When Pedro Alvarez was taken in the first round in the 2008 draft, there were two beliefs about his future. First was that he could be the big power bat that would anchor the middle of the Pirates' lineup for years to come. Second was that he might eventually have to move to first base, due to his size. Six years later, only one of those things is true, and unfortunately for the Pirates, it's not the good one.
Alvarez has struggled this year on both sides of the ball. His power just isn't there, with a .404 slugging percentage that represents a huge drop from previous years. He's been struggling defensively, but the surprising thing is that it's not really due to his size, as expected back when he was drafted. Instead, for whatever reason, he can't make the throw to first base anymore.
The Pirates have replaced Alvarez at third base with Josh Harrison, who has been better than Alvarez in every way this year. It's still too early to say whether Harrison's performance this year is ...
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.