2. Duke Welker, RHP, Arkansas
- Welker is a 6-7, 220 pound righthander with more projection left than the average college pitcher. Welker sits in the low 90's with his fastball, which has some late life to it. Welker's secondary pitches are not considered especially strong. His best is a slider that remains somewhat inconsistent. The Arkansas product also mixes in a curveball and a changeup. Welker posted a 3.59 ERA in 2006, with 80 strikeouts and 39 walks in 97.2 innings. Welker has an injury history, having had labrum surgery on his throwing shoulder as a freshman at Seminole State Junior College. Assuming health, Welker has a chance to develop into a 4th or 5th starter.
3. Brian Friday, SS, Rice
- A three-year starter at Rice, Friday was a sparkplug player for the Owls, possessing very good speed, solid range, and a strong throwing arm. At 5-11, 180 pounds, Friday has limited power but has enough strength to line some doubles into the outfield gaps. Friday projects as a player that ...
Matt has covered the Pirates at Wait ‘Til Next Year, Pittsburgh Lumber Co. and now Pirates Prospects. He served as Pirates team expert for Heater Magazine in 2009 and 2010 and has contributed to Graphical Player 2009, 2010 and 2011. Matt was also the editor of the 2011 and 2012 Pirates Prospects Annuals.