Orioles Prospect of the Week: Dariel Alvarez
Every Monday I will be focusing on a Baltimore Orioles minor league standout player for the previous week. Today we will take a look at Bowie Baysox outfielder Dariel Alvarez. Featuring in five games for the AA outfit this past week, Alvarez hit .480 while racking up an impressive 12 hits, seven RBIs, seven runs, two Home runs, and only striking out once.
The 25-year-old Alvarez was signed last summer by the Orioles, receiving an $800,000 signing bonus (about $20,000 more than fellow Cuban outfielder Henry Urrutia received from the team).
Despite performing well at the plate in Cuba during 2011 (hitting .363), and in Mexico during 2012 (hitting .354), many scouts around the league were hesitant to sign Alvarez because of fears that he could not hit.
Nonetheless the Orioles took a chance on Alvarez and the 25-year-old has managed to hit well at the plate in his first few months in the Orioles organization. Over his first 169 at-bats in the minor leagues (combined rookie ball, single A, and double A), Alvarez has a .349 batting average with seven home runs and 30 RBIs.
Perhaps just as impressive as Alvarez’s offensive stats, his plate discipline has also been outstanding. The Cuban has only managed to strike out six times in his first 93 plate appearances so far this season with the Baysox.
The right-handed Alvarez has also thrived against right-handed pitching so far this season. The 6’2”, 180 pound Alvarez has hit .394 against right-handers this season, as opposed to just .250 against southpaws.
Alvarez also features a very strong arm in the outfield. Baseball America ranked his arm as the strongest in the entire Orioles minor league organization prior to this season. The sports magazine also ranked Alvarez as the Orioles #15 overall prospect following the 2013 season.