The Reason Pedro Alvarez is hitting poorly

On Pedro Alvarez:

I was reading through (actually RotoGraphs) yesterday and happened upon an article about Jedd Gyorko's missing power (available for your reading pleasure). Buried in this article was a chart showing the rate at which players are recieving fastballs so far this season. From RotoGraphs:

Among all qualified hitters in Major League Baseball this season, only four players have seen fewer fastballs at the plate than Jedd Gyorko:

Player FB%
Pedro Alvarez 35.4%
Josh Hamilton 41.8%
Wilin Rosario 41.9%
Mark Reynolds 42.7%
Jedd Gyorko 43.4%

The league-average fastball percentage for hitters is currently 58.3%, so Gyorko is seeing a much higher diet of offspeed pitches than the average hitter

As you can see Pedro has seen the least amount of fastballs out of any qualified hitter in the Majors. Not only has he seen the least amount, he's BY FAR seen the least amount, by an almost obscene number.

I started connecting the dots and decided to check his current numbers compared to his career batted ball averages- (from his player page at FanGraphs)

2010 Pirates 1.15 14.8 % 45.7 % 39.6 % 12.1 % 17.6 % 3.8 % 0.0 %
2011 Pirates 2.18 19.5 % 55.2 % 25.3 % 10.3 % 10.3 % 5.9 % 0.0 %
2012 Pirates 1.36 18.7 % 46.8 % 34.5 % 2.5 % 25.0 % 4.9 % 0.0 %
2013 Pirates 4.00 20.0 % 64.0 % 16.0 % 25.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 % 0.0 %
Total - - - 1.45 17.7 % 48.7 % 33.6 % 7.5 % 19.7 % 4.6 % 0.0 %

As you can see, his GB% is so out of whack with his career norms as is his IFFB%. This indicates that he's rolling over a lot of these pitches and generating a ton of weak contact.

Here is his pitch values (production against specific pitches)-

Season Team wFB wSL wCT wCB wCH wSF wKN wFB/C wSL/C wCT/C wCB/C wCH/C wSF/C wKN/C
2010 Pirates 2.1 2.1 -0.1 -0.4 1.7 0.4 -1.0 0.25 0.96 -0.21 -0.33 0.90 1.73 -6.88
2011 Pirates 2.8 -6.7 -1.0 -3.2 -7.7 -1.3 0.51 -3.97 -1.84 -3.14 -4.75 -7.50
2012 Pirates 8.7 -1.5 1.4 1.8 2.3 -1.0 -1.0 0.80 -0.40 1.20 0.57 0.75 -2.08 -5.77
2013 Pirates -2.5 -1.5 -1.3 0.3 -0.7 -0.5 -3.41 -2.93 -7.40 2.13 -4.33 -3.88
Total - - - 11.1 -7.7 -1.0 -1.6 -4.3 -2.4 -2.0 0.43 -0.95 -0.43 -0.29 -0.64 -2.44 -6.25

He's generally hit very well against fastballs throughout his career, as we well know. Obviously with the steady diet of off-speed pitches he's been receiving this year it's made it very difficult for him to make solid contact as he's never been decent against the off-speed pitch. Couple that with the fact that when he IS getting a fastball to hit, he's not doing much with it.

In conclusion it seems like the book is really out in full force against Pedro to start the season. In watching his at bats it looks like he's trying to be a bit more patient with the walks he's been trying to take. But he's going to have to start making some serious adjustments to his approach or he may never see another fastball again and may end up finding himself a regular on the bench or at worst sent back down to AAA.

I recommend wandering over to his player page and digging around a little for yourself. Please feel free to add any information you find insightful.


This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of the managing editor (Charlie) or SB Nation. FanPosts are written by Bucs Dugout readers.

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