On Saturday, Pittsburgh Pirates management saw everything they wanted from Alex Presley. He batted leadoff, hit two doubles, worked two walks and scored the team’s lone run. He brought his batting average up to .294 for the spring. Even with all this going for him Presley is likely to start the year at AAA Indianapolis.
You see Presley has one thing going against him, he has a minor league option left. Starling Marte, Travis Snider and Jose Tabata are all likely to make the big league club coming out of camp and that leaves little room on the roster for Presley. Instead he will be in the unenviable position of waiting for someone to either struggle or get hurt so that he can get the call.
This of course is nothing new for Presley because he just isn’t a star player. He is a fourth or fifth outfielder that can hold down a starting job for a brief period of time, at least until a better option comes around. He has two big holes in his game that go against him. First, he doesn’t have much patience at the plate. In 370 plate appearances with the Pirates last season he walked only 18 times while collecting 72 whiffs. Second, he has speed, but that doesn’t translate into stolen bases. Last year he stole only nine bases in 16 attempts.
So Presley is likely to go to the minors to start the season and wait. The one upside is that when he finally does get recalled it will use up his last minor league option.