Cleburne Inks Prolific Hitter Lago
CLEBURNE, Tex. - The Cleburne Railroaders announced Wednesday the signing of infielder Alay Lago.
Lago was acquired by the Railroaders from the Sioux Falls Canaries on January 13, 2020 in exchange for infielder Ryan Brett, outfielder KC Huth, and left-handed pitcher Eudis Idrogo. When the Railroaders did not participate in the 2020 American Association season, the Canaries selected Lago with the second overall pick in the league's dispersal draft, and he put together another excellent season in Sioux Falls.
The versatile infielder slashed .321/.363/.451 over 58 games for the Canaries, helping the Birds reach the American Association Finals. He rattled off a 10-game hitting streak over the home stretch of the regular season, and smacked three hits in the Finals opener against Milwaukee. All told, Lago's .321 batting average ranked sixth in the American Association, while his 79 hits and 20 doubles were second. Lago spent most of the 2020 campaign as the Canaries starting first baseman despite having never played the position before as a professional. He committed only five total errors for the season in more than 350 chances across all positions.
Lago delivered a memorable 2019 season in Sioux Falls, winning the American Association batting crown with a .339 average. In 92 games, the 29-year-old blasted 30 doubles and 13 home runs, driving in 57 runs while adding 14 stolen bases. Lago was named a Midseason and Postseason All-Star for his efforts, going 1-for-4 in the All-Star Game and also appearing in the Home Run Derby.
The native of La Habana, Cuba, posted an impressive 36 multi-hit games in 2019, including 11 three-hit games and a pair of four-hit performances. Lago finished the campaign with a .339/.386/.531 slash line, good for a .917 OPS that ranked 7th in the American Association. His .393 wOBA checked in at 6th.
Lago's 2019 season included career-bests in virtually all major offensive categories. His 13 home runs with the Canaries represented one more than his previous eight professional seasons combined. In 399 plate appearances, Lago whiffed only 55 times, yielding a strong 13.7 strikeout rate, while improving his walk rate nearly four full percentage points from the 2018 season. Defensively, Lago served as the Canaries primary second baseman, though he also saw time at third base and shortstop.
Lago joined the American Association in 2018, signing with the Kansas City T-Bones on July 24. He contributed a .283 average over the final 37 regular season contests, then helped power the T-Bones to the championship with a stellar postseason performance. The right-handed hitting infielder hit .303 in nine postseason games, going 7-for-15 in the Championship Series against St. Paul. He banged out four hits in the series opener, then added a go-ahead, two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth inning of Game Four that ultimately proved to be the difference. Kansas City traded Lago to Sioux Falls on March 20, 2019 in exchange for the reversionary rights to right-handed pitcher Ryan Fritze.
Prior to signing with the T-Bones, Lago played professionally in his native Cuba from 2010-2015, signing as an international free agent with the Atlanta Braves in 2017. He hit .303 at High-A Florida that season, earning a call-up to Double-A Mississippi the following year.
For information on partnerships, season tickets, group outings, and party packages, call the Railroaders main office at (817) 945-8705, or visit the Railroaders official website at www.railroaderbaseball.com.
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