As we continue on in our countdown, versatility will often be a word I come back to. That is certainly the case for today’s profile subject.
He’s a switch-hitting utility infielder who was born in Puerto Rico and originally drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 21st round of the 2003 draft. He is…
Falu stands 5’10” tall and has played second base, third base, and shortstop at the major league level. In 25 MLB games, Falu has 14 appearances at second base, five at shortstop, and six at third.
To get to the big leagues, though, Falu endured parts of 10 seasons in the minor leagues. He finally made his MLB debut on May 6, 2012. The irony from a Brewers fan standpoint, is that Falu was recalled because of an injury to the one and only Yuniesky Betancourt. You’ll recall, of course, that Betancourt spent 2012 back in Kansas City between his two turns in Milwaukee.
Falu has a career MiLB slash line of .278/.342/.357 including Triple-A numbers of .283/.342/.365 in parts of six seasons. Those offensive numbers were posted while Falu played everywhere defensively except first base and catcher.
In fact, Falu has appeared defensively in 1134 games. His defensive breakdown: 536 at shortstop, 317 at second base, 152 at third base, 103 in right field, 17 in left field, and nine turns in center.
For the Brewers, who picked up Falu as a minor league free agent on December 4, 2013 after he was Designated For Assignment by Kansas City, Falu will be attempting to earn a spot on the 25-man roster as a backup infielder. If he can prove that he’s a superior option to the incumbent in that role (Jeff Bianchi), and the others vying for the same job, then Falu absolutely could make the 25-man roster and head north with the parent club.
Then again, Falu is under contract on the minor league side so he could just as easily begin the season with Nashville where he would wait for signs of trouble in Milwaukee. That would be the case if the Brewers decided that depth was the most important thing regardless of Falu’s play this spring.
He’ll be looking to rebound this spring from a down 2013 where he was down 22 points in both batting average and on-base percentage from his career marks. And while Falu has never walked much in his career, he also doesn’t strike out. As a matter of fact, in 568 Triple-A plate appearances in 2013, Falu walked 47 times and struck out only 51. Still, Falu will need to bounce back if he wants to make an impact on the 2014 Brewers.
All anybody can ask for though is an opportunity. As a non-roster invitee, Falu will certainly get that much.
You can follow Irving Falu on Twitter: @irvingfalu