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Thursday, December 1, 2022

The Progression of Pedro Alvarez at First Base

Pedro Alvarez and Clint Hurdle both talked about his progress at the first base position today at Pirate City. Alvarez took grounders at first, working on the flip to first and the throw down to second base. He didn’t make many actual throws on the latter drill, instead focusing on fielding the ball. There was one throw in the video below, and that’s the only one I remember him making. Clint Hurdle said they were taking Alvarez back to square one this Spring, so that could explain the approach today. As for his foot injury from last season, Alvarez is fully healed and isn’t experiencing any limitations.

The video below is a new feature to the site, with comments from Alvarez and Hurdle on his progress at first base. It also includes video of his drills at the position today. If you would like to see the full video of the drills, check out the second video below.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Brian Bernard

Pedro reminds me of Dave Kingman. You just have to accept that he is a three outcome hitter who can get hot at times, and also go ice cold. Having Corey and Andrew as good options to replace him if needed is a good move by Neal. I think his defense fielding will be very good to excellent, although I think his ability to shag the throws will be what he struggles with. There is an ease that you see with the guys that do that really well, and in his VERY limited time last year I thought he looked uncomfortable only when he had to handle a short hop throw.
I’m still a supporter of Andrew Lambo. I didn’t see his hitting as slap hitting last year, I saw it as stinging line drives and that to me is a good sign of his confidence building. He may be good enough to give Josh Bell all the time he needs in the minors.


I’m not a fan of pedro as many of you know. I will say this though, I am willing to withhold judgement on him at first until he proves he can or cannot get the job done. That he has talent has never been the question, it’s always been why does that talent not translate consitently.


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. If Pedro hits .250, we’re winning a lot of games. Thing that bothers me is he seems to be able to hit better in, like, the #7 hole with less pressure than the #4 hole.

The one glaring need the Pirates have is a bona fide clean-up hitter and Pedro has NEVER given the indication he can thrive in that role.
“WHAM! A homer!! WHAM! Anudder homer! WHAM! WHAM!! WHAM!!!”

William Wallace

He also needs to get rid of his Mohican homage haircut.


Why ? What does that have to do with anything ? Because someone like you doesn’t like it ?

William Wallace

Nothing. I am being facetious. Everyone get’s on Pedro so I threw in the haircut. No offense intended to him or anyone else. Sorry.


Sorry here too WW. I guess the sarcasm font wasn’t apparent to me. I guess I have seen too many foolish comments over the years about him.


it’s a shame Bell is a little too far off. If Alvarez can recapture any of his 2013 glory, it would be wonderful if the Pirates could dump him in December and be over with all this.


blaine: He looked pretty good and came with what seems to be a positive attitude. From a team standpoint, we need that bat in the middle of the lineup, and he can set himself up for a big payday if he can get in the 25-35 HR range. There are no secrets that he will probably be gone after 2016, so lets hope his play this year will give the Pirates a solid negotiating position. Bell has been very impressive – how is his defense at 1B?


I agree his bat could be a major asset to this team and hope that it is. Even if he does put up two nice seasons, the most the Pirates will likely get for him is a 30ish pick in the 2017 draft. Which is why I’d like for the Pirates to be able to trade him this off-season…but Bell would really have to turn it up to be able to pull that off–well, either that, or the Pirates would have to go with a patchwork to cover the position until Bell is ready.

As for Bell’s defense? I’m not aware of any negatives and, with his athleticism and 2015 to learn the position, there doesn’t seem to be any reason to be fearful.

david jung

Tim, was Kevin Young there? I thought they hired Kevin to mentor Pedro.


According to this article, http://espn.go.com/mlb/story/_/id/12348433/pedro-alvarez-beats-pittsburgh-pirates-arbitration-gets-575-million, KY is there helping him to be the best 1B he can be. KY also did a similar transition(3B to 1B) though I don’t think it was due throwing issues was it?

david jung

On the video, Pedro says he hasn’t seen KY yet.


I’m still uneasy about him. Don’t get me wrong… you gotta try a guy who has led the league in HRs at one point in this position. And certainly, his fielding issues last season might have contributed to his struggling with the bat (which got better later in the season — but we’ve seen that before — before his injury). I hope his heart is into being a 1B.

He being a Boras client, I can’t help but think the Bucs are grooming him to sign somewhere else, and — yes — there’s a mutual benefit for his success. But I’d almost rather seen Andrew Lamb platoon the LH side of the bat opposite Hart, and get his reps in since he’s going to be a Pirate a lot longer than Pedro.

I’m totally open, though, to be talked off this ledge. I confess to having a bit of Pedro-fatigue.


So Long as defensively he isn’t an abomination at 1B, i think he’ll continue to play for 2-3 months in the season. He should be okay batting vs RHP. If he slumps badly, I think you’ll see Lambo in there. It really depends on the rest of the team too. If the Team wins, then all Alvarez has to do is play well defensively until hopefully his bat comes around. If not, he might be traded as a player who needs a change of scenery or different organization approach to his hitting. Yes Lambo hit well in AAA, but he has yet to prove consistency in MLB.


Good answer. Lambo actually hit well after his September call-up… but it wasn’t the power. He was somehow being a slap hitter. lol indeed, certainly not what Pedro has demonstrated when he is hitting the ball well. I think he’ll do fine defensively. It seemed to me he actually got better with the glove at 3B, it’s just the Steve Sax syndrome with the throw. I just hope his 2013 bat wasn’t a flash in the pan.


A Reversion back to the 2013 bat would be welcome and could very easily propel the Pirates into a competition for the division IF everyone stays healthy.

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