Kevin Rhoderick went to Horizon High in Arizona with Tim Alderson. In an ESPN the magazine article, Rhoderick, who was an accomplished pitcher at Oregon State and a 2010 pick of the Chicago Cubs, called Alderson an ‘absolute beast’ when they went to Horizon High in Arizona.
Most of us are familar with Alderson. He was the player the San Francisco Giants sent the Pittsburgh Pirates for Freddy Sanchez. Alderson was a a super hyped prospect that fizzled when he became a Pirate. In the span of just over a year, Alderson’s explosive fastball had become a soaking wet M-80, the hammer curve had become flat as an IHOP pancacke.
He had went from being a possible key fixture in the loaded, World Champion San Francisco Giants pitching future, to an A-level pitcher hurling for the Bradenton Marauders as part of a Major League Baseball club that had the worst record in the game.
So the article states that Alderson went back to Arizona to sort it all out this offseason. In the article, Rhoderick said this about Alderson. “Dude, it’s obvious. You’re pushing the ball. Relax and pretend you’re throwing darts.” We aren’t scouts. We aren’t real good at darts either, but we never knew that was something to remember when pitching.
The work Alderson did in the offseason might not have made the Pirates the type of headlines they were looking for, but it certainly caught the eyes of Pirates fans. What personally sent us over the top was when Rhoderick said that he could “just tell he’s (Alderson) getting back to that stage where he thinks…No One Can Touch Me.”
Rhoderick knows what he is talking about. But it was our mission to see for ourselves. When we entered Pirate City this week, we planted ourselves by the bullpens praying to get a glimpse of Alderson. What transpired was the video you are about to see. No, we didn’t have a gun on him, but some scouts were equally impressed with what they saw. He threw 25 pitches. The fastball had life, the breaking ball looked better. Sure he has work to do, but the smile on Alderson’s face, that unfortunately was cut off the video, was a beaming twenty-mile wide grin as he shook hands with his catcher.
Is Alderson going to become the next ace of the Pirates staff? It’s doubtful. He has a lot of work to do in order to climb back through the ranks of the Pirates system. He certainly should be able to do that, but how will he react when failure creeps back in again? The upcoming season will prove or disprove all of our questions. Like the big one we have, could he possess the makeup to close ballgames?
Maybe one day soon all of our answers will come, but for just one day it was nice to see just what all the buzz was about.
Well, there it was. Decide for yourself. For us, we agree with Alderson when he said the following sentence to Rhoderick to conclude the ESPN article:
"“Dude, I can throw a baseball again.” Tim Alderson"
And that’s a big start.
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