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Alexi Ogando

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Alexi Ogando
formerly known as Argenis Benitez

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 4", Weight 195 lb.

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[edit] Biographical Information

Alexi Ogando was signed by scouts Raymond Abreu and Juan Martinez for the Oakland Athletics in March 2002. He debuted with the DSL Athletics West that summer, hitting .189 and slugging .274. In 2003, he improved significantly, batting .342/.379/.532 with 33 runs and 36 RBI in 48 games for the AZL Athletics. He tied for 8th in the Arizona League in average and was named the AZL's #5 prospect by Baseball America.

Ogando began 2004 with the Vancouver Canadians and went 3 for 20 with a homer, 6 RBI and 4 walks. He was then demoted to the AZL A's and hit .267/.340/.450. His 6 homers were second in the AZL behind Miguel Vega. Baseball America still rated him the loop's #18 prospect (3rd among outfielders), right ahead of another Alexi, Alexi Casilla.

Ogando got involved in a major marriage-for-money scandal that off-season, as were many other players, such as Omar Beltré and Maximo Nelson. The players were offered cash in return for marrying women, enabling them to come to the US on the player's visas. When the scheme was discovered, the players involved were denied visas for 2005.

As a result, Ogando spent 2005 with the DSL Athletics, where he slumped to .246, though he did steal 22 bases in 25 tries. The A's left him unprotected, assuming they would never see him in the US again, and he was picked in the AAA section of the 2005 Rule V Draft by the Texas Rangers, who were hopeful visas would eventually be given to the players being denied visas.

Ogando was converted to pitching in 2006 and was excellent, going 5-0 with 2 saves and a 0.52 ERA. He struck out 48 and walked 4 in 34 2/3 IP and held opponents to zero homers in 121 AB. He was also 4 for 16 with 3 walks and a double at the plate. Had he qualified, he would have led the Dominican Summer League in ERA. The Rangers added him to their 40-man roster that winter.

Texas tried to get a special visa for Ogando and Omar Beltré in 2007 but failed. Returning to the DSL Rangers, Alexi was 6-1 with 3 saves and a 0.96 ERA, striking out 35 in 28 innings. Had he qualified, he would have been 3rd in the DSL in ERA.

Ogando pitched for the Dominican national team in the 2007 Pan American Games, allowing two unearned runs in 4 1/3 IP versus Team USA, striking out three and giving up 3 hits and a walk.

Alexi did not pitch in 2008. In 2009, he was 0-2 with 2 saves and a 2.45 ERA for the DSL Rangers 1 with 31 strikeouts in 18 1/3 IP. In 2010, Ogando and Beltré were finally reinstated. Ogando began the season with the Frisco RoughRiders and was unhittable (4 hits, 2 runs, 21 K in 15 2/3 IP). Promoted to the Round Rock Express, he was also very good (10 H, 21 K, 3.00 in 15 IP, Sv). He was then called up to the majors to replace the injured Rich Harden. He walked four in his first 3 1/3 innings in the bigs but allowed just one hit and no walks and won both games. For the season, he was 4-1 with a 1.30 ERA and .208/.286/.258 opponent batting line. He allowed one run and fanned six in eight postseason innings as Texas won the 2010 ALCS but lost the 2010 World Series.

In 2011, Ogando was moved into the rotation. He was 9-3 with a 2.92 ERA after 17 starts and was a late addition to the AL roster for the 2011 All-Star Game.

Ogando has been timed at 100 mph.

[edit] Notable Achievements

  • AL All-Star (2011)

[edit] Sources

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