Lynchburg Hillcats Recap: Pedro Alvarez walks three times

Despite living about an hour away from Lynchburg for the past 14 years, I’ve never been to a game. That changed tonight, as I went to see Pedro Alvarez in action, along with Pirates’ prospects Matt Hague and Jordy Mercer.

I had two initial reactions to the field. First, the wall is double the height of a normal wall all the way around. It’s 390 to center field, but it would take a blast to hit a homer out in center (which is something I saw from one of the White Sox prospects). Second, the field is incredibly uneven. I was sitting in the second row on the first base side, and couldn’t see the foul line in left field. There was also a huge drop off behind first base in to foul territory.

As for the Pirates prospects, Pedro Alvarez really stood out. He was built like a major leaguer, the only player who really stood out with a large power hitting frame. Jordy Mercer is kind of tall and athletic looking for a shortstop, but displayed some horrible defense tonight. Matt Hague has almost a type of Matt Capps build, and was playing first base. He’s hitting over .300 this year, which is good combined with his solid start last season.

Alvarez walked in his first three at bats, before grounding in to a fielder’s choice, which would have been a double play if the shortstop didn’t drop the ball before throwing to first. He also had one error, a bouncing ball to third that took a big bounce then went between his legs in to the outfield.

Mercer crushed a fly ball to center in his first at bat, but the play was merely a fly out with good contact. He committed one big error, allowing a fast rolling ground ball to eat him up. Coincidentally this was one play before Pedro Alvarez committed his error. One play after that a ground ball was hit between the two, with neither player making a huge effort to go for it. Mercer also threw wild on a double play, missing the second out and missing the first base bag by about six feet. However, since a double play can’t be assumed, this wasn’t classified as an error. One game doesn’t make a career, so I don’t want to say Mercer’s defense is always going to be horrible, but Baseball America does consider him an offense first shortstop.

Hague got the only RBI with a fly ball to right field, but didn’t do much beyond that. He doesn’t look like the sharpest first baseman, bobbling a few grounders hit to him. Of course he’s been converted to first for obvious reasons (Pedro at third), so maybe there’s some adjustment issues. It could also be the field. Overall he wasn’t bad, just no gold glover.

The Hillcats got crushed 9-1. Alvarez, Hague, and Mercer combined to go 0 for 7 with four walks (Alvarez 3, Mercer 1) and one RBI (Hague).

Here are some pictures I took:

Pedro Alvarez at the plate…

Jordy Mercer at the plate…

Matt Hague at the plate…

A few shots of Alvarez on first base…

Matt Hague at first base…

Hague at first, Jose De Los Santos at second, and Mercer at short…

A video of Pedro Alvarez walking for the third time. About the extent of the offense tonight…

This next video is Matt Hague’s sac fly RBI. If you’re impressed with the quality, I also do weddings. In my defense, it was freezing, and I wasn’t looking at the screen in fear of getting killed by a line drive (we were about as close to home plate as the second base bag)…

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • Fla Pirate

    Nice pics Tim!

  • BarryJT

    I don’t know what to with Tabata, but the time has come to send Pedro down, give 3B to McGehee, and bring Hague back to platoon with Jones.

  • Randy Linville

    BarryJT – I’m with you. More on that in my next post…

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