Indians Sign Yonder Alonso: Fantasy Impact

SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 22: Yonder Alonso
SEATTLE, WA - SEPTEMBER 22: Yonder Alonso /

The Indians sign Yonder Alonso as a replacement for Carlos Santana. Can he provide owners with another good power-hitting season?

The Cleveland Indians did not have a lot of holes to fill this offseason. It would be tough for them to upgrade any spots over what they currently have. The one vacancy the Indians had was at first base. After Carlos Santana decided to sign with Philadelphia, the team needed a replacement. Enter Yonder Alonso.

Alsono has been a decent hitter throughout his career, .269 average with six home runs per season in his first seven seasons. 2017 saw the power breakout for Alonso, along with a lot of other batters.

In his time between Oakland and Seattle, Alonso hit 28 home runs, 67 RBI and .266 over 142 games. He was one of a thousand batters (or so it felt) that hit at least 20 home runs last seasons.

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Alonso was not drafted in standard ESPN leagues, 260.0 ADP. He finished as the No. 26 first baseman on the Player Rater. The power helped but his low batting average kept him from getting close to the top 20.

This season should be another good season for the veteran. Alonso joins a better lineup in Cleveland. With Edwin Encarnacion, Francisco Lindor, Jose Ramirez and Jason Kipnis, Alonso should have plenty of opportunities to get hits and drive in runs.

Alonso posted his best on-base percentage since becoming a full-time player. That is a result of his 22.6 strikeout rate and 13.1 walk rate, another career high. He was swinging at 11.4 percent of strikes but made sure the pitches were in the strike zone, 27.7 O-Swing rate and 74.5 Z-Swing rate.

Alonso got more air under the ball in 2017. He had a 33.9 ground ball rate and 43.2 fly ball rate, both career bests. While I’m not one to buy into a one-year wonder, Alonso should be able to replicate those numbers.

He was able to put up 22 home runs in Oakland, a park that ranked 11th in home runs and six more in Safeco Park, 20th. Progressive Field was 17th in home runs, 16th in hits. Despite that, the Indians had a 38, 33 and 29 home run hitters. Alonso will fit in just fine.

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Even with the better surroundings, Alonso ranks outside the top-20 rounds. He will make for a good utility player or off-day fill in for your starting first baseman. The power may be there but there are a lot of hitters that can hit 20 home runs with a .250 average. There isn’t anything special about Alonso. He is a good hand, as they say.