Alex Presley went into spring training this year just hoping to win a spot in the outfield in Double-A after a mediocre 2009 season in High-A Lynchburg.
He did, and after a mid-season promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he was named rookie of the year at 25 years old, Presley arrived in Pittsburgh this week along with the rest of the call-ups from the Indians.
“Great story,” manager John Russell said. “He started out and did very well in Double-A and just carried it straight into Triple-A and had a phenomenal season. We were excited to get him up here. It sends a good message that good things can happen if you take care of the things you need to do. Alex did some good things for us and I know he’s going to enjoy the experience, seeing major league ballparks, being in the clubhouse and getting to know some guys. It should be a good learning experience for him as well.”
Presley, who is listed at 5-foot-9 and looks like he belongs in a high school English class more than a major league clubhouse, was promoted to Indianapolis on June 25 and hit for the cycle in his third game with the team, going 5-for-6. The left-handed hitter had a team-best 13-game hitting streak and set a number of career highs, finishing with a .294 batting average, .349 on-base percentage and .809 slugging percentage with the Indians.
Whether or not the Pirates’ eighth-round pick in 2006 will get more than a pinch-hit opportunity with the Pirates this year remains to be seen. Russell said on Tuesday that not everyone called up from the minors for September would get an opportunity to play.
“Some will get opportunities, some won’t, but the experience of being here and being around this atmosphere will be good for them,” he said.
Here are tonight’s lineups:
For the Pirates: McCutchen cf, Tabata lf, Walker 2b, Jones 1b, Alvarez 3b, Doumit c, Bowker rf, Cedeno ss, Duke p
And the Braves: Infante 2b, Heyward rf, Prado 3b, Lee 1b, McCann c, Diaz lf, Gonzalez ss, Cabrera cf, Lowe p