Now i know that it is just the third game of spring training and we shouldn't take much out of it, but I watched the game on tv and a few things did stick out to me.
First off the biggest question we have is Pedro Alvarez. While I could sit here and say he looked bad and he struck out twice and he just doesn't have it, there are some other things I want to focus on. 1st off... they said he lost weight coming into camp this year.... I don't see it, he does not look in great shape. Secondly and most important is confidence. As corny as it sounds, he had a glazed over look in his eye his first couple of at bats. Kind of a here we go again, please don't let me swing and miss please don't let me swing and miss. Yet when the team was up big and he was a little more relaxed, he looked more confident stroking the ball in his 3rd at bat. It makes for a tough situation, because you need for him to be a big part of the lineup, but I see the more you lean on him the more he folds and worse he looks. He may have a lot of talent, but as of right now there are a handful of guys I would rather have on the team who don't need to be coddled into being a major league baseball player. I would put Hague, Darnaud, and Harrison on the field right now before Alvarez. He looks like a guy who is ready to run back to the dugout and cry rather than having the determination to correct things on his next at bat.
On the opposite side of the spectrum is Alex Presley. While he doesn't have the talent, that Alvarez does, this kid just keeps coming. And his speed is going to keep him out of huge slumps where he isn't seeing the ball as well. He might not look the greatest running to the ball but he always catches it. He might not have the sweetest swing, but he makes contact and puts pressure on you to make a play even when he doesn't find a hole.
Also Marte despite his gaffes in the outfield, looks like a major leaguer right now. I think he has a higher ceiling than most people are even giving him credit for and I would hate to see him on another team in the future. Grossman isn't ready yet, but once again tonight he displayed how speed effects the game.
I like the way Hague was seeing the ball and hope he can keep it up.
As for pitching... Reyes didn't impress me and I dont see him pushing for a rotation spot or even out of the bullpen.
Justin Wilson should be in the bullpen. I could even see him becoming our setup man if Meek can't come back strong.
Tony Sanchez looked good behind the plate and looked pretty solid with the bat as well. He looks like he is in good shape, maybe added a few pounds and had some good cuts on the ball. Hopefully he can have a solid year at the plate and really work on calling a good game and his defense. Would love to see him make a push for playing time in September. At the very least play his way up to Indy for the second half of the season.
Great to see what the Pirates can do when they are focused.