Expect to see Hanser Alberto continue in his utility role with the Baltimore Orioles.
Hanser Alberto was a part of the Orioles roster, then he wasn’t, then he was again before the season started. Odds are pretty high that many Orioles fans never even noticed. Now, here we are in late-September and Alberto ranks fifth in the American League with a .310 overall batting average and a monster .396 average against left-handed pitching.
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He has been on a bit of cold streak recently, but overall, Alberto has posted a wRC+ of 112 since the All-Star break, a notable spike from his wRC+ of 86 in the first half of the season.
In 60 games, Alberto is hitting .312 with an .817 OPS and nine home runs (three in the first half). Believe it or not, he’s actually lowered his strikeout rate from 9.8% to 8.1% and increased his walk rate from 2.5% to 3.7%. Ladies and gentlemen, Alberto is drawing walks. Alright, so it’s only nine walks in 246 plate appearances, but it’s an improvement.
There was rumored interest in Alberto at the trade deadline and those rumors have continued late in the season, with at least one unnamed team expressing interest in a possible offseason deal. However, will any return package make this organization better? No. Will Alberto be a valuable presence on this roster with the ability to play multiple positions while the roster continues to shake out over the next year or two? Yes.
There’s one more week in the 2019 regular season for these three to put an exclamation point on their second-half performances. Even better to be able to do so against the Toronto Blue Jays and Boston Red Sox.