Pedro Alvarez hit two home runs today, both of which came on off-speed pitches. That's been the case with all of his home runs this year, with three homers coming off the changeup, and one coming off a curve ball. On the flip side, Alvarez has struggled against fastballs this year, with a late swing always putting him behind on the pitch.
You would think that teams would pound the strike zone with fastballs because of this trend. In fact, I had a few people suggest that on Twitter. But that hasn't been the case. It's been the exact opposite.
Heading in to today's games, opposing teams have thrown Alvarez a fastball 41.9% of the time. That's down from 52% last year. The most common secondary pitch? The changeup. Alvarez has seen a changeup 22.3% of the time.
The good news is that Alvarez hasn't looked overmatched against the off-speed stuff. That's the only thing he's hitting right now. And he's hitting well lately.
At the start of the season, Alvarez was 1-for-20 with 12 strikeouts...
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 AccuScore.com, 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.