- Full name Dariel Álvarez
- Born 11/07/1988 in Camaguey, Cuba
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 180 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- Debut 08/28/2015
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Orioles signed Alvarez to an $800,000 bonus in July 2013 after the Cuban native spent four seasons playing in Serie Nacional. A strong 2014 Double-A season saw him earn a spot in the Futures Game. Alvarez's arm receives a top-of-the-scale grade from some scouts. He threw 93-95 mph during workouts when some clubs looked at him as a pitcher. Alvarez made his major league debut late in 2015 and hit his first big league homer in September off the Royals' Danny Duffy. An aggressive hitter with his hit tool slightly behind his power tool right now, Alvarez doesn't walk or strike out much. He can chase some but often puts those pitches in play. He has outstanding hand-eye coordination and has shown the ability to get to an above-average fastball, but is an average runner and not a basestealer. Alvarez is a solid defender in right field, and he gained valuable experience with his time in the majors. Depending on what outfield moves Baltimore makes this winter, he might have a shot to win a job in the majors to start 2016.
Alvarez spent four seasons playing in Cuba's Serie Nacional before he left the island, making his way to Mexico in 2012. After nearly a year, he was cleared to sign with a U.S. team and signed with the Orioles for an $800,000 bonus in July 2013. He hit his way to a spot in the 2014 Futures Game. Alvarez showed an ability to make adjustments all year, hitting .306/.330/.472 between Double-A and Triple-A in his first full U.S. season. He's aggressive, so he'll likely never walk much, but covers the plate and makes consistent hard contact, showing solid power to all fields. He'll need to continue to improve laying off breaking stuff for his power to play. While he projects as a corner outfielder, the Orioles played him in center this year and he handled it well, with average or better range thanks to good jumps and average speed. Alvarez threw 93-95 mph during workouts when some clubs looked at him as pitcher, and his arm is a weapon in right field. Alvarez is an option for right field now that the Orioles did not resign Nick Markakis, whose team option (at $17.5 million) was declined. The Orioles preferred to bring back Markakis and give Alvarez more time at Triple-A to temper his aggressiveness, but he should reach Baltimore in 2015 at some point.
One year after signing Henry Urrutia in July 2012, the Orioles added fellow Cuban outfielder Alvarez, signing him for $800,000. He played for Camaguey in Serie Nacional, Cuba's major league, from 2007-11, batting .297 with 37 home runs. After defecting in 2012, but before Major League Baseball had declared him a free agent, Alvarez played for Tuxpan of the Northwestern Mexican League, a six-team minor league affiliated with the Mexican League. He began playing in the Orioles system less than a month after signing, joining the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League club and earning a quick promotion to high Class A Frederick. In his first six games in the U.S., Alvarez went 13-for-24 (.542) with seven extra-base hits. His bat finally cooled when he advanced to Double-A Bowie, as he struggled against offspeed pitches. Some scouts expressed concern about Alvarez's uppercut swing, which they say doesn't stay in the hitting zone long enough. He has shown good bat speed and modest power potential, as well as a willingness to use the whole field, but his pitch recognition faltered against higher-level competition. Alvarez is an average runner and should be an above-average right fielder with an easy plus arm. (He even showcased for teams on the mound, but decided to remain a position player.) Alvarez has his skeptics and will try to answer them in 2014 at Double-A Bowie.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Outfield Arm in the Baltimore Orioles in 2014