Avila played three seasons from 2007 to 2009 in the Dominican Summer League after signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2010, Avila was sent to the Gulf Coast League Pirates and posted a .277 batting average in 54 games with 15 doubles, seven homers and 29 RBIs.
In 2011, Avila was called up to the single-A West Virginia Power, where he hit.216 with four home runs and 31 RBIs in 116 games. He spent 2012 in West Virgina, putting up a .281 average with 11 home runs and 35 RBIs in 53 games. He spent 2013 with the high-A Bradenton Marauders, posting a .234 batting average with three homers and 17 RBIs in 33 games.