Eddy Alvarez is no stranger to speed: it was in his job title. That's because the Marlins' new infielder spent several years as an olympic speedskater, competing for Team USA in Sochi in the 2014 Winter Games and helping his team bring home a silver medal in the 5,000 meter relay.
But speed like 101.5 mile per hour is something he never could have achieved in his speedskating days. Only in Major League Baseball could he reach a number like that.
Alvarez was one of the Marlins' minor leaguers to be called up to the bigs after a coronavirus outbreak left at least 20 players with positive tests. Though the team was able to resume their schedule before the two-week quarantine period was over, the players who were affected needed to be replaced, and Alvarez was one of those whose number was called.
He went hitless in nine at bats over his first three games, but finally was able to reach first on the above play, in which he smoked a ball off of perhaps the best pitcher in all of baseball, Jacob deGrom. Not the easiest guy to finally tally a hit off of, you know? That's impressive stuff.
Alvarez showed a nice blend of power and speed in the minors in 2019, finishing the season with 12 home runs and 12 steals to go along with a slash line of .324/.408/.559.
Alvarez spoke about his transition to baseball on "MLB Central," saying that the sport was a part of his Cuban household growing up.
"Baseball was my first passion, my first love," Alvarez said, who then went on to explain the parallels between speedskating and baseball, adding that though there aren't many, he found the lower-body balance need in speedskating helpful in his transition to baseball.
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