Not surprisingly, Vanderbilt is not releasing much information about star third baseman Pedro Alvarez and his hand injury. The NCAA has privacy policies in place to protect student-athletes that many colleges use to control injury information, and with agent Scott Boras advising him, scouts say expectations for getting more medical information are low.
That said, scouts contacted this week regarding Alvarez’s injury report that it’s a hamate injury, which makes the situation worse. Hamate injuries frequently require recovery times longer than six week, perhaps eight weeks, perhaps more. Of great importance is the fact that most players who have hamate problems have subsequent range-of-motion issues and lose some of their power in the short term.
So, it’s likely that teams considering drafting Alvarez will not be seeing him at his best as a hitter this year. That complicates the evaluation of a player of his stature, represented by Boras, sure to be asking for either a major league contract in the eight-figure range, such as the one Mark Teixeira got in 2001, or at least in the neighborhood of the $6 million straight bonus another Boras client, Matt Wieters, got in 2007.
Teixeira is the last top college prospect whose situation parallels that of Alvarez, actually. In his 2001 season, Teixeira had a small fracture in his right ankle that kept him out until May. That injury didn’t hurt his draft stock necessarily–he still went fifth overall to the Rangers–but he didn’t get a chance to help his stock, either, by improving his defense at third base. In the meantime, Mark Prior had a season for the ages and passed Teixeira to become the top college draft prospect in the country. He went second overall and signed a contract with a larger guaranteed value.
Now it’s Alvarez that’s on the shelf. Let’s see how this plays out.
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