The New York Yankees added Hanser Alberto to their infield ranks, making it time to speculate whether he’ll be backing up Gleyber Torres or Manny Machado at shortstop.
In a move on Friday, the New York Yankees claimed infielder Hanser Alberto off waivers from the Texas Rangers. Alberto plays every position in the infield except for first base and he’s a cheaper option than free agent Adeiny Hechavarria, who the Yankees brought in during the late stages of the 2018 season.
The 26-year-old from the Dominican Republic has just 192 plate appearances in the big leagues, all with the Rangers. He’s been a light hitter so far, slashing .192/.210/.231 with no home runs and nine RBI.
Alberto showcases a respectable .287 batting average in 730 minor league games, adding a little pop with 38 home runs. He also has some speed, stealing 86 bases in the minors, including 24 over 128 games in 2012.
The Yankees acquisition of Alberto caused a little confusion in the media. At least one Twitter user pointed out that Bleacher Report posted a picture of Adrian Beltre with the story:
— Josh Mazur (@joshmazr) November 2, 2018
— River Ave. Blues (@RiverAveBlues) November 2, 2018
This is Hanser Alberto…yeah, I'm on board with this decision pic.twitter.com/1CJuXX0tSf
— Johnny Pinstripes (@JohnFerraro_) November 2, 2018
This isn’t a major move by GM Brian Cashman and the Yankees, but it does fuel speculation about the Yankees’ 2019 infield plans.
If the Yankees overlook Machado’s questionable effort and ink him, Alberto would be competing for a backup job. However, if they stick Torres at short until Gregorius returns, Alberto could be in the mix to start at second.
Whatever happens, if Alberto can make it in New York, he won’t be mistaken for Adrian Beltre ever again.