There are still more new players to get to know, so how about we make some time for Yonder Alonso!
The 6'2", 250lb Alonso hails from La Habana, Cuba, but moved to Miami with his family when he was a kid. He played high school and college ball in Miami as well -- coincidentally, alongside A's infielder, Danny Valencia. About 10 years after attending high school and University of Miami together, Alonso and Valencia have been reunited in Oakland.
Could be the kick the both of them need into the next gear. Not that Alonso has been a slouch. He has only posted a sub-.273 BA once since 2011, and after spending four years in San Diego, he could be ready for a breakout season.
Speaking of the Padres, by coming to the A's, Alonso also reunites with former teammate and coach, Mark Kotsay, who just returned to Oakland himself. Kotsay already has spoken highly (and excitedly... yes, excitedly) of Alonso.
And not to mention, Alonso himself is stoked to be on the A's. Yes, you read that right. He's hella stoked.
Now, I am looking forward to starting a new chapter with the @athletics & breaking out the white spikes! Let's go!— Yonder Alonso (@YonderalonsoU) December 2, 2015
Not to mention, it was once a few seasons ago that the Padres chose Alonso over their other stocky first baseman option, Anthony Rizzo. Could be another source of fire to fuel the A's Alonso flame.
When Alonso was 10, his family packed up and moved from Cuba to Miami to make a better life for their kids, sacrificing everything they had. His two parents worked five jobs between them and Alonso joined in, wanting to help his family as well. He was a janitor, and kept his job through college, making sure he focused on school, baseball and work equally to better his future and his family's. His hard work and dedication paid off, as Alonso was drafted out of high school by the Twins (but didn't sign) and in 2008 by the Reds, finally making his MLB debut in 2010.
Alonso's parents did everything they could to give their kids a happy life, even though they had very little to live off of. Growing up in a one-room apartment, everyone had to make sacrifices to get by. Alonso is grateful for a family that supported his baseball dream so much growing up (his dad was also a baseball coach back in Cuba) that when he finally got his first signing bonus, he turned around and bought his family their first U.S. home as well as new cars for his mom and dad.
He's stated multiple times that no matter where his career takes him, he'll never forget where he came from.
Alonso loves music and loves being the one to turn on the jams in the clubhouse. He likes to play DJ and puts on a variety of music that everyone can enjoy, but he always goes back to his favorites, reggaeton and hip hop.
He also has a lust for life that encompasses even playing his position. Alonso loves to play first base and there are many things that he loves about playing first base. If he had to pick one thing, though, it would be talking smack to the other team. He enjoys the game of getting into other players' heads and reading them to best distract them from stealing or to mess with their focus.
He also likes candy and stuff. Who doesn't.
Miss Brett Lawrie's tattoos but not Brett Lawrie? It's fine, because Alonso has some ink. Okay, maybe not as much, but it's a start.
With the beginning of spring training underway, it's only a little more time until we can see how Alonso and the rest of the new guys fit into the team. Time to make The U proud!