Alonso with the Oakland Athletics in 2016
|Oakland Athletics – No. 17|
April 8, 1987 |
|September 1, 2010, for the Cincinnati Reds|
(through September 15, 2016)
|Runs batted in||235|
Yonder Alonso (born April 8, 1987) is a Cuban professional baseball first baseman for the Oakland Athletics of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for the Cincinnati Reds and San Diego Padres. Prior to entering the major leagues, he played college baseball at the University of Miami.
Yonder Alonso was born in Havana, Cuba on April 8, 1987 to parents Luis and Damarys. His father played and coached for Industriales of the Cuban National Series, and taught Yonder to play as well. The family defected from Cuba in 1996 and settled in Miami, where Yonder played on a Little League team funded by Jose Canseco. Alonso attended Coral Gables High School in Coral Gables, Florida, and was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft. He did not sign, choosing instead to attend college.
Alonso attended the University of Miami, where he played three seasons for the Hurricanes. He led the team to the College World Series as a freshman, with a team leading 69 RBIs. His sister attended the same school and was a member of the cheerleading squad.
His sophomore year he batted .376, led the Atlantic Coast Conference with 18 home runs, knocked in 74 runs, and scored 57 times. He also ranked second in the ACC with a .519 on-base percentage and .705 slugging percentage. Alonso went to the Cape Cod Baseball League in 2007 and played for the Brewster Whitecaps.
In 2008, he hit .373 with 15 homers, 51 RBIs, and eight stolen bases.
Alonso made his Minor League debut on August 26, 2008 for the Class A Sarasota Reds against the Clearwater Threshers. He went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. In just six games for the A-Advanced Reds that year, he went 6-for-19 with two RBIs.
Alonso entered the 2009 season ranked as the number one overall prospect in the Reds organization by Baseball America. He started the season with Sarasota, played 49 games, and hit .303 in 175 at-bats with seven home runs, 13 doubles, and 38 RBIs. After receiving a promotion to Class AA Carolina, he hit .295 in 105 at-bats, with 11 doubles, two homers, and 14 RBIs over 29 games. He also played for the Peoria Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League in 2009, .267 in 23 games.
Alonso started 2010 in Carolina playing left field, as he was blocked at first base in Cincinnati by Joey Votto. In May, Alonso was promoted to the Triple-A Louisville Bats where he played 82 of his 101 games at first base, hitting .296 with 12 home runs. Alonso was called up by the Reds on September 1 as the rosters expanded. He made his major league debut that day, pinch hitting for Brandon Phillips. On September 4, 2010, in his second at bat as a pinch hitter, Alonso doubled off St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Mike MacDougal for his first major league hit, and scored his first major league run that inning.
Alonso began the 2011 season at Triple-A, playing the majority of his games in left field and batting .296. On July 26, 2011, Alonso was recalled to the Cincinnati Reds after they traded Johnny Gomes. He served mostly as a pinch hitter, picking up 98 plate appearances over 47 games and batting .330 with a .943 OPS. Alonso made 14 starts in left field and one each at first and third base. Alonso was projected as a left fielder for the Reds in 2012, although he struggled defensively at the position during 2011.
San Diego Padres
Alonso, Edinson Vólquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger were traded to the San Diego Padres for Mat Latos on December 17, 2011. He was projected to start at first base ahead of Anthony Rizzo, who was eventually traded. Alonso came into 2012 still classified as a rookie with only 117 career at-bats.
Alonso played 155 games for the Padres in 2012, including 144 starts at first base, and posted a batting line of .273/.348/.393 with 9 home runs. He set a Padres franchise record with 39 doubles as a rookie, breaking the old rookie mark of 33 by Benito Santiago in 1987. Alonso also had 10 multi-double games, the most in the major leagues since 2006. Alonso committed 12 errors at first base, tying for the league lead. He finished 6th in the NL Rookie of the Year voting.
Alonso was the starting first baseman to begin 2013. On April 10, Alonso started at first base against the Dodgers. In the 9th inning, with second baseman Alexi Amarista having been pinch-hit for the previous inning, Alonso moved to second base for the first time in his professional career. With left-handed hitter Andre Ethier up after Adrian Gonzalez hit a ground ball to second that Alonso couldn't come up with, Alonso and third baseman Jedd Gyorko switched positions. After Ethier was hit and two right-handed hitters were due, Alonso and Gyorko switched again, and the Padres got out of the inning after A.J. Ellis grounded out to third. On June 6, Alonso was placed on the 15-day disabled list after he got hit on the hand by a pitch from Aaron Loup on May 31. Kyle Blanks and Jesús Guzmán then entered a platoon while Alonso was out. At the time, he was hitting .284 with 6 HR and 29 RBI. He was activated on July 12, 2013. On August 30, Alonso suffered a separate injury to his right hand, which caused him to miss most of September. Blanks and Guzmán filled in initially, but when Tommy Medica was called up, he started the rest of the season at first. Alonso returned to action on September 28, and appeared in 2 games as a pinch-runner. In 97 games in 2013, he hit .281/.341/.368 with 6 HR and 45 RBI's.
On June 19, 2014, Alonso was placed on the 15-day DL with right hand tendinitis. On July 26, after missing 30 games, Alonso was activated off the disabled list. After playing almost a month, Alonso was ruled out for the season on August 17 because of a forearm strain. In 84 games in 2014, Alonso hit .240/.285/.397 with 7 home runs and 27 RBIs.
In 2015 Yonder would spend time on the 15-day DL but would be activated on June 2. In 2015, Alonso hit .282 with five home runs and 31 RBIs in 103 games; he had two separate stints on the disabled list because of a shoulder injury and strained lower back.
On December 2, 2015, the Padres traded Alonso and Marc Rzepczynski to the Oakland Athletics for Drew Pomeranz, José Torres, and a player to be named later or cash considerations (later specified as Jabari Blash). This trade reunited Alonso with Danny Valencia, one of his teammates who played with him in the University of Miami. On January 13, 2016, the A's and Alonso announced that they had agreed to a one-year contract worth $2.65 million to avoid arbitration.
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- Yahoo! Sports
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