Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Say What You Want, but Pedro Alvarez is a Stud

With all the prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates have attempted to accumulate over the years, none have had the pedigree of Pedro Alvarez. With the attempt made to focus on the draft the last three seasons, no pick has generated the buzz around Pittsburgh that Alvarez did. Alvarez tore through minor league pitching and in a little over a year after making his professional debut, got the call to the big leagues.

While many (me included), felt it was way to early to summon Alvarez to PNC Park, he got the call anyways. Despite Pirates General Manager Neil Huntington proclaiming just hours earlier that "Alvarez isn't ready," the Pirates front office caved in to fan backlash and called up Alvarez anyways.

What did they get in return? They got a kid that looked lost and over matched at the big league level. Pedro Cerrano had a better chance of hitting a breaking ball without the help of his trusted fried Jobu then Alvarez had a chance of making contact in any particular at bat. Pirates fans started to boo the young Alvarez and basically said "Here we go again."

Alvarez, or better know as "The Savior," got of to a whopping 9 for 57 start with 29 strikeouts. That's hitting at a .158 clip if your scoring at home. That includes riding a five-game hit streak into July 3rd as well or the numbers would be much worse.

Then on July 3rd, Alvarez connected with his first major league homer, a solo shot off of the Phillies Kyle Kendrick. Since that time, we've seen a different Alvarez. We've seen more of the player we expected to see all along and it's a great sign for the Pirates.

Take out Alvarez's horrible start and we see a different player. Since connecting with his first dinger, Pedro is hitting at a .282 clip with 6 doubles, 10 homers and 25 RBI's. That's a 30 game span and I will take those results. Project that out for an entire season and you are looking at a guy that will put up some serious numbers.

Has he looked like a rookie at times? Absolutely, and he will continue to do so. Has he looked like a stud at times as well? Absolutely, and he will have more days like this then he will bad days.

It was a special moment Saturday night when Alvarez hit his 3-run walkoff in the 10th inning against the Colorado Rockies. Pirates fans should get used to that feeling, as Alvarez will continue to put up big numbers in Pittsburgh for a long time.

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