Meet Hanser Alberto Texas Rangers Future Shortstop
The Texas Rangers recently purchased the contracts of four minor league players to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft: shortstop Hanser Alberto, catcher Jorge Alfaro, right-handed pitcher Luke Jackson, and right-handed pitcher Jerad Eickhoff.
Unless you follow the Texas Rangers minor league teams closely, the one name you might be unfamiliar with is the 22-year old Dominican Native Hanser Alberto.
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The Texas Rangers signed Alberto in November 2009 as a non-drafted free agent and he made his first appearance in the Dominican Summer League (2010). Since that summer, Hanser Alberto has quietly made his way through the Rangers’ farm system. Alberto was a midseason All-Star with the DSL Rangers (2010) and the Hickory Crawdads (2012), and this season proved to be his best to date.
Hanser Alberto was named Organization All-Star by MiLB.com and was also chosen as Texas Rangers MiLB Defender of the Month for July. His .980 Fld%, with 190 putouts and 346 assists over 114 games won Alberto the 2014 MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove at shortstop. Aside from being a great baseball player, Alberto is known for his positive demeanor. He loves his teammates and I’m pretty sure the feeling is mutual.
I’m going to be perfectly honest. I didn’t know who Hanser Alberto was when I attended Spring Training this season. That was until he jumped in front of my camera while I was taking pictures. It was kind of like a photobomb but instead of the person secretly “bombing” you Hanser decided to let me know he was there. I wasn’t ready but he was kind of enough to stay in front of me, with his big goofy grin, until my camera was ready to capture the moment.
Hanser Alberto jumps in front of my camera
When I got back to my hotel I looked him up and naturally shared the photos I had taken that day with the players’ names. Afterwards, William Brott, a family friend of Hanser, contacted me via Twitter about the pictures. Since then we have remained in contact, always discussing Hanser.
Mr. Brott and his family met Hanser when he was 18-years old after being introduced to him by his host parents. Alberto gave Mr. Brott’s son a bat before a game and the two just “clicked” and have remained close over the past four years.
Needless to say everyone who knows Hanser Alberto was more than happy when the Texas Rangers added him to their 40-man roster. He has worked hard to improve his hitting and defense skills, which definitely paid off this season.
With the help of Mr. Brott I was given the opportunity to interview Hanser Alberto through e-mail, who is currently playing in the Dominican Winter Leagues.
Meet Hanser Alberto Texas Rangers Future Shortstop
Lisa Weatherall: When did you begin playing baseball?
Hanser Alberto: When I was 5-years old.
Lisa Weatherall: What or who got you started or interested in playing baseball?
Hanser Alberto: My dad!!
LW: It has been a very productive and exciting year for you. You were named MiLB Organization All-Star and you won the MiLB Rawlings Gold Glove. What are you doing in your training that has contributed to your success this year?
HA: I’m focusing more on training and so I had better performance.
LW: Speaking of exciting news, the Texas Rangers purchased your minor league contract and added you to their 40-man roster on Thursday (November 20). How did you find out?
HA: I was returning home when I received the call from on of my bosses.
LW: Can you describe how it feels knowing that the Rangers believe in you and your future?
HA: I am more than grateful and very happy for the opportunity.
LW: What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to overcome this challenge?
HA: The biggest challenge is to stay with the big team. And I will work hard and intelligently to complete that challenge.
LW: Other than playing in the majors, what would be your ultimate achievement in baseball?
HA: To be in the Hall of Fame.
LW: Who is your favorite baseball player of all-time?
HA: Edgar Renteria and Orlando Cabrera.
LW: Do you currently reside in the Dominican Republic? Does your family still live there?
HA: Yes, me and my family live here.
LW: William told me that you got married last month, congratulations! Will your wife travel with you next season? Or at least to Spring Training?
HA: When she finishes college next year she will travel with me.
LW: How did she react to the news of Texas protecting you from the Rule 5 Draft?
HA: She was very happy like I was.
LW: Every time I see you, you’re wearing the biggest smile. You’re known for your positive and upbeat attitude. Is there a motto or saying you live by?
HA: It’s something that I inherited from my father.
LW: Did you play any other sport besides baseball growing up?
HA: Basketball and volleyball.
LW: Baseball players are known for superstitions or routines. Do you have any, if so, what are they?
HA: No, I don’t have superstitions.
LW: Do you get nervous before games? If so, when are you the most nervous during the game?
HA: I hardly ever get nerves.
LW: What is your favorite personal baseball moment?
HA: Earlier this year, when I connected for my first grand slam.
LW: Who has impacted your life the most, in or outside of baseball?
HA: Inside of baseball Jackie Robinson and out of baseball Jesus Christ.
LW: What do you enjoy doing in the offseason or when you’re not playing baseball?
HA: Preach in the Church, eat a lot and spend time with family.
LW: I’ve seen many pictures that show you speaking to children stressing the importance of education. How meaningful is it for you to give back to your community?
HA: I like to talk about my experiences to youth and children. In the future I want a foundation of my own.
LW: You describe yourself on Twitter saying “ I am not a Preacher who plays, I am a player that preaches. I play for Christ.” What is the foundation of your strong faith and how does it guide you on and off the field?
HA: Before becoming a professional ballplayer I am first a Minister of Jesus Christ. I just feel grateful for how God has worked in my life.
FAST FIVE QUESTIONS:
LW: What is your favorite/least favorite American food?
LW: What is the last movie you watched?
HA: God is Not Dead.
LW: Who is the funniest player on the RoughRiders?
HA: Odubel Herrera.
LW: What song is stuck in your head?
HA: Christian Music.
LW: If you were not playing baseball what else would you be doing?
HA: Narrator and Preacher.
See you in 2015 Spring Training! Photo Credit: William Brott
I want to thank Hanser Alberto for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer my questions, and William Brott for facilitating the communications between Alberto and myself.