Utahns in baseball: 2014 Olympian, Utah resident Eddy Alvarez off to hot start after promotion
Matt Gade, Deseret News
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.