Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Was Alverez Worth It?

Now that Pedro Alverez is done for the season and now playing for Team USA we can take a look and see if he was really worth taking him in the draft and fighting tooth and nail to get him signed. Not only fighting to get him signed, but fighting his agent after he comes back and said the contract should be redone because he said they signed after the midnight deadline.

Pedro started out his professional career in A Lynchburg and really was coming along slowly and had many wishing they would have went another direction with their pick. In Lynchburg Alverez batted .247 in 284 plate appearances (243 at bats) with 60 hits. Alverez played in 66 games with the single A affiliate and recorded 14 doubles, one triple, 14 home runs and 55 RBI. Not bad on the HR and RBI front but add into account that Alverez struck out 70 times and you see that he struck out just a shade under 25% of his plate appearances. That is a lot. Alverez posted a .342 OBP and a .486 slugging percent for a .827 OPS which is not too shabby. A lot of strikeouts not enough hits were hindering Alverez and it wasn’t looking good.

Alverez then made the jump up to AA Altoona. It was a curious move seeing how Alverez was not handling A pitching so what made the team thing he could move up and handle better pitching? Alverez obviously just needed to be challenged. Alverez just straight blew up at Altoona. He ended his tenure at Altoona hitting .333 with 74 hits in only 258 plate appearances (222 at bats). That is 14 more hits in 21 less at bats in AA than in A. What a jump. Alverez also hit four more doubles (18 in AA) and hit 13 home runs with 40 RBI. His OPS was over 1, which is very, very good. He showed he can move up and if not for managements perspective that they don’t like to move prospects more than a class in a year then he might have been in AAA with Tabata.

Overall in his first year of professional experience Alverez has played in 126 games with 134 hits in 465 at bats for a .288 batting average. Alverez has a combined 27 home runs and 95 RBI and a .914 OPS. Pedro added 32 doubles and a triple onto his stats and when you put that in perspective for a year it becomes almost scary. You figure a major league player will play in 150 or so games (days off) and Alverez only played in 126. You figure that he is going to continue to improve and you are looking at some good things here. 95 RBI in 126 games is pretty respectable and if he can keep it up as he goes along he is the middle of the lineup guy we have been begging for.

Now where is he going to play? Who knows. Maybe first base, maybe third, but highly unlikely. To stay at the hot corner Alverez is going to have to do a lot of work on his defense and that will not be easy. Alverez committed a combined 25 errors on 314 chances for a .920 fielding percentage. He is going to have to make a lot more plays if he wants to be a third baseman or else he is going to be moving to the other corner. Whatever. Who cares. He can play first. He can mash.

I think things look good and hopefully he can be successful for Team USA and continue to progress next year and we can see him in the lineup in a few years and producing like he did this year. To answer the question of if he was worth it? So far, yea.

Go Bucs.

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