The 2021 KC Royals are still adding late into the offseason, this time in former Baltimore Orioles infielder Hanser Alberto. Alberto has had a short MLB career that started back in 2015. Despite a small sample size, Alberto recently has had one of the lowest strikeout rates in Major League Baseball.
Hanser Alberto’s deal with the Kansas City Royals is a minor-league contract. This allows Alberto to be a non-roster invitee to spring training. If Alberto puts up solid numbers when spring training begins next month, Alberto could be added to the 40-man roster and be used as a bench bat for the 2021 KC Royals.
If Alberto continues to produce throughout the season, he can play second base, shortstop, and third base. With better numbers at the plate, Alberto could give Nicky Lopez a run at the second-base position. Lopez showed in the shortened 2020 season that he can play everyday second base defensively, however, he has not shown he can hit consistently against MLB pitchers.
2021 KC Royals: About Hanser Alberto
Hanser Alberto signed with the Texas Rangers as an international free agent in 2009. He spent quite some time in the minors, as he finally made his MLB debut in 2015. In his first season with the Rangers, Alberto ended the season with a .222 batting average. In 2016, Alberto saw limited time with Texas and batted an abysmal .143 in 35 games.
Alberto did not play in the Majors in 2017 due to injuries. As for 2018, he only appeared in 13 games for Texas. As the 2019 season approached, Alberto was claimed off waivers by several teams. From the New York Yankees to the San Francisco Giants during that offseason. Alberto would never play a game for either of those teams as he was designated for assignment, however, the Baltimore Orioles took a chance on Alberto.
Career Revival in Baltimore
At the start of the 2019 season, Alberto was now 26-years old and has not shown much during his time in MLB. Despite this, he played in over 130 games, batting a career-high .305. Alberto racked up over 160 hits, while only striking out 50 times. He had 12 home runs and 51 RBIs to add to his resume. Also, he had the lowest strikeout percentage in baseball (9.1%), led the majors in at-bats per strikeout (10.5), and led the American League in bunt hits (9).
In 2020, Alberto played in 54 games and continued to see the ball. He hit .283 at the dish, with 3 home runs, and 22 RBIs.
This signing is a low-cost and low-risk deal for the 2021 KC Royals. Alberto has grown throughout his time in Major League Baseball and could be a quality hitter in the lineup. Kansas City has been looking for players who can get on base and put the ball in play, and Alberto does just that. With a solid career in Baltimore, the Dominican infielder looks to build off that in Kansas City.
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