Yonder Alonso
Yonder Alonso
33-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Atlanta Braves
Out
Injury Not Injury Related
Est. Return 9/1/2020
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Alonso broke camp as the White Sox designated hitter with the hope of adding pop from the left side after poking 51 homers over the prior two seasons. However, a lowered launch angle tempered production as Alonso was slashing an anemic .178/.275/.301 when designated for assignment June 28. He signed a minor-league contract with the Rockies on July 11, earning a promotion a couple weeks later. Alonso hit an improved .260/.357/.479 in 84 plate appearances with Colorado, serving as a pinch hitter and occasional starter. For the season, Alonso finished at .199/.296/.346 but his strikeout and walk rates were close to career marks along with a hard-hit rate mimicking his usual level, indicating he was snake bit. Even so, his .232 xBA and .380 xSLG are light in today's landscape. A free agent, Alonso may need to sign a minor-league deal. For fantasy, he's at best a reserve pick in deep leagues. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#601
ADP
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$Signed a one-year contract with the Braves in February of 2020.
Placed on restricted list
1BAtlanta Braves  AAA
Not Injury Related
July 27, 2020
ANALYSIS
The reason for the move is not entirely clear. Alonso was outrighted off the 40-man roster Thursday, but it seems as though he won't be part of the team's player pool at the Braves' alternate training site.
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Batting Stats
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
Even Split
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+48%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+25%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .700 209 26 8 33 0 .236 .297 .403
Since 2018vs Right .703 700 72 25 87 0 .230 .313 .391
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019vs Left .862 71 8 4 14 0 .254 .338 .524
2019vs Right .581 264 26 6 23 0 .183 .284 .297
2018vs Left .619 138 18 4 19 0 .227 .275 .344
2018vs Right .776 436 46 19 64 0 .258 .330 .446
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+19%
OPS on Road
2020
No Stats
2019
 
 
+34%
OPS on Road
2018
 
 
+13%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .638 430 44 16 56 0 .211 .286 .352
Since 2018Away .761 479 54 17 64 0 .250 .330 .432
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2019Home .544 157 13 4 16 0 .174 .261 .283
2019Away .728 178 21 6 21 0 .221 .326 .403
2018Home .691 273 31 12 40 0 .232 .300 .390
2018Away .780 301 33 11 43 0 .267 .332 .448
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010
2009
Alonso's 2018 season was a step back from his surprise 2017 season. By now, you know that Alonso converted himself from a slow-footed heavy groundball hitter into a flyball hitter during the 2017 offseason. He stuck with that trend in 2018, but not to the extreme that led to the power breakout. His average exit velocity fell 1.5 miles per hour, the average distance on his batted balls fell 16 feet and his average launch angle dropped from 19.4 degrees to 15.6 degrees. Those numbers are what we should have expected as the league fully adjusted to his changes at the plate, and they're sustainable moving forward. The numbers are much better than where he was two seasons ago, but they're not that great for a first baseman. His 2017 may have been a one-time thing, but the new baseline makes Alonso at least rosterable now in all formats rather than the last-resort option he was not so long ago.
Alonso was a success story as the league-wide flyball revolution continued in 2017, fully tapping into the power that made him a top prospect in the Reds' system nearly 10 years ago. The new approach paid off, as Alonso's effort to hit more flyballs (career-high 43.2 FB%) was accompanied by a HR/FB rate spike from 5.1 percent in 2016 to 19.4 percent last season. In years past, he struggled to punish fastballs, but he slugged .683 against four-seamers and .704 against two-seamers in 2017, with 18 of his career-high 28 homers coming against those two offerings. The Mariners acquired Alonso from the A's in a midseason trade, but he faded in the second half, finishing with a .774 OPS when his flyball rate bottomed out at 36.1 percent and he pulled the ball excessively. He should hold the large side of a platoon at first base after signing with the Indians, but Alonso is a much more interesting corner-infield filler than he was a year ago.
Another year, another season of mediocrity for Alonso, who has long lost any semblance of hype from his prospect days. His biggest fantasy asset is playing time, and in 2016, he logged nearly a full season;s worth of at-bats after a few years of platoon play and injuries. The vet, who turns 30 in April, posts contact rates befitting a .300 hitter but has only hit above .280 in a full season twice. Not even his typically above-average plate-discipline indicators have helped him offer consistently great on-base percentages. And of course, fantasy players desire more power from a corner infielder than what he can give. He hasn't hit double-digit homers in a season yet, thanks to his underwhelming ability to hit flyballs. Maybe one year, he'll figure out how to leave the yard, but 2017 is not the season to bank on it without a major change to his approach.
Alonso was once again hit by some bad injury luck in 2015, missing most of May and September due to shoulder and back ailments. In his 103 games in the 2015 campaign, Alonso cobbled together a .282/.361/.381 slash line with five home runs, 18 doubles, and 31 RBI. Those power numbers are concerning, especially coming from a first baseman. His ISO also dropped from an already-low .131 in 2014 to just .099 in 2015, which is not a great sign for a player who theoretically should be entering his prime at age 28. Obviously, having Petco Park as his home stadium did not help matters, and he has a good approach, but plate discipline alone may not be enough to get him out of the basement among mixed-league first basemen. Following a move to another pitcher's park in Oakland this offseason, Alonso's prospects for a big season in 2016 are looking rather bleak, but he should still serve as an option in AL-only leagues.
Through the first two and a half months of last season, Alonso avoided the injury bug that has plagued his career, but a sore right wrist emerged in mid-June and induced yet another trip to the disabled list. The Padres’ wretched offense was in full swing by that point, and their starting first baseman was a prime culprit, mustering a .210/.250/.341 batting line, with a low .131 ISO and .222 BABIP in tow. Upon his return to the lineup in the latter portion of July, he managed to hit the cover off the ball for nearly three weeks, before a right forearm strain ended his campaign for good. The aforementioned surge at the plate boosted his final line to a more respectable .240/.285/.397. If the power demonstrated last year (seven homers and 19 doubles in 267 at-bats) continues unabated, Alonso may finally tap into the potential that has been evident, when healthy, during parts of five professional seasons.
Alonso, who entered the season as the Padres' unquestioned starting first baseman, didn't disappoint during the first two months, belting three homers each in April and May, before landing on the disabled list due to a broken hand. Upon his return just before the All-Star break, he failed to clear the fences thereafter, while tallying just four extra-base hits (all doubles) and receiving no at-bats after Aug. 30 due to sore hands. However, he displayed greater plate discipline in the second half -- a 17:15 K:BB ratio in 135 at-bats versus 15:32 in 199 at-bats in the first -- a telling sign that his ailments were taking a toll on his power stroke. The left-handed hitter, when healthy, clearly took advantage of Petco Park's more friendly right-field fence, which was moved in prior to 2013's opening pitch, as evidenced by four long balls at home. As a result, Alonso enters his age-27 season poised to surpass the career-high nine home runs he achieved in 2012, so long as he avoids the injury bug.
In his first full season in the majors, Alonso got off to a slow start (.263/.344/.362, three homers), but finished strong after the All-Star break (.285/.352/.430, six homers). As a lefty, he unsurprisingly hit righties much better than he hit lefties with eight of his nine home runs coming against them. In sum, it was a promising rookie year for the young first baseman. In 2013, Alonso will need to show more power, if he is to be taken seriously as a corner bat and because his home park demands it. He'll be close to 26 years old when the season starts, so it's natural to expect his power to continue to develop. If he can keep his strikeout rate low, there's good reason to believe that Alonso will avoid a sophomore slump, and he should benefit from having the right-field fences moved in at Petco Park.
At the plate, Alonso hit a robust .330/.398/.545 in 88 at-bats, fueled by a .387 BABIP. Alonso hasn't yet hit for the power many had hoped for from the 2008 first-round pick, but many believe that still could be coming. The Reds included him in a package sent to the Padres for Mat Latos in December, which finally removed Joey Votto as a roadblock to playing time at first base. Now that "lack of position" is no longer a part of his scouting report, Alonso is a nice sleeper after delivering a .943 OPS in limited duty as a 24-year-old for the Reds last season. The Padres traded Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs in January, so Alonso appears to be the favorite to start at first base come Opening Day.
Alonso started slowly in 2010 while trying to recover from the broken hamate bone that slowed his 2009 season down. A strong second half left him with decent overall numbers, though not the monster power numbers the Reds were hoping for when they drafted him. The bigger problem for the Reds is that an attempt to move him to left field at Triple-A Louisville fizzled out, leaving him without a position at the major league level, with Joey Votto obviously not going anywhere. There's a good chance that his bat will eventually catch up to expectations, but the odds are it will be with another organization after Alonso gets dealt. Because of the position issue, Alonso will probably spend half the summer in Louisville again.
Alonso is going to present a dilemma to the Reds in the future, because he can only handle first base (and marginally at that) defensively, and Joey Votto is firmly ensconced there. But that's not going to be an issue in 2010 - Alonso's bat, particularly his ability to hit for power, still needs work. A broken hamate bone suffered midseason while playing for Double-A Carolina slowed down his progress and cut back on Alonso's power once he returned. He hit well in the Arizona Fall League, but once again not for power. Look for him to spend most of 2010 at Triple-A Louisville.
Alonso was the Reds' first-round pick out of the University of Miami and signed right at the deadline after a somewhat rancorous negotiation. He tore it up in the Hawaii Winter League (.308/.419/.510) and could begin 2009 as high as Double-A Carolina. Alonso's good power and plate discipline made it hard for the Reds to pass him up in the draft, despite their needs at other positions. Defensively, he can only really handle first base, meaning that by 2010 the Reds will have to figure out how to get both him and Joey Votto in the lineup.
More Fantasy News
Removed from 40-man
1BAtlanta Braves  AAA
July 23, 2020
Alonso was outrighted off of Atlanta's roster Thursday.
ANALYSIS
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Added to major-league roster
1BAtlanta Braves  AAA
July 18, 2020
Alonso's contract was selected by the Braves on Saturday.
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Included on 60-man roster
1BAtlanta Braves  AAA
June 29, 2020
Alonso will be a part of the Braves' 60-man roster, Gabe Burns of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
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Signs minors deal with Atlanta
1BAtlanta Braves  AAA
February 4, 2020
Alonso signed a minor-league contract with the Braves on Tuesday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
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Plates run in loss
1BColorado Rockies  AAA
August 26, 2019
Alonso went 1-for-4 with an RBI in Sunday's 11-4 loss to the Cardinals.
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