As a Pedro fan, yes I am a big Pedro fan, I was looking at his stats to see if I could find "one" thing that would give me hope that Pedro is ready to turn the corner and be that legitimate star at 3B. I was looking at his stats compared to AS starter Josh Donaldson. If you look at the overall stats they are pretty much right on par. Pedro in fact, is a little better in some of the stats. So even though he was voted in, why is Donaldson looked at as more of a star player right now? And then, for at least me, I found the glaring reason.
As I have said before, Pedro is almost useless after the 6th inning, I just didnt realize how bad it was this season. Let me try and show my point. Here are some situational stats that show the difference between the two:
Batting average with the bases empty:
Josh D .195
Pedro has the huge advantage. No one on base and Pedro is an average hitter, BUT:
Batting average with runners on base
Josh D .292
Batting average with RISP
Josh D .309
Batting average Late/Close (according to baseball reference):
Josh D .295
That is the big thing, Pedro gets worse as the stakes get bigger. Put runners on base, put them in scoring position or fast forward late in games, and Pedro actually gets significantly worse where a guy like Donaldson gets better. And its not just this season, this is the pattern for Pedro, but why?
My opinion is this, Pedro is a poor hitter with a ton of power. Has he went to LF more this season and even walked more, but still it does not show when it matters. Pitchers will still try and challenge him with no one on base because ML Pitchers have HUGE EGOS. Pitchers will try and challenge Pedro with a FB when no one is on just to see if they have more than Pedro can handle. As we all know Pedro can crush a FB. However, change the situation and make the at bat count a little more and Pedro is not good enough to hit anything other than a FB. Pitchers know this and are easily able to manipulate this flaw and render Pedro almost useless.
Why is this a big deal? Because Pedro was supposed to be the middle of the order bat the Pirates needed. They skimped on the 1B position and held on with below quality players in RF because they thought they had the middle of the order bat in Pedro, but they were wrong. Pedro will still get his RBI's even with his inability to hit the ball with RISP simply because he will have the opportunities. The Pirates lead the league in OBP, so even Snider could bat 4th and put up a good RBI total.
I do not think Pedro is a lost cause, but he is also not improving in these critical stats. I think this also shows that Pedro HAS to be platooned. The Pirates have to get a bat at the deadline that can play 3B so Pedro can be PH for late in game and vs LHP. That player should not be Harrison. Will that decision mean the difference between winning and losing? I am not sure, but I know its a pretty big issue to me.
If the FO is serious about winning then they will address the needs of the team this time and not try and put a band-aide on to simply get by. I would love then to go after Beltre. I would love for them to spend the money and solidify a middle of the order bat that they dont have. I do realize they still need pitching, but its also a must to have that player that can be counted on late in games to produce from the middle of the line up, and the Pirates are lacking in that right now. For me, its time to add a big piece to add to the team you built and not just talk about financial flexibility for the future. I am not saying that I am right in any way, I am simply stating my opinion on why I think Pedro, right now, is not a good fit at 3B for the Pirates.