Originally posted on WHYGAVS?  |  Last updated 6/18/12
Mlb-astros-pirates

At the high point of his ridiculous tear earlier in 2012 (May 3rd, through his first 21 games), Pedro Alvarez was hitting .257/.297/.614. That's some prodigious power coupled with a terrible on-base percentage, but given Alvarez's struggles last year, pretty much all Pirate fans were willing to accept that as progress. Alvarez responded with a brutal stretch after that, hitting .148/.229/.226 over his next 34 games. It was pretty clear that pitchers were pitching him more carefully (you can see a big improvement in walk rate over that span) and that Alvarez just wasn't adjusting to it. That ugly stretch dropped Alvarez's line for the season to .189/.254/.373. 

Of course, we know what happened in the next two days. Alvarez went 5-for-8, hit four homers and a double, drew a walk, drove in nine runs, and basically single-handedly powered the Pirates to a series win over the Indians. The result is that his triple-slash line on the season is .207/.271/.451. That's good for a wRC+ of 93, which means that through his first 57 games in 2012, his power has almost (but not quite) been so good as to make him an average hitter, despite his huge strikeout problems that have kept his batting average and on base percentage down in the "dangerously low" territory.

I'm mentioning all of this because I flat-out have no idea what to do with this information. Alvarez's strikeout rate is an obscene 31.3% and a .271 OBP isn't really acceptable under very many circumstances. Still, Alvarez was completely useless as a baseball player last year and he's on pace to hit close to 30 home runs this year and we've seen flashes of the standout power hitter that was the #2 overall draft pick in 2008 and baseball's eighth best prospect in 2010. He's alternatingly frustrating and encouraging and his full-season stats bear that out to this point.

I just don't know what to make of the guy to this point and as always, the most important part is whatever's coming next. Can he stay hot? For how long? Can he still be productive if he's not scorching hot? Is there ever going to be a middle ground for Pedro Alvarez? I really have no idea. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sam Mitchell reportedly candidate to join Pelicans’ coaching staff

Warriors GM indicates Steve Kerr still isn’t ready to return

Taylor Hall says it was “nice to finally see” the Edmonton Oilers eliminated

Report: Jets to hire female defensive backs coach

Vince Young officially inks contract with CFL team

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jason Witten: Bill Parcells is getting soft in his old age

Braves make up with fan ejected by security for interference

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

David Price to start for Red Sox Monday against Chicago

Magic Johnson indicates Brandon Ingram is Lakers’ only untradeable player

Congress drafted a bill that could legalize online sports betting; how soon might it happen?

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

It’s our civic duty to stop attending Super Bowls in new stadiums

Box Score 5/25: The Cavaliers look to close out the Celtics

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

Box Score 5/24: Craig Anderson saves the Senators

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Kicking It: East is East, and West is West

Three Up, Three Down: Some surprises way out (NL) West

The 'Let's go to the videotape!' quiz

Why the Indianapolis 500 is called 'the greatest spectacle in racing'

The 'Farewell to the Manu, the Myth, the Legend' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker