Played high school baseball at Elizabeth (N.J.) High School... Moved to the Dominican Republic in 2011 where he was signed as an international free agent... In December 2021, participated in Major League Beach Cleanup at Playa Montesinos in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic as part of the Players For The Planet non-profit organization... Resides in Coconut Creek, Fla. with his wife, Karina, daughter, Aleyka (7/17/16), and son, Alex Jr. (10/25/19).
Selected by MLB as a National League All-Star, becoming the first Cardinals All-Star reliever since Trevor Rosenthal (2015)... Recorded a save in each of his first 24 career save opportunities to begin his career (Aug. 19, 2016-July 18, 2021), passing LaTroy Hawkins to establish a new Major League record... His 24 straight saves without a blown save was also a new franchise record, surpassing Cardinals Hall of Famer Jason Isringhausen (23 from June 29, 2007-April 9, 2008)... Opened the season with 22 straight saves without a blown save (April 5-July 18), tying All-Star Tom Henke (April 27-July 22, 1995) for the most in franchise history... Became the 6th Cardinal in history to record 10 wins as a relief pitcher and the first since John Gant (11 in 2019)... Was the first NL reliever since Washington's Tyler Clippard (11-8 in 2010) to have 18 or more decisions... Became the 20th pitcher and 2nd Cardinal (Todd Worrell in 1986) in MLB history to have 18 or more decisions and convert 29 or more saves in a single season... Was the 29th pitcher in MLB history and the first since Oakland's Billy Koch (2002) to record 10 wins and 25 saves while making every appearance as a reliever... Limited opponents to a .152 batting average with runners on base, 3rd-lowest in the NL... Made 10 appearances of four outs or more, which included three saves... Struck out 95 over 72.1 innings (11.8 K/9 IP), fanning a batter in 55 of his single-season career-high 69 appearances... Fanned multiple batters in 26 outings and three or more batters in 11 appearances (T9th among MLB relievers)... Six appearances came in extra innings (T-4th in NL)... His 52 walks as a reliever led MLB and were one fewer than Diego Segui's franchise record of 53 set in 1973... Allowed 10 of 14 inherited runners to score... Pitched on consecutive days 13 times... Led the NL in wins (5) in September, becoming the first Cardinals pitcher in history to post five wins without making a start in the month of September... Recognized as a candidate for MLB Reliever for the Month of May after going 2-1 with a 1.15 ERA (15.2 IP), 15 strikeouts, and an MLB-leading nine saves in the month... According to Statcast, led all of MLB in average vertical movement (10.6 inches) on curveballs... Faced three batters in the top of the 8th inning in the All-Star Game. Allowed Joey Wendle single, followed by inducing a groundout by Whit Merrifield and an inning-ending strikeout (swinging) by Mike Zunino.
2021 POSTSEASON: Gave up a walk-off two-run homer by Chris Taylor in the bottom of the 9th inning in the 3-1 loss to Los Angeles at Dodgers Stadium in the National League Wild Card Game.
Made a career-high 15 appearances, his most since 12 during his 2016 Major League debut season... Marked his first Major League action since 4/5/19 after being sent to the minor leagues following Tommy John surgery and upper back surgery... Struck out 27 over 19.2 innings (12.4 K/9 IP), fanning a batter in 13 of 15 appearances (10 outings of multiple strikeouts)... Carved out a career-best 31.4% strikeout rate... Seven of his appearances were of four outs or more, T-2nd on the Cardinals and 13th among NL relievers... Pitched on consecutive days twice... Struck out the side on 11 pitches in his season debut on 8/15 at Chicago White Sox, fanning Luis Robert (swinging), Nomar Marzara (looking), and Danny Mendick (swinging)... Did not allow an earned run on the road in six outings (7.2 IP)... Allowed one of 10 inherited runner to score (10.0% IRS)... Earned wins vs. Kansas City (8/26) and at Pittsburgh (9/18- 1). Threw a season-high 39 pitches vs. Pittsburgh... According to Statcast, hurled team-leading 81 of 369 total pitches (22%) at 98 mph or faster, while 15 pitches (4.1%) were clocked at 99 mph or faster... Averaged career-high 97.5 mph on his fastball, (12th fastest in MLB), 97.8 mph on his sinker (6th in MLB), and 10.7 inches in vertical movement on his curveball, (2nd-most in MLB behind Trevor Bauer, 11.0)... 2020 POSTSEASON: Appeared in Games 1 and 3 of the Wild Card Series at San Diego...recorded a four-out save retiring all four batters while stranding two inherited runners to rescue Game 1 in his first career postseason appearance... became the first Cardinal since Steve Kline (10/10/2001 at Arizona) to record a four out save in his first postseason appearance...allowed three runs (one earned) in 2.0 innings in Game 3.
Made the Opening Day roster and pitched in four games out of the St. Louis bullpen during injury-shortened season...Allowed five runs with one strikeout and six walks over 3.0 innings before being optioned to Memphis (AAA) on 4/7...Appeared in 12 games (nine starts) between Memphis and Palm Beach (High-A) while suffering injuries to his left pinkie finger bone and right pectoral muscle...After 4/25 start at Omaha (2.2 IP, 3 R), broke the pinkie bone in his non-throwing hand after punching a wall in frustration....Placed on the seven-day Injured List with Memphis on 4/28...Re-assigned to Palm Beach on 5/23 and made a pair of starts...Returned to Memphis on 6/2...Strained his right pectoral muscle during his 6/23 start at Oklahoma City, and missed the remainder of the season.
Began the season on the disabled list returning from Tommy John surgery and made his first Major League start of the season at Milwaukee on May 30...Made only one Major League start, coming at Milwaukee (5/30), pitching 4.0 scoreless innings of three-hit ball with two walks and two strikeouts in a no-decision...Exited the game after 73 pitches and was placed on the 10-day disabled list the next day with a right lat strain ending his season...Underwent surgery on 6/6 by Dr. Anthony Romeo in Philadelphia to re-attach the tendon to the strained latissimus dorsi muscle in the upper right side of his back...His start vs. Milwaukee was his first Major League start and appearance since September 29, 2016 vs. Cincinnati, after missing all of 2017 and the first two months of the 2018 season...Was 3-0 with a 0.00 ERA tossing 23.0 scoreless innings allowing seven hits with 44 strikeouts in four rehab starts at every Cardinals active minor league affiliate...Made his first rehab start vs. Jupiter (5/9) while pitching for Palm Beach (A)...Allowed four hits including two doubles, while pitching 3.1 scoreless innings with six strikeouts in a no decision...Struck out 12 batters over 5.0 scoreless innings allowing one hit and two walks covering 80 pitches in his second rehab start vs. Clinton (5/14) while pitching for Peoria (A)...Was one strikeout shy of his career minor league high and had only four pitches put in play during the game...Matched the Springfield franchise record with 13 strikeouts over 7.2 scoreless innings of one-hit baseball in a 1-0 win, tossing 93 pitches vs. Northwest Arkansas (5/19)...Fired 7.0 scoreless innings of one-hit ball on 5/24, extending his scoreless streak to 23.0 innings during his four rehab starts. Struck out 13 batters for the second consecutive rehab start, this time at Memphis (AAA), facing Oklahoma City (Dodgers)...At one point, struck out nine straight to set the 116-year old Pacific Coast League record.
Missed the entire season following Tommy John ligament replacement surgery on his right elbow in February.
Appeared in 12 games (five starts) in St. Louis going 4-1 with a 1.57 ERA one save and 52 strikeouts in 46 innings ... Made his Major League debut vs. CIN (8/9) in the 9th inning and struck out Adam Duvall as his first opposing batter en route to a perfect inning. It was his first relief appearance in professional baseball...Earned his first MLB win at CHI (8/13) throwing 3.0 scoreless innings of relief allowing one hit with three strikeouts...Struck out a batter in every start or appearance with a season-high seven over 6.0 innings vs. CIN (9/2)...Won three straight decisions (9/13-24) with two starts ... Surrendered one home run on the season, coming via Jung Ho Kang at PIT (9/7)...Threw a career-high 7.0 scoreless innings at SF (9/18), holding the Giants to four hits, two walks and struck out six...Earned his first MLB save at PHI (8/19), throwing a scoreless frame in a Cardinals 4-3 win in 11 innings over the Phillies...His 52 strikeouts were the most by a Cardinals rookie in his first 12 career games since Joe Magrane's 53 (81.2 IP) in 1987...His 1.57 ERA in his first 12 career Major League games was the best (min. 46.0 IP) since the Reds' Pat Zachry posted a 1.17 mark in 1976 and the best by a Cardinals rookie since Al Brazle's 1.50 mark in 1943. His ERA was also the lowest among MLB rookies (min. 46.0 IP)...Limited right-handed batters to a .170 average (16-94) with a .120 BA (9-75) with runners on base and .132 (5-38) w/RISP...Was 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA in five starts and 2-1 with an 0.52 ERA in seven relief appearances covering 17.1 innings...Did not allow a run through his first 13.1 innings, the streak ranked as the 3rd-longest in franchise history for a rookie to begin his career (Von McDaniel, 19.0 IP, 1957 & Pat Perry, 16.1 IP, 1985)...His first MLB start came vs. OAK (8/27), throwing 4.1 innings allowing one run in a no decision the Cardinals lost 3-2...Posted the 4th-lowest ERA (1.97) in the National League during the month of September (3-1, 32.0 IP)...Threw 4.1 scoreless innings in relief vs. CHI (9/13) in a 4-2 win, walking six. Marked the first time a Cardinals relief pitcher walked six or more in 4.1 IP or less and first with more than 4.1 IP since 1950 (Cloyd Boyer, 7.2 IP) at NYG at the Polo Grounds in a 2-0 STL win...Picked up his first hit with a single to right field off Trevor Williams (9/7) at PIT. Collected his first RBI vs. CIN (9/29) on a ground out scoring Aledmys Diaz...Was the first Cardinals rookie pitcher to tally two wins at Wrigley Field since Cris Carpenter (1989)...Named as the starting pitcher for the World Team at the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego. Struck out four batters over 1.2 innings (38 pitches/23 strikes)...Made 14 starts at Memphis (AAA) going 2-3 with a 4.96 ERA in 65.1 innings with 93 strikeouts...Ranked 2nd among Cardinals minor league pitchers with 12.81 strikeouts/9 IP...Rated as the Pacific Coast League's No. 1 prospect by Baseball America following the season. Also recognized as having the league's "Best Fastball" by league managers in the "Best Tools" survey by the same publication.
Named Cardinals Minor League Co-Pitcher of the Year with Austin Gomber...named Cardinals Minor League Pitcher of the Month in April...selelcted to the Florida State League AllStar Game...named Top Prospect in the Florida State League by Baseball America...named Texas League Pitcher of the Week (8/10-17)...was selected to the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game, but did not pitch...combined to go 5-7 with a 2.49 ERA over 22 starts, fanning 151 batters in 101.1 innings pitched... ranked 12th in the Florida State League in strikeouts (96) despite making only 13 starts...struck out a career-high 13 over 6.0 innings vs. Dunedin (6/17/15), a mark that was T4th among all minor league pitchers in 2015....led Cardinals Minor League pitchers in strikeouts (151) and strikeouts/9 IP (13.41) while ranking in the Top 10 in games started (22, T8th), ERA (2.49, 5th), opponent BA (.197, 2nd) and Toughest to HR Off (414.0 TBF/HR)...made four starts for Surprise in the Arizona Fall League going 0-1 with a 3.60 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 15.0 innings...was suspended for the final 10 games of the Arizona Fall League as part of a 50-game suspension that carried into 2016 for the use of a drug of abuse.
Led all Cardinals minor league pitchers with 137 strikeouts and ranked 8th in strikeouts/9 IP (11.28)..ranked 5th in the Midwest League in strikeouts, 3rd in walks (61) and T1st in balks (3)...listed as the Top Prospect in the Midwest League...rated as the No. 2 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America...struck out 10 or more batters three times including consecutive starts (11 at Burlington 8/12 & 10 vs. Beloit 8/18).
Rated as the No. 7 prospect in the Cardinals organization by Baseball America...ranked T3rd in the Appalachian League in wins (6), 5th in strikeouts (68), T3rd in games started (12) and 2nd in strikeouts/9 IP (10.49).