Black Hawk outfielder proves pros were right in trying to land him
Pedro Alfonseca had a difficult choice to make.
In June 2016, the star outfielder at North Kansas City High School in Missouri was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the 39th round of the Major League Baseball Draft. It was a moment he had worked hard for, Alfonseca said, but it came after he had already committed to playing for Black Hawk College.
That was when he prayed for guidance.
“Thank God, he put the right people by my side to give me good advice,” Alfonseca told the Rock Island Today. “That was the toughest decision I've ever had to make.”
Cleveland's loss has been Black Hawk's gain this season. In his freshman season in Moline, Alfonseca has emerged as one of the Braves' best players.
According to his profile on njcaa.org, through May 4 Alfonseca had a .405 batting average, a .500 on-base percentage and a .676 slugging percentage — all of which ranked in the top 64 in Division II of the National Junior College Athletic Association. And he took hs game to a new level on the many occasions when he got on base, stealing 27 times, which ranked him 13th in the division.
He also scored 45 runs and notched 32 RBIs with four home runs in his first 35 games.
Alfonseca remembers playing the game with friends in the Dominican Republic, where he and his family lived until he was 10 years old. His father is a big fan, Alfonseca said, and he had an uncle who played professionally -- and became Alfonseca's role model.
“To me, baseball is more than a sport,” Alfonseca said. “To me, baseball is life, and I'm so thankful to be able to play this sport because it's given me so much. Baseball has made me meet so many great people whom I now consider as family.”
Playing summer baseball, Alfonseca was coached by the son of Nick Doughty, the assistant coach at Black Hawk. Alfonseca said he heard good things about Braves head coach Arnie Chavera.
“They knew I was going to get better and that I was going to love the baseball program, which has happened,” Alfonseca said.
One way he has improved is with plate discipline, he said.
“I used to swing at everything and used to struggle with the off-speed pitches, but now, thanks to coach Doughty and coach Chavera, that's not a problem anymore,” he said.
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Moline, IL - 612655899