LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Cincinnati Reds' prospect and first baseman Yonder Alonso has gotten dialed in at the plate over the past few weeks for the Louisville Bats, hitting .412 with 10 RBIs and three round trippers over his last 12 games before the all-star break. It's no coincidence that during Alonso's recent surge, the Bats steamrolled into the break, winning eight of their last 12 before putting the season on hiatus for the midsummer classic.
As the 2010 campaign's second half begins, Louisville can only hope that the left-handed hitting Alonso continues his torrid pace. The six-foot-two, 210-pounder is currently in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, just days after putting together a season-best eight-game mark that started on June 25th.
Alonso has been an everyday, middle-of-the-order player for Louisville since being recalled from double-A on May 13th. The former first round draft pick has immediately made his presence felt in Louisville, netting four hits and six RBIs in just his third day with the club during a 12-9 victory over Rochester. In 58 games with the Bats since his call-up, the 23-year-old Alonso has batted third in each game, hitting .268 with six home runs and 34 RBIs, while also registering six stolen bases, which is already more than his career professional total.
Although just halfway through the 2010 campaign, Alonso has already matched nearly all of his hitting totals from a year ago, when he played in just 84 games due to a broken bone in his hand. In 89 games this season between Carolina and Louisville, the former Miami Hurricane has already matched his home run total from last year (9), while his 47 RBIs are closing in on last season's mark of 52. While Alonso has played first base his entire career, he has also netted 16 starts with the Bats this season in left field, only committing one error in his appearances between the corner outfield spot and first base.
Despite only appearing in 84 games during the 2009 season, Alonso played at four different levels within the Reds' organization, starting the year in low-A ball and working his way up to triple-A by the time the Bats began the playoffs. Alonso was a regular with Louisville during their playoff series against Durham, hitting .250 with an RBI and a double in the series. Thanks to a .383 on-base percentage while playing 49 midseason games with Sarasota in high-A ball, Alonso was named a Florida State League all-star in what was his first full pro season.
Alonso's merits haven't stopped since his 2009 all-star appearance, however, as he spent time this past off-season playing in the Arizona Fall League, earning a spot in the Rising Stars showcase after driving in 23 runs in 23 games. Just this week during Major League Baseball's all-star festivities in Anaheim, Alonso played in the XM Futures Game, which touted some of baseball's finest young prospects. Alonso, a native Cuban who came to America at age 10, played the entire game at first base for the World Team, going 1-for-4.
Alonso was selected in the first round of the 2008 draft as the seventh overall pick after playing three years at Miami (FL), making one appearance in the College World Series. In his final season with the 'Canes, Alonso hit .367, driving in 71 runs while hitting 23 round trippers.
It remains to be seen how Alonso will fit in to the big picture with the Reds, especially if the team re-signs Joey Votto. What is clear, however, is that Alonso will continue to gain valuable experience this season at the highest level of the minors, most likely playing every day and giving Louisville an anchor in the middle of their batting order.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.