Monday, May 7, 2012

Dominican player of the week: Pedro Alvarez

Wow, this is a rare occasion. The Dominican Baseball Guy has not heard of this week's Dominican Player of the Week. And he is in his third year in the majors. So it goes, for members of the Pirates organization. EDIT: upon further review the Dominican Baseball Guy blogged about Pedro Alvarez a couple times back in 2010.

Until this year, the Pirates have been mired in obscurity since the days of Barry Bonds pirouetting down the first base line. But this year's group of young Pirates has them reaching toward a playoff appearance. Andrew McCutchen is of course the leader of this requrgent Pirates team, but there are a bunch of other young players helping him out. And one of them is this week's Dominican Player of the Week, Pedro Alvarez.

Alvarez was born in Santo Domingo, but grew up in New York City where he was a star in high school. In that sense he is one of many Dominican York living mostly on the upper west side around the Washington Heights area in New York City. He went on to attend Vanderbilt before being drafted second overall by the Pirates in 2008.

He seems to be living up to expectations that come with that lofty number two overall pick. He made the majors in just his second year and almost instantly became an everyday starter at third base for the Pirates. Alvarez went on to win a National League Player of the Week award last season, and is poised for maybe an All-Star run this season with the resurgent Pirates.

His nickname is 'El Toro' which means 'The Bull' for those of you that do not habla Espanol. And again, he is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Dominican baseball player with the Pittsburg Pirates
Dominican player of the Week Pedro Alvarez, photo by Keith Allison on Flick

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