Our 2011 fantasy baseball projections will be released one-by-one until the top 100 players have been revealed. These rankings consider past achievements, current performance and expected future results based on standard 5×5 H2H settings.
Pittsburgh Pirates’ third baseman Pedro Alvarez displayed impressive power in his rookie season, whacking 16 HRs in just 347 at-bats. He also showed the willingness to walk (9.6 percent walk rate), but whiffed on strike three a whopping 34.3 percent of the time.
Alvarez’s contact rate (69.7 percent) is perhaps most concerning, but the 24-year-old should improve as he gains more big league experience.
Pirates’ manager Clint Hurdle has been tight-lipped on his plans for the team’s lineup, but Alvarez is expected to bat cleanup behind Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata and Neil Walker. Either way, it’s important for Hurdle to find a winning combination and stick with it.
In 258 at-bats in the five hole last year, Alvarez hit .295 with 15 HRs and 56 RBI. In his other 89 at-bats, he was juggled between second, fourth, sixth and ninth in the Pirates’ lineup, and hit just .146 with one HR and eight RBI.
There were reports earlier this spring that Alvarez had added 15 pounds over the offseason, tipping the scale at a hefty 240. The Pirates have disputed this, but have expressed concern in his conditioning. Alvarez will remain at third base for the foreseeable future, but first base is his likely future destination, a move that would put a dent in his fantasy value.
For now, the left-handed slugger checks in as the 11th ranked third baseman on my 2011 big board, No. 93 overall.
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Image courtesy of: Michael G. Baron
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Tags: Pedro Alvarez