Pirates Neil Walker, Pedro Alvarez Interview From IMG Academy


Well, it’s just a few days until the Pittsburgh Pirates head to spring training, but to think that Pedro Alvarez, Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen have been working out at the IMG Acadmey makes me feel pretty good about the Bucs.     In fact, I feel like some cars parked beyond the fences are going to get destroyed with Alvarez, Walker and McCutchen rolling into camp already in above average shape.  It’s hard to describe, but it seems like all three of them get it.

"Pedro Alvarez: Before, some guys would show up to Spring Training to get into shape. Nowadays, you have to come into Spring Training in the best shape you can or you’ll be behind everyone else."

Alvarez is always a man of a few words, but he’s got a great sense of humor.  His humor comes out in this interview, he seems loose.

Remember how awful spring training was for Alvarez last season?  One year ago, El Toro was not loose.  Pedro was working on what looked like a dance routine.  Remember the toe tap, the insane work he was doing with his swing?

Remember, Neal Huntington making the announcment that Pedro was coming North with the team before spring training ended?  It was scary times a year ago.  How Alvarez has turned around is pretty cool.

Seeing Walker fielding ground balls is a thing of beauty.  It’s been awhile.  Before we get to caught up in spring training fever, go check out the solid interview the IMG Academy has up on its’ blog.  Maybe you’ll get the fever to.


We wrote this article last March, A Simple, Non-Batting Coach Analysis of the Swing of Pedro Alvarez  and here is a clip from it:

"And the most important part of a Major League Baseball position player, his swing, looks different. Very different.Can there be any more movement in the 2012 swing of Pedro Alvarez? Look at it. Check out everything that is going on here with the new batting stance, a toe tap, loading – hell, he does everything except look comfortable at the plate."

Well maybe it is comfortable for him after all? Pirates Prospects grabbed some video of the swing in action against left hander Justin Wilson and right hander Kyle McPherson.   Still…we hate this swing.

There were a few things that came to our mind when Neal Huntington made the announcement that Pedro Alvarez was headed north with the team.

Did he do it for Pedro’s psyche–his confidence? One can only imagine how difficult it must be implementing this new batting stance/dance. Perhaps this will relax Alvarez?

We were glad that Huntington made the announcement when he did. There will be enough time now for everyone to get their questions out of the way, argue about it on the KDKA Sports Showdown, and comment on blogs and online.

The other options are just not appealing to us. We know many of you have reasons for wanting Pedro to go to AAA. For us, watching Josh Harrison, Yamaico Navarro, or Casey McGehee at third base doesn’t cut it. McGehee struggled mightily last season and will be under the microscope soon enough.

Bottom line: Pedro knows what he needs to do. Apparently, we can reach the conclusion that the swing is the reason for his struggles in 2011.

The time has come for Pedro. It’s “go” time. We think it sucks that he is headed into the season with this new look stance, but we never said we were hitting gurus. That is what Clint Hurdle is the expert at solving, right?