View Single Post
05-14-2010, 08:30 PM
Big McLargehuge
Global Moderator
Death Arcana
Big McLargehuge's Avatar
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Los Angeles
Country: Iceland
Posts: 66,973
vCash: 2626
The Pirates have had quite a few farm hands off to good starts.

Pedro Alvarez, 3B, Indianapolis (AAA) - Leads team with 8 HRs and 33 RBIs so far and has improved his plate discipline (a focus this year). He'll be in Pittsburgh within a month. Keeping him in Indianapolis for an extra month or two certainly wouldn't hurt, though. His plate patience has improved (though at the cost at a ton of strikeouts in the first couple of weeks, a stat that has normalized since) but his defense is still poor. The call for Alvarez to change to 1B because of Andy LaRoche's play at third in Pittsburgh this year is unfounded in my opinion, though, as LaRoche's lack of power and fielding prowess makes him a more natural switch to 2B, a position very weak throughout the system. Alvarez will move before too long, but it doesn't need to be yet, nor should it be. Alvarez-Cedeno-LaRoche-Jones is how I want the Pirates infield to read at the end of the season.
Brad Lincoln, RHP, Indianapolis (AAA) - 4-1 with a 3.83 ERA. Heir apparent to Zach Duke in the sense that he's effective and efficient but unspectacular (thanks to Tommy John Surgery, his upside used to be through the roof).
Jose Tabata, RF, Indianapolis (AAA) - Has established his standing more this year, with the continued lack of power but a knack for slapping the ball to all parts of the field. .326 batting average is very solid and he's been a gem in the field. Like Alvarez he'll be in Pittsburgh before long, and with Iwamura's horrific season he may be batting lead-off by the August.
Neil Walker, UTIL, Indianapolis (AAA) - After his dimming star burned out last year he's re-appeared on the prospect chart after adding three new positions to his resume (can play third base, second, left field, right field, and catcher). A .338 batting average and 1.00 OPS aren't hurting (his career high in those stats in the minors so far have been .298 and .768 at those in separate years...this as a guy who spent four seasons in BaseballAmerica's top 100). Looks like a super-utility man in the Majors who will play in more games than he doesn't play in, but never be a starter at a position without an injury forcing him into it.
Chase d'Arnaud, 2B/SS, Altoona (AA) - Struggling so far in Altoona with a measley .217 batting average and .289 OBP a year after .293 and .398 numbers in A ball last year.
Tim Alderson, RHP, Altoona (AA) - Mechanics have been worked on majorly this year, leading to struggles. A 2-1 record accompanies ugly 6.35 ERA and 1.73 WHIP stats.
Rudy Owens, LHP, Altoona (AA) - Last year's minor league pitcher of the year in the system seems to be adjusting well to AA ball, with a 3-1 record, 3.74 ERA, and 1.01 WHIP in a hitter-friendly ballpark. 9.9 K/9 Inn and 6.17 SO/BB ratio are equally impressive.
Danny Moskos, RHP, Altoona (AA) - The most unfortunate villain in Pirates history...I doubt he'll get much of a shot to be a fan favorite because of his status as all that has been wrong with Pirates baseball the past 18 years (drafted 4th overall despite sandwich round talent as a reliever...who was then changed to starter and failed miserably). Moskos returned to relief this year and has done a great job as Altoona's closer this year, allowing 2 earned runs in 14.2 innings with a perfect 7/7 saves stat. He's back on the radar of at least making the team some day, after spending last year completely off the prospect map.
Brock Holt, SS, Bradenton (A+) - The star is rising for Holt, who was drafted in the 9th round in 2008 for well above slot as part of GM Neil Huntington's brilliant draft good players strategy (a far venture from the previous two regimes of Pirates GMs). Holt posted nice numbers in short A ball State College last year and has improved impressively in high A, hitting .352 thus far. Defense is a concern, though.
Tony Sanchez, C, Bradenton (A+) - Seen as a bit of a reach last year Sanchez has done nothing but amaze since entering the system almost immediately after the draft. Drafted primarily as a defensive catcher with a moderate bat and intangibles out the wazoo he's hitting .318 with a .937 OPS so far. His eye (.423 OBP) and gap talent (12 doubles in 107 ABs) is extremely promising.
Starling Marte, CF, Bradenton (A+) - The most intriguing prospect in the Pirates system. Marte is a five-tool player from the Dominican Republic who blew onto the scene last year. He's ridiculously raw and had some troubles initially settling into high A ball, but is still hitting .283 with a .374 OBP and 9 steals early in the season. His defense has been impressive, with 4 outfield assists already. Listening to every coach and scout in the system the potential for power is there, but it hasn't come up yet, as he still has 0 home runs.
Bryan Morris, RHP, Bradenton (A+) - The centerpiece of the Jason Bay trade for the Pirates, Morris had just about as bad of a season as a kid could have last year. He's rebounded in a way that can only be described as impressive, posting a 0.66 ERA through 40 innings pitched (with a measly 3-0 record in 7 starts, way to give him run support Bradenton). The 0.96 WHIP is impressive. The 36 Ks are nice (more than he had all of last year). The 5 walks is stunning. Morris posted a SO/BB last year of 0.94, a stat that now reads 7.20. Needless to say, he probably isn't long for Bradenton, but after last year the organization is taking things slow with him.

The low minor players haven't started play so I won't mention them and I really don't feel like going in-depth with everyone with pro potential (sorry Quincy Latimore) so I'm just stopping there...the system looks to be be re-stocking quite well under Huntington, and picking #2 in the draft with a huge draft budget again (hey, when you know you're going to suck I'd rather have $5 million poured into the draft than into a middle reliever) the system should be in great shape by the end of the year...not that the effects aren't shown by the change as it stands. The Bradenton Marauders contain mostly Huntington-era prospects and sit in first place in the Southern Division of the Florida State League. The Curve, who are about 50/50, are 20-13.

Last edited by Big McLargehuge: 05-14-2010 at 08:35 PM.
Big McLargehuge is offline