I've always had an affinity for reserve players (See: Matt Downs and Brian Bogusevic) and one of my favorites has to be Jose Vizcaino who spent five years backing up positions in the infield. In 559 games Jose Vizcaino scored 154 runs with the Astros which is why we'll be covering him today in advance of game 154 on the 2012 season.
I'm not going to focus on Vizcaino's runs scored, I think we've done enough of the runs scored thing this past week. Instead I want to look at his overall value to the club.
Now a 76 OPS+ is terribly below average, but I always seemed to remember him coming through in key situations for the Astros. Now sabermetric thought has a tendency to mock the term clutch, however, for the time being we're going to ignore the mocking and look at Vizcaino's production in key situations. With runners in scoring position he had a .713 OPS for his entire career which is almost 30 points higher than his career OPS with the Astros.
With men on it improves to .729, including a .751 OPS with a runner on first. His peak was with a man on third, he hit for a .902 OPS. While 170 plat appearances with a man on third is a small sample size, it still does kind of confirm my memory of Vizcaino coming through in several key situations.
Defensively he was no slouch either. For his career he posted a 4.7 defensive WAR, .4 of that with the Astros. He wasn't Adam Everett, but he was defensively solid for a backup infielder, especially one who could play up the middle.
Jose Vizcaino played with the Astros during one of the most successful times of the Houston Astros franchise. He wasn't a good hitter and only about average defensively, but he was still one of my favorites.