With the 2012 season coming to an end for the Pirates it’s time to look towards next season. What I’m going to do is break down the Pirates roster player by player, and give my opinion on what should be done with that player moving forward. Some of them will be obvious, some surprising. Regadless, I’m going to go through the overall roster of guys who played for the Pirates at all. Obviously people who played for the Pirates but were traded or cut won’t be included.
This is the roster I will use.
So let’s start at the top with Pedro Alvarez.
Pedro had a good first full season in the majors. His stick was inconsistent, but his power undeniable. The Pirates need more from Pedro going forward, on both sides of the ball, but this was undoubtedly a step in the right direction.
Pedro was intentionally walked six times, second on the team. He was also walked 57 times, second only to Andrew McCutchen. That means two things.
1. That his eye isn’t as bad as you think.
2. That opposing pitchers fear him.
Pedro was one of four MLB 3B to break the thirty homer mark. Chase Headley ended the season one ahead of him for the National League lead.
Obviously his average needs work. He needs to eliminate some of the valleys, sometimes canyons, in his game. He is streaky. Sometimes he has the best bat in the league… sometimes arguably the worst. That will come though.
Where he really needs to work is defensively. Another inconsistent portion of his game. His arm is a huge plus at third, one could argue it’s the best in the league. His Field %? Dead last among MLB qualified 3B.
Now you can decry FLD% all you want. It’s not the end all and be all of fielding statistics, but when you are dead last in it, it is very telling.
If you’d prefer though we could us RF. He is above just two players in that regard.
I think he’ll get better. Maybe not much, but he doesn’t have to be. If you told me he could improve his AVG/OBP dramatically or his defense, I’d take the stick. Every time. His defense might be frustrating, and will lead to the occasional run scoring, but it won’t make or break the Pirates future. His bat very much will.
So what to do with Pedro? This is one of the easy ones. There is nothing to do. He is your everyday starter at third base next season. He needs to continue to improve in all aspects of his game, and he needs to be a more middle of the order hitter.
Where he hit last year was largely a Hurdle blunder. At least any time he batted below fifth in the order.
Outside of tough lefty matchups he should be hitting in the middle of the lineup every game.