YONDER ALONSO
Image of Mr. 305
Nickname:   Mr. 305 Position:   1B
Home: N/A Team:   INDIANS
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   L
Weight: 230 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/8/1987 Agent: MVP Sports Group
Uniform #: 17  
Birth City: Havana, Cuba
Draft: Reds #1 - 2008 - Out of Univ. of Miami (FL)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2008 FSL SARASOTA   6 19 1 6 1 0 0 2 0 0 5 5   .368 .316
2009 GCL GCL-Reds   6 15 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 .278 .133 .133
2009 FSL SARASOTA   49 175 21 53 13 0 7 38 0 1 24 30 .383 .497 .303
2009 SL CAROLINA   29 105 12 31 11 0 2 14 1 0 14 15 .372 .457 .295
2010 IL LOUISVILLE   101 406 50 120 31 2 12 56 9 1 37 76 .355 .470 .296
2010 SL CAROLINA   31 101 19 27 5 0 3 13 4 2 19 16 .388 .406 .267
2010 NL REDS   22 29 2 6 2 0 0 3 0 0 0 10 .207 .276 .207
2011 IL LOUISVILLE   91 358 46 106 24 4 12 56 6 5 46 60 .374 .486 .296
2011 NL REDS   47 88 9 29 4 0 5 15 0 0 10 21 .398 .545 .330
2012 NL PADRES $1,400.00 155 549 47 150 39 0 9 62 3 0 62 101 .348 .393 .273
2013 PCL TUCSON   4 14 1 8 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 .571 .571 .571
2013 NL PADRES $1,120.00 97 334 34 94 11 0 6 45 6 0 32 47 .341 .368 .281
2014 NL PADRES   84 267 27 64 19 1 7 27 6 1 17 36 .285 .397 .240
2014 PCL EL PASO   5 17 0 4 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 .235 .235 .235
2014 AZL PEORIA   2 8 1 3 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 1 .375 .750 .375
2015 PCL EL PASO   4 13 3 3 1 0 0 2 0 0 4 3 .412 .308 .231
2015 CAL LAKE ELSINORE   2 6 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 .444 .167 .167
2015 NL PADRES $1,650.00 103 354 50 100 18 1 5 31 2 5 42 48 .361 .381 .282
2016 AL ATHLETICS $2,650.00 156 482 52 122 34 0 7 56 3 1 45 74 .316 .367 .253
2017 AL ATHLETICS $4,000.00 100 319 52 85 17 0 22 49 1 0 50 88 .369 .527 .266
2017 AL MARINERS   42 132 20 35 5 0 6 18 1 0 18 30 .353 .439 .265
2018 AL INDIANS $7,000.00 145 516 64 129 19 0 23 83 0 0 51 123 .317 .421 .250
Personal
  • Alonso comes from a baseball family. His father, Luis, was a catcher/first baseman and then a coach for Industriales, considered the New York Yankees of Cuba. And Alonso was a batboy for the team at one time.

    When Luis and his wife, Damaris, had their first child in Havana, they "invented" the name Yonder. Years later, they learned the English meaning of the name fit their son's far-away power.  (Walter Villa-Baseball America-5/05/08)

  • In 1995, Yonder's father, Luis, decided to defect. That journey on a small plane to Miami made everything better. They left a lot of relatives in Cuba. But his maternal grandfather had citizenship in the U.S., allowing the family to apply.

    "He did it for us," Alonso, who was 9 years old at the time, said. "He wanted a better life for me and my sister (Yainee)."

    His parents, Luis and Damaris, both worked two jobs after settling into their new home in Miami/Coral Gables. Yonder played ball every day after school, then hung out with his family in the evening. The family was initially cramped in together in a one-room efficiency. As a kid, he'd join his parents as they'd clean office buildings over the weekends -- a job he kept throughout college.

    "I think about what my parents did for a living back when I was growing up," Alonso said when asked what keeps him motivated and grounded. "We came from Cuba on a small plane, and I remember my dad cleaning offices. When you think about that, you get that spark in you and do what you've got to do to get better."

  • Yonder began playing baseball as soon as he could walk. But in poverty stricken Cuba, new equipment was scarce. When he got a baseball, he had to care for it like gold. When the cover came off, his Dad just taped it back on. The same with his glove.

    After coming to the United States, Alonso quickly learned English and enjoyed a brilliant prep career at Coral Gables High in Miami, Mike Lowell's alma mater. Both played third base at the school.

    And Alonso starred on an elite traveling team, the Florida Bombers, that played a lot of out-of-state tournaments against teams made up of the top high school players around the country.

  • At Coral Gables High School, Yonder was team captain. He set school records for single-season average (.530), runs batted in (33), and walks (33). He was a two-time all-state selection.

  • In 2005, Alonso was chosen by the Twins in the 15th round, out of Coral Gables High School in Miami. But he passed them up, choosing a scholarship to the University of Miami.

  • At the University of Miami, Yonder majored in criminal justice. Someday, he says he may work as a crime-scene investigator, like on TV's CSI: Miami.

  • Alonso enjoys listening to Linkin Park and reading Sports Illustrated. His favorite book is George Orwell's 1984. Yonder's favorite sports team is the New York Yankees.

  • In the summer of 2007, Yonder played in the Cape Cod League and had the league highs in walks (36) and on-base percentage (.468) while hitting .338.

  • Alex Rodriguez mentored Alonso during the winter before 2008 season. A-Rod works out at the University of Miami during the offseason. Yonder heard that A-Rod's workouts began at 5:00 a.m., so he showed up early and introduced himself.

    "I told him what I was about, and that I wanted to do whatever workout he did—and beat him if I could." Alonso said. "That thought that was pretty funny, so he let me tag along."

    The grueling workouts normally lasted until noon, seven days a week.

    "He doesn't take any breaks," Alonso said.

  • Alonso is a below average athlete who could stand to work harder on his conditioning. But his makeup and professionalism are impressive.

  • After the 2008 season, Alonso was very impressive in Hawaii Winter Baseball. He hit .308/.419/.510 with four home runs and 21 RBIs in 29 games for the league champion Waikiki BeachBoys. And he made the postseason all-star team at first base.

  • In 2009, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Alonso as the #1 prospect in the Reds' organization. They had Yonder as second best in the Cincy farm system in 2010. He was at #4 in the spring of 2011, then back up to #3 in the offseason before 2012 spring camps opened.

  • During the winter before 2012 spring training, Alonso hired a chef and a trainer and put a lot of effort into getting his body ready to be a full-time left fielder. Yonder says the chef fixes turkey burgers, veggies, and lots of low-fat/high nutrition items for his consumption.

  • Yonder's sister, Yainee, married Manny Machado in 2014.

  • March 2015: Yonder and Odrisamer Despaigne have much more in common than being teammates with the Padres. Both are natives of Cuba, but that's not the extent of the connection. When they were born four days apart in April 1987 in Havana. And their fathers, Luis Alonso and Francisco Despaigne, were teammates for the Industriales of Cuba's premier Serie Nacional. In fact, the tie is even stronger, because Alonso's father caught Despaigne's father. Despaigne, 49, was a relief pitcher.

    Alonso, 51, was one of the top defensive catchers in Cuba. "When the Padres called me up last season, my dad asked me if there were any other Cubans on the team," the younger Despaigne said through interpreter Yonder Alonso at the Padres 2015 Spring Training camp. "I told him there were two, Yasmani Grandal and Yonder Alonso. My dad laughed," Despaigne said. "Then he told me Yonder's father was his catcher with Industriales in the late 1980s and early 1990s."

    At about the same time, Alonso's father called from Miami to tell his son that he caught Despaigne's father in Cuba. "It had to be almost the same time that we learned about the connection," said Alonso. "I remember looking across the clubhouse at Oddie and seeing this grin. How strange is that? My dad asked me to describe how Despaigne pitches," said Alonso. "I said he has a great curve and command and pitches from a lot of angles.

    My dad said 'The same as his father.' Later, after my dad had watched Oddie on television, he said there was a similar look and similar approach by the Despaignes.""I have a better fastball than my dad," Odrisamer said with a big grin. "But it's not strange that we both throw from a lot of arm angles. Most pitchers in Cuba throw the same way—here, here, here and here," he said as he displayed different arm slots. (Center - mlb.com - 3/5/15)

  • July 2, 2017: Alonso received his first MLB All-Star invitation.

  • Yonder is homeward bound.  He will return to Miami as an All-Star and the celebration in his adopted hometown will surely be grand.

    "It's great. Hometown, the whole bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We're all excited for him. For him, this is a special day, getting to go home. It'll be an exciting week for him."

    Alonso, enjoying a breakout season after finding his power stroke, earned the first-time nod through the player's vote as a reserve.  

    "Just so fortunate and obviously so blessed to have the opportunity to represent the Oakland A's, and going back to my home and where I grew up means a lot to me," Alonso said. "I'm just grateful for my peers. Obviously, I got the vote from them, and it just means so much to know they took it seriously and they know what's happening in the game. Just so thankful and very excited and full of emotions right now."

    Alonso's family escaped from Cuba when he was 10, fleeing to Miami for a better life and settling not far from Marlins Park, the site of this year's All-Star Game. A blue-collar attitude replicated from his parents earned him a baseball scholarship to the University of Miami, where he turned himself into a first-round Draft pick in 2008.

    Yonder has attributed the upsurge to a detailed critique and subsequent change of his swing mechanics, notably the addition of a leg kick he incorporated in the 2016 offseason after watching hours of video and chatting up countless peers. A transformative stance has his lower body in sync with his upper half, generating heaps of power.

    The work has paid dividends for this first-time All-Star, who will be the A's lone representative in the July 11 Midsummer Classic. Melvin delivered the news to Alonso, telling him, "Congratulations, kid. You're going to Miami. You're going home."  (Lee - mlb.com - 7/3/17)

  • To the left of Yonder's locker is a wooden stand roughly three feet in height. At the top is a triangular rack with nine circular sections cut out -- large enough for a bat handle. One day in April 2018, Alonso had seven of his bats hanging from the apparatus, their barrels barely touching.

    "A fighter needs to always take care of his boxing gloves," Alonso said. "A warrior needs to take care of his sword." 

    So, Alonso takes great care of his bats, rather than having them leaning haphazardly inside his personal stall. The Indians first baseman said the rack -- built for him by Jack Efta, the Progressive Field umpires-room attendant -- is the most important thing at his locker, with the exception of his wedding ring and wallet.

    Those bats are the tools of Alonso's trade, and they have been treating him better in recent games.  When things were not going well for Alonso over the first couple of weeks of the 2018 season, he kept his focus on the successes within at-bats instead of the misleading results.

    "As I've gotten older, I've realized not to get so concerned," Alonso said. "You've got to be realistic with yourself. You've got to be true to yourself and you've got to understand how you really feel. So, for me, I try to just relax and understand that, just continue to work and things will take care of themselves."

    Alonso will continue to trust his process, and his meticulously organized bats.  "Those are my little warriors," Alonso said with a smile.  (Bastian - mlb.com - 4/30/18)

  • The Indians bats were. And the team's 10-0 win over the Tigers was only part of the reason Yonder was celebrating. It was his son's reaction to his hitting that brought a huge smile to your face.

    In the bottom of the seventh inning on a 2-1 pitch, Alonso smacked a grand slam over the right-center-field fence. This put the Indians up nine runs. But Troy, Alonso's son, was watching him on the television at home. And while he posed with a mitt, he watched his dad hit the ball over the fence -- and he reacted in the most adorable way possible:  "Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah," with his hands in the air! 

    "This is what it's all about," Alonso wrote in an Instagram post.  What an amazing moment for a father and his son. (Klieinschmidt - mlb.com - 6/22/18)

             TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2008: The Reds made Yonder their first round pick of the draft, the seventh player chosen overall. And less than two hours before the deadline on August 15, Alonso signed a contract that runs through 2012, worth about $4.5 million. Alonso came off his original demand of nearly $7 million, along with a threat to play independent ball or return to Miami. Tony Arias is the scout who signed him.

  • December 17, 2011: The Padres sent RHP Mat Latos to the Reds; acquiring Alonso, RHP Edinson Volquez, C Yasmani Grandal, and RHP Brad Boxberger.

  • December 2, 2015: The Padres traded LHP Marc Rzepczynski and Alonso to the Athletics for LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP Jose Torres, and a Player To Be Named Later.

  • January 14, 2016: The A's and Alonso avoided arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal worth $2.65 million.

  • Aug 6, 2017: The Athletics traded Alonso to the Mariners for Boog Powell.

  • Nov 2, 2017: Alonso elected free agency. 

  • December 20,  2017: Yonder signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Indians.

Batting
  • Alonso is a very strong lefthanded power hitter, hitting most of his home runs to left-center, but also has the ability to pull the ball. He is a real run producer. And he has a short, loose, compact stroke who produces line drives for a very good batting average.

  • Yonder is probably the purest hitter in the Reds' organization. He hits to all fields, willingly, lining drives to both gaps, and especially hitting the ball to the center of the field.

  • He is a very selective hitter with a good eye at the plate. He has excellent plate discipline, working himself into a favorable count to get a pitch he wants incredibly often. So he has an impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio and high on-base percentage because of his superb pitch awareness. He walks more than he strikes out—incredible for a guy with so much power. His hand/eye coordination is impressive, as is his sense of the strike zone.

  • Alonso has excellent balance at the plate. He sets up well and gets in a good hitting position. His approach is impressive. "When he swings the bat, he puts the ball in play more than most players, so he needs to be careful when he swings the bat to get a good pitch to hit," Louisville manager Rick Sweet said in 2010. "On tough pitches, most guys foul the pitch off or swing and miss. Yonder puts it in play."

  • This lefty batter has learned to hit lefthanded pitchers with quality breaking pitches. So he hits both lefties and righties well.

  • June 10, 2017: After collecting three hits -- including a pair of doubles -- and driving in a run during Oakland's 6-5, 10-inning defeat in Game 1 of the single-admission twin bill at Tropicana Field, Alonso stayed hot in helping Oakland to a 7-2 victory in the nightcap.

    He hammered out four more hits in five plate appearances and added another RBI and a run scored to join Hall-of-Famer Reggie Jackson and Josh Reddick as the only three players in club history with three or more hits in both games of a doubleheader. (Jeff Odom - Special to MLB.com)

  • A whirlwind two days at the 2017 MLB All-Star Game was capped off with a big night for A's first baseman Yonder Alonso.  The lone A's representative at Marlins Park, Alonso went 2-for-2 with two singles, a stolen base and a clean night of defense as the American League beat the National League, 2-1, in 10 innings.

    "It lived up to even more than the expectations because I'm numb," Alonso said of his first All-Star Game. "I know if I'm numb, the expectations were incredible.  In the anthem, I had some tears, that's for sure. I looked at my dad and he had some tears running down."  (Simon - mlb.com - 7/12/17)

  • Spring Training 2018: Once he overcame some anxiety, Yonder Alonso started swinging for the fences. And clearing them.

    Hoping to improve his power statistics, Alonso altered his swing last season and the baseball began to fly. After hitting just 39 home runs in his first seven major league seasons, Alonso connected for 28 in 142 games for Oakland and Seattle.

    The Indians are counting on his surge to continue.

    Following Carlos Santana’s departure as a free agent to Philadelphia, the Indians were left with a run-producing void in their lineup and signed the 30-year-old Alonso, who became something of a poster boy for MLB’s new elevation trend.

    Alonso implemented a higher leg kick, used a bigger upper cut, and concentrated on hitting the ball harder. And, as it turned out, farther.

    ”I tell guys, 'Look at me,”’ said Alonso, who made his first All-Star appearance in 2017 with the Athletics. ”I was so scared of change. Then I changed. It worked. I’m still learning that change can be good. Don’t be scared.” ( AP-Feb. 22, 2018 )

  • As of the start of the 2019 season, Alonso's career stats were: .265 with 90 home runs and 389 RBI in 3,070 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Yonder is probably best used at first base, but was blocked by Joey Votto there with the Reds in 2011 and 2012. He does a good job there, though. He plays good defense at first base. He just needs to improve his mobility and footwork/movement around the bag.

    He really is not super athletic. He lacks agility. And he lacks the speed to cover very much ground in left field. (2011)

  • Alonso has a fairly strong arm. And he has soft hands at first base. Rhe Reds tried to find Yonder another position. They tried him in left field, but his lack of speed limits his range.

  • In 2017 with the A's and Mariners, he played first base exclusively.
Running
  • Yonder is a below average runner, getting a 35 on the 20-80 scouting scale.
Career Injury Report
  • June 17-August 2009: Alonso was on the D.L. with a broken hamate bone in his right hand. He injured his hand swinging at a 3-0 fastball.

  • September 17, 2011: Yonder fouled a ball off his right ankle, aggravating a bone bruise in his right ankle—one he originally suffered early in August at Wrigley Field. So he was limited to pinch-hitting the last week of the season.

  • June 1-July 12, 2013: Alonso was on the D.L. with a right hand contusion.
  • June 19-July 26, 2014: Yonder was on the D.L. with tendinitis in right wrist.

  • August 14-end of 2014 season: Alonso was placed on the D.L. with inflammation on his forearm. 

  • May 8-June 2, 2015: Alonso was on the D.L. with a deep bone bruise in his right shoulder.

  • September 14, 2015: Alonso was sidelined with a lower back sprain and placed on the 60-day DL.