Tag:Alex Presley
Posted on: November 26, 2011 1:46 pm
 

Homegrown Team: Pittsburgh Pirates

Jose Bautista

By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no waivers, no minor- or major-league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams.

In 2011 the Pirates extended their streak of losing seasons to 19, finishing 72-90 after a promising start. However, there are signs of the team finally putting it together, with much of their talent coming from within the organization. Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker are among the future stars the team has drafted and kept. If Pittsburgh had been able to keep a couple more of its homegrown players, the Pirates could at the very least be looking at fielding a winning team.

Lineup

1. Andrew McCutchen, CF
2. Neil Walker, 2B
3. Jose Bautista, RF
4. Aramis Ramirez, 3B
5. Ryan Doumit, 1B
6. Jeff Keppinger, SS
7. Ronny Paulino, C
8. Nyjer Morgan, LF

Starting Rotation

1. Paul Maholm
2. Bronson Arroyo
3. Tom Gorzelanny
4. Brad Lincoln
5. Chris Young

Bullpen

Closer - Juan Oviedo (Leo Nunez)
Set up - Matt Capps, Mike Gonzlaez, John Grabow, Sean Burnett, Tony Watson
Long - Tim Wakefield, Zack Duke

Notable Bench Players

Pedro Alvarez, Rajai Davis, Brent Lillibridge, Nate McLouth, Alex Presley

What's Good?

The top of the lineup is the envy of just about any organization -- there's speed at the top and power throughout the first four batters. Jose Bautista will forever be the one that got away, but not just for the Pirates, who drafted him in 2000, but also for the Orioles, Rays, Royals and Mets, who all acquired -- a got rid of -- Bautista at some point. But still, the Pirates had him twice and are now watching him blossom as one of the game's best players while in a different uniform. In addition to the top of the lineup, the bottom of the lineup isn't too bad, while the bullpen is stout. 

What's Not?

The rotation isn't going to intimidate too many batters, but the team will put up some runs and leads have a good chance of being held with that bullpen. Keppinger is a solid bat and makes all the plays in front of him, but doesn't quite have the range most teams look for at shortstop. He can play there, but it isn't an ideal spot.

Comparison to real 2011

The Pirates rotation overachieved in the first half of 2011 and flopped in the second -- as Pittsburgh went 25-47 after finding themselves trailing by just a game in the NL Central at the All-Star break. While this lineup would put up more runs, its starters would allow more. That said, the improved lineup and bullpen would be good for several more wins and probably even give the team a winning record. 

Up next: Chicago Cubs

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Posted on: September 20, 2011 2:03 am
 

Upton hits a broken-bat homer



Alex PresleyBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Look at that photo above, and then look at the one to the right.

There is absolutely no reason for the two to be taken of the same play. But they were.

Really. Watch it here.

Yep, Justin Upton's 31st home run of the season was literally unbelievable. Pirates pitcher Jeff Carstens thought he made a great pitch on a 3-0 count. Carstens watched his 87-mph sinker shatter Upton's bat. By all logic, it should have been an easy out for left fielder Alex Presley. Instead, it landed in the left field stands.

The barrel ended up just beyond third base, while the ball went much further.

"When I saw the bat go flying, I thought it would hang up and I'd catch it like normal," Presely told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Rob Biertempfel. "I got back there in time and thought I was going to be able to make a play, but it didn't work out." 

After the game, Karstens told the Pittsburgh Trubune-Review: "All you can do is tip your cap to him. The bat snapped in half and the ball still went out. NO reason to be mad over it."

But really, Karsten's face right after the homer said even more:

Jeff Karstens 

It was the only run the Diamondbacks would score, but the only one they needed as Arizona's Ian Kennedy allowed just two hits in eight inning, while closer J.J. Putz picked up the save. 

Pittsburgh has scored just one run over its last 25 innings and is now tied with Chicago for fourth place in the National League Central.

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Posted on: September 9, 2011 9:21 pm
Edited on: September 9, 2011 9:23 pm
 

Presley's gaffe gives Infante another homer

By Matt Snyder

The Marlins are absolutely having their way with the Pirates Friday night, as the score was 13-2 through five innings. Marlins second baseman Omar Infante has two home runs and five RBI, but he got some help on the three-run shot from Pirates left fielder Alex Presley. Presley should have made the catch, but instead the ball bounced off his mitt and over the wall.

See the video below, courtesy of MLB.com.



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Posted on: August 20, 2011 11:53 am
 

Presley not ready for return to Pirates

PresleyBy Evan Brunell

Even though the Pirates have sunk out of the division race and are scrapping to hang onto a .500 record, there are still some bright spots the team can take away from the season.

One such bright spot is rookie Alex Presley, who hit .333/.402/.494 in 93 plate appearance before suffering an injury to his left hand. While Presley was certainly playing over his head, it's still possible the 26-year-old could have long-term value to the team, but he needs to play more for that to be determined. Manager Clint Hurdle told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazettethat the outfielder is still a ways away from rejoining Pittsburgh even though he's made seven rehab appearances in Triple-A already.

"He is still working through some issues of trust with that top hand -- the thumb -- getting it in play, getting the barrel out in front, letting the ball travel, get deep," Hurdle said. "He's got to take at least another step or two along those lines before we'd be ready to recall him here. ... Subconsciously, those can hinder you a little bit."

When Presley returns, he'll have to fight for playing time among an increasingly crowded outfield that holds Andrew McCutchen, Jose Tabata, Ryan Ludwick, Xavier Paul, Matt Diaz, Garrett Jones and Steve Pearce, although the latter two primarily man first base.

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Posted on: July 25, 2011 2:04 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 2:07 pm
 

Alvarez back up with Pirates

By Matt Snyder

After a brief stint in the minors, Pedro Alvarez has been recalled to the Pirates as a corresponding move to the ballclub placing Alex Presley on the 15-day disabled list with a thumb injury.

Alvarez was promoted to the big leagues last season as one of the top prospects in baseball. He was expected to man the hot corner for the Pirates for the foreseeable future, yet when he returned from injury a few weeks ago, the Pirates optioned him to Triple-A. He was struggling mightily in the majors, hitting just .208 with a .587 OPS. Worse yet, he's supposed to be a power hitter, yet had only two home runs.

The brief demotion may have helped Alvarez get things together. He was hitting .365 with three home runs, 13 RBI and a 1.048 OPS in 18 Triple-A games. Small sample size, yes, but a stretch like that can help the hitter regain confidence and carry it over to the majors. Alvarez is only 24, so there's plenty of time for him to right the ship.

Losing Presley does hurt the Pirates' lineup, though. He had solidified the top of the order in the absence of Jose Tabata. Presley is hitting .333 with a .402 on-base percentage.

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Posted on: July 4, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 12:03 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Dunn comes through



By Matt Snyder

Adam Dunn, White Sox. Maybe the 4th of July will go down as the day Dunn got things together in 2011. He's still only hitting .171 and did strike out once, but Dunn was 2-4 with two RBI Monday. He connected on a two-run homer to tie the game in the eighth inning and then was at the plate in the bottom of the ninth when the White Sox won via walk-off balk (more on that below). If Dunn can regain some confidence from this game, it would do wonders for getting his season out of the gutter.

Alex Presley, Pirates. The rookie outfielder has been piling up hits for the Pirates since his promotion. Monday, Presley was 3-4 with a triple, RBI and a walk. He's now hitting .364 and more than filling the shoes of injured leadoff hitter Jose Tabata for the Pirates, who are now only 1-1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central.

Rangers offense. Sparked by three hits from both David Murphy and Michael Young -- who was a home run short of the cycle -- the Rangers pounded the Orioles' pitching staff for 13 runs and 18 hits. They had seven doubles, a triple and two homers. Every starter except Elvis Andrus collected a hit and seven players had multi-hit games. The production enabled the Rangers to win and hold on to a first place tie with the Angels.



Aaron Crow, Royals. Just a day after finding out he made the All-Star team, Crow had an awful rough outing. The Royals' setup man lost the lead in the eighth on the aforementioned Dunn home run and then lost the game in the ninth when he balked home A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski got on base with a single, was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Crow. This loss falls squarely on Crow's shoulders.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs. Marmol entered the game in the bottom of the 10th with a tie game and Jayson Werth on second base. Marmol was summoned because Marcos Mateo was injured and had to leave the game. Marmol needed only five pitches to lose the game. First, he paid zero attention to Werth at second, which allowed Werth to steal third base so easily that Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto didn't even bother to throw to third. Then, on Marmol's fifth pitch, he uncorked his first wild pitch of the season, which allowed Werth to score. Yep, a walk-off wild pitch and walk-off balk in the same day.

John Lackey, Red Sox. Lackey was very solid last time out, but failed to build upon it one iota Monday. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs. His ERA is now back up to 7.47. The good news, Red Sox fans, is that he's only signed through 2014.

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Posted on: June 26, 2011 2:08 pm
Edited on: June 26, 2011 2:23 pm
 

Tabata leaves with quad injury

By Matt Snyder

Pirates left fielder Jose Tabata departed the game in the first inning Sunday after beating out a bunt for a hit. After stepping on the bag, he immediately pulled up lame and eventually had to be carted off the field with a left quad injury. He'll undergo further tests Monday. Though the severity of the injury is unknown, there's a good indication it's bad enough to land Tabata on the disabled list. That indication would be that outfielder Alex Presley was pulled out of the Triple-A Indianapolis lineup immediately after Tabata's injury (MLB.com via Twitter) -- which signals he'll be recalled as Tabata is placed on the DL.

Presley was hitting .336 with eight homers, 36 RBI, 52 runs, 18 steals and an .889 OPS in Triple-A.

Losing Tabata for a length of time would be a blow to the Pirates. They're right in the thick of the NL Central race as we near the season's halfway point and Tabata is their leadoff hitter. He entered Sunday with a .349 on-base percentage, 14 steals and 39 runs scored. If he's out for any length of time, some combination of Garrett Jones, Matt Diaz and Presley are likely the corner outfielders. The Pirates might have to do some lineup shuffling. There really isn't another good leadoff option, unless Clint Hurdle wants to just throw Presley in there.

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Posted on: June 21, 2011 9:54 am
Edited on: June 21, 2011 6:53 pm
 

Pepper: Pujols' injury keeping him in St. Louis?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: Well, just who is that handsome man joining Lauren Shehadi today? Why, it's me. Hear me ramble about Josh Outman, Dillon Gee and the Marlins in today's Baseball Today.

Cubs TO PASS ON PUJOLS: There are questions about whether the Cubs can even afford to go after Albert Pujols, but the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer speculates that Pujols' wrist injury could keep the Cubs from even entering the sweepstakes for the three-time MVP.

Although Pujols has been incredibly durable throughout his career, the injury he suffered Sunday could send red flags to teams considering the long-term investment that Pujols will require. Pujols will likely be looking for the security of a long deal, one that could be the final contract of his career. With concerns about his health, the Ricketts family may just have the excuse they were looking for as to why the Cubs can't lure Pujols from St. Louis.
It could also be nothing; it could be a blip on Pujols' career -- but at this age, you have to consider how long you can be saddled with a declining player. The Cubs have been hamstrung by contracts in the past (see Alfonso Soriano, Carlos Zambrano, Milton Bradley) and a decline triggered by injuries and aided by age can even happen to the game's best players (Ken Griffey Jr.).

There'll still be a market for Pujols after the season, that's for sure. But it'll be interesting to see what kind of markdown there will be following Sunday's injury.

Or, perhaps, this spurs the Cardinals and Pujols to reconsider signing an extension during the season, as Jeff Passan of Yahoo! urges both sides to consider.

Either way, the injury may hurt the Cardinals in the short term but help keep Pujols in St. Louis for the rest of his career.

M'S LEADER: In St. Louis, Brendan Ryan's energy and personality was seen as an annoyance to Tony La Russa. In Seattle, it's a positive, as the shortstop has emerged as a team leader for the surprising Mariners. [Seattle Times]

HOLD FOR FULD: And yet another chapter in the legend of Sam Fuld. While Fuld's numbers have dropped from his hot start, he helped out the Rays in another way Monday -- on the mound. Really, Fuld warming up for the eighth inning isn't as much a testament to Fuld as it is manager Joe Maddon. The Rays needed more time to warm up lefty Cesar Ramos and since Fuld had already entered the game in the pitcher's spot, he didn't have to throw a pitch in the eighth but did take up enough time to allow Ramos to get ready to pitch. [St. Petersburg Times]

NEXT PROSPECT UP: 'Tis the season for prospect call-ups, and the next one may be the Pirates' Alex Presley, the team's 2010 Minor Leaguer Player of the Year who's hitting .332/.382/.506 with eight home runs in Triple-A. Pirates GM Neal Huntington said if the Pirates weren't in the stretch of games in American League parks, Presley would already be with the big club. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

PASSING OVERBAY: Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said first baseman Lyle Overbay won't start during the team's series with the Orioles to work on his hitting. Garrett Jones started at first in Overbay's place Monday. Overbay is 4-for-30 in his last 11 games, dropping his season line to .228/.307/.353. Hurdle said Overbay may still be used to pinch-hit or as part of a double switch, but Jones will start the next two games. [MLB.com]


NL CATCHES A BREAK: While the National League gets pounded by the American League in interleague play, the senior circuit may catch a break in the All-Star Game. The way the Tigers' rotation shakes out, Justin Verlander would pitch on the Sunday before the July 12 game in Phoenix, making him ineligible to pitch in the All-Star Game two days later. [MLB.com]

INSIDE THE BASEBALL STUDIO: In one of the great, "I wish I would have thought of that" features of recent years, Patrick Cain of FanGraphs.com asks baseball players actual questions from James Lipton on Inside the Actor's Studio. His first one is with Reds starter Bronson Arroyo -- I will say, it'll be interesting to see how many guys go along with this. Bronson's one of those who will answer any question -- and give you great answers. Anyway, bravo Patrick, bravo. 

JOEY BALLGAME?: Had the Reds not taken Joey Votto in the second round of the 2002 draft, the Yankees were ready to snap up the reigning National League MVP. Former Yankee scout Dick Groch was in Votto's living room on draft day waiting for the Yankees to take him. It wasn't quite that close, though (not like, say, the Reds skipping Derek Jeter to take Chad Mottola in 1992), as the Reds selected Votto with the 44th overall pick. The Yankees didn't have a pick until 71 after losing their first-round pick by signing Jason Giambi as a free agent in 2001. So, even if the Reds had passed on Votto, we might be saying the same thing about whatever team picked him up between picks 45 and 70. [ESPNNewYork]

RAYS WOES: There was some positive baseball attendance news from this past weekend, but it wasn't coming from Tampa Bay. The Rays are second-to-last in attendance, yet have the most affordable tickets in professional sports, according to an ESPN the Magazine. [Tampa Tribune]

COFFEY RUN: Nationals reliever Todd Coffey has sprinted in from the bullpen his entire career. At the Nationals' annual Dream Foundation gala on Saturday night, Coffey made his entrance at a full-on sprint -- in a tuxedo. [Washington Post]

RICKEY A LINK TO THE A'S PAST: Rickey Henderson is working as a roving instructor in the Oakland minor league system. San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy remembers how beloved an older Rickey was in San Diego, while the San Francisco Chronicle's Gwynn Knapp says Rickey is a link to the team's successful past. Rickey being Rickey can't but help Rickie's brother, Jemile Weeks, and the rest of the A's. 

HUGHES' ROAD BACK: Coming off an impressive start for short-season Staten Island on Sunday, Yankees right-hander Phil Hughes will make another start Friday for Double-A Trenton. [Trentonian]

Mets MESS: The Mets owners fired back at Irving Picard, the trustee overseeing the Bernie Madoff bankruptcy case, in their motion to dismiss the $1 billion lawsuit filed against them. [New York Daily News]

CANADIAN HALL: One of my all-time favorite baseball cards was the Topps Tom Henke All-Star card from 1988. I'm not sure why it always amused me so much, but I'm sure it had to do with the glasses. Still, the glasses often overshadowed one of the best pitchers of the 80s. Henke was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame this past weekend. [National Post]

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