Alexander Cintrón (born December 17, 1978) is a Puerto Rican former professional baseball infielder and current hitting coach for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB). He played in MLB for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, and Washington Nationals.
Cintrón with the Baltimore Orioles in 2008
|Houston Astros – No. 37|
|Infielder / Coach|
|Born: December 17, 1978|
Humacao, Puerto Rico
|July 24, 2001, for the Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 19, 2009, for the Washington Nationals|
|Runs batted in||222|
|Career highlights and awards|
Cintrón was drafted in the 37th round of the 1997 Major League Baseball draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, spending the '97 season with the Arizona League Diamondbacks where he hit .197 with six doubles, a triple and 20 RBIs. He appeared in one game with the Lethbridge Black Diamonds in the Pioneer League (baseball) and went 1-for-3.
In 1998 Cintrón spent the season with Rookie-League Lethbridge and hit .264 with 11 doubles, four triples, three home runs and 34 RBIs.
Cintrón played in 125 games for the Double-A El Paso Diablos and hit .301 with 30 doubles, six triples, four home runs and 59 RBIs in 2000. He was fourth in the Texas League in hits with 157, fifth in at-bats with 522 and tenth in average. He was named to the Texas League All-Star team.
In 2001 Cintrón hit .292 with 24 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 35 RBIs for the Triple-A Tucson Sidewinders. He was as recalled from Tucson to the Diamondbacks on July 23. Cintrón made his major league debut with the D-Backs on July 24, 2001. He collected his first major-league hit with a single off the New York Mets Donne Wall on August 3. Cintrón hit .286 with a triple in eight games with the Diamondbacks and was optioned back to Tucson on August 6.
Cintrón played in 38 games with the D'Backs over four separate stints in 2002. The first was when he was recalled on May 8 but played in just two games. He was recalled a second time on June 11 and reported to Yankee Stadium to play against the New York Yankees. He was optioned to Tucson again on June 26 but returned on July 1 after Erubiel Durazo was injured. Cintrón was returned to Tucson after the All-Star Break but was recalled for the final time on August 21.
In 2003 Cintrón had a break-out season after being recalled on May 6 following an injury to Craig Counsell. Cintrón went on to lead Arizona with a .317 average, ranked second with 26 doubles and third with 70 runs scored and a .489 slugging percentage. He started 90 games at shortstop, 14 at third base and five at second base. He batted .311 with runners in scoring position. He hit his first major-league home run on May 14 against the Philadelphia Phillies, a solo shot off Brett Myers. Cintrón posted three straight three-hit games from June 14 to June 17. He hit his first walk-off home run on June 20 against the Cincinnati Reds off Scott Williamson.
He continued his success into 2004 where he led the Diamondbacks in games played with 154 and at-bats with 564 and finished second in doubles with 31 and third in hits with 148. He was the everyday shortstop for most of the season until a late-season stretch of starts at second base. Cintrón became the first player in franchise history to hit a home run from both sides of the plate on July 8 against the San Francisco Giants hitting a solo home run off Dustin Hermanson in the fourth inning and a three-run shot off Wayne Franklin in the seventh, finishing with a career-high four RBIs.
Cintrón appeared in 122 games with Arizona in 2005, down from 154 in '04, He played in 39 games at shortstop, 32 at third base and 23 at second base. He hit .304 with three doubles, three home runs and 12 RBIs as a pinch-hitter, sharing the major-league lead among pinch-hitters in home runs, tied for third in the National League in RBIs and ranked ninth in average. He hit the pinch-hit homers off Jim Brower, Kent Mercker and Jon Lieber. Cintrón had four walk-off hits during the season, the most in MLB in 2005.
Chicago White SoxEdit
On March 8, 2006, Cintrón was traded to the Chicago White Sox for Jeff Bajenaru. That season with the White Sox Cintrón made 41 appearances at shortstop, 26 at second base and 11 at third base. He compiled a .972 fielding percentage. Cintrón stole a career high 10 bases. He batted .288 with all of his five home runs left-handed and .274 from the right side of the plate. He went only 2–18 as a pinch hitter. Cintrón recorded at least one at-bat in all positions in the lineup except leadoff, his best spot being second batting .315. He made two starts at designated hitter going 2–12 and hit .310 in interleague play. Cintrón hit two triples on April 13 against the Detroit Tigers, the first Sox player to accomplish the feat since José Valentín in 2004.
He batted .243 with two home runs and 19 RBI in 68 games in his second season with the White Sox in 2007. He made 19 appearances at third base, 17 at shortstop and 14 at second base. He also made two starts as designated hitter going 0–7. Cintrón compiled a .941 fielding percentage and batted .244 with two home runs left-handed and from the right side of the plate. He hit .273 on the road, compared to .209 at home. He hit .333 with runners in scoring position. The White Sox waived Cintrón on November 29, 2007.
Cintrón signed a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training with the Chicago Cubs on February 18, 2008. He was released on March 26 and was signed to another minor league contract by the Baltimore Orioles. After starting the season with the Norfolk Tides, his contract was purchased by the Orioles, and he was added to the active roster on May 11. He went 4-for-4 in first starts with Baltimore on May 17 against the Washington Nationals. He missed the month of July with strained left hamstring. He hit .352 at Camden Yards. 27 of 28 starts came at shortstop. Cintrón filed for free agency after the '08 season.
He signed a minor league contract with the Washington Nationals in 2009. Although he competed for a spot on the Nationals' roster during spring training, Cintron was sent to the minors on April 4. His contract was purchased from the Triple-A Syracuse Chiefs on April 18. He went 2-for-26 with the Nationals before his release.
He played 20 games with the Buffalo Bisons, the Triple-A affiliate of the New York Mets.[when?] He played 30 games with the Tacoma Rainers, the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners, during the 2009 season. On February 8, 2011, Cintrón signed a minor league deal with the Washington Nationals. He signed a minor league contract with the San Diego Padres on May 3, 2011.
On May 24, 2011, Padres minor league broadcaster Tim Hagerty announced through Twitter that Cintrón had retired. No details were given; the tweet simply said "Alex Cintron has retired." It was reported on July 18 that he was considering coming out of retirement.
Cintrón was Manager of the Azucareros de Yabucoa (his hometown) in Puerto Rico's Superior Baseball League (Double A Category).[when?]
The Houston Astros hired Cintrón to be the team's Spanish-language interpreter, advance scout, and assistant coach for the 2017 season. He served as the Astros first base coach in 2018. He became the hitting coach for the Houston Astros following the 2018 season.
- "Team Batting Event Finder: 2005, All Teams, Hits, Walk-off". Baseball Reference. Retrieved July 27, 2018.
- Nationals Send Zimmermann to AAA SI.com, April 4, 2009
- Nationals buy Cintron's contract from Syracuse
-  (February 8, 2011)
- Padres ink Alex Cintron to minors contract, NBC Sports, May 3, 2011.
- Tim Dierkes (May 24, 2011). "Alex Cintrón Retires". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved May 24, 2011.
- Nicholson-Smith, Ben. "Quick Hits: Iwakuma, Cintron, Twins, Buehrle". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
- (July 18, 2011)
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 30, 2012. Retrieved April 6, 2012.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Brian McTaggart (November 21, 2018). "Astros add Troy Snitker to '19 coaching staff". MLB.com. Retrieved November 21, 2018.