Name: Miguel Alvarez
DOB: 9/27/89 (20 as of April 1, 2011)
Weight: 175 lbs
Drafted: amateur free agent, 2007 (undisclosed bonus)
Pre Draft Report: Miguel Alvarez was signed as an amateur free agent on May 1, 2007 out of San Pedro de Marcoris in the Dominican Republic. Pre-signing scouting reports appear to be non-existent.
Career Synopsis: Alvarez made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2007 and posted fairly pedestrian numbers at .242/.293/.268. He struck out in 16% of his PAs and walked in 6.5%. He managed just four extra base hits in 41 games.
In 2008, Alvarez again played in the DSL and improved across the board, posting a .288/.345/.349 line, cutting his K rate to below 13%, maintaining a 6% walk rate, and increasing his SB from 12 to 32. A lot of his slash line improvement can be attributed to a .328 BABIP. His BA did league the team and his SB total was fifth in the DSL. He hit .410 with RISP and amassed a 13-game hitting streak during the season.
Alvarez finally made his stateside debut in 2009 at age 19 with the GCL Phillies, although he only got 78 PAs during which he compiled a .260/.308/.370 line. He walked at the same rate he always had, but his K rate spiked to over 20% (in an admittedly small sample size).
In 2010, Alvarez started in extended spring training before moving to Williamsport when the NYPL started in June. Helped by a .398 BABIP, Alvarez posted a .329 average which was 4th in the NYPL and 2nd all-time at Williamsport. He added a bit of power as his 21 doubles were 2nd in the league and he added four triples. While he homered just once in 279 PAs during the season, he did manage to homer in the NYPL All-Star Game. Following the season, Alvarez participated in the Florida Instructional League.
Scouting Report: Below is an assessment of Alvarez’ raw tools, rated on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. The grades are my estimation based on what I’ve read and those I’ve talked to. The second number is a future projection, the first number is the current assessment
Hit For Average: 45/50
Hit For Power: 45/50
Throwing Arm: 50
Summary: Alvarez is still kind of raw, and he does a lot of things well right now. He has strong wrists and can square the ball up, but he doesn’t look like a big home run hitter right now, but that may change. He’s a good athlete with solid speed, but he’s not a burner. He figures to be able to play all three outfield positions, though center might be a stretch. Alvarez is still young and quite raw, so he’s a work in progress.
Upside: 2011 will be a real test for Alvarez. After three lackluster seasons, he opened a lot of eyes in Williamsport last year, even though a lot of that was fueled by a BABIP that is not sustainable. His speed appears to be a plus tool, but he found it much more difficult to steal bases (13 SB in 20 attempts) against the more experienced pitching in the NYPL. While he hasn’t shown much power to date, there’s hope that his swing and quick wrists will produce some power and his 21 doubles last year may be a precursor to that. He has spent time at all three outfield spots and Matt Forman from BA notes that his skillset profiles very similarly to Leandro Castro. Alvarez will be in the mix for playing time in what is shaping up as a very crowded Lakewood outfield and his performance there will determine whether 2010 was a sign of a burgeoning prospect or simply an anomaly.
Updated: 20 March 2011