Life is complicated. There are billions of people on planet Earth, each with different perspectives and motives, all trying to coexist together. Who is to say one is more correct than another? Just look at the many philosophical schools of thought: Empiricism, Rationalism, Idealism, Positivism, Stoicism, Structuralism, Materialism, Existentialism, Scepticism, Cynicism, and Romanticism. All attempt to describe and understand the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. Why this? Why that? Why ask why? As a result, many experience paralysis by analysis. Hanser Alberto of the Baltimore Orioles does not have such problems, as his philosophy is simple, pure, and unadulterated: see ball, swing at ball, hit ball. Alberto has been the #44 player on the Razzball Player Rater over the past week, and has been added in 8.8% of ESPN leagues. Trash or treasure?

Alberto is 26 years old, 5′ 11″ and 215 pounds. He bats from the right side of the plate and plays all over the field on defense: shortstop, second base, and third base. The Texas Rangers signed him as an international free agent back in 2009 and he spent nine years with the organization before joining the Baltimore Orioles in 2019.

Throughout his minor league career, Alberto was a low strikeout/low walk player. He displayed double-digit stealing prowess, but never hit more than 7 home runs in any season. Both the BABIP and batting average numbers were all over the map.

So far in 2019, Alberto has played 118 games and accrued 457 plate appearances. During that span, he’s hit 11 home runs, scored 52 runs, driven in 47, and stolen 4 bases. The walk rate is 2.8% while the strikeout rate is 9.2%. The ISO is .131, BABIP is .337, and batting average .323.

The GB/FB rate is at 1.48. Over his professional career, that number has been as low as 0.67 and as high as 1.55. He’s a pull hitter (42.6%) but does go oppo 21.3% of the time. The hard hit rate is low at 25.8% but the medium contact rate is a robust 56.9%.

It is when we look at the plate discipline numbers that we truly understand Alberto’s philosophy of hitting. The chase rate is 48%. That leads of all of baseball. The swinging strike rate is only 8% and the contact rates are elite: 93.5% in the strike zone, 86.2% in general, and 78.4% outside the zone.

See ball, swing at ball, hit ball.

As for splits, he’s hit 6 homers against righties and 5 against lefties. The ISO number (.154) is higher against left-handed pitching though, but so is the BABIP, which at .463 is fueling a .420 batting average. Against righties, the batting average is .250, but the BABIP is .248. Usually I’d think regression would be in store for both sides, but when looking at the data from each month this season, the numbers have been consistently skewed towards the success against lefties.

When looking through all the data, the one trend that jumped out to me was the decrease in GB/FB rate. During April, that number was 1.81. The next three months, it was 1.57, 1.57, then 1.67. Over the most recent period (August 1 to September 2), the ratio has plummetted to 1.11. I’m not sure if it’s an outlier or the New World Order. As mentioned previously, the minor league numbers for GB/FB were all over the map.

Alberto is not going to provide a ton of power or speed, but there is some pop and he should help in batting average and score some runs. Looking at the schedule for the Orioles to close out the season, the Rangers, Tigers, Blue Jays (twice), and Mariners are on tap, with three of those series at home. All four teams have suspect starting pitching and possess deplorable bullpens. In addition, the multi-position eligibility provides lineup flexibility. TREASURE