Look for Dominican player Robinson Cano
to be major factor in the 2012 ALCS.
Photo credit: Keith Allison on Flickr
The Yankees have Robinson Cano, Rafael Soriano, and Alex Rodriguez. Does he count? That subject has been broached time and time again here at the Dominican Baseball Guy and I say no, he is American not Dominican.
Already a Dominican legend half way through his career, Cano was a pre-season MVP candidate here at the Dominican Baseball Guy and he did not disappoint. Cano got went to his third strait All-Star game and should see his third strait Silver Slugger award. He was in the top-12 in the AL in average, home runs, and RBI. This could be his year to get the MVP of the ALCS is he can get some clutch hits.
Rafael Soriano is a haus at the back end of the Yankees bullpen. After Mariano Rivera went out with an injury, Soriano came in and did not miss a beat. He ended the year with 42 saves and a 1.17 WHIP. He also threw more than one strikeout per inning on the year. If he gets a chance to save some games he will do it at a very high percentage.
The Tigers feature six Dominicans on their active roster: Jhonny Peralta, Al Alburquerque, Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel, Jose Valverde, Ramon Santiago. While they do not have the star power the Yankees have, they certainly have the numbers with six Dominican players out of their 25-man active roster.
Jose Valverde is another Dominican haus closer at the end of the Tigers bullpen. Throwing only a fastball and a splitter, Valverde epitomizes a power closer. He had the third longest saves streak ever back in 2011. Even though he blew a save last round, look for Valverde to be perfect if he gets any save opportunities.
The Tigers Dominican infielder Jhonny Peralta is little known for having been an everyday player over eight seasons. He actually played in the playoffs back in 2007 with the Indians...they made the playoffs that year? He made his one and only All-Star team last year with the Tigers, but was down from those numbers this year. But he is just the type of journey man player that could show up big in a playoff series.
The other Tigers will be coming off the bench, and should not factor in a major way.
The Yankees also have Dominican players Ivan Nova, Zoilo Almonte, Eduardo Nunez, and Melky Mesa available on their 40-man roster. And the Tigers have Luis Marte on their 40-man.
Total, that comes out to eight Dominican players out of 50 on the ALCS active rosters, and 13 Dominicans out of 80 on the total rosters. Or 16% of the players in the ALCS are Dominican natives.