Yonder Alonso was once one of the Reds best prospects.
Yonder Alonso announced his retirement yesterday. The former Reds prospect barely got see the field when he was in Cincinnati before being dealt to the San Diego Padres. Alonso was a key piece of the deal that brought Mat Latos to the Cincinnati Reds.
The 33-year-old Alonso made the announcement via Instagram yesterday that he would no longer be pursuing a career in major league baseball. Alonso was sure to thank the Reds, the organization that drafted him in the first-round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Alonso also had stops with the Padres, A’s, Mariners, White Sox, Indians, Braves, and most recently, the Rockies.
Alonso had the unfortunate predicament of playing behind one of the greatest first basemen of his generation, Joey Votto. The Reds tried to develop Alonso into an outfielder at one point doing his young career, knowing that Votto was going to be a cornerstone of the franchise. Alonso started just four of his 69 games at first base for Cincinnati.
Yonder Alonso was more valuable to the Reds as part of trade that would bring a highly-regarded right-handed arm to the starting rotation. Staring down a potential run at the NL Central Division, Cincinnati included Alonso in a deal that included Brad Boxberger, Yasmani Grandal, and Edinson Volquez. All four were sent to San Diego in exchange for starting pitcher Mat Latos.
Alonso played four seasons with the Padres before being dealt again, this time to the Oakland Athletics. Alonso spent the 2016 season in the Bay Area, and during the middle of his only All-Star campaign in 2017, Alonso was traded one more time; this go-around he headed to the Pacific Northwest and joined the Seattle Mariners.
According to MLB.com, Alonso was the No. 30-ranked prospect in all of baseball during the 2010 season, and trailed only Justin Smoak and Brett Wallace as the top first base prospects in the sport.
Given that Yonder Alonso went to just one All-Star Game while Joey Votto won the 2010 MVP and has led the league in on-base percentage seven times, it stands to reason that the Reds made the correct choice in keeping Votto over Alonso.
Alonso didn’t call Cincinnati home for very long, but it was key stop along his major league journey. Alonso developed into one of the best power-hitting first base prospects during his time in the organization, and went on to have a solid 10-year career in the majors. Bravo!