Pedro Alvarez has taken more criticism since being drafted than any other Pittsburgh Pirates player in recent memory. Some of it is deserved, but most of it isn’t. Alvarez is an impressive human being and a good baseball player. He finished tied for the NL lead in home runs in 2013 with 36. Alvarez was an All-Star this season, and he has arguably been the Pirates’ best offensive player in the NLDS.
Overall in the postseason, Alvarez has a .308/.375/.846 slash line and a 1.221 OPS. He has two home runs and five RBIs in 13 at-bats. He was responsible for the only Pirates’ run in Game 1 of the NLDS, he hit a two-run home run in the third inning of Game 2 and in Game 3, he hit the go-ahead double in the eighth inning.
His eighth-inning double came against St. Louis Cardinals‘ lefty Kevin Siegrist. Siegrist came into the game with a 0.45 ERA and Alvarez hasn’t hit lefties well, so all the odds were stacked against him; he got the job done anyway.
Even though Pirates fans would like to see Alvarez strike out less, they are going to have to learn to accept him for what he is: a baseball player that will strike out 200 times but hit 30 to 45 home runs per year and drive in runs consistently. In his first postseason appearances, he is already proving to be a good playoff performer.
Who knows if Alvarez is going to develop the reputation of a clutch postseason performer like Derek Jeter or Carlos Beltran, but he’s certainly off to a great start.