Thoughts on Pirates' lineup, Pedro Alvarez 

April, 23, 2013

Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Pedro Alvarez continues to be dropped by many of his fantasy owners, to the point that he's owned in barely half of ESPN standard leagues. But after he mashed his third home run of the season Monday night -- and more importantly, his third in five days -- it sure seems time for a reminder about who this guy is from a statistical aspect. Alvarez swings and misses quite a bit and he doesn't hit for a high batting average, but the power is very much legitimate, which is why it seems a bit strange that a 16th-rounder in ESPN average live drafts is available in so many leagues available just three weeks into the season.

Sure, owning Alvarez isn't a party all the time, but owners who stuck with him have been rewarded in the past week, and there are more good things to come. This isn't Adam Dunn, after all, even though Alvarez entered Monday with the fourth-lowest batting average among qualifiers for the batting title, hitting a Dunn-like .125. (Only Aaron Hicks, Dunn and Jason Heyward were worse.) On Monday, Alvarez added 25 points to that batting average with his first multihit game of the season, as he also singled. Tony Gwynn he's not, but Alvarez will, believe it or not, continue to raise his current .150 batting average, maybe even 100 points if he continues to make small strides with his walk rate and grows a bit more competent against lefty pitchers.