Before Eddy Alvarez became a silver medalist speed skater in the 2014 Winter Olympics, he shined as a shortstop at Salt Lake Community College. Now that the Olympics are well behind him, Alvarez is showing he still can play baseball at a high level.
Alvarez, who became a Utah resident as he trained for the Olympics, is batting .476 in his first 11 games after being promoted from the Chicago White Sox’s Arizona Rookie League team to Single-A Kannapolis (North Carolina) in the South Atlantic League.
“It was a quick turnaround for me,” Alvarez said in an interview posted on MiLB.com last Sunday. “I’ve only been playing for five and a half days now. Right after the (Olympics), I came home and picked up the bat, so just trying to get back into the swing of things.”
In his second full week with the Intimidators, Alvarez went 12-for-26 at the plate. On Saturday, he led off a game with West Virginia with a home run. He went on to hit another and drive in three total RBIs. Alvarez then went 4-for-6 with a pair of RBIs for Kannapolis on Sunday.
Alvarez told MiLB.com he’s played baseball as much as he’s been speed skating. He signed with the White Sox organization in June, shortly after the MLB Player Entry draft. The top aspect to baseball he's adjusting to back on the diamond is the ability to be patient.
“We train for four years and we only get one opportunity. One slip and it’s over,” he said in the interview. “In baseball, you get four or five opportunities, so I’m really good at being able to let go and move on with my at-bats.”
Alvarez's week was the highlight for baseball players with Utah ties.
On Sunday, Bingham High product Brady Lail outdueled ex-BYU pitcher Taylor Cole in the Florida State League. Lail allowed just one run on five hits in six innings Sunday, leading his Tampa Yankees to a 5-1 win over Cole's Dunedin Blue Jays.
Cole, on the other hand, allowed five hits and three runs in six innings.
Lail excelled over the week, allowing just one run in 12 innings. On Tuesday, he didn't pitch just six shutout innings, he left his outing against Brevard County without giving up a hit. However, he left with a no-decision after the Manatees scored two runs in the ninth inning to beat the Yankees 2-1.
Lail improved to 2-1 since joining Tampa. He also has a 4.01 ERA in six appearances with the advanced Single-A team.
Finally, St. George native Marcus Littlewood received a promotion Monday, moving up to advanced Single-A High Desert in the California League. The two-time former Mr. Baseball in Utah went 2-for-5 with an RBI in his first game with the Mavericks on Tuesday.
OF Wilton Martinez & C Luke Guarnaccia promoted from Everett. OF Austin Wilson placed on DL. C Marcus Littlewood promoted to High Desert.— Clinton LumberKings (@LumberKings) August 18, 2014
While at low Single-A, he batted .250 in Clinton (Iowa), while representing the LumberKings in the Midwest League all-star game.
Jeremy Guthrie (BYU), Kansas City Royals: Allowed five hits, one walk and one run in eight innings, picking up a 6-3 win over Texas on Saturday. The win was the former Cougar’s 10th of the season as he improved to 10-10 on the year. He also lowered his season ERA down to 4.32 with the performance Saturday.
Brandon Kintzler (Dixie State), Milwaukee Brewers: Was 0-0, 3.86 ERA in three separate appearances over the week totaling 2 1/3 innings. Kintzler pitched a perfect frame against Toronto on Tuesday but came back the next day and surrendered a three-run home run to Jose Bautista on Wednesday. The former Dixie State pitcher served up another home run on Friday, but both runs that he allowed in one inning against Pittsburgh were unearned.
Kintzler holds a 3.45 ERA in 49 games played this season.
John Buck (Taylorsville H.S.), Salt Lake Bees (Los Angeles Angels): Four hits, one home run, four RBIs and one run scored in 13 at-bats throughout the week. Buck is batting .303 in 27 games with the Bees this season.
Matt Carson (BYU), Columbus (Cleveland Indians): Two hits, one RBI and two runs scored in 20 at-bats throughout the week. He’s batting .241 in 78 games this season, with nine home runs, 29 RBIs and 41 runs scored.
C.J. Cron (Utah), Salt Lake (Los Angeles Angels): 11 hits, one home run, four RBIs, three runs scored in 23 at-bats throughout the week. Cron is batting .335, with seven home runs and 31 RBIs in 44 games with the Bees this season.
Stephen Fife (Utah), Albuquerque (Los Angeles Dodgers): Remains on the 7-day disabled list with right forearm tightness. Fife is 2-2, with a 7.01 ERA in 11 appearances with the Isotopes this season. He last pitched on July 18.
Matt Spring (Dixie State), Pawtucket (Boston Red Sox): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. Spring is batting .265, with two home runs and seven RBIs in 12 games with the PawSox this season.
Tyson Brummett (Spanish Fork H.S.), Chattanooga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. Brummett is 4-5, with a 2.79 ERA in 13 starts for Chattanooga. He last pitched on July 16.
Parker Morin (Utah), Northwest Arkansas (Kansas City Royals): Two hits, one home run, one RBI and two runs scored in 15 at-bats throughout the week. Morin, who has hit .150 over his past 10 games, is batting .200 in 50 games with the Naturals this season.
Braeden Schlehuber (Viewmont H.S.), Mississippi (Atlanta Braves): Six hits, three RBIs and one run scored in 16 at-bats over the week. On Sunday, Schlehuber went 3-for-4, including a two-run double and an RBI single, as the Braves defeated Birmingham 7-1.
Eddy Alvarez (SLCC), Kannapolis (Chicago White Sox): 12 hits, two home runs, five RBIs, five runs scored and two stolen bases in 26 at-bats throughout the week. The former Olympian is batting .467 over his first 11 games since joining Kannapolis on Aug. 12.
Jaycob Brugman (BYU), Stockton (Oakland Athletics): Eight hits, three RBIs and five runs scored in 26 at-bats throughout the week. He has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games. Brugman is batting .292, with 12 home runs and 31 RBIs in 44 games with the Ports.
Chris Capper (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): Remains on the 7-day disabled list. Has yet to appear in a game with the Silver Hawks this season.
Taylor Cole (BYU), Dunedin (Toronto Blue Jays): 0-2, 5.73 ERA in two combined starts over the week. On Tuesday, Cole allowed six hits and four runs in five innings in a loss to Lakeland. Cole lost again on Sunday, allowing five hits and three runs in six innings. Cole also struck out 15 batters over the week.
Cole is 8-8 in Dunedin, with a 3.12 ERA and 167 strikeouts in 130 innings pitched.
Jake Hannemann (BYU), Daytona (Chicago Cubs): Nine hits, one home run, four RBIs, four runs scored and one stolen base in 34 at-bats throughout the week. The former Cougar is batting .250 in 31 games since joining the Cubs.
Adam Law (BYU), Rancho Cucamonga (Los Angeles Dodgers): Five hits and two runs scored in 25 at-bats throughout the week. Law is batting .271 in 99 games this season.
Brady Lail (Bingham H.S.), Tampa (New York Yankees): 1-0, 0.83 ERA in two combined starts throughout the week. On Tuesday, Lail pitched six hitless innings at Brevard County but wound up with a no-decision. Lail outdueled BYU alum Taylor Cole Sunday, allowing just one run in six innings as Tampa beat Dunedin 5-1.
Lail entered the week with a 6.05 ERA in Tampa, but trimmed it down to 4.01 after the two starts. He also improved to 2-1 since joining the Yankees.
Marcus Littlewood (Pine View H.S.), High Desert (Seattle Mariners): Two hits, one double, one RBI and one run scored in 12 at-bats throughout the week. Littlewood was promoted to advanced Single-A High Desert on Monday. He was batting .250, with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 77 games with Clinton before the promotion.
Adam Miller (BYU), South Bend (Arizona Diamondbacks): 1-0, 4.50 ERA in two separate appearances throughout the week. Miller pitched a perfect frame on Tuesday against Dayton, striking out two on his way to picking up his fifth win of the year. He allowed one run on one hit in one inning at Lansing on Friday.
Miller is 5-1 on the season, with a 3.53 ERA in 22 games.
Dominique Taylor (Northridge H.S.), Lexington (Kansas City Royals): Five hits, two RBIs and three runs scored in 25 at-bats throughout the week. Taylor is batting .299 in 83 games with the Legends.
Tyler Wagner (Utah), Brevard County (Milwaukee Brewers): 1-1, 4.50 ERA in two combined starts throughout the week. On Monday, Wagner pitched up his 13th win of the year, allowing five hits and two walks in seven shutout innings while striking out eight in a win over Tampa.
Wagner then allowed eight hits and six runs in five innings, losing to Clearwater on Saturday. Wagner is 13-6 on the year, with a 1.91 ERA in 24 starts with the Manatees.
Keenyn Walker (Judge Memorial H.S.), Winston-Salem (Chicago White Sox): Three hits, one RBI, three runs scored and one stolen base in 15 at-bats throughout the week. Walker is batting .203 in 63 games with the Dash.
Short Season Leagues:
Tanner Banks (Utah), Arizona White Sox (Chicago White Sox): One walk and two strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings against the AZL Padres on Wednesday. He lowered his ERA back to 1.86 on the season with the outing.
Bubba Blau (Dixie State), Arizona Brewers (Milwaukee Brewers): Allowed three hits and three runs in two innings on Wednesday, picking up a loss to the AZL Indians. Blau is 1-4, with a 4.18 ERA in 10 games with the AZL Brewers.
Nick Green (Utah), Idaho Falls (Kansas City Royals): Allowed one hit in one shutout inning against Grand Junction on Thursday. He has a 3.95 ERA in 12 games this season.
Kavin Keyes (Alta H.S.), Arizona Mariners (Seattle Mariners): One hit in six at-bats over the week. Keyes is batting .222 in 23 games this season, with nine RBIs and one home run.
Colter Moore (Utah State-Eastern), Bristol (Pittsburgh Pirates): 0-0, 22.50 ERA in two combined appearances over the week. Moore allowed one hit, one run and a pair of walks in an inning of work on Tuesday. On Sunday, Moore allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. He made his minor league debut on Aug. 16.
Trey Nielsen (Utah), State College (St. Louis Cardinals): Did not pitch this week. Nielsen is 2-2, with a 2.38 ERA this season.
Mitch Watrous (Utah), Arizona Padres (San Diego Padres): Did not pitch this week. Watrous has a 10.80 ERA in three appearances with the AZL Padres.