Fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates have been hearing one word religiously when descriptions involving shortstop Ronny Cedeno are uttered.
Ronny has shown some brilliant flashes of an exciting player, but has displayed more thoroughly dim moments throughout his time in Pittsburgh. We find him to be a tad bit unappreciated mainly because of his plate awareness and often times makes ridiculous decisions with a bat in his hands.
Perhaps one of the best examples of Cedeno lacking focus was when he wore the wrong team jersey in the home finale last season, but still hit a home run in the second-inning while rocking the “Piratas” uniform, which the Bucs wore earlier in the season against the Brewers as part of Hispanic Heritage Night. BLS wondered if it was a practical joke of epic proportions, maybe so….
But it’s those moments when he strokes a ball to the gap, hits a blast, or makes an amazing play deep in the hole and shows off his cannon arm that has many fans wondering why he has been unable to elevate his play more often?
Watching Cedeno this year at Bradenton, his leadership in the center of the diamond was evident on this play. He really wanted Pirates pitcher Brad Lincoln to make this pickoff throw. When he did, it paid off and Cedeno confidently ran off the field.
Spring Training has been a bit of a mystery for Cedeno. He played baseball all winter, so he might be working on a few specific things in the Grapefruit League games. He has walked once, and we are sure that was difficult. Cedeno has struckout six times, but has shown his power with two homeruns among his nine hits.
We expected more in 2010, but Cedeno managed eight home runs and put up career numbers in doubles with 29 and steals with 12. Cedeno has been on the record stating he wants to steal more in 2011, this Spring he has been caught stealing three times and has only stolen one base.
The 28-year-old infielder has hit a combined .257 over the last two seasons and a lack of plate discipline has been his demise. In 2011, we would be thrilled to see Cedeno perform at a consistent level providing some solid fielding at shortstop, some pop for the bottom of the order–even ten or twelve homers since we are writing our wish lists.
But most importantly to us, it would be perfectly acceptable, yet disappointing, to see a slightly boring above average fielding shortstop with a poor bat.
In the meantime, we will have our fingers crossed in hopes that the gypsy-like career of Ronny Cedeno can find a home in Pittsburgh. Maybe it can happen if Cedeno can provide the “Piratas” with some consistent fielding, sprinkled in with an occasional shot of power–all done in the correct jersey, of course.
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