SARASOTA, Fla. - After a winter that started with him playing for Texas, infielder Hanser Alberto was claimed via waivers by the Yankees, and then by the Orioles, and then by the Giants, and then again by the Orioles.
He’d like to stay in one place for a while.
The Yankees claimed him Nov. 2 from the Rangers and the Orioles claimed him Jan. 11, but he was designated for assignment by Baltimore on Feb. 19 when the club added lefty reliever Josh Osich. Three days later the Giants claimed the 26-year-old Alberto. And 10 days later the Orioles claimed him back, and he made his debut for the team yesterday in Fort Myers against the Twins.
Don’t unpack that suitcase too fast.
“I said, ‘Oh, again.’ It’s hard,” Alberto said about the last few weeks. “I was only there (with the Giants) for a week and then came back here. But you know, if they make that move, I got picked up here and that means something for me. Just going to stay working hard and do my best.”
He started at second base batting sixth versus the Twins. He went 0-for-2 but drove in a run in the third with a sac fly. So Alberto, who is from the Dominican Republic, played his entire career with Texas until his whirlwind winter.
But the Orioles clearly like him, having claimed him twice.
“Yeah, happy to be here,” Alberto said. “There is a lot of opportunity here, and a good group of guys and coaches. Still in the game, so that makes me happy. Now I’m here and I’m going to work to make it. It’s part of the business (changing teams). Obviously, I don’t want to be in that situation. But it happened and I have to stay positive and take the best part of it. Blessed to be here.”
Alberto made his pro debut with the Rangers organization in 2010 and hit .358 in 50 games to win the batting title in the Dominican Summer League. Last year, for Triple-A Round Rock, he batted .330/.346/.452 in 101 games. In 13 games for Texas, he went 5-for-27 (.185). In 1,000 career Triple-A plate appearances, Alberto has hit .309. Now he wants to try to take his good minor league numbers and translate them to the majors.
“I think it’s (about getting) the opportunity. When you play every day, if you go 0-for-4 you know you will be playing tomorrow. That makes a difference. I haven’t really had the chance to play every day in the big leagues. It’s hard when you play today (but not the next day), but that’s no excuse. Now I feel more mature and ready to get going,” he said.
Alberto, who is out of options, was ranked as a top 30 Texas Rangers prospect three times. He was No. 15 at the end of 2012, No. 30 after the 2014 season and No. 17 a year later. He won a minor league Gold Glove after the 2014 season, when he played with Single-A Myrtle Beach in the Carolina League.
So after a busy winter, he’s back as an Oriole and trying to quickly show his new coaches what he can do to try to make the opening day roster.
Be sure to check out today’s live, audio-only stream today with me at 1 p.m. on orioles.com and the MLB At Bat app.