Late Thursday night I sent out the following tweet: “#Pirates prospect Alex Presley:’10 w/Indy 69 g .294/.349/.460: ’11 w/Indy 60 g .338/.387/.519: Total 129 g .314/.367/.487. Is he ready?” The numbers are his batting average/on-base percentage/& slugging percentage from his 69 games in 2010 and 60 games thus far in 2011. The tweet was a rhetorical questions…of course he is ready. The game of baseball is reminding fans and Presley that it’s not just about the numbers, but his attitude and the way he approaches each game, inning, and at-bat. Here are a few of the responses I received:
@tonyfedor: he has been ready. I don’t want to hear that he is too short anymore. Those people have not seen him play. –Tony is an Indians ticket holder
@EdmundRollett: there’s also a degree of question as to how legit the tools are. one is reminded of Pearce and Eldred tearing thru minors–Fair comment, I did not see Eldred’s 2005 rise, but did see the climb for Pearce. Injuries really sapped Pearce’s power and he was never as consistent as Presley has been.
@indycouse: yes but we want a title here in Indy first–Spoken like a true Indianapolis Indians fan who have watched a few mid-season runs derailed due to call-ups. The challenging part of Triple-A baseball for any fan.
@JamesSantelli: Absolutely. But that’s not the issue.–Nailed it
If only it was as easy as having the numbers and getting a call to the Major Leagues. In the past month OF Alex Presley has watched SS Pedro Ciriaco (.448 OPS in 36 games with Indy), INF Josh Harrison (.816 OPS in 37 games), C Dusty Brown (.883 in 30 games), and finally C Wyatt Toregas (1-29 in 11 games) all join the Pittsburgh Pirates. Are any of those players better than Presley or more deserving? No, and Manager Dean Treanor knows it. “Too bad he’s not a catcher or a shortstop, but that’s baseball. This game isn’t fair and believe me the Pirates are very aware of what he has been doing here. They are not ignoring him, but now is not his time.” The players who have gone to Pittsburgh have done so because of injuries. The only chance that Presley had of going up was in late April, but the Pirates elected instead to sign OF Xavier Paul from the Dodgers. Like today, the timing in April was not right for Presley.
Presley told the Indianapolis Star’s Ben Jones “The situation doesn’t really call for it. A lot of it is opportunity, so I feel like it doesn’t have anything to do with my performance. If it was able to happen, it would have happened, but it hasn’t happened. There’s just not any space at this point.” Dean likes what he hears from the 25-year-old. “That is the best and only way to approach the situation. What more can you do, but play your game and do your best everyday. It’s a tough situation, but he has handled it like a true pro.”
No one in baseball is going to feel sorry for Presley, but everyone appreciates the daily effort he puts in. Presley is not the first or the last player to be blocked from a Major League spot. It just so happens this is the first time it has happened to a position player while the Indians have been affiliated with the Pirates. In the past a really good 30 or 50 games stretch would put you in Pittsburgh. However, with improved play and better talent the times have changed and it must be nice for the Pirates to know they have a player they can call on when needed. The good news and the bad news is that Presley may not have to wait much longer. David Todd is the host of the Pirates postgame radio show and believes Presley arrival will be sooner than later. A recent conversation he had with Pirates Manager Clint Hurdle leads Todd to believe that Presley may be an option next weekend when interleague play starts back up. If that is the case, then Indians fan will want to be at Victory Field Saturday through Tuesday and catch another glimpse of the left-handed hitter.
It may not be his last visit to Indianapolis, but you never know, he may get a his shot and stay at the Major League level. Presley is the type of player who makes the most of every opportunity and for the past 12 months he has been the most consistent and reliable Indians player I have watched during my short time.
**It’s true, when I look at his game from his arrival in late June of 2010 to today no player has put together a 130 game run like Presley. Andrew McCutchen from June of ’08 through May ’09 was really good, but not consistently good (He was also only 22 years old). The only player who managed to consistently deliver was Jose Tabata from August ’09 through June ’10. Tabata only played in 85 career Triple-A games and is now going to be a Major League player until the day he retires.
NEWS AND NOTES:
Following tonight’s game with Buffalo the Indians will ride back home on a sleeper bus. This evening’s game can be heard on SportsRadio 1260 WNDE at 7:15 with the first pitch from Coco-Cola Field set for 7:35. LHP Rudy Owens is on the mound as the Indians try to take 3 out of 4 games on the Bison home field for the third consecutive season.
Hope to see you at Victory Field this weekend as the Gwinnett Braves make their only visit to Indianapolis. The four game series with the G-Braves will concluded on Tuesday night.