Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alex Presley Edition

Alex Presley played 2011 like a man on a mission, with a slash of .298/.339/.465 in 52 games, and chased Jose Tabata from left to right field. He was penciled in as a starter in 2012, but that didn't work out so well for him as he encountered a tough sophomore slump. The arrival of Starling Marte in left, Travis Snider as another LH outfielder and a remaining minor-league option has put his MLB journey in jeopardy this season. But he's had his moments...

  • Presley led the Pirates in 2012 with a career-high seven triples and hit double digit homers (10) for the first time in the show. Unfortunately, his slash was just .237/.279/.405. Bill James projects him to be part-time in 2013, with a slash of .288/.343/.447 and 8 HR; ZIPS is less kind, although their numbers are based on being a full-time player, with a line of .260/.308/.419 with 13 HR.
  • From the reports we've read, like John Sickels', Presley is considered primarily as a MLB fourth outfielder. His speed and defensive ability are offset by poor plate discipline - his K rate is fine, but he doesn't draw walks - and a below average arm.
  • On April 20th, 2012, Presley became the first Pirate since Freddy Sanchez in 2008 to hit an inside-the-park homer, leading off the Bucco first with the bang off the center field fence that knocked CF Skip Schumaker for a loop after he and the ball bounced off the wall. It was the highlight of a 4-1 loss to the Cards and Lance Lynn at PNC Park.
  • He collected his first walk-off hit on April 7th last season against the Phils in front of a sold-out house at PNC Park when Presley barely legged out a 10th inning, two-out dribbler into the shortstop hole to score Mike McKenry in a 2-1 win over the Phils and Joe Blanton.
  • Last year was the first time that the outfielder broke camp with the team, and he was the Opening Day starter in left field and batted leadoff. He was sent back down twice before September.
  • Presley was promoted to the major leagues and added to the 40-man roster on September 6th, 2010, and made his MLB debut two days later, singling for his first MLB hit off Atlanta Braves pitcher Cristhian Martínez.
  • The outfielder was the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year & a MiLB.com organizational All-Star in 2010 and a post-season International League All-Star in 2011. Baseball America selected him among its Top Twenty 2011 IL Prospects.
  • He was the first Indy player to hit for the cycle, performing the feat against Toledo on June 27th, 2010. Presley also claimed the first pro hit off Stephen Strasburg, a double on April 11th, 2010, while with the Curve.
  • 2010 was his breakout year. After a pair of poor seasons in A ball, the blush was off his bloom, but he responded with a .320/.373/.494 slash with 12 HR, 85 RBI and 86 runs between Altoona and Indy.
  • Some hacks - mea culpa - call Presley "The King," a nickname he's had a long time, being southern and a Presley. He's grown to accept it (the Pirates even claim he's a great clubhouse singer in his own right), but not really embrace it. His old twitter handle was AlexNotElvis.
  • Presley was born on July 25th, 1985 in Monroe, Louisiana. He graduated from Neville High School, where he was twice named to the first team All-State team, and attended the University of Mississippi. From there, he was chosen in the 8th round (230th overall) of the 2006 Draft, receiving a $95,000 signing bonus after being scouted by Darren Mazeroski.

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