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Eliezer Alfonzo Is Really Strong

If you watched yesterday's game and saw Alfonzo go deep, you were impressed. If you didn't watch yesterday's game, you can watch Alfonzo go deep here, and you will be impressed. Alfonzo hit that pitch over the bullpen. The back of the bullpen is far away.

How far away? Hit Tracker comes through with the data. The ball left Eliezer Alfonzo's bat at 111.7mph, and it flew 449 feet. That's our fastest home run of the season by 2.6mph, and the longest by 26 feet. That's five feet longer than any big league home run Franklin Gutierrez has ever hit, and it's 34 feet longer than any big league home run Jose Lopez has ever hit. It's tied for the 36th-longest home run of the season.

Eliezer Alfonzo is a strong man. He is not particularly mobile behind the plate, he doesn't make much contact, he has no concept of the strike zone, and he treats breaking pitches like he's swinging at Tinkerbell. But he's almost a stereotype in that the balls he hits should come equipped with a rape whistle. He swings hard, and that means that sometimes he can do what he did to Joe Saunders.

Alfonzo broke through with the Giants in 2006. Despite the no-walk/high-strikeout profile, he had a solid half-season that seemed to set him on the path to having a career as a Major League backup. Then, in 2007, after spending two months as an effective reserve, Alfonzo underwent knee surgery that just about ended his season, and in early 2008 he tested positive for PEDs. He hasn't played much since. The Padres gave him a bit of a shot in 2009, but only after starter Nick Hundley got hurt. Alfonzo simply doesn't seem to be considered a viable second-stringer anymore, and at 31, he's not about to get any better.

It's kind of a shame. It's not a total shame, since it was Alfonzo's own choice to take steroids, but it is a shame that he got hurt when he did. One wonders how different his career might be had he stayed clean and stayed healthy, because, overall, there is very little difference between Alfonzo and Major League millionaires like Miguel Olivo and John Buck.

There was promise in there. Not promise for stardom, but promise for a living. It's almost cruel that the promise is still around.