Pedro Alvarez was once discussed as the possible savior for the Pittsburgh Pirates going forward, having been selected No. 2 overall in the 2008 MLB First Year Player Draft. He was labeled as another “can’t miss” prospect who played a solid third base and brought along a big bat.
Alvarez made his big league debut with the Pirates in 2012, appearing in 95 games and cranking out 16 home runs. This kid looked like he would be the real deal one day, and that his development may not take all that long to hit his full potential.
It is now the start of the 2012 MLB season, and Alvarez was fortunate enough to even make the Pirates’ 25 man roster.
The fact that Alvarez played in just 74 major league games for Pittsburgh in 2011 due to either injury or ineffectiveness and batted just .191 with 4 home runs did not help. Neither did the fact that he was able to hit just .170 in spring training for Pittsburgh this past exhibition season.
But Alvarez did begin the regular season with the Pirates as their Opening Day third baseman. He went hitless in three at-bats in the team’s 1-0 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. But while many hitters receive time to adjust and find their stroke as the new season begins, Alvarez may already be running out of time.
Looking back to the 2008 Draft, one has to wonder how many people are kicking themselves within the Pirates’ organization. If you are wondering about some of the other players they could have selected instead of Alvarez, the list of talent is quite abundant.
Pirates’ fans may want to look away or stop reading. It may hurt that much.
* No. 3 – Eric Hosmer (Kansas City Royals)
* No. 4 – Brian Matusz (Baltimore Orioles)
* No. 5 – Buster Posey San Francisco Giants)
* No. 7 - Yonder Alonso (Cincinnati Reds)
* No. 8 – Gordon Beckham (Chicago White Sox)
* No. 11 – Justin Smoak (Texas Rangers)
* No. 16 – Brett Lawrie (Milwaukee Brewers)
* No. 18 – Ike Davis (New York Mets)
*No. 30 – Casey Kelly (Boston Red Sox)
And that is just to name a few.
Once again, best of luck to the Pirates in 2012. Although if I was a gambling man, I would have to bet on yet another losing season for Pittsburgh.
Kelley writes for The Pigskin Report as well as Hardball Chat. You can follow him on Twitter @RobKelley24 and Like The Rob Kelley Sports Network on Facebook. Kelley is a former sports reporter for various newspapers throughout the state of Florida, and had his first book published I'm Not a Quitter after moving back to Massachusetts.