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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baseball America’s Top 10 Prospects: Pittsburgh Pirates

I so wanted Dave Doorneweerd to make the bigs…

1. Gerrit Cole, rhp
2. Jameson Taillon, rhp
3. Josh Bell, of
4. Starling Marte, of
5. Luis Heredia, rhp
6. Kyle McPherson, rhp
7. Tony Sanchez, c
8. Robbie Grossman, of
9. Stetson Allie, rhp
10. Jeff Locke, lhp

The Pirates have used the strategy of exceeding MLB’s bonus recommendations in the later rounds to sign pitchers away from solid college commitments. While that has stocked the lower levels of the system with live arms, none is close to being ready to help the major league club. The heavy concentration on pitchers also has left Pittsburgh with few impact hitting prospects beyond Bell, who has a chance to be special but has yet to play in a professional game, and fellow outfielder Starling Marte.

Repoz Posted: November 22, 2011 at 02:51 PM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minor leagues, pirates, prospect reports, scouting

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   1. Babe Adams Posted: November 22, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3999407)
It's a little disconcerting that four years into the Huntington regime, they don't have a serious shortstop prospect in the organization.
   2. NJ in NY (Now with Toddler!) Posted: November 22, 2011 at 03:42 PM (#3999413)
It's a little disconcerting that four years into the Huntington regime, they don't have a serious shortstop prospect in the organization.

Why?
   3. JJ1986 Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3999436)
I don't see how you can rate Allie so highly. He might turn it around, but there's about a 95% that he's already a bust.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:22 PM (#3999452)
I agree with the excerpt. The system isn't bad by any stretch, but considering what they've spent and how aggressive they've been, its a bit disappointing. But many of them are young and that could be different a year from now.

Really like Josh Bell though. That was a huge coup.
   5. MM1f Posted: November 22, 2011 at 04:56 PM (#3999493)
I don't see how you can rate Allie so highly. He might turn it around, but there's about a 95% that he's already a bust.


They actually rated him really low. Grossman and Sanchez aren't any great shakes - though they have a chance to be useful regulars - and there isn't really anyone with a decent ceiling that would be ranked below Allie on this list. The 5% chance (and its higher than 5%) he has of having a Daniel Bard turn-around in the pen makes him more deserving of a top 10 spot than the Jordy Mercers or Quincy Latimores of the world.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: November 22, 2011 at 05:51 PM (#3999536)
Why?

I can't speak for the Babe and the Babe is probably nitpicking anyway, but "serious" SS prospects are not only where future "serious" ML SS come from but also a lot of "serious" ML 2B, 3B and CF. A lack of SS in the system kinda means a lack of IF in the system.

On the other hand, a lot of "serious" SS prospects are glove guys who will never hit enough for 2B, 3B or CF anyway or, if they hit well enough, get shifted early enough that they are never "serious" SS prospects but "serious" 2B/3B/CF prospects. That's where the nitpicking comes in.

It would also generally be a sign of a lack of "athletic" players in the system -- which might be a bad thing if athleticism is a good predictor of success.
   7. Walt Davis Posted: November 22, 2011 at 05:52 PM (#3999537)
And pardon me if I misremember the scuttlebutt (I don't really follow prospects) but wasn't Sanchez supposed to be a stud? What's he doing at #6?

EDIT: err.... #7
   8. MM1f Posted: November 22, 2011 at 06:17 PM (#3999547)
And pardon me if I misremember the scuttlebutt (I don't really follow prospects) but wasn't Sanchez supposed to be a stud? What's he doing at #6?


Not hitting.

Despite being a top 10 pick, Sanchez wasn't ever a true "hot prospect." He isn't any kind of elite talent, he was an overdraft to most people. He was, however, expected to a be steady regular at a key position - a cornerstone for the Pirates to rebuild around. A safe bet, lower ceiling kind of guy. Except maybe instead of being the decent hitter he is expected to be, he will be a non-hitter. He has a year to turn it around. He hits decently next year, he will probably start for the Pirates in 2013. If he continues to not hit he will still be big leaguer, but just a backup catcher.

He had a really similar profile, and year, to Christian Colon. Both very good college players at up the middle positions who were expected to be safe bets to move quickly... until they forgot how to hit.

Allie was another high pick Pirate (drafted with a lower pick than Sanchez but considered by many to be a better draft prospect, Allie got top 10 pick money) who fell on his face and dropped down the rankings as a result. Going into the year an educated guess for the Pirates prospects might have been something like....
1/2. Taillon/Whoever their #1 pick would be
3. Allie
4. Sanchez.
   9. Babe Adams Posted: November 22, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#3999567)
Sanchez hit well in A ball, was hit in the face with a pitch in 2010, and the hitting disappeared in AA last year. There's some thought that he might not have been full strength after having his mouth wired shut for a while.
   10. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: November 22, 2011 at 07:02 PM (#3999595)
. Except maybe instead of being the decent hitter he is expected to be, he will be a non-hitter. He has a year to turn it around.


He hit quite well in half a year in the FSL: .314/.416/.454 (league .255/.324/.364), of course 22 is not young for the FSL...
He was awful in 2011- so awful that I assumed injury... I had not heard of him getting hit in the face and having his mouth wired shut- that's scary, that can mess up a hitter psychologically as well as physically

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