Yonder Alonso was born in Havana, Cuba on April 8, 1987 to parents Luis and Damarys. His father played and coached for Industriales of the Cuban National Series, and taught Yonder to play as well. The family defected from Cuba in 1996 and settled in Miami, where Yonder played on a Little League team funded by Jose Canseco. Alonso attended Coral Gables High School in Coral Gables, Florida, and was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 16th round of the 2005 Major League Baseball draft. He did not sign, choosing instead to attend college at the University of Miami.