Pedro Alvarez hit a home run off Atlanta Braves lefty Mike Minor today. Given all of the talk of his declining bat speed and inability to catch up to fastballs (http://whygavs.com/pittsburgh-pirates/april-2012/jim-callis-on-pedro-alvarez.html), it was encouraging to see him accomplish this against his biggest weakness at the moment: a fastball from a left-handed pitcher. While the fastball was up, and it was only 89 mph, there are a few things that make it more encouraging than normal.
First, the ball was an absolute rope; it was hit on a line and got out of the ball park in a hurry. This is the second home run of this type that I’ve seen him hit (of what I’ve been able to glean from highlights on mlb.com), and if he continues to hit line drives, base hits will follow.
Second, the (biased) color man for Root Sports said that Pedro’s swing was “short” and quick”. I am inclined to agree (I’ve watched it like 15 times, it’s all I can watch and I’m starved for Pirates). It certainly wasn’t an Alex Presley swing, but it wasn’t nearly as long to the ball as I am used to seeing from Pedro, and he yanked it down the line. In short I am optimistic that this bodes well for Pedro going forward.
As I write this, Yamaico Navarro has hit a two run home run (another line drive) to break the five run barrier! A celebration is in order. It also tells me that Minor might be a little bit off….so maybe a little caution is in order for Pedro Alvarez.