Originally written on Baseball Professor  |  Last updated 1/1/13
Mlb-astros-pirates
I’ll admit it. I wanted no part of Pedro Alvarez last season. He entered the year in a timeshare at 3B with Casey McGehee and stepped to the plate just 62 times in April. Through two months Alvarez had hit just eight homers, not nearly enough to justify rostering him and his .206 average. Something happened in June, though, as Alvarez batted a good-enough .262 that month with seven homers, 16 runs, and 20 RBI. His strikeout rate that month was down to a still-high-but-more-manageable 27.1%, and he was walking over 11% of the time. For the most part those trends continued for the rest of 2012, and now Alvarez is a key piece for the power-starved Pirates. At a Glance Strengths: HR, RBI, SLG Neutral: R, BB, OPS Weaknesses: SB, BA, OBP, K Player Comparisons Best-case scenario: Jason Kubel (ARI) Likely scenario: Chris Davis (BAL), Mark Reynolds (CLE), Carlos Pena (HOU) Worst-case scenario: Chris Johnson (ARI) Pedro Alvarez 2013 Fantasy Projection With full playing time, I’d be surprised if Alvarez doesn’t at least approach 30 homers again. While he’ll never be a candidate for a high, or even good, batting average, the strides he made in the second half of 2012 give hope that he can elude the Adam Dunn-level of home run/batting average trade-off. Batting fifth for the Pirates isn’t too bad either as Alvarez is likely to see Andrew McCutchen staring across the diamond at him from second base. Overall, we project a very similar season for Alvarez that should see him maintain his top-200 status. But only barely.
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