Sunday, May 16, 2010
Minor League Report
Usually I write my weekly Pirates Minor League Report and seeing that as we are over a month into the season and I have yet to do one, now seems like a good time.
Searching through the organization, I have been very excited and have really kept tabs on what a lot of these guys are doing. It's not a joke, for the first time in decades, the Pirates have REAL prospects. Not only do they have real prospects, they have real good prospects with high ceilings.
I will try and make this a weekly thing again but I have been very busy of late. So let's take a look at the minor leagues.
Indianapolis Indians (AAA)- Neil Walker has been tremendous with both the bat and the glove and had played all over the diamond. Scouts are raving about his versatility and he is hitting. 325 with 6HR/25RBI. Jose Tabata has been very good as well, hitting .315 2/11 and also has 17 steals. Many feel we will see both guys very soon in Pittsburgh. Pedro Alvarez had some problems with the batting average early, but is all the way up to .265 with 9HR and 36 RBI's in 36 games. he's starting to hit for power off lefties as well, which is something the organization has wanted to see.
On the mound, Brad Lincoln is off to a 4-1 start with a 3.23 era. He is throwing three pitches consistently for strikes and once he gets a little more confidence in his change up, then PNC Park should be the next step. Donnie Veal and Daniel McCutchen have been decent down in AAA but keep your eye on Michael Crotta. Crotta who wasn't listed among the Pirates Top 50 prospects a year ago has quickly climbed through the ranks. After getting promoted from Altoona earlier in the season, Crotta has made three very good starts with the Indians, going 2-1 with a 2.86 era; including seven strong innings on Friday. Crotta is a sinker baller with above average stuff that just gets people out.
Altoona Curve- The prospects starting with Alttona and lower in the organization are really worth keeping an eye on. Looking at the position players at Altoona, outfielder Alex Pressley leads the team with a .361 average. Infielders Josh Harrison and Jim Negrych are both hitting over .300 as well. Harrison is highly thought of and this seems to be a bounce back year for Negrych, who is back on the map. There isn't really much power to pay attention for the Curve off the bat.
Two guys struggling to keep an eye on are shortstop of the future Chase D'Arnaud and outfielder Gorkys Hernandez. Both got off to very slow starts at the plate, but both are still highly thought of. Some have said D'Arnaud may be the best athlete in the minor leagues at the moment. D'arnaud has picked things up lately though his numbers don't look like it. He's hitting only .216 and hasn't shown any power. Scouts say not to expect numbers like that for long. Hernandez on the other hand has only two extra base hits all season and is only hitting .205. he may quickly be getting passed up by other young talented outfielders.
On the mound, right hander Jared Hughes and left hander Rudy Owens have been very good. Hughes is 7-1 with a 3.16 era and Owens sits at 3-2 with a 3.86 era. Owens should have a few more wins but his body of work has been great; especially his 40 strikeouts to only eight walks. Tim Alderson has a 2-1 record but an inflated 6.19 era. I'm not really worried about the era because that came as the result of one bad outing.
Keep your eye on Daniel Moskos. Moskos will be forever linked to Matt Wieters, but seems to have found a role as a left handed reliever. Moskos is 1-0 with a 1.15era in 15.1 innings of work.
I will have a report on Bradenton and West Virgina posted tomorrow