Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
Part of the Los Angeles Dodgers looking to improve their bench entailed signing Hanser Alberto to a one-year, $1.6 million contract. His deal also included a $2 million team option (and $250,000 buyout) for the 2023 season.
Alberto joined the Dodgers with the potential to play an array of positions, and while his versatility was useful for the team, that largely came by way of taking the mound.
Alberto set the MLB record for most pitching appearances by a position player in a single season with 10. Some of those instances provided needed relief for the Dodgers bullpen at various points throughout the season, which earned Alberto praise from manager Dave Roberts for being willing to do anything asked in the best interest of the team.
As for matters at the plate, he only hit .244/.258/.365 with nine doubles, two triples, two home runs and 15 RBI over 73 games.
Several of Alberto’s teammates neverhteless raved about his contributions and uplifting presence in the Dodgers clubhouse.
“It’s funny. Hanser, man, he’s just catalyst that in the clubhouse that keeps us all loose, keeps us having fun,” Mookie Betts said late in the year. “He’s always dancing and always making a smile. Just a very important person to have.”
Further indication of how much he was valued by teammates, Alberto received votes for the 17th annual Roy Campanella Award, which went to Freddie Freeman.
“This is one of the years that more players on this club got individual votes than ever before, which is a credit to a lot of candidates,” manager Dave Roberts said. “He was the majority vote-getter, but I kind of brought Hanser to light a little bit too in the sense that he got a handful of votes.
“You’re talking about Roy Campanella, who obviously was a great player, but what he meant to the clubhouse he was a part of, Hanser in a lot of ways has done that for us. Being a big cheerleader at the end of the bench, showing up positive to work every day, pitching, taking down innings when we’ve needed it. Everything about him screams good teammate.”
Hanser Alberto 2022 highlight
A former member of the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals, Alberto made headlines this past season for his appearances on the mound.
Allowing five earned runs in 11 innings of work, Alberto’s pitching became an option for Roberts within lopsided games. He even recorded one strikeout.
Alberto, who made his MLB debut in 2015 as a member of the Rangers, is currently a free agent after the Dodgers declined his option for 2023.
With his best offensive big league season coming as a member of the Baltimore Orioles in 2019, where he totaled a career-best .305 batting average and 51 RBI in 139 games, Alberto has proven that he can be a valuable contributor, especially with his ability to play a high level of positions.
Given his playing capabilities, combined with his most recently proven leadership within the clubhouse, there’s no doubt that a team will take a flier on Alberto in some capacity.
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