There isn't a lot of news today, so again, I'm just catching up on stuff I missed. The Pirates will likely send Pedro Alvarez to Class A+ Lynchburg to begin the season. He'd skip three levels, which might sound intense, but actually it's pretty standard for an advanced college hitter of Alvarez's ability. Matt Wieters started his pro career at Class A+; also from the 2007 draft, Matt LaPorta started his career in the lower levels but began the season after he was drafted in Class AA, and Beau Mills also started in the lower levels and played the entire year after he was drafted at Class A+. 2006 draftee Evan Longoria got all of 33 at bats in the lower levels before moving to Class A+ in the 2006 season, then started 2007 at Class AA. 2005 draftee Alex Gordon started his pro career at Class AA, while 2005 third overall pick played most of 2006 at AAA. Fourth overall pick Ryan Zimmerman made it to the majors for good in 2005. Fifth overally 2005 pick Ryan Braun started his first full pro season at Class A+, and seventh pick Troy Tulowitzki began his first full season at Class AA and made it to the majors by the end of the year.
In other words, not only should the news that Alvarez will start at Lynchburg not be particularly surprising, we shouldn't expect him to stay there long. Hopefully he'll be at AA by midseason. If he starts the 2008 season at West Virginia, that would be troubling.