulf Coast League Reds. In 2004, he led Billings to the championship finals of the rookie Pioneer League.

After his retirement as a player, Aguayo worked for the Boston Red Sox for 11 years, from 1993-2003, serving as a minor league infield instructor in 1996 and for his final four seasons there. He was a coach with Triple-A Pawtucket from 1993-95, then managing the GCL Red Sox in 1997-98 and Lowell of the New York-Penn League in 1999.

An infielder, Aguayo played parts of ten seasons in the major leagues, never appearing in 100 games or receiving more than 260 plate appearances in a single season. He spent the vast majority of his time with the Philadelphia Phillies, from 1980 to 1988. During the 1988 season, Aguayo was traded to the New York Yankees. He then signed with the Cleveland Indians as a free agent for 1989, his final season as a big leaguer. His career batting line is .236/.304/.393 in 1,244 MLB plate appearances.

Aguayo finished his playing career with three minor league seasons, first with the Angels in 1990 and then the Red Sox in 1991-92, primarily at the Triple-A level.



The Cardinals previously announced most of their 2010 US-based minor league coaches on November 5, with the identities of two other hitting coaches divulged on Thursday of this week.

Note: Roger LaFrancois will be hitting coach at the organization's rookie Gulf Coast League Cardinals club in 2010. An earlier report that LaFrancois is joining Johnson City was in error. Ramon Ortiz holds that job.

In addition, the Cardinals have yet to name their 2010 Venezuelan Summer League skipper, but expect to fill the position soon.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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