Pedro Alvarez, Another Buy-Low Option
In 2008, the Pittsburg Pirates selected Pedro Alvarez with the second overall pick in the MLB Amateur Draft out of Vanderbilt University. Impressed with his hitting skills, Alvarez’s ceiling as professional player was through the roof; however, although he had the power, he never quite developed as a player who could hit for average.
Alvarez made his MLB debut in 2010 as a member of the Pirates, but he did not become a regular starter until the 2012 season. In his first full season, Alvarez managed to hit 30 home runs and drive in 85 RBI, but he hit .244, with 180 strikeouts, leaving room for improvement. Following an up-and-down year at the plate in 2012, Alvarez made headlines in 2013, winning the Silver Slugger Award for third baseman, and he was selected to the All-Star team.
In 2013, Pedro Alvarez hit a career-high 36 home runs and drove in a career-best 100 RBI, despite hitting just .233. Alvarez led the National League in home runs, but he also led the league in strikeouts, showing his boom or bust nature at the dish. However, a move to the Colorado Rockies could see him hit close to 40 bombs at Coors Field.
Following the 2015 season, the Pirates decided to not bring the 1B/3B slugger, leaving him as a buy-low option in free agency. As of now, the Colorado Rockies have two subpar options at first base, with Mark Reynolds and Ben Paulsen as the favorites to earn starts in 2016. However, Pedro Alvarez offers more upside than either player, and arguably, more than both players combined.
Despite hitting for a low average over the length of his career, Pedro Alvarez is a lock to see an uptick in average and home runs with a move to the Colorado Rockies. Also, over the past few seasons, he started hitting left-handed pitchers better, which opens the door for him to be the primary first baseman for the Colorado Rockies in 2016. Although Paulsen had a respectable season in 2015, Alvarez’s ceiling looks down on Paulsen.
The Colorado Rockies have a chance to make a late-offseason splash by signing Pedro Alvarez. Also, if he clicks in Denver, he offers the Colorado Rockies some trade bait, with the team currently in a rebuilding mode. If Alvarez could start 150 games for the Colorado Rockies, he could hit 40-plus home runs and give the team a new-look Blake Street Bomber squad.
Next: Left-Handed Pitching Option?