Aug. 16, 2008
RELATED NEWS ARTICLES ON ALVAREZ:
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Pirates seal Alvarez deal at 11:59
MLB.com: Alvarez signs with Bucs
PITTSBURGH (AP)-- The Pittsburgh Pirates and No. 2 overall pick Pedro Alvarez agreed to a minor-league contract with a $6 million signing bonus Friday night just before the midnight deadline.
"Pedro Alvarez is an accomplished college hitter with the potential to be a middle of the order bat at the major league level for us," Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington said in a statement. "Equally important, he is a quality young man who comes from a very strong family. We appreciate their trust in the Pirates organization. Pedro is a high-end talent. We are excited to add him to our system and about the potential impact he can have."
The signing bonus is the largest ever given to a Pirates draft choice.
A 21-year old third baseman, Alvarez spent three years at Vanderbilt University and hit .317 with nine home runs and 30 RBI sin 40 games. He missed six weeks with a broken hamate bone in his right hand, though Pittsburgh expressed no concern about his injury on draft day.
Alvarez, a left-handed hitter, was selected a first-team All-American by Baseball America as a sophomore, when he hit .386 with 18 home runs and 68 RBIs. He was chosen the National Freshman of the Year by Baseball America after hitting .329 with a school-record 22 home runs and 64 RBI.
Alvarez, who was represented by Scott Boras, received a signing bonus just less than the $6.15 million received by top pick Tim Beckham from Tampa Bay.
"(Pirates owner) Bob Nutting has made a commitment to provide the club with the tools and resources necessary to return the Pirates to the greatness that this organization has achieved so often in its rich history," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said. "He has further demonstrated that commitment by his active involvement throughout this process and by providing us with the significant dollars necessary to sign Pedro Alvarez."
Born and raised in New York, Alvarez went to the Horace Mann School, known more for scholars than athletes. He was selected in the 14th round of the 2005 draft by the Boston Red Sox, but elected to go Vanderbilt.