Over the last week I have read about a couple of Phillies minor league players who conducted themselves with less than class acts. One during a walk off home run and another player with the Phillies at the time in an attempt by the press to interview him after a game. Friday night my friend and I went over to Edgewater Park in Dunedin to attend an introduction party for the Florida State League All Stars. It was good to see the Phillies Clearwater Threshers conversing with the fans there and signing for the fans. They were all class acts.
I believe character does matter in life but some players in sports do get a break at times because they have such outstanding skill sets that other shortcomings are overlooked. Earlier this season we have watched Carlos Zambrano and Delmon Young who have checkered pasts with other teams in certain circumstances but were exemplary when we watched them play and said “hello” to them or when Baseball Betsy went for their autographs.
It was so refreshing to watch a true class player such as Clearwater Threshers All-Star second baseman Carlos Alonso in action this weekend at the Florida State League All Star events. The 25 year old who was a 32 round, 981 overall, draft pick back in 2010 is in his second season with the Threshers He was with his 20 year old teammate and fellow all-star third base Maikel Franco when I asked for their autographs on a ball at the Friday’s event. In the Saturday home run hitting contest before the game when Franco needed a water break during the first round of the contest, Carlos was there with a cup of water for him. Then when Franco struggled with his post home run hitting contest interview over the public address system at Dunedin Stadium, Carlos was there for him with the translation.
Perhaps it is not coincidental that Maikel Franco has had a breakout first half in the FSL at third base with Carlos as his teammate at second base much of this season. Maikel is leading the league in total hits, doubles, and total bases and is second in home runs and third in RBIs. Carlos is having his best season too. He is hitting .272, has yet to commit an error as the season will be half over this coming week and he is third in runs scored in the FSL.
Carlos Alonso in his own right after helping Franco into the second round of the home run hitting contest, played the best of the five Threshers who played in the All Star game. In his first time up, it took a great over the shoulder catch in centerfield to take extra bases away from him in the first inning. He just missed extra bases again as he lined a ball down the left field line just foul and finally got his double the third time up as he hit a line drive this time fair down the third base line into the left field corner.
Talk was rampant Saturday night about pending movement of Phillies minor league players after the FSL All-Star game. Last year Cody Asche made the move to Reading after playing in the FSL All-Star game. It remains to be seen who will be moved this year but one thing is certain and that is the Clearwater Threshers second baseman Carlos Alonso is not only a 2013 Florida State League All-Star second baseman but a class act.