Callis is saying Alvarez could be "the biggest waste of hitting talent in draft history." That is quite a title. I honestly think he will eventually turn it around. I'm just not sure if he will be on our team when that happens. As this was mentioned many times last year, he was a slow starter when the season began up through the minors. So there's still that (lol), but he looks just as bad as he did all of last season. I don't buy the whole "out of shape" argument either. If Prince Fielder and his nearly 300 lb body frame can hit, so can Alvarez. Many also say that maybe he was rushed, but I'm sure every single person who argues this agreed with his call up at the time, even after his rookie year was completed, so I don't think rushing him was the issue. I personally think its pretty simple. He can't hit a god forsaken breaking ball. Once he takes some serious maturation steps as a hitter, he'll be fine, it's just a matter of when and where he will do that. I also think the coaching should be blamed, because in addition to Alvarez this whole offense outside of McCutchen and Walker has looked lost at the plate so far this year. I guess I overlooked this over the offseason, but I haven't got the slightest idea how in God's name Gregg Ritchie still has a job as our hitting coach after last year, this guy needs to go. We are scoring exactly 2 runs per game!!!! Pitiful!!! It's a miracle that we're 6-9 after posting a team batting average of .202. I also realize our hitters have been pretty unlucky but .202 speaks for itself. Oh and Clint Barmes is making it look like we lost a superstar in Ronny Cedeno, he has just been flat out awful. Sure we signed him for his defense but cmon Clint you're not even hitting half your body weight, not to mention we lost a game the other night due to your walk off error at shortstop. Even though we're only 15 games in, it's just extremely frustrating to watch our team's offense continue to utterly waste the amazing job and effort from our pitching staff. Even though I don't think Bedard really cares, I feel bad for him, 0-4 with a 2.6 ERA? Terrible. There is something seriously wrong with Hurdle's/Ritchie's approach to the offense. Ever since they took over, most of our hitters have taken a/multiple step(s) backwards. You can look at Alvarez as the worst case, but there's also Tabata, Jones to an extent, even McCutchen was ice cold for a good portion of last year. I honestly think we can make some serious noise this year if our pitching doesn't collapse in epic proportions like last year, but something has got to change with our offensive approach, because it ain't working. Maybe we need a new hitting coach, maybe Hurdle needs to just pencil in the same lineup every day and see how that goes, or maybe I'm overreacting and the offense will start to heat it up here pretty soon (cheers to that). I know there have been countless threads on these topics and sorry if I'm just ranting/repeating what has already been said, I just thought I would throw my thoughts out there.
yeah, it WAS hard to read but we'll overlook that due to youthful enthusiasm and sleep deprivation. Hope the finals went well.
The key substantive point in all that, though, is one we haven't really discussed much on this board but really needs greater consideration: Why DOEs Gregg Ritchie still have a job?
This was the year the hitters were going to mature, and we'd have a competitive offense. Even though the interested fanbase was chomping at the bit for the team to add some offensive firepower over the offseason, all we got was Mcgeehee. Sure, he's got a funny name, but he's not exactly burning it up.
So who DOES this guy still have a job? Not blaming him for ALL the team's hitting problems; but he sure isn't helping and does need to be SOMEWHAT accountable, even if lots of other factors are in play (e.g., limited talent).
It's a good question.
I've got zero faith in Alvarez turning it around. He looks exactly the same at the plate as he did when he was first called up (yes, when he hit well).
And he was definitely rushed, he never put a full year together in any of his minor league years, just a few months where he hit well and got bumped to the next level. It's like they got impatient with him and once he looked good for a month or two, moved him up.
I have the same thoughts about Ritchie too. Does he have any players that have shown progress or improvement? I see lots of regression but nobody getting better. In addition if his players have been given a game plan for facing a pitcher it sure doesn't look like it.
Based on what I see, his plans must either be terrible or the players are completely ignoring them.
I disagree with the OP. Alvarez is a powerful beast in waiting. It's all a matter of beating the demons in his head and barreling the ball.
He will come around and I am more than happy to wait on him to do so VS. watching these other single-happy wastes beat out infield choppers for their .260-.280 average and .300 -.320 OBP.
... and then proceed to be caught stealing because they s*ck at that too.
Theres no doubt that Alvarez has power, plenty of it. But as the article said, he's no where near what most experts thought he would be.
And they'd better beware of saying that he was oout of shape, Gamecock will be in here disregarding the whole thing now.