ALEX PRESLEY
CENTER FIELDER
  Born: July 25, 1985
Height: 5′ 9″
Weight: 180
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
Drafted: 8th Round, 230th Overall, 2006
How Acquired: Draft
College: University of Mississippi
Agent: Sports Pro Services

Links:

Alex Presley Web Gems

WTM’S PIRATE PLAYER PROFILES

The Pirates drafted Presley in the 8th round after he picked up his game in his junior year in college.  The principal improvement was that he started drawing some walks for the first time.  Presley has above average speed, but he doesn’t have great instincts and, as a result, is stretched a bit in center, although the Pirates played him there at times in the minors to help his versatility.  His arm is below average.  At the plate, he’s generally had good gap power but only limited HR power.  Since he got to the upper levels he hasn’t struck out too much, but he’s always had low walk rates.

2006
A-:  260/313/404, 223 AB, 7 2B, 8 3B, 3 HR, 17 BB, 55 K, 3-6 SB 

Struggled initially at Williamsport, but picked it up in August; his OPS that month was .809, compared to .595 in July.  His plate discipline was poor throughout.  He had a terrible time with LHPs, posting a .357 OPS in just over 50 plate appearances.  He split his time between LF and CF.

2007
A:  293/348/436, 495 AB, 22 2B, 8 3B, 11 HR, 45 BB, 108 K, 18-28 SB 

Presley played regularly for Hickory, opening as the left fielder and moving to center after James Boone was promoted.  He got off to a poor start, mainly the result of a .572 OPS in May.  He got hot in June and July, posting OPS figures of .961 and .898, respectively, before cooling off in August.  He hit all of his 11 HRs against RHPs, but otherwise didn’t have much of a platoon split.  He struck out about once every four and a half ABs, which is a lot for a guy with limited power.

2008
A+:  258/325/380, 287 AB, 15 2B, 1 3B, 6 HR, 29 BB, 50 K, 13-19 SB 

Started as the regular CF for Lynchburg, but hit only .147 in his first ten games and then got hurt.  He returned in May and hit respectably for three months, posting monthly OPS figures of .740, .787 and .750, but got hurt again in early August and missed the rest of the season.  Presley struggled against LHPs, with a .574 OPS compared to .748 against RHPs.  For the season he had a much lower K rate, about once every six and a half ABs.

2009
A+:  257/305/379, 417 AB, 17 2B, 11 3B, 4 HR, 30 BB, 87 K, 9-14 SB

Presley opened back at Lynchburg and appeared set to serve as an outfield backup, but when Marcus Davis and Maiko Loyola both struggled and got released, he ended up playing more or less regularly, mainly in center.  He had almost the exact same season as in 2008, including a continued inability to hit LHPs, except that his walk rate decreased and his K rate increased.

2010
AA:  350/399/533, 246 AB, 13 2B, 7 3B, 6 HR, 19 BB, 33 K, 5-6 SB
AAA:  294/349/460, 272 AB, 15 2B, 6 3B, 6 HR, 22 BB, 42 K, 8-15 SB
MLB:  261/292/304, 23 AB, 1 2B, 1 BB, 8 K, 1-2 SB 

Going into camp, Presley seemed like a good candidate to be released, but impressed the Pirates and made the AA roster as a backup.  He then had one of the more surprising breakout seasons the Pirates have seen in recent years, dominating in AA and continuing to hit well after a mid-season promotion to AAA, although he did slump in August.  He showed surprising power while cutting his K rate to one every six and a half ABs at both levels.  His walk rate remained low.  He had no platoon split in AAA; I don’t have the split for AA.  The Pirates added him to the 40-man roster at the end of the AAA season and called him up.

2011
R:  167/286/167, 6 AB, 1 BB
AAA:  333/388/485, 342 AB, 18 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 28 BB, 54 K, 22-30 SB
MLB:  298/339/465, 215 AB, 12 2B, 6 3B, 4 HR, 13 BB, 40 K, 9-12 SB 

Presley went back to AAA and continued hitting well, which includes a late-season rehab.  One significant improvement he made was in his base stealing efficiency.  The Pirates brought him up at the end of June when Jose Tabata got hurt.  He homered in his first game and kept on hitting.  He eventually went on the DL in late July with a mysterious thumb injury.  The diagnosis was that it wouldn’t heal until after the season, so Presley went on a rehab assignment and adjusted his swing to account for the problem.  He didn’t hit well during the rehab, but the Pirates brought him up in late August when Ryan Ludwick went on the DL.  He struggled initially, hitting .148 in seven August games, but hit 308/327/514 in September.  One bad sign, though, was three walks and 23 Ks in September.  He’d had nine walks and 14 Ks prior to the injury.  Although he had only a minimal platoon split in AAA, he struggled with LHPs in the majors, hitting just 231/261/338 against them.  The small sample size of defensive stats showed him to be above average, possibly well above, as a left fielder.  The Pirates evidently were impressed by him there, as they moved Jose Tabata, himself a good defender, to right.

2012
AAA:  307/399/477, 153 AB, 3 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 24 BB, 26 K, 7-9 SB
MLB:  237/279/405, 346 AB, 14 2B, 7 3B, 10 HR, 18 BB, 72 K, 9-16 SB

Presley opened the season as the leadoff hitter and left fielder.  He got off to a poor start, posting a .688 OPS in April, then he went 3-for-28 in May.  Like so many Pirates early in the season, his trouble appeared to stem from amazingly bad plate discipline; he had four walks and 30 strikeouts through May.  The Pirates sent him to AAA mid-month with a mission of working on his strike zone judgment.  He did very well at Indianapolis, including improved plate discipline.  The Pirates brought him back up in mid-June.  He hit better, but slumped again in July and also missed some time with a concussion.  The Pirates sent him to AAA again in early August.  He came back up for September and alternated time in the outfield with Tabata, Starling Marte and Travis Snider.  He hit for good power in September, but had a .273 OBP.  On the season Presley hit for solid power–like Nate McLouth when he was with the Pirates, Presley is good at turning on inside pitches–but he didn’t get on base nearly enough.  He had no platoon split.  Along with most of his teammates, he did poorly at stealing bases.  He played well defensively, although his arm is weak.

Presley apparently came back to earth in 2012.  Given his poor strike zone judgment, it shouldn’t have been a big surprise.  In 2013, the Pirates’ corner outfield positions figure to be a four-way battle between Presley, Tabata, Marte and Snider.  Presley is probably in the weakest position of the four, as Marte and Snider have far higher upsides, and Tabata would make a better fourth outfielder because the team is overbalanced to the left side.  With Snider and Tabata out of options, Presley’s chance of making the team disappeared when the Pirates decided to go with two no-hit utility infielders in John McDonald and Brandon Inge.  Presley instead will open at Indianapolis, but will probably see Pittsburgh again at some point.

STATS
Baseball Reference–Majors
Baseball Reference–Minors
Fangraphs
MLB.com
MiLB.com

NCAA
BA
OBP
SA
AB
2B
3B
HR
BB
K
SB
CS
2004
.311
.340
.520
196
11
6
6
9
47
9
3
2005
.299
.340
.423
139
9
1
2
6
30
1
3
2006
.343
.427
.552
239
18
7
6
34
41
20
4
CONTRACT INFORMATION
2013: Major League Minimum
2012:
Major League Minimum
2011:
 Major League Minimum
PLAYER INFORMATION
Signing Bonus: $95,000
MiLB Debut: 2006
MLB Debut: 9/8/2010
MiLB FA Eligible: N/A
MLB FA Eligible: 2017
Rule 5 Eligible: N/A
Added to 40-Man: 9/7/2010
Options Remaining: 1 (USED: 2011, 2012)
MLB Service Time: 1.091
TRANSACTIONS
June 7, 2006: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 8th round, 230th overall pick; signed on June 16.
September 7, 2010: Contract purchased by the Pittsburgh Pirates.