When we think of Baltimore Orioles infielder Hanser Alberto, other names like Derek Jeter do not seem to fall into the same category. However, it is time we put Alberto in that equation.
Since Opening Day, one of the Orioles’ greatest surprises in 2019 has been the lethal bat of Hanser Alberto. For a rebuilding team that will end the season likely under 60 wins, the offense has time-and-time again shown it still can compete with the big teams.
Alberto has been a staple of this offense, and he has a title to go with his dominance against lefties this season.
In 2012, Derek Jeter led a Yankees team that dominated the AL, cruising through the Baltimore Orioles in the ALDS. That season for Jeter showcased an incredible feat of 54 singles against lefties. The legend would be dethroned in that department.
As of August 28, Alberto has recorded 58 singles against lefties, surpassing Jeter’s already impressive 2012 mark. Alberto’s 58 singles have helped craft a .407 batting average against lefties, which leads the league among players with 100 or more at-bats against LHP.
Now let’s put Alberto’s average against LHP into perspective. When we look at legendary players like Albert Pujols, Babe Ruth, and Ted Williams, we know they all were some of the most dominant hitters against lefties. Alberto’s .407 average against LHP is almost .100 higher than any of those three players through their careers.
It is easy to say Alberto’s success against lefties is biased because it has only been one season. But there is nothing to make us believe it will cease.
That leads to the next question, is Alberto a trade chip or a rebuilding piece? I say, do not trade him!
Alberto is not a free agent until 2023 and is still young at 26 years old. Alberto can still play well through his early thirties.
Any trade deal involving Alberto runs the risk that any other team probably would not give away the talent at the plate we need and would lose by dealing Alberto.
In the day of trying to win the batter-pitcher match-ups, a utility guy like Alberto that can be a constant anytime a team throws a LHP against the Orioles, is beyond valuable.
I believe keeping Alberto will be nothing short of worthwhile. A rebuilding team and offense will benefit greatly from a guy like Alberto in the lineup as a platoon, and he will win the Orioles more games going forward due to his dominance at the plate.
As a sub-60-win team, what else could you ask for from a guy that no one was expected to remember his name? More dominance against lefties in black and orange, that is what.