First baseman Yonder Alonso announced his retirement in an Instagram post this afternoon (h/t to reporter Ben Ross). That will bring to an end a career that saw him log big league action in parts of ten seasons.
The seventh overall pick by the Reds in the 2008 draft, Alonso immediately became a top prospect, a status he’d hold each season climbing up the minor-league ladder. While he made his big league debut with the Reds, Alonso became an integral part of the Padres’ return in the Mat Latos blockbuster during the 2011-12 offseason.
Over parts of four seasons as the Friars’ regular first baseman, Alonso posted a .271/.339/.386 slash. San Diego traded him to the Athletics after the 2015 season. After a disappointing 2016 effort, Alonso went to work on revamping his swing as one of the league’s earlier adopters of an air-oriented approach. The swing change came together as hoped, with Alonso posting a .266/.365/.501 line and popping a career-best 28 home runs in 521 plate appearances that season. He was honored with an All-Star selection for his performance, which he parlayed into a two-year deal with the Indians as a free agent that offseason.
Unfortunately, Alonso’s massive gains at the plate proved to be short-lived. After an average offensive effort in 2018, Cleveland shipped Alonso to the White Sox. He struggled mightily with Chicago and the Rockies, forcing him to settle for a minor-league deal this winter. Alonso didn’t make it back to the majors this past season.
Altogether, Alonso played in 1,072 major league games and took 3,773 plate appearances at the highest level. He posted a cumulative .259/.332/.404 slash line and hit exactly 100 home runs. Alonso suited up for seven different clubs and represented Oakland during the aforementioned All-Star appearance in 2017. MLBTR wishes Alonso the best in retirement.