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Irving Falú

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Irving Falu

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[edit] Biographical Information

Irving Falu reached the major leagues with the Kansas City Royals in 2012, after 9 seasons and over 900 games in the minor leagues, all in the Royals' organization. He is the brother of Melvin Falu and a cousin of Luis Alicea and Ed Alicea.

Falu was picked by the San Diego Padres in the 32nd round of the 2001 amateur draft out of high school but opted for college. In 2003, he hit .374 to help his team make it to the Junior College World Series. The Royals then chose him in the 21st round of the 2003 amateur draft. He was signed by scout Phil Huttmann and made his pro debut that summer.

Falu began his professional career by batting .259/.387/.353 for the 2003 AZL Royals. Back with the same club for most of 2004, he hit .274/.362/.350 with 23 steals in 33 tries. He also went 3 for 6 in a brief stint for the Omaha Royals. His .977 fielding percentage led Arizona League second basemen.

In 2005, Irving hit .254/.343/.328 for the Burlington Bees. He had 61 walks to 39 strikeouts in 119 games and stole 34 bases in 49 tries. That year, he had a 24-game hitting streak, the best in the Midwest League. He was named Burlington's Player of the Year. He also made a brief appearance (6 games) with the Wichita Wranglers.

Falu hit .299/.351/.386 for the 2006 High Desert Mavericks with 31 swipes in 42 tries and 87 runs. He was the hardest player to strike out in the California League with 11.54 AB per strikeouts. In '07, he slumped to .242/.294/.298 with Wichita though he again had the lowest K rate in his circuit (10.82 AB/K)

In 2008, Irving produced at a .301/.367/.384 rate for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals with 38 walks to 31 strikeouts in 101 games. His 11.68 plate appearance per K rate was lowest in the Texas League for the second straight season. In the 2008 Americas Baseball Cup, the Hato Rey native hit .286/.297/.457 for Puerto Rico, helping them win the tournament and a spot in the 2009 Baseball World Cup.

Falu spent all of 2009 in AAA, hitting .269/.342/.344 with Omaha. He then joined Puerto Rico for the World Cup. It was the first of four consecutive seasons with Omaha, who were renamed the Storm Chasers in 2011. In 2010, he hit .272 in 119 games, then in 2011 improved to .301 in 111 games. he was a utility player both years, bouncing between the outfield and various infield positions, but still was in the line-up for Omaha virtually every day. It was more of the same at the start of the 2012 season, when he hit .306 over his first 21 games. On May 3rd, he got the long-awaited call to Kansas City when starting shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt was placed on the disabled list, then had to wait three more days before actually getting to play. He made his debut facing the New York Yankees at home on May 6th, starting at shortstop and batting 8th. In his first major league at-bat in the 2nd inning, he tripled off Phil Hughes, ending his day 2-for-4 with a run scored. Before Falu, Brian McRae and Edgar Caceres were the only Royals to start their big league career with a triple. He played 24 games in the majors that first season, hitting .341 with 14 runs scored. In the minor leagues, he .329 in 88 games for Omaha.

Falu played for the Puerto Rican team that reached the finals of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

[edit] Sources

  • 2009 Royals Media Guide
  • 2005-2009 Baseball Almanacs
  • 2008 Americas Baseball Cup final report

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