Vargas with the Minnesota Twins in 2017
|Designated hitter / First baseman|
Born: August 1, 1990|
Canóvanas, Puerto Rico
|August 1, 2014, for the Minnesota Twins|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2017 season)
|Runs batted in||116|
Vargas has been compared to David Ortiz due to their similarities in size. Vargas stands 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) tall and weighs about 275 pounds.
Vargas was born in the municipality of Canóvanas, already being larger than the average local population with a length of 22 and a half inches and a weight of ten pounds. He was raised by his mother, teacher Elsa Gautier, who was divorced by the time that he was three years old and was left in charge of all his sustenance. During his youth, the family lived near a baseball park, where he joined his brother Jeronys and learned the game by the time that he was four. After beginning in the district of Río Piedras, Vargas continued playing in his native Canóvanas. Due to his size, he also played basketball during his school years, but at the urging of his mother (who saw potential for him to go professional) he selected baseball. In the process, Vargas declined an invitation to a major high school basketball tournament in 10th grade. Now invested in developing as a baseball player, he requested a trip to watch the New York Yankees play for his 15th birthday. After going undrafted in the 2008 Major League Baseball draft, Vargas decided to enroll in an independent baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, where he spent the following months until the Minnesota Twins invited him to an evaluation. In February 2009, the organization signed him as an amateur free agent with a signing bonus that neared $100,000.
Vargas made his professional debut in 2009 with the Gulf Coast Twins. He also played for the Gulf Coast Twins in 2010. Vargas played the 2011 season with the Elizabethton Twins. He was hitting .322/.377/.489 with six home runs over 44 games, when he was suspended 50 games for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. After his suspension was over in 2012 he played for the Beloit Snappers. In 41 games he had 11 home runs and a 1.030 on-base plus slugging (OPS). Vargas played for the Fort Myers Miracle in 2013. In 125 games he hit 19 home runs. He was added to the Twins 40-man roster on November 20, 2013. Vargas started the 2014 season with the Double-A New Britain Rock Cats. In July he played in the All-Star Futures Game.
Vargas made his MLB debut on August 1, 2014, and hit his first career home run off Jesse Hahn five days later, on August 6, leading the Twins to a 3-1 victory over the Padres. Vargas wound up finishing the season as the Twins designated hitter, hitting 9 home runs with 38 rbi's in 53 games.
In the 2015 season, Vargas began the season as the Twins designated hitter although he was sent down a month later after a poor start. He was called up later in the season. Vargas finished his 2015 season with a .240 AVG in 58 games.
Vargas was named the American League's Player of the Week for the week of July 4 to July 10, 2016. After excelling at the AAA level, Vargas was given another shot for extended playing time for the Twins. He split time between designated hitter and first base. He finished with a .230 AVG in 47 games with 10 home runs.
In 2017, Vargas started the season in Triple A, but was once again ascended at the end of April. In the offseason he trained the alongside former major League players Carlos Delgado, José ‘Tony’ Valentín, and Manny Ramírez. He also played again with the Indios de Mayagüez in the Liga de Béisbol Profesional Roberto Clemente, Puerto Rico's baseball professional league.
On March 16, 2018, Vargas was designated for assignment by the Twins, and on March 22, Vargas was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds. On March 24, the Twins re-acquired Vargas by claiming him off waivers from the Reds. He was outrighted to AAA Rochester to start the 2018 season.
World Baseball Classic
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- MIRACLE, INK.: Clowning around for Kennys Vargas when it comes to tattoos
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- Twins' prospect Vargas showing some pop
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- "Padres vs. Twins - 08/05/14". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- "Can the MN Twins make headway in second half? Yes, they can". Retrieved March 18, 2017.
- http://www.primerahora.com/deportes/beisbol/nota/kennysvargasllegoparaquedarse-1221419/ Kennys Vargas llegó para quedarse (In Spanish)
- Todd, Jeff (March 22, 2018). "Reds Claim Kennys Vargas". mlbtraderumors.com. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
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- Thornburg, Chad (February 8, 2017). "Young stars join Beltran, Yadi for Puerto Rico". MLB.com. Retrieved March 14, 2017.