An impressive spring by a first baseman may have cost outfielder Alex Presley his spot with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gaby Sanchez put on a power display this spring with four home runs and 11 RBIs, earning the starting spot a first base. Incumbent first baseman Garrett Jones was then put in the outfield, which may have cost Presley a chance at sticking with the club.
The move isn’t a complete surprise because Presley did have a minor league option left, but when Felix Pie didn’t make the team, I thought Presley had won the position. Instead, that final roster spot has gone to infielder Josh Harrison.
Presley had a good spring but was a victim of a numbers game that had little chance of breaking in his favor. He did a good job improving on the things he needed to like taking more walks and hitting for a better average. It should leave a good impression with manager Clint Hurdle and general manager Neal Huntington, the men that will decide Presley’s future.
I have no doubt that Presley will be the next man up when there is an injury. When that happens, he will need to take advantage of the opportunity because at the age of 27, he is no longer a prospect. If he doesn’t show off his power and speed potential, he will likely get cut and join the huge pool of fringe players looking for a job in the majors. That is a career path no player wants to take.