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May 26

Orioles Minor Leaguer of the Week: Dariel Alvarez (Again)

Bowie Baysox outfielder Dariel Alvarez played in seven games for the AA outfit last week, hitting .333 (10 for 30), while collecting 8 runs, 4 doubles, 3 HRs, and 10 RBIs. The 25-year-old Cuban is no stranger to my Baltimore Orioles organizational player of the week, as he won the award a month ago.

Alvarez has not only been one of Bowie’s most consistent hitters this season, but he has also been one of the Eastern League’s best players during the 2014 campaign. So far this season Alvarez is hitting .335 (7th in the league), with 30 runs (8th in the league), 9 HRs (5th in the league), and 42 RBIs (tops in the league).

While some have seen Alvarez as sort of an afterthought to fellow Cuban outfielder, and Norfolk Tides player, Henry Urrutia, Alvarez has been a successful hitter at the three different minor league levels he has featured at (rookie ball, high-A, and now AA). In 22 games last season for the Gulf Coast Orioles, Frederick Keys, and Bowie Baysox, Alvarez hit .342, with 4 HRs and 10 RBIs.

With Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and Nelson Cruz all being extremely important pieces to the Orioles puzzle, it may be hard for Alvarez to find a regular spot on the Major League roster in the near future. However, Alvarez may be a strong candidate to replace the struggling backup outfielder David Lough.

While on paper the Alvarez and Lough switch may not make sense, as manager Buck Showalter likes to use Lough against right-handed pitchers (because Lough is left-handed) and Alvarez is a right-handed hitter. Nonetheless, Alvarez has actually hit right-handers as well as left-handers this season. The Cuban outfielder is hitting .338 versus right-handers this season, as opposed to .328 against left-handers. While Alvarez is a solid option to have, the Cuban may also have to contend for an Orioles roster spot with Norfolk Tides outfielder Francisco Peguero.

Other Orioles minor league hitters that enjoyed a solid week are: Tucker Nathans (Keys) – 7 for 17 (.412), 4 runs, 1 double, 1 RBI; Niuman Romero (Baysox) – 8 for 21 (.381), 8 runs, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 2 stolen bases; Christian Walker (Baysox) – 8 for 24 (.333), 6 runs, 1 double, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs; Ronald Bermudez (Baysox) – 6 for 17 (.353), 3 runs; David Freitas (Baysox) – 5 for 15 (.333), 1 run, 1 HR, 6 RBIs; Francisco Peguero (Tides) – 11 for 24 (.458), 11 runs, 3 doubles, 4 RBIs; Quintin Berry (Tides) – 8 for 21 (.381), 7 runs, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 5 RBIs; and Xavier Paul (Tides) – 7 for 20 (.350), 6 runs, 2 doubles, 3 RBIs.

Pitchers in the Orioles organization that had a standout week include: Branden Kline (Keys) – 7 IP, 7 hits, 1 ER, 0 walks, 6 K’s; Jake Pettit (Baysox) – 8 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 1 walk, 2 K’s, 1 win; Jason Gurka (Baysox) – 8 IP, 8 hits, 0 ER, 2 walks, 8 K’s; Chris Petrini (Baysox) – 3 IP, 2 hits, 0 ER, 2 walks, 3 K’s, 2 wins; Eddie Gamboa (Tides) – 5 IP, 5 hits, 0 ER, 4 walks, 3 K’s; and Nick Additon (Tides) – 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 ER, 3 walks, 3 K’s, 1 win.

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