Alonso not worried about Reds depth chart
Corner infielder blocked by All-Stars at Major League level
ANAHEIM -- Reds prospect Yonder Alonso doesn't look at who is blocking him on the big league depth chart anymore. It seems he has finally found the perfect position: diplomat.
"I just have to go out there and do my part and I can't worry about who is ahead of me," said Alonso, 23, who is hitting .240 for Triple-A Louisville. "That's out of my hands. I just have to go out there each day and do the right thing and hope for the best."
Alonso seems to have the right approach. All-Star first baseman Joey Votto is ahead him on the depth chart at first base and Scott Rolen is ahead of him at third base on the big league level. Complicating matters for Alonso is the fact that top Reds prospect Juan Francisco is also a third baseman.
"At first, I was having some issues with it, but I've matured a little bit," Alonso said. "It hasn't been that bad. I just have to focus on my job. I do what I can in batting practice, in the games and I just have to worry about Triple-A right now."
That's probably a good idea. It seems the Reds are also doing their part.
In an effort to provide more playing time for the young Cuban, the Reds shifted Alonso to left field to start the Minor League season. He was also rumored to be part of the package the Reds were offering the Mariners for Cliff Lee before Seattle sent the pitcher to Texas.
When asked about the possibility of a trade, Alonso shrugged. Then, he chose his words carefully when asked to describe the first half of his season. The slugger's average is down and he has six home runs and 34 RBIs in 279 at-bats. He's walked 29 times and struck out 48.
He went 1-for-4 in Sunday's XM Futures Game.
"Overall, it's been going well," he said. "I've just been hitting the ball hard, run the bases and try to play good defense."
Alonso was quick to point out that he is not the only one who has grown up over the summer. He said Louisville teammate Aroldis Chapman has also come into his own in the Minor Leagues. The two became fast friends during Spring Training and their relationship has grown over the summer.
For his part, Chapman is 5-6 with a 4.32 ERA in 20 games (13 starts) for Louisville. It's unclear when or if Chapman will get a big league callup or what his role will be when that happens.
But like Alonso, Chapman will be ready.
"Chapman's getting prepared, really starting to mature. He's running and doing all of his work," Alonso said. "He's really been a good competitor and he's one of the hardest workers on the team. That guy is a workaholic."
As for Alonso, he knows the purpose of Sunday's game was to peek into the future, but he's content to stay in the present.
"Today is a game, just like other games I play in," he said. "It's fun, but I'll have 70 more games to play when I get back. I can't think about it too much. I need to just do my job."
Jesse Sanchez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.