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#MLBPlayers411 | Yonder Alonso

   06-22-2017
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Athletics first baseman Yonder Alonso, today's #MLBPlayers411 subject, is having quite the season out by the Bay, and he appears to be on his way to earning his first-career All Star Game appearance.

Currently sitting on a .300 batting average with 17 home runs and 37 RBIs,  Yonder is having the best season of his seven year career. In that seven-year stretch, Yonder has never topped nine home runs in a single season. And his career-high of 62 RBIs, which came in 2012 with the Padres, seems like it will inevitably be topped this season if he keeps up his pace. Given his current individual success, comes whispers of Yonder potentially being a coveted trade target. Just don't tell that to Yonder, though.   

“I think that there is a great chance that I'll stay here,” Yonder told Fox Sport's Ken Rosenthal. “I really do mean that. The guys they have, the young core that they have, are all guys I can relate to.”

Yonder, who has publicly said he is open to an extension to keep himself in Oakland rather than a trade, understands the value in remaining with his current club.

“I actually want to play well, do well and stay here,” he says.

Prior to Yonder's major league journey came a journey on a much larger scale. When Yonder was just eight-years-old, he and his family defected from their native Havana, Cuba. Without luggage, or prior notice to family members, the Alonsos simply uprooted Yonder and his sister, Yainee, and ventured to Miami, Fl.  Yonder's father, who had played and coached for Industriales of the Cuban National Series, taught his son to play baseball at a young age. Once in America, Yonder broke into the sport on a Little League team that was funded by Jose Canseco.

Yonder attended Coral Gables (FL) High School and following graduation he was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft. However, with a scholarship on the table to play collegiately for his hometown University of Miami, Yonder turned the Twins down.

As a freshman, Yonder led the Hurricances with 69 RBIs and was an integral part of the team that made it to the College World Series. He followed up his freshman year by leading the Atlantic Coast Conference with 18 home runs, while driving in 74 RBIs with a .376 batting average.

In 2008, following his junior year at Miami, Yonder was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds. Two years later, he made his major-league debut and would go on to spend the 2010 and 2011 seasons in Cincinnati. Following the 2011 season, Yonder was part of a blockbuster trade along with Edinson Vólquez, Yasmani Grandal, and Brad Boxberger; all four were traded to the San Diego Padres for Mat Latos. Cubs fans should be thankful for that trade, as Yonder's emergence at first base prompted the Padres to trade prospect Anthony Rizzo to Chicago. After four years in San Diego, Yonder was traded once again, this time to his former club, prior to the 2016 season.

 “I've been around,” Yonder added in his interview with Rosenthal. “I've got six years under my belt. I've stunk. I've been hurt. I've almost gotten released. I've been traded. I've sat, gotten benched, and started. I've done it all.”

You can learn more about Yonder as he recently wrote a letter to his younger self for The Players' Tribune. You can find the full piece, here.

Check out some photos of Yonder here.

To read more #MLBPlayers411, click here