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Friday, November 20, 2020

Yonder Alonso Announces Retirement

First baseman Yonder Alonso announced his retirement in an Instagram post this afternoon (h/t to reporter Ben Ross). That will bring to an end a career that saw him log big league action in parts of ten seasons.

The seventh overall pick by the Reds in the 2008 draft, Alonso immediately became a top prospect, a status he’d hold each season climbing up the minor-league ladder. While he made his big league debut with the Reds, Alonso became an integral part of the Padres’ return in the Mat Latos blockbuster during the 2011-12 offseason.

Over parts of four seasons as the Friars’ regular first baseman, Alonso posted a .271/.339/.386 slash. San Diego traded him to the Athletics after the 2015 season. After a disappointing 2016 effort, Alonso went to work on revamping his swing as one of the league’s earlier adopters of an air-oriented approach. The swing change came together as hoped, with Alonso posting a .266/.365/.501 line and popping a career-best 28 home runs in 521 plate appearances that season. He was honored with an All-Star selection for his performance, which he parlayed into a two-year deal with the Indians as a free agent that offseason.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 20, 2020 at 05:09 PM | 5 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yonder alonso

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: November 20, 2020 at 08:15 PM (#5990294)
one of the league’s earlier adopters of an air-oriented approach.

And hey, it's true but maybe only half the story. His G/F had been around 0.85 (about league average) then dropped to 0.53 in 2017 and 0.64 combined over his last 3 seasons. But maybe more remarkable is that his HR/FB a mere 4.5% to 15% in 2017 and 12% over those last 3 years. It would be nice to have statcast data for his whole career but we do have 2015-19. His average EV didn't really change; his hard-hit % was quite low in 2015 but up in 2016, peaked in 2017 then back to 2016 levels (maybe); his barrels way up in 2017 and 2018. But fairly enough, it looks like he was not so much hitting the ball harder as he changed the average launch angle and probably more waiting for his pitch -- at the cost of about 8-9% jump in K-rate, 25 points of BA but only a few points of OBP.

Unfortunately from him, if he was "early" it wasn't by much. While his raw OPS was up by 40 points, his OPS+ was 103 in both periods and he went from 2 Rbat per 650 to 4. In the end really it was a "fluke" 2017 and nothing else. Is that a lesson about launch angle, a lesson about a rabbit ball or a lesson about randomness?
   2. asinwreck Posted: November 20, 2020 at 08:25 PM (#5990301)
I was under the impression that he had retired before the 2019 season.
   3. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: November 20, 2020 at 08:36 PM (#5990316)
as one of the league’s earlier adopters of an air-oriented approach
Off we go into the wild blue...
   4. Ken Griffey Junior Bacon Cheeseburger Posted: November 20, 2020 at 11:21 PM (#5990382)
Yonder, Alonso? I knew him, Horatio.
   5. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: November 21, 2020 at 05:29 PM (#5990575)
the Mat Latos blockbuster

True or Not True?

(1) The Mat Latos Blockbuster opened for Britney Spears during her Femme Fatale Tour in 2011.
(2) Mat Latos had a cat named Cat Latos.

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