Wednesday, June 4, 2008

El Matatan....

Pedro Manuel Alvarez, 21 was born in New York City and played his scholastic ball at Horace Mann HS. His nicknames are "El Toro" and "El Matatan," (the Boss) and his favorite players are Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz.

The 6'2", 195 pound Vandy junior third baseman is batting .315 with 9 home runs and 29 RBIs in 39 games this year. He broke a hamate bone in his hand, which is an injury most guys recover from without any long term hitches. Alvarez had a terrible SEC tournament, but has recovered his stroke during the NCAA's.

In 2007, he was a selected as a first-team All-American by Baseball America, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and second-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball and the American Baseball Coaches Association. He finished the year batting .386 with 18 homers and 68 RBI. Alvarez posted 29 multi-hit and 20 multi-RBI games, along with a 24-game hit streak.

He was named the National Freshman of the Year by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and in 2006. Alvarez hit for a .361 average with 7 homers and 27 RBIs. He had 22 multi-hit and 13 multi-RBI games, and stole 7 bases in 10 tries. He showed good patience at the plate, walking 57 times with an OBP of .456.

He also has two years under his belt playing for Team USA. Last summer, he hit .315 in international play with 30 RBIs and 7 long balls. Alvarez hit .382 to lead the team, with 40 RBIs and 5 HR's, in 2006.

Not only does he boast a muscle bat, but he's supposed to be a good head in the locker room, too. It's tough to top the package he's touted to be, especially in a draft that's supposed to be top-loaded but not very deep.

According to Saber Scouting, Alvarez has an impact bat with a great track record against elite pitching and with wood bats, an average or better defensive package at the hot corner, and great makeup. adds that Alvarez is as about as safe a bet as there is. He's is a polished and poised hitter and should hit for average in the big leagues and for at least average power. He should be OK to stay at third (his arm and range are considered average), but he'd probably make a pretty good first baseman.

Alvarez entered the season as the top player talent-wise in the draft, and even though he missed a chunk of the season after suffering a broken hamate bone, his status hasn't suffered. The only thing that could affect his draft slot are perceived bonus demands, but it's unlikely that'll force any huge slide.

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