Last season Pedro Alvarez saw his first chance at playing every day at third base. He made the most of it for what some call a breakout season. He had thirty homers and knocked in eighty-five runs while scoring sixty-four. That’s pretty good for the first full season at the big league level. Honestly his partial season numbers from the seasons before last season also looked good when you consider they were part time.
The Pittsburgh Pirates need Alvarez to make another move however. Just as he went from decent part time player to a full time mini-breakout player; they need him to take another large step forward. To do that he needs to accomplish two things with one major condition attached. First thing he needs to do is cut way down on strikeouts. Alvarez struck out one-hundred eighty times last year. Even for a power hitter that is a lot. The second thing is his batting average of .244. He can do better in both categories.
The crucial condition is that he needs to cut strikeouts and bring that average up without seeing a huge reduction in power numbers. A lot of power guys strikeout a lot because of how aggressive they are at the plate. You don’t want him to lose that aggressiveness at the plate, just take a few more balls and swing at a few more strikes. If Alvarez can do that well enough over the next couple of seasons, the Pirates would have at least two elite everyday players. That’s enough to build a consistent winner around.