Advance Scouting Report

Filed by: Jeff Moore

Player Name: Pedro Alvarez

Context: Eight games from 9/15 – 9/22




1st P






















Sample vs. Season:

This was a bad stretch for Alvarez, who was below his season norms in every statistical aspect.




Hit Tool

· Pedro Alvarez is not a good hitter. He has holes in his swing and poor bat-to-ball skills that lead to a low batting average and among the highest swing-and-miss totals in the league. He has a 40 hit tool at the major-league level.

· He has a patient approach at the plate that leads to deep counts and a lot of strikeouts. He’s a real three-true-outcomes hitter who, in most situations, is looking for a pitch to drive over the fence.

· When the ball is down, he has a strong tendency to roll over pitches or swing over the top of them. On the ground, he is a strong pull hitter. As the pitch is elevated, he does a better job of using the whole field.

· He is at his best when he can get his arms extended and gets a pitch up in the strike zone.

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

· Alvarez has a tendency to bail out/pull off pitches against LHPs, leading to pop-ups on fastballs on the outer half.

· Until he gets two strikes on him, he still tries to pick out a pitch to drive. He does change his approach with two strikes and will use the whole field, but still bails out.

· He struggles badly with slow curveballs unless they are up in the zone. Has big troubles laying off curveballs on outer half.

· Against RHPs, Alvarez does a better job staying on the ball and reaching the outer half of the strike zone.

· He is extremely susceptible to soft stuff away, especially when he’s down in the count.

Notable At-bats



9/21, Bot. 6 vs. Zach Duke

Facing a situational lefty, Alvarez showed a patient approach to get to a 3-2 count. He was looking for a pitch to drive until two strikes, but then changed his approach, shortened his swing, and looked to go the other way, away from the shift the infield had employed. He lined a fastball to LF for an RBI single.


· Power is Alvarez’s game, and is the reason he is an everyday player despite the holes in his swing. He doesn’t have to make his best contact to get a ball out of the park. He has 80 raw power that grades out as 70-75 useable power in games because of his issues making contact.

· He has more pull power than anywhere else, but he does spray the ball around in the outfield much more than in the infield and he has plenty of power to leave the park in any direction.

vs. LHP

vs. RHP

· Alvarez frequently looks for pitches up in the zone to drive, even against LHPs.

· Against LHPs his tendency to bail out and pull off pitches limits his power to the pull side.

· Will frequently swing through/over backdoor curveballs and sliders on the outer half.

Notable At-bats



9/17, HR vs. Ian Kennedy

See chart and explanation below.

Text Box: During this sample of Pedro Alvarez, he connected on just one home run.  It was an at-bat that epitomized Alvarez as a hitter.  He got a first-pitch curveball down in the zone, but swung over top of it, expanding the zone below his knees.  He consistently has trouble laying off of these pitches, and frequently expands the zone downward.  On the next pitch, Ian Kennedy made a mistake with a fastball (a 92 mph two-seam sinker down the middle) and Alvarez crushed it.  If you make your pitches against Alvarez, he will miss them and get himself out with a strikeout or weak contact.  What makes Alvarez a dangerous hitter is the damage he does when a pitcher does make a mistake.


Alvarez runs better than his reputation or body type would lead you to believe. He’s not fast by any stretch and still comes in at below-average speed, but he’s not a base-clogger. Once he gets moving, he moves well; he’s just not very quick off the jump or to full speed. He did steal a base off of a LHP during this stretch.

Conclusions and Means of Attack

Alvarez is a hitter teams can go after, but they must do so carefully. Keep the ball down in the zone or below it and he will likely get himself out, either by swinging through pitches (see Chart A below) or making weak contact to the right side of the infield. He is among the league leaders in swing-and-miss percentage and much of that comes below the strike zone.

If a pitcher makes a mistake to Alvarez, he can take it out to any part of the field. He does the most damage when he is able to get his arms extended up and away or in the typical left-handed low-and-in hot zone (see Chart B below).

He is an extreme pull hitter on the infield and routinely hits into the three-man shift on the right side of the infield. On pitches up in the zone, he is much more judicious with his spray chart, using the whole field and letting the pitch location dictate where he hits the ball.

It’s easy to get ahead of Alvarez, who is generally a patient hitter. He clearly looks for a pitch he can drive early in counts, and has trouble recognizing good breaking pitches and laying off of them. Fastballs down and away will get him behind in the count, and breaking pitches down and away will finish him off. The only threat with Alvarez is that, when a pitcher misses his spot, he does more damage than most hitters. He has upper-tier power and heads to the plate with the sole intention of using it, and if a mistake is made, he can put it in the seats.

Alvarez is worth being careful with, but he’s not someone who you have to give in to. He will expand the zone and get himself out, and it’s important for the pitcher to err on the proper side of his target to avoid giving up a home run.

Matchup Stats at a Glance

First Pitch Swing

8/31 plate appearances

Bunt Threat (Sac, Push, Drag)

Did not show bunt

Defensive Positioning

Infield used three-man shift on right side


Outfield plays primarily straight up with slight opposite field shift


vs. LHP

.178/.252/.279 on the season

vs. RHP

.246/.306/.523 on the season

Chart A

Chart B

Thank you for reading

This is a free article. If you enjoyed it, consider subscribing to Baseball Prospectus. Subscriptions support ongoing public baseball research and analysis in an increasingly proprietary environment.

Subscribe now
You need to be logged in to comment. Login or Subscribe
Pedro makes me sad, I hope they pump up his value in 2014 and 2015 and then trade him. I hope the have a good 3rd base replacement by then, maybe they can move one of the catchers to third?
If he is what he is right now, then he's still a useful player. I'll bet a lot of teams would like to have a 3B who can lead the league in HR, even if he bats .220. Just balance the lineup out with higher average/contact guys. Hurdle has done a good job mixing and matching his platoons this year, and you guys are in the playoffs, so it can't be too bad. If you guys beat my Reds today, I'll root for the Bucs to down the Cards for sure.
What do the colored dots indicate?
Sorry, I know they're supposed to indicate where the ball went, but I'm not sure on the details.

For example, do the green dots indicate where the ground ball stopped rolling? If so, one of Pedro's ground balls seems to have rolled to the wall. I wouldn't think that would be possible, unless the RF and CF both fainted or something. Maybe that hit was what I would think of as a line-drive, but qualifies as a ground ball under the spray-chart definition of the term?
Even if it rolled to the wall, he still could have been thrown out at first base!
Giving Alvarez a 40 hit tool may even be generous.