FAU’s smallest player is now in the big leagues.
Owls second baseman Mike Albaladejo (5-foot-7 162 pounds) has signed a free agent contract with the Washington Nationals, according to his Facebook page.
“Always kept the faith and always believed I would get a chance! I’m a Washington National! Haha heading to Melbourne tomorrow morning. Thank you my Lord. Time to prove people wrong again!”
Albaladejo switched from catcher to second base this season and led the Sun Belt Conference champions with a .358 batting average. The public communications major from Winter Park, Fla. helped lead the Owls to conference titles in 2010 and 2012. Albaladejo says he will be joining the Nationals as a catcher.
His father Nettali, a former high school baseball player, was Albaladejo’s inspiration to become a pro.
“We’re very proud of him,” his father said to the UP during the season. “Not being tall, he’s always had a chip on his shoulder, but he’s always exceeded everybody’s expectations.”
In addition to Albaladejo, outfielder Alex Hudak (signed as a free agent by the Kansas City Royals), pitchers R.J. Alvarez (114th pick: LA Angels) and Ryan Garton (1052nd pick: Tampa Bay Rays), and third baseman Kyle Newton (588th pick:Colorado Rockies) will also join major league clubs.