In the latest edition of our Baltimore Orioles Minor League Spotlight, we turn our focus to one of the hottest hitters in the entire organization in Cuban born outfielder Dariel Alvarez. He has been on a tear this year at the plate for the Bowie Baysox, but his defensive play as been just as good.
Before we get into some of the numbers he is putting up, let us remind you who he is. Alvarez, 25, was signed by the Orioles to a Minor League contract last July. Alvarez played professionally in the Cuban League from 2007-2011 and also in Mexico in 2012. The outfielder had a lot of teams going after him, but ultimately the O's landed him and that is looking like a good decision thus far.
Alvarez was able to get 22 games in across three levels for the Orioles organization last season after signing in July and absolutely hit the cover off the ball. In three games with the GCL Orioles, he had four hits in nine at bats, including a home run, triple and two doubles. He then went to Frederick to play ten games with the Keys and hit .436 (17-39) with two home runs, seven RBI, two doubles and five runs scored. He finally cooled down a bit once he arrive in Bowie for his final nine games of the season as he managed just six hits in 31 at bats, but did hit a home run.
Overall in 2013, Alvarez finished with a total batting average of .342 with four home runs, ten RBI, four doubles, a triple, nine runs scores and 45 total bases. Quite an impressive first season.
Entering the 2014 season, many people in the organization were curious to see how Alvarez would handle the AA level and wanted to see if he could possibly play center field, which would add value to him as a player and thus make him more valuable to the organization as well because an outfielder that can play all three outfield positions helps the player and the team.
Thus far in 2014, Alvarez has more than answered both questions as he is hitting .360 with three home runs, 20 RBI, 11 doubles and has only struck out seven times in 100 at bats. In addition, he has yet to commit an error in the 24 games he has played in center field and has two outfield assists to go along with that perfect fielding percentage.
Scouts are beginning to rave about him, and his hot start is easily visible by how he ranks among the organization leaders. His 20 RBI tie him for the organization lead with Garabez Rosa and Christian Walker, both of which are also with the Baysox, his .360 average is second behind just Rosa, and his 56 total bases are third. Even more impressive is that he ranks seventh in the entire Eastern Shore League in average, is tied for the league lead in RBI, tied for the league lead in doubles, and is eighth in OPS.
Alvarez is very quickly making a name for himself not only in the organization, but around baseball circles and it is only a matter of time before the organization moves him up to AAA Norfolk to see if he can do it there as well. Although we do not believe we will see him in Baltimore this season, it is quickly becoming a matter of when and not if he will eventually come to Baltimore.
**All statistics were going into Friday's action**
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