Presley sets goals for Triple-A stop

Presley sets goals for Triple-A stop

Presley sets goals for Triple-A stop
SARASOTA, Fla. -- Alex Presley had little to say minutes after being told he had been optioned to Triple-A. The news stung that much to the outfielder, who hasn't lost the taste of last season's September callup.

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Presley arrived in Bradenton last month hoping to make a push for a spot on the Pirates' bench as a backup outfielder. As it turned out, the organization's most recent Minor League Player of the Year was among the first outfielders cut from camp.

"It's tougher when you've actually been up there and you're not going back," Presley said. "You don't want to be anywhere else. It's definitely a motivator knowing what you could have or what you're going to have at some point. I'll just move forward to get to where I want to be."

Presley will head to Triple-A Indianapolis to begin the season, and he'll arrive there with some specific goals. Atop that list are plate discipline and making better use of his speed. With the latter, the Pirates specifically want to see Presley more confident in his attempts to steal bases.

"He has speed to impact the game on the bases," general manager Neal Huntington said. "Base stealing is something we definitely have to refine. Just the confidence. He can get the good read. He can get the good jump. There's just a little bit of hesitation that we can work out."

Presley swiped 14 bases last year but was also thrown out nine times. He was successful once in three attempts this spring.

"I just need to get to where I can steal a base at any time," said Presley, who finished 2-for-17 in Grapefruit League play. "The speed is there. It's just a matter of getting it done and finding a way. And I'll just continue to do what I did last year and build off that as much as possible."