Yonder Alonso has battled a hamate bone injury the past couple seasons, and questions about his power, or lack of power as he plays a position where power is almost a requirement to play in the big leagues. Alonso struggled a bit last year, but ended the season hitting .296-.355-.470 with 12 HRs, 56 RBIs and 50 runs scored. He even chipped in with 9 SBs, but he must be stealing when his opponents least expect it because he is not known for his speed.
But, what he is know for is a solid eye at the plate, and has power which has not shown itself in the minors. Until this season. Alonso is currently hitting .331-.385-.531 with 4 HRs, 12 2Bs, 18 RBIs and 4 SBs in 130 at bats. He doesn't strike out much and walks a lot. His current K rate is 16.4%, and is walking in 9.3% of his plate appearances. His ISO of .213 is his highest of his career, as is his slugging percentage.
More after the jump:
After a decent April where he hit .280-.321-.427 with 2 HRs, 7 RBIs and a 15-6 K/BB rate, he has turned it on in May. This month, he is hitting .400-.469-.673 with 2 HRs, 11 RBIs and a 5-7 K/BB rate.
He is currently playing left field at AAA Louisville, and I imagine he is not a good left fielder. He is a first baseman by trade, but is currently blocked by the best hitter in baseball in Joey Votto. But the Reds are running Jonny Gomes in left field on most days, and he isn't a great fielder either. Actually, he is struggling at the plate as well. Gomes is hitting just .188-.326-.410 with 7 HRs, 19 RBIs and 5 SBs. He owns a 38-22 K/BB rate, but his K rate is his highest since 2007 at 33%, but he is walking more than ever with a BB rate of 15%. His low BABIP of .203 is keeping the BA and OBP down, but I wonder if the Reds have seen the best of Gomes.
Actually, I wonder if the Reds are ready to move on, as Gomes has started only 4 of the last 7 games and hasn't homered since April 17th. The Reds have played Chris Heisey and Fred Lewis in his spot over the last few weeks, and Dusty Baker recently announced on Sunday that Heisey and Lewis will be getting more starts in left field. But, at some point, don't they have to give Yonder Alonso a long look in the big leagues?
Recently, Alonso has been batting in the 2nd spot in the Louisville lineup, which is curious. I wonder if he is batting in that slot to prepare him for when he gets called up.
The Reds can accomplish three things with calling Alonso up: 1) see if he can hit better than who they are running out there in left field on a daily basis, 2) can he improve the lineup, 3) increase his trade value, should they decide to deal him by July 31st.
I tweeted Reds beat writer John Fay from the Cincinnati Enquirer on Saturday asking him if the Reds are considering calling up Alonso, and here is his response, along with my question:
johnfayman John Fay
Todd Frazier? Frazier is having a solid season in AAA in 2011, after a poor season last year. The Reds have the luxury of having several major league ready, or close to major league ready prospects on their AAA roster, and Frazier is one of them. But I think Alonso is the better all around hitter.
What do Minor League Ball readers think the Reds should do?