Monday, April 11, 2016

Oriole #1007- Pedro Alvarez

As I've mentioned while writing my last two debut posts highlighting Joey Rickard and Mark Trumbo, any time there are multiple debuts in the same game, I use fielding position numbers (1-9) as a tiebreaker. And although Pedro also made his Orioles debut on Opening Day, he served as the designated hitter in that game, so is the last of the three players to have officially made his debut in the O's first game of 2016. 

Pedro didn't officially sign with the Orioles until the day after I came back home from Sarasota, but I actually saw him at the Orioles complex on the last day of my trip; presumably he was there to take his physical. So that makes sense given that the Orioles physical/signing process generally seems to take something like 2-3 days to complete. They are certainly known for their "thorough" process, just ask Grant Balfour or Yovani Gallardo.

Thankfully, I've made a connection with a few fellow Orioles autograph collectors in Sarasota, and Alan was kind enough to help me out with Pedro (and Hyun Soo Kim), neither of whom signed for me on my trip (more about Kim in his post that will be up in a few days). Some of you might remember Alan for his winning a contest and being included in the Topps Heritage Minors set a couple years back. I've heard that Pedro isn't the best signer, so I was extremely happy that Alan was able to not only get my Old Man Card signed, but also personalized for me!

Pedro was the Pirates first round draft pick in the 2008 draft (the Orioles selected Brian Matusz two picks later), and he had a bit of an up and down career during his six seasons in Pittsburgh. He struggled defensively at third and later first base, and while he did make the 2013 All-Star team and hit 131 homeruns, including 30+ two times, he also struck out 813 times and struggled to hit for average.

Between being a Scott Boras client, and some salary demands, it was not too surprising to see that he was still unsigned in early March. After the Orioles deal for Dexter Fowler fell apart, they turned their attention to Pedro and signed him to a one year $5.75 million deal.

He has struggled a bit for the Orioles so far, and has just one hit over fifteen at-bats in five games. He has walked three times and only struck our four times, so it could be worse. But I'm hoping that his power potential shows up sometime soon.

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