Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 8/25/09

Today’s Prospect Feature: The Pirates selected University of Mississippi starter Nathan Baker in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. Despite the high pick, the most exciting pitcher to come from Mississippi in this year’s draft has not been Baker, but is actually his former teammate in Mississippi, and current teammate in State College, Phillip Irwin.

Irwin was taken in the 21st round by the Pirates, coming off a junior year at Mississippi where he had a 3.84 ERA and a 73:20 K/BB ratio in 86.2 innings pitched. He’s started his professional career with very impressive numbers, posting a 0.69 ERA in his first 26 innings, with a 29:4 K/BB ratio. His four inning, one run outing tonight was not only the second run he’s allowed in seven appearances this year, but actually raised his ERA 28 points.

The most encouraging thing so far has been the ratios. Not only does Irwin have the impressive strikeout and walk ratios, but he also has a very solid 55% ground ball ratio. Overall it’s a very encouraging start by the 21st round pick.

The Prospect Tracker is updated with tonight’s games.

AAA

The Result: Indianapolis won 8-7 against Columbus.

-Jose Tabata went 1 for 4 with a double.

-Argenis Diaz went 0 for 3.

-Daniel McCutchen pitched six innings, allowing four runs on ten hits, with a walk and three strikeouts.

Other Game Notes: Neil Walker went 1 for 4. Robinzon Diaz went 1 for 3 with a double. Jeff Salazar, who cleared waivers and was sent to Indianapolis, went 0 for 1 with a run as a pinch hitter.

AA

The Result: Altoona won 4-3 against Trenton.

-Gorkys Hernandez went 2 for 5 with a double.

-Pedro Alvarez went 1 for 4 with a double.

-Tim Alderson pitched seven innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits, with no walks and one strikeout.

Other Game Notes: Ray Chang went 3 for 4. Jared Hughes pitched two innings, allowing an unearned run on two hits, with no walks and one strikeout for the save.

A+

The Result: Lynchburg lost 4-2 to Wilmington.

-Chase d’Arnaud went 2 for 4 with a double, triple, and a walk.

-Ronald Uviedo pitched five innings, allowing two runs on five hits, with three walks, no strikeouts, and two homers.

-Nathan Adcock pitched four innings, allowing two runs on three hits, with a walk and a strikeout.

Other Game Notes: Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer each went 1 for 4. Matt Hague and Jared Keel each went 2 for 4.

A

The Result: West Virginia won 3-1 against Bowling Green.

-Robbie Grossman went 2 for 5.

-Tony Sanchez went 1 for 4.

-Starling Marte did not play.

-Brett Lorin pitched five shutout innings, allowing five hits, one walk, and two strikeouts.

Other Game Notes: Kyle Morgan went 1 for 3 with a homer. Calvin Anderson went 2 for 4. Casey Erickson pitched four innings, allowing one run on five hits, with no walks and three strikeouts to get the save.

A-

The Result: State College won 8-1 against Jamestown.

Game Notes: Aaron Baker went 2 for 4 with three runs. Evan Chambers went 1 for 4 with a double. Phillip Irwin pitched four innings, allowing one run on six hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Nelson Pereira pitched four shutout innings, allowing one hit, no walks, and five strikeouts.

GCL

The Result: Bradenton won 2-1 against the GCL Braves.

-Wes Freeman went 0 for 3 with two strikeouts.

-Gift Ngoepe went 1 for 4 with an RBI.

-Ramon Cabrera did not play.

Other Game Notes: Benji Gonzalez went 2 for 4. Ryan Beckman pitched five innings, allowing one run on one hit, with two walks and four strikeouts.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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