Through 8 workouts it‚Äôs time to give out some grades and look at a few sleepers in camp; Rumor Mill
Most impressive Players in week 1
3b Pedro Alvarez (A+) ‚Äì By far the Pirates top hitter all week including the teams top hitter in live practice going up against major league pitchers. The media has been raving about him all week as comparisons have gone from Willie Stargell to Manny Ramirez. Alvarez has shown great bat speed to go along with his power. He gets a lot of power from his legs and he‚Äôs a magician at the plate. Without a doubt one of the top three prospects in the entire majors. In the field he has shown good range and seems very comfortable at third base. Also showed up to camp in very good shape and has been one of the teams hardest workers.
OF Erik Hinske (B+) ‚Äì Hinske has shown power and very good patience at the plate. He has also brought a winning attidude to the clubhouse which is something that is very rare for the Pirates. The plan remains for Hinske to start the season in left field. He worked some at thirdbase on Friday but that was because Neil Walker and Andy Laroche were sidelined.
P Ross Ohlendorf (B+) ‚Äì Ohlendorf had a very good first week. Threw the¬†ball very well and was the team‚Äôs top pitcher in live hitting on Friday. New Pitching coach Joe Kerrigan has been working exclusively with Ohlendorf on using his fast ball inside. So far it has worked. He is making a strong impression for a spot in the rotation.
CL Matt Capps (B+) ‚Äì Seems fully healthy and has been among the Pirates top performers everyday he has stepped on the mound.
P Evan Meek (B) ‚Äì Meek has been a bit of a surprise. He has not been scared to pitch inside and has been very successful with his off pitchers. Threw well from mid-week until the end of the week.
P Sean Burnett (B-) ‚Äì Battling Tyler Yates, Craig Hansen for a roster spot, Burnett has been strong and was among the Pirates top performers earlier in the week.
Jury still isn‚Äôt out
3B Any Laroche ‚Äì has missed four straight workouts with back spasms. Prior to injury was not hitting the ball well
P Craig Hansen ‚Äì was erratic at the beginning of the week. Had a solid performance on Wednesday. Control is a major issue.
OF Craig Monroe ‚Äì Struggled at the plate early in the week. Needs a strong performance when the games begin. Has not been overly impressive in practice.
1B Adam Laroche ‚Äì Laroche seems so determined to get off to a good start that I think he is trying too hard. Couldn’t hit a changeup if his life depended on it during Friday‚Äôs live hitting session
Players to Watch This week
P Daniel McCutchen
2B Luiz Cruiz
P Tyler Yates
Offer to Will Ohman is still on the table. Pirates are trying to downplay the chances of signing him
Making a play for Indians thirdbaseman Andy Marte was discussed late last week.
Players will take the field around 10:15 a.m. today, will have a update after
Report provided by Brian Kelly who is in Bradenton covering the Pirates for Inside Pittsburgh Sports.