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When camp broke at the end of spring, the Pirates faithful were visibly frustrated when Pedro Alvarez was named the starting third baseman for 2012 following a spring training performance that would've made hitting the Mendoza line look nice.
The start of the season wasn't too kind for Pedro as well when he struggled to get any kind of production in the early goings, but then, mid-way through April, he seemed to find his power stroke. He currently leads the Pirates in home runs (7) and RBI (16) mid-way through May. But he also leads the team in strikeouts (37).
Early in the season, Alvarez showed signs of hope that his power stroke returned by hitting long outs to the deepest parts of the park in left field. Eventually that turned into a home run, and once he hit his first, he kept hitting them. As soon as he went on a home-run drought, the average and hits went down as well.
Over a 12-game stretch, Pedro had hits in 10 games from April 21 against St. Louis through May 4 against Cincinnati. During that stretch, Alvarez raised his batting average from .067 to .260 and his on-base percentage .097 to .305. Since then, he has had just two hits in 25 at-bats to drop his average to .214 and OBP to .282.
At one point in the stretch, Pedro had a seven-game hitting streak, a stretch of three straight and five of six games with two hits. He also had five homers in that stretch and three in a four-game period.
Pedro has started to struggle recently, however, hitting just .095 with only one RBI in the last six games, while striking out 11 times.
Alvarez does have the ability, but he needs to get more consistent. Stretches like these, both the high and the low, have shown that he is still young, but continues to develop. Something needs to knock him out of the slump, and I think a long home run would do just that.