KC inks versatile Alberto to Minors deal

February 1st, 2021

The Royals have signed to a Minor League contract, the club announced Sunday night. The infielder will have an invite to big league Spring Training and could provide a valuable bench piece for the Royals in 2021.

Alberto, 28, spent the past two years with Baltimore and hit .299/.322/.412 across 781 plate appearances while primarily playing second base and also seeing time at third base and in the outfield. The right-handed hitter also has experience at first base, shortstop and designated hitter.

According to reports, Alberto will make $1.65 million if he makes the Major Leagues with up to $300,000 in incentives.

The Royals don’t have a clear reserve infield option on the roster, and Alberto can fill that need -- or hit his way into a starting spot. He’s a lefty masher, hitting .350/.367/.464 and posting an .831 OPS in 623 plate appearances against left-handed pitching in his career. Against righties, he has hit .237/.263/.328 with a .591 OPS.

That line and Alberto’s versatility in the field sets the Royals up well if they want to protect second baseman Nicky Lopez or outfielder Franchy Cordero against lefties. Alberto is a contact hitter, with very low walk (2.2 percent in 2020) and strikeout (13 percent) rates. He doesn’t always hit the ball hard, but he saw his power spike in 2019 with a career-high 12 home runs and a .422 slugging percentage.

Alberto signed with the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic in 2009 and made his Major League debut in '15. He played three seasons with Texas before being selected off waivers by the Yankees in '18 and by the Orioles a few months later. He was arbitration-eligible this year and non-tendered in December. In five Major League seasons, Alberto has a .278/.300/.377 slash line.