2011 Will Be A Big Year For Pirates Pedro Alvarez

2011 is going to be a great year for Pittsburgh Pirates 3B Pedro Alvarez.  He is getting married in a few weeks and of course that is always a happy time in a man’s life.  We are positive there will be plenty of smiles to go around when he walks down the aisle.

It's hard to determine the impact that new skipper Clint Hurdle will have on Pedro Alvarez, but Pirates fans certainly are looking forward to watching it.

Happiness was also evident on the faces of Pirates fans when they walked out of PNC for the final time this year. Most of us couldn’t stop thinking about the performance of Alvarez.  The guy gave Pirates fans a September to remember.   We didn’t really grasp the magnitude of it at the time as the Pirates were suffering from a horrid season, but were busy knocking off opponents well out of the playoff race.

But there was no denying the fact that Alvarez steadily improved throughout the season.  It was his M.O. in the minors and it proved true at the big level as well.  In 46 June at-bats Pedro had a meager line of .216/.196/.152.  Yeh, not exactly a great start, but it was what most knowledable fans predicted. That’s what Alvarez does.

As he did in his first at-bat, Alvarez came up mainly empty in the month of June. PHOTO: RumBunter

After watching Alvarez get more and more comfortable at the plate throughout the year, we saw him come into the final home game as hot as a cat on a tin roof.  Alvarez was destroying pitchers to the tune of a .368/.350/.842 over the seven days leading into the home finale.  He  wrapped it up in front of us by getting three more hits.  

On September 30th, he would have another monster game to close out the month. He went 4-for-5 with seven total bases to solidify his NL Rookie of the Month Award.

During September, Alvarez hit five homeruns while slugging .573 and he crushed more extra base hits in September than he did in June and July combined..  All five of his homeruns were hit during his eleven game hitting streak from September 21 to October 1 during which he batted .467 (21-for-45). 

During the month, Alvarez also drove in runs at a torrid pace clearing 26 Pirates runners off the bases.    He had ten doubles, a triple, scored 15 runs and hit .311 (32-for-103.) 

We selected the September video highlights for Pedro during the hitting streak.  Damn he was smoking during that stretch of games.

September  27:  Watch a three-for-three night including a 427-foot bomb, his 14th of the season. He then crushes a double that bounced off the base of the wall in right center field, and hits a single to left field against the Cardinals. 

September 26:  Watch Pedros’ two-run double. 

September 25:  Watch Pedro crush this bomb.  His 13th of the season and his 54th run driven in on the season.

September 24:   Watch this laser RBI double that hits off the top of the fence in right center to give the Bucs a 5-4 lead.

Alvarez flashed the leather in September as well.  Here are two different links to see the improved footwork and the cannon attached to Pedros’ body.  Alvarez still needs work at the hot corner, but seemed to relax in the field as the season moved along.

Pedro made two plays in crucial situations, one with the bases loaded and another with two outs and two Cardinals on base to hold a Pirates lead.

In conclusion, if the end of his 2010 season is any indication of his future success, he is due to destroy NL pitching in 2011. 

Which is why 2011 can’t get here fast enough for us, someone said it’s 100 days until the opener.   I would need to check that for certain, but this I am certain about.  If Pedro Alvarez can continue anywhere close to the level where he left off in September, he will be getting a shit load of wedding presents from Pirates fans this season.

Hell, I might even re-gift one of the toasters I get for Christmas.

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In 2011 Pedro Alvarez will be a happy man.

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