Wednesday, June 16, 2010

More on Alvarez

Well unless you live under a rock you likely heard that Pedro Alvarez will be making his much anticipated big league debut tonight against the Chicago White Sox. Most people wanted to see Pedro three weeks ago, but IMHO that was a little premature, but now seems like the right time (but who really knows the right time) and the city will be abuzz with expectations and excitement.

One thing is true for the Pirates tonight regardless of results: The future is now. The big three (Alvarez, Tabata, Lincoln) are on the roster and are joined by Neil Walker. This is what management, and fans alike, have been talking about for a long time. It starts now, and it should be a fun right.

Lets not get anything twisted here, it is not going to be all rosy for the Pirates. Alverez is going to struggle. Those of you out there that think that he is going to hit 30 home runs the rest of the season are just out of your mind. He has shown through the minor leagues that he struggles as he gets acclimated. This year he was not very good at AAA hitting around .250 for a while before he started to hit his stride. He is going to have good streaks, and he is going to have bad streaks, you just need to realize that.

In his brief stint in the Pirates farm system he has amassed 707 at bats and hit .284. Alvarez also hit 40 home runs and drove in 148 runs over that span. Pretty impressive in a little over a seasons worth of at bats. What is bothersome is his high strikeout rate, about 24% of his plate appearances. He is going to strike out, people are going to have to deal with that. I think everyone knows that so it shouldn't be too much of a shock. Still Alvarez can hit, with power, as evidence by his home run count and his 47 doubles in that span. To put that in perspective Robinson Cano had 48 doubles last year in just over 640 at bats. Not too bad for Pedro, although it was just in the minors.

Pedro's shortcomings at third base have been detailed. Detailed as much as saying that he will probably get moved to first base in the future, but not right now. In his minor league career he has made 36 errors for a .926 fielding percentage, which would rank him dead last of any third baseman that had qualifying statistics last season in the majors. Whatever, this team needs the bat and with the short right field wall at PNC it will help a lot, like the strikeouts, errors will happen. Hopefully he can grow into the position, but only time will tell.

Pedro will be in the lineup tonight and hit in the six hole. Not bad when you can have someone of that talent level hitting sixth. The line up is looking better, but a lot of work needs done. You need to start somewhere though.

Interesting that the Pirates brought up Pedro to hit against a lefty tonight. You would think they would want him to hit against a righty since that was one of the huge reasons he needed to stay down in Indy (to hit more against lefties), but he has been hitting the south paws really well so we will see what they have.

It will be exciting. Buckle up.

Lets Go Bucs

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