THE PRESENT: Former Mud Hen 3B Gabe Alvarez is an assistant baseball coach at his alma mater, the University of Southern California (USC).
THE PAST: After an All-American career at USC, Alvarez was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the second round of the 1995 draft. Then Alvarez was selected by Arizona as the fifth pick in the 1997 expansion draft, then traded to Detroit (along with former Hens RHP Matt Drews and 3B Joe Randa) for 3B Travis Fryman. Alvarez played for the Mud Hens in 1998, and in 67 games batted .273 with 20 home runs and 58 RBIs to earn a promotion to Detroit, where he hit .231 with five homers and 29 RBIs in 58 games at age 24. But in 1999 he began to experience throwing problems, and 25 errors in just 86 games at third base for Toledo offset a .285-21-67 line. Alvarez hit .207 with eight homers and 35 RBIs in 69 games for the Hens in 2000 and in mid-July was traded to San Diego for 1B Dusty Allen. Alvarez played in 11 games for the Padres that year and eventually left the professional ranks after the 2003 season.
THE FUTURE: Alvarez was hired as an assistant coach by the Trojans in September of 2010, taking the job on an interim basis before earning a full-time position this past summer. Alvarez works primarily with USC's infielders as well as serving as recruiting coordinator. A recent issue of Baseball America ranked this year's recruiting class as the 11th-best in the country.