After a day away from the team for the birth of his second daughter, Hanser Alberto has rejoined the Orioles tonight. The 26-year-old infielder brings with him a .306 batting average that ranks seventh-best in the American League and 14th in the majors.
“Feels great. To be a dad for the second time is amazing. Baby is good, mommy is good. Life is good. Now I have to work even harder. Now I’ve got two,” Alberto said, flashing that smile seen so often this year.
He was asked if he told his new baby he’d get a few hits for her tonight.
“No, she doesn’t know,” he said with a big laugh. “But I get it for momma. She is a superhero. Need to get a couple of hits for her today.
“This has been a blessed year for me. I have a new baby and a really blessed family. Great year. It’s like all the hard work I had been doing is coming together and getting good results. Thank God for that and hopefully everything continues good.”
Alberto probably could not have imagined having a season like this over the winter and into the spring. He’s been on waivers four times since last season ended. He started the offseason with Texas, was claimed by the Yankees in November, the Orioles in January, the Giants in February and again by the Orioles on March 1.
He was honest to admit today that, after all of that, he was not expecting to get 304 plate appearances this year and be with a team this deep into the 2019 season.
“To be honest, not even when I made the team. I didn’t think that during the first part of the season that I would be here at this time. Because you know, I barely made the team,” he said. “But I don’t take for granted any opportunity. I did my job and I think that helped me to stay here for a long time. It was a tough process before spring training, going back and forth between teams. But I hung around, so I feel really happy.”
Alberto is back at No. 1 in the majors among qualifying hitters with a batting average of .397 versus left-handed pitching. He’ll face a lefty tonight in Boston’s David Price in the series opener. Alberto’s 48 hits off lefties rank first in the majors.
Does he take time to look at the league leaders and appreciate that his batting average is among the AL’s top 10?
“My dad, he knows all my numbers ever since before I got (signed). I don’t try to think about that,” said Alberto, who bats second tonight and is in the lineup at third base. “You have to be humble and keep working hard every day. But when you see your name there you feel proud. Because of the all the hard work paying off.”