It was announced early this morning that the Royals had signed former major league third baseman Alex Liddi to a minor league deal, according to a report from Baseball America.
A native of Italy, Liddi started his career in the Seattle Mariners organization, progressing nicely throughout their system. This included a 2009 season in High-A in which he hit .345/.411/.594 in 129 games. This led to him being viewed as one of the premier prospects in the Mariners organization, being the tenth ranked prospect in their system in 2011.
The Italian import showed his California League breakout in 2009 was no fluke with an All-Star season in Double-A and his second straight Futures Game appearance. He’s still learning the nuances of the game, yet he’s in Triple-A this season, just a phone call away. His defense gets mixed reviews, but he could be the Mariners’ third baseman of the future, which perhaps began with a September callup to Seattle.
–MLB Pipeline, 2011
Liddi reached the majors in 2011, appearing in 15 games and hitting three home runs in his short stint. But after hitting .203/.257/.323 in a limited 46 big league games between 2012 and 2013, the Mariners cut him loose. He later became quite the journeyman, jumping between the systems of the Orioles, Dodgers, and White Sox.
This actually won’t be Liddi’s first tenure in the Royals organization. He spent the whole duration of the 2015 season in the Royals AA affiliate, the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, hitting .287/.324/.474 with 13 home runs in 128 games.
Following his time with the Royals, Liddi left the states to play in the AAA Mexican League. He had success his first season there, slashing .281/.349/.538 in 110 games, knocking 55 extra-base hits along the way. He was less fortunate this season though, hitting a mere .218/.298/.358 in 144 games, hitting 19 home runs.
This obviously has the smelling of a depth signing. As things currently stand, I’d expect the 29-year-old Liddi to receive a share of plate appearances in either AA Northwest Arkansas or AAA Omaha.
Photo Credits: Robert Angotti