Results tagged ‘ Hanser Alberto ’
As the 2017 season begins, 29 former Hickory Crawdads will dot major league rosters. That is up from 25 to start the 2016 campaign.
Ten of those are on the Crawdads parent club, the Texas Rangers. Among American League clubs, only Toronto has two former Hickory players. Thirteen former Crawdads are on National League teams, including three on the Pittsburgh Pirates, left over from the days of their affiliation with Hickory. The Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies and San Diego Padres each have two.
Three players on MLB rosters will start the year on the disabled list: Hanser Alberto (Texas), Robbie Erlin (San Diego) and Zach Duke (St. Louis).
Here is a synopsis of each player in the majors:
Hanser Alberto (’12): The infielder will begin the season on the disabled. He has played the last two seasons with Texas, posting a .194/ .204 /.226 slash over 76 combined games.
Jose Bautista (’02): The right-handed hitter will be in his 14th major league season, the ninth with the Toronto Blue Jays. Battling injuries in 2016, Bautista hit 22 homers in 116 and posted a .234/.366/.452 slash. He signed a one-year contract with Toronto during the off-season to remain with the club.
Alex Claudio (’13): The soft-tossing, lefty reliever will be in his fourth major league season with the Texas Rangers. In 39 games in 2016, he put up a 2.79 ERA over 51.2 innings with 34 Ks and 10 walks.
Rajai Davis (’02-’03): The speedy outfielder will be in his 12th major league season, his first with the Oakland A’s after signing a free agent contract in the off-season. The right-handed hitter posted a .249/.306/.388 slash with Cleveland in 2016 and led the American League with 43 stolen bases. He is expected to start in centerfield for the Athletics, with whom he played for from 2008-2010.
Joey Gallo (’13): The left-handed hitter will be in his third major league season with the Texas Rangers. He has played in 53 games the previous two years, putting up a .173/ .281/.368 slash. Gallo will start at third in place of the injured Adrian Beltre.
Leury Garcia (’09-’10): The switch-hitter will be in his fifth major league season, most of those with the Chicago Cubs. Out of minor-league options, Garcia was kept on the big league club and will fill a utility role. He spent much of last year at AAA Charlotte.
Jose Leclerc (’13): The right-handed reliever will be on his first opening-day roster after he made 12 relief appearances for the Texas Rangers in his debut season last year. He put up a 1.80 ERA in 15 innings with 15 Ks and 13 BBs. He split last year at AA Frisco and AAA Round Rock.
Nomar Mazara (’13-’14): The left-handed hitting outfielder will be in his second major league season with the Texas Rangers after playing in 145 games during his debut season. He posted a .266/.320/.419 slash with 20 homers and 64 RBI. Mazara will start the season in right.
Rougned Odor (’12): The left-handed second baseman will be in his fourth season with the Texas Rangers and recently signed a six-year extension with the club. Last year, Odor hit 33 homers and collected 88 RBI in 150 games. His posted a .271/.296 /.502 slash.
Steve Pearce (’07): The right-handed hitter will be in his 11th major league season, the first with the Toronto Blue Jays after signing a two-year deal during the off-season. Pearce split last year between Tampa Bay and Baltimore, posting a .288/.374/.492 slash over 110 games. He his expected to start in left.
Martin Perez (’09): The left-handed pitcher will be in his sixth major league season with the Texas Rangers. Perez went 10-11 with a 4.39 ERA over 33 starts in 2016. He is expected to be the No. 3 starter for the Rangers.
Jurickson Profar (’12, ’15): The switch-hitter will be in his fourth major league season with the Texas Rangers, but is on his first opening-day roster. Profar had a .239/.321/.338 slash over 90 games in 2016. He is expected to play a utility role for the Rangers this year.
Drew Robinson (’12): The left-handed hitter will make his major league debut with the Texas Rangers this season after spending last year at AAA Round Rock. Robinson will play a utility role with Texas.
Robbie Ross (’10): The left-handed reliever will be in his sixth major league season, the third with the Boston Red Sox. Ross posted a 3.25 ERA in 2016 and fanned 56 over 55.1 innings.
Ryan Rua (’13): The right-handed hitter will be in his fourth major league season with the Texas Rangers. Rua posted a .258//331/.400 slash over 99 games last year. He is expected to split time in left and at first.
Chris Young (’01-’02): The right-handed pitcher will be in his 13th major league season, the third with the Kansas City Royals. Young went 3-9 in 34 games (13 starts) in 2016 with a 6.19 ERA. He lost out in a battle for the No. 5 spot in the rotation and will be a long-man out of the bullpen.
Zach Duke (’03): The left-handed reliever will miss the 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He is currently with the St. Louis Cardinals after the team acquired him from the Chicago White Sox in a 2016 trade.
Carl Edwards, Jr. (’13): The right-handed reliever will be in his third major league season with the Chicago Cubs. This will be his first opening-day in the majors. In 36 games last year, Edwards posted a 3.75 ERA with 52 Ks and 14 BBs over 36 innings. The National League hit just .123 against Edwards.
Jerad Eickhoff (’12): The right-handed starting pitcher will be in his third major league season with the Philadelphia Phillies after he completed his first full year with the club in 2016. He went 11-14 with a 3.65 ERA over 33 starts, striking out 167 and walking 42 over 197.1 innings. Eickhoff will be the No. 2 starter for the Phillies.
Robbie Erlin (’10): The left-handed pitcher will begin this season on the disabled list with the San Diego Padres while he continues his recovery from Tommy John surgery in 2016. He hopes to return to the club this midseason for what would be his fifth major league season.
Justin Grimm (’11): The right-handed reliever will be in his sixth major league season, the fifth with the Chicago Cubs. In 68 appearances in 2016, Grimm went 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA and fanned 65 to just 23 walks over 52.2 IP. Grimm will pitch in middle relief.
Odubel Herrera (’11): The left-handed hitter will be in his third major league season with the Philadelphia Phillies after he took a big step as one of the National League’s best young centerfielders in 2016. During a season in which he represented the Phillies on the National League All-Star Team, Herrera posted a .286/.361/.420 slash and stole 25 bases in 159 games.
Jared Hughes (’07-’08): The right-handed reliever will be in his seventh major league season and recently just signed with the Milwaukee Brewers after the Pittsburgh Pirates released him last week. Hughes went 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA over 67 appearances in 2016. He will pitch in middle relief for the Brewers.
Andrew McCutchen (’06): The right-handed hitter will be in his ninth major league season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. McCutchen struggled over 153 games last year and posted his career-worst slash (.256/.336/.430). He hit 24 homers, but stole just six bases in 13 attempts. After manning center his entire career, McCutchen will shift to right this year.
Jordy Mercer (’08): The right-handed shortstop will be in his sixth major league season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He played in 149 games last year and posted a .256/.313/.377 with 11 homers and 59 RBI.
Neil Ramirez (’09-’10): The right-handed pitcher will be in his fourth major league season, the first with the San Francisco Giants. Ramirez signed a minor-league contract with the club during the offseason and made the club out of spring training. Ramirez made 18 relief appearances with three clubs (Cubs, Milwaukee, Minnesota) and struggled to a 6.00 ERA over 24 innings. He did strike out 24, but walked 18 and had a 1.67 WHIP. He will come out of the bullpen for the Giants.
Luis Sardinas (’12): The switch-hitter will be in his fourth major league season, the second with the San Diego Padres after the team acquired him from Seattle during the 2016 season. Sardinas played in 66 combined games last year with a .244/.295/.356 slash. He will play some shortstop, but will start the season in a utility role.
Neil Walker (’05): The switch-hitting second baseman will be in his ninth major league season, the second with the New York Mets after resigning in the offseason. Despite battling a back injury, Walker still posted a .282/.347/.476 over 113 games with the Mets and blasted 23 homers.
Tony Watson (’07): The left-handed reliever will be in his seventh major league season with the Pittsburgh Pirates. After the midseason trade of Mark Melancon, Watson took on the job of the Pirates closer in 2016 and will serve in the same role this year. He went 2-5 with 15 saves last year over 70 games with a 3.06 ERA. Watson struck out 58 and walked 20 over 67.2 IP.
Friday, March 11
HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY:
Luis Sardinas (’12, SS/ Seattle) had two hits, including an RBI single in the third inning as part of Seattle’s 10-8 win over the Cubs. He also walked and scored two runs.
Ryan Rua (’13, 2B) turns 26.
CRAWDADS ALUM IN THE NEWS:
Hanser Alberto (’12, SS/ Texas) looking to find spot in Rangers infield.
Chicago White Sox 8 Texas 2: Hanser Alberto (’12, 3B/ SS/ Texas) 0-2; Lewis Brinson (’13-’14, OF/ Texas) 0-2, K; Kellin Deglan (’11-’12, ’14, C/ Texas) 0-2; Edwin Garcia (’10-’12, ’15/ IF/ Texas) 0-1; Drew Robinson ’12, 3B/ Texas) 1-2, solo HR (1) in the fifth, K; Neil Martinez (’12, P/ Texas) 2 IP, 7 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR; Yohander Mendez (’14-’15, P/ Texas) 2 IP, 1 H, 1 K; Connor Sadzeck (’13, P/ Texas) 1 IP.
Chicago Cubs 8 Seattle 10: CJ Edwards, Jr. (’13, P/ Chicago) 1 IP, 2 K
Kansas City 9 Chicago White Sox 2: Leury Garcia (’09-’10, SS/ Chicago) 0-3; Josh Richmond (’11, OF/ Chicago) 0-1, K; Will Lamb (’11-’12, P/ Chicago) 0 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, loss (0-1).
San Francisco 3 Milwaukee 1: Alex Presley (’06, OF/ Seattle) 1-2.
Atlanta 5 Miami 2: Cody Ege (’13, P/ Miami) 2/3 IP, 1 K.
Detroit 6 Philadelphia 6: Odubel Herrera (’11/ 2B/ Philadelphia) 1-2; Nick Williams (’13, OF/ Philadelphia) 1-4, K; Jorge Alfaro (’12-13, C/ Philadephia) 1-4, K, PO.
Houston 4 Washington 3: Abel De Los Santos (’14, P/ Washington) 1 IP, 1 H.
New York Yankees 4 Baltimore 4: Richard Bleier (’09, P/ NY Yankees) 1 IP, 1 K.
Pittsburgh 1 Tampa Bay 5: Andrew McCutchen (’06, OF/ Pittsburgh) 0-1, BB; Jordy Mercer (’08, SS/ Pittsburgh) 1-2.
St. Louis 2 New York Mets 7: Neil Walker (’05, C) 0-2, K.
Toronto 11 NY Yankees 4: Jose Bautista (’02, OF/ Toronto) 0-2, K.
Morningside (IA) 4 (13-2) Vanguard (CA) 2: Brian Drent (’95, OF/ Head Coach MU)
Valparaiso 1 (3-10) Dallas Baptist 2: Brian Schmack (’96, P/ Head Coach, Valpo)
River Bluff (SC) 6 (5-1) Sumter 5: Doug Bearden (’95-’96, IF/ Asst. Coach RBHS)
Back in 2012, Hanser Alberto, in many ways, was an afterthought in the infield. Three years later, he is a major leaguer.
At the time that Alberto came to Hickory in April 2012, the Crawdads had Luis Sardinas, who was to be the starting shortstop. However, because of injuries to Sardinas in 2011 – and the wish to keep a prized prospect healthy for a full season – Alberto was here to split time with Sardinas, as well as spell regular third baseman Drew Robinson.
By putting up a .337/.385/.463 slash line in 62 games, Alberto made the South Atlantic League All-Star Game roster and then received a promotion to Myrtle Beach after the first game of the second half. In the locker room the night of that bump-up, he was grinning ear-to-ear and hugging everyone he could find, myself included. I can only imagine what the scene was in Round Rock, Texas when he was told he was going to Arlington.
I thought fans might enjoy some of what was said about Alberto when he was a 19-year-old kid in Hickory back in 2012.
Here is a feature write-up I did on Alberto for the Hickory Daily Record in May 2012, followed by a couple of other quotes from the Crawdads field staff at the time
Prospects in minor league baseball sometimes are hidden. An organization may have such a wealth of players at a particular position that an otherwise decent prospect may get lost in the shuffle.
The Texas Rangers, the parent club of the Hickory Crawdads, have such a problem at shortstop. At the big league level, Elvis Andrus is fast becoming an elite shortstop in the American League. Other names at short include 2011 Crawdads shortstop Jurickson Profar – currently among the elite prospects overall in the minors – and Luis Sardinas, currently one of two shortstops with the Crawdads and a top-20 prospect with the Rangers.
But there is hiding in the wings at Hickory is another shortstop: 19-year old Dominican Hanser Alberto.
Over the first six weeks of the season, the native of San Francisco de Macoris, D.R has been among the most consistent player for the Crawdads. With that he has begun to make waves within the Rangers organization.
He got his start in baseball like most kids in the Dominican, playing pickup games with other kids around town. But it was his father – a public address announcer at a local stadium – that saw the potential in Alberto to become a pro.
“My dad was always watching me and whatever I did in the field,” said Alberto through the translation of Crawdads assistant coach Humberto Miranda. “He had me thinking that I had a chance…Since he was an announcer, he taught me how to play the game. I learned how to field and how to hit just being around the coaches.”
Alberto was signed to a local baseball academy at age 13. A few years later, in 2008, he was part of a team that played in Chicago as part of a tournament set up by Major League Baseball.
“After that, I started taking baseball more seriously because I had a chance to make it as a pro” Alberto said.
His exploits on the field garnered the attention of several teams, including Atlanta, Pittsburgh, Kansas City before signing with the Rangers, who Alberto felt offered him a better chance to achieve his dream of playing in the big leagues.
“I liked the way that Texas played the game,” he said. “They way the chemistry is with the team and all that… I liked the way they worked and the way they played. I saw there was a chance that if I kept doing the right thing I could move up.”
He made his pro debut with the Rangers’ Dominican Summer League team in 2010. After starting slow due to a groin injury, Alberto caught fire for the Rangers leading his team to a playoff berth. He led the league with a .358 batting average, collecting 64 hits in 50 games.
The Rangers decided to challenge their young shortstop by having him skip the rookie level in the Arizona Summer League and move up to short-season A-ball in Spokane (Wash.). The combination of an ankle injury, plus making the adjustment in moving from the Dominican Republic to eastern Washington made for a tough season, relatively. Against competition often three to four years older, he hit.267 with the Indians and committed 20 errors at short in 53 games.
“Whenever I got back to 100% and I got back (in the lineup), I struggled a little bit and I couldn’t find myself,” Alberto said. “I went to Josue Perez to get help on the hitting side. I had to work on my defense too.”
Perez, who served as the hitting coach at Spokane last season before coming to Hickory this season, said that Alberto had to learn to experience things different than what is in the Dominican.
“When he came over here, it was a little bit of a different animal,” Perez said. “He didn’t know what to do on some pitches. In the Dominican at their age, they don’t see that good two-seamer and that good changeup at different counts. He was dealing with that last year.”
Coming into this season, Alberto feels that he has made the adjustments and the results have kept him in the top ten South Atlantic League hitters with a .326 average, while defensively he has made only seven errors.
“I’m very happy where Alberto is right now,” said Rangers field coordinator Jayce Tingler. “To see him make the transformation from Spokane last year, he’s learning how to go about his work before the game. He’s able to concentrate a little more in the game. He’s controlled the strike zone. Those are all the steps you want to see in the first four or five weeks.”
With the log jam at shortstop, Alberto is spending some time at third base and may experiment some at second to stay in the lineup as much as possible now and in the future.
“He wants to do anything it takes to help the team,” says Miranda, who works as the infield coach for Hickory. “If he has to play third, or if he has to play second, he’s going to do it. He’s fundamentally sound that he can play any position in the infield.”
For his part, Alberto is not afraid of the competition that he is a part of in the Rangers organization. When asked about what he looks to do to set himself apart, Alberto responds:
“(I’m) being blessed by God, first of all and my work ethic, where I give my 100% every day. That’s what I think is setting me apart from everybody else.”
Quotes about Alberto:
“Defensively, at shortstop, I didn’t know what we had until he started taking ground balls. He takes care of all the routine ones. He’s kind of a bigger shortstop and you think he’s not going to get to it and you look at where the other shortstops are, and he is.” 2012 Crawdads Manager Bill Richardson.
“A couple of years ago, when we signed Profar and Sardinas and all those guys, he was part of it, too. Obviously we couldn’t have them all at the same spot, but we always talk about having waves. So, okay, here’s the first wave and then the second wave and he’s part of the next wave. But we never thought about him as he’s behind them. No, he’s right there with them.” 2012 Crawdads hitting coach Josue Perez about how Alberto fit in among the other Rangers’ infield prospects at the time.
“Hanser is a nice sleeper. When I first got into this organization and saw all the middle infielders, I liked the way he played the best. He played with energy. He was always talking, always communicating. He played the game hard, always ran balls out. He played the game, from my perspective, the way it’s supposed to be played.” Casey Candaele, who was the Rangers infield coordinator in 2012.
“It’s a God-given ability. You don’t teach that. I just try to keep doing what Josue tells me to do. Get on top of the ball and find the pitch that I’ve been looking for and hit it. Now, when I get to two strikes, I think about putting the ball in play. Before two strikes, I try to find that pitch that I want.” Hanser Alberto, when asked how he learned to hit.