Each year, a player seemingly comes out of nowhere and makes a strong push to make the official 25-man roster. Last year, Michael Martinez was that guy, and this year it may be Hector Luna.
The Philadelphia Phillies signed Luna to a minor league deal on December 21, and it wasn’t expected that he would make the 25-man roster, but now it appears as if Luna may actually have a chance. His strength is his versatility, as the 32-year old can play all nine positions except pitcher and catcher.
Luna hasn’t played in the major leagues since appearing in 27 games for the 2010 Florida Marlins, a season in which he posted a .138/.133/.379 statline with two home runs and four RBIs. Luna is 12 for his last 72 at the major league level since a 2006 season that saw Luna bat .286 in 379 plate appearances. For his career, Luna is a .265 hitter with 13 home runs in 801 plate appearances; he has played for four teams at the big league level in six seasons – the St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians, Toronto Blue Jays, and Florida Marlins.
Luna spent 2011 in the minor leagues with the Boston Red Sox, playing in 113 games for the Triple-A Pawtucket team. He posted a .283/.350/.449 statline with 14 home runs, 58 RBIs, and six stolen bases in 468 plate appearances. Luna played first base, second base, and third base for the Triple-A team.
If Luna makes the 2012 Phillies, it will be strictly because of his versatility. Michael Martinez is slotted to be the utility infielder, but he can’t hit worth a lick. Wilson Valdez was recently traded to the Cincinnati Reds, leaving Freddy Galvis as the lone middle infielder, but Galvis will be slotted to start at second base with Chase Utley dealing with lingering knee problems.