Orioles' Brian Graham talks about Dariel Alvarez

When I presented one writer's take on Cuban outfielder Dariel Alvarez yesterday, I mentioned that several members of the O's front office had mentioned to me how impressed they were with Alvarez's play so far in his first few weeks in the organization.

Alvarez went 4-for-9 in three games in the Gulf Coast League when he was recently activated and he's been with Single-A Frederick since Aug. 15.

In eight games with the Keys, Alvarez is batting .419 at 13-for-31 with two doubles, two homers and seven RBIs. He has a .677 slugging percentage and OPS of 1.132. While he has walked just twice so far, he has struck out just once in 31 at-bats in the Carolina League.

Orioles director of player development Brian Graham gave his early impression of the 24-year-old Alvarez.

"Alvarez is a good-looking player," Graham said. "He is athletic. He has a plus arm and is a good defender. He runs solid-average.

"He definitely has bat speed and the ability to get the bat to the ball and the ball jumps off his bat. He has shown the ability to hit a good fastball and when a young hittter can get the bat head to a good fastball, you know he has a chance. The ball comes off his bat well and carries. There are a lot of positives things about this kid."

O's minor league coach Ramon Sambo, who had previously traveled with Henry Urrutia as he played in the minors and made his way to the majors, is now with Alvarez as he plays for Frederick to help him on and off the field.

Since Alvarez will only get in handful of games as it is late in the minor league season, he will head to the Orioles instructional league workouts in Sarasota, Fla. beginning Sept. 11.

"He needs just game experience," Graham said. "His awareness on the bases you can see is improving already. He just hasn't played since December. It is very much like with Urrutia, he is getting back in shape and we are seeing what the scouts saw when we signed him."

The author of this article compared Alvarez's numbers in Cuba to some other current major leaguers from Cuba when Alvarez signed with the club last month.

Check out this video courtesy of the Orioles of an Alvarez at-bat from Wednesday's game with a good side view of his hitting mechanics.

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