Moving across the infield to look at some of the third basemen in the Pirates' organization:

Chase Lyles  --  R/R,  6' 2",  210 lb
Lyles was chosen by the Pirates in the 32nd round of the 2010 draft.  He reported to State College, where he played third base and DH-ed (plus one game at shortstop).  Lyles started on a tear, hitting .327 with 2 homers and 11 RBI in 13 games in June.  He dropped off in July though, with a .204 average but two more homers and another 13 RBI.  August was a little better, at .217, another 2 homers, and 9 RBI in 14 games.  Lyles did have a nice last week of the season, going 5-for-17 (.294).  All that combined to give him a .241 average with 6 homers and 33 RBI for the season.  Lyles struck out 34 times and walked 24 times, neither really high or really low.  The 24-year-old should be able to move up to West Virginia for 2011.  He's even a little bit older for that level -- he's going to need to show the Pirates some improvement this season so that he can keep moving up.  

Eric Avila  --  R/R,  6' 1",  165 lb
The 20-year-old Dominican has been in the Pirates' organization for four years, with three of those spent in the Dominican Summer League.  By his third season there, he'd boosted his batting average to .315 with 9 homers, though he was getting older for that league.  Avila made his US debut with the GCL Pirates in 2010, where he played for the whole season.  In 54 games, he hit a solid .277 and showed some power:  15 doubles, a triple, 7 homers, and 29 RBI.  Those 7 homers put him into a tie for the GCL home run leader, and he was also tied for second in the league in doubles.  His average tailed off a bit in August, when he dropped to a .239 average, though he still drove in 10 runs and had 2 homers.  Avila played all but two of his games last season at third base, but he has played some short and second base in the DSL.  Avila could be placed at either State College or West Virginia for 2011.  Lyles and Kelson Brown (who is listed as a shortstop, but also played third last year) will probably have priority at West Virginia, so that might squeeze Avila to State College.

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