Hanser Alberto: An unlikely hero postseason hero
Who is Hanser Alberto? It’s a pretty good question. If you’d asked me on Thursday I wouldn’t have known answer. I might not even have noticed why you were asking, but we’ll get to that part in a minute.
Alberto was signed as an International Free Agent out of San Francisco de Macoris, Duarte, part of the Dominican Republic, by the Texas Rangers in 2009. He was just 16 years old.
By 2012, he’d advanced to Double-A, while also playing each year in the Dominican Winter League. He started 2015 at Triple-A Round Rock and hit .310 with four home runs and 32 RBI in 81 games for the Express. On May 29, he got the call all minor league players are waiting for.
For Alberto, his big league career wasn’t quite the same as playing in the minors. It never is, but for Alberto it meant going from playing everyday to not playing to much at all. He appeared in just 41 games for the Rangers over the course of the regular season, batting .222 with no home runs and only four RBI.
He was put on the postseason roster, likely expecting to watch everything unfold from the bench. Then the unthinkable happened; 36-year-old future Hall-of-Famer Adrian Beltre strained his back severely in Game One of the American League Division Series on Thursday. He was sliding into second base, trying to break up a double play during the first inning. He managed two more innings on defense but during his next at-bat, something was clearly wrong.
As we were all focused on Beltre’s tears, Alberto entered the game. He ended up going 0-for-2 in the Rangers’ 5-3 win over the Blue Jays, while doing nothing spectacular on defense to cause anyone to notice the seldom-used utility infielder.
On Friday, however, his mistakes and contributions were pivotal in the twists and turns of what ended up being a nearly five-hour playoff game. That sounds both good and bad, and it was.
To find out about what happened to Alberto during what had been up until now the most exciting game of his career by far and learn more about the Domincan born inflieder you can read my full column on Today’s Knuckleball by clicking on the link below: