Recent

0

Pittsburgh Pirates Top 50 Prospects: 26 – Brooks Pounders

To cap off the end of the 2009 season, I’m going to be counting down my list of the top 50 prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ system. I’ll be counting down one prospect per day, with an extensive recap on each player, until I reach number one. Check out the previous installments:

Now on to prospect number 26:
26. Brooks Pounders, RHP
2009 Season: Pounders was a surprise selection by the Pirates in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft. The Pirates took Tanner Scheppers the previous season, leading many to believe that the team would again select a talent that fell to them with this second round pick. Instead they selected Pounders, who was off the radar as far as the second round went. Pounders was drafted out of high school, with a commitment to USC for college. The Pirates signed him away for $670 K, which was $3,200 below slot for the number 53 pick in the draft.
In his senior year with Temecula Valley, Pounders put up a 1.96 ERA with a 91:20 K/BB ratio in 64.1 innings pitched. He also hit for a .400/.547/.750 line in 80 at-bats, with seven homers, and a 16:24 K/BB ratio at the plate.
Pounders signed quickly, and went right to Bradenton where he played for the Pirates in the Gulf Coast League. In 23.2 innings with Bradenton, Pounders put up a 3.04 ERA, and a 20:11 K/BB ratio. The walk ratio was high, although the strikeout ratio was acceptable. The K/BB ratio is skewed by one bad outing on August 15th, in which Pounders allowed five walks and struck out none in two innings of work.
The strange thing about that particular outing was that Pounders had that outing against the GCL Tigers, one start after pitching four innings and allowing one run against the same team, with four strikeouts and one walk. Without that bad outing, Pounders had a 20:6 K/BB ratio in 21.2 innings pitched with Bradenton.
Information: Pounders is a big pitcher, at 6′ 5″, 240 lbs, but is not a hard throwing pitcher. He works in the 88-90 MPH range with his fastball, topping out at 91. His frame also doesn’t have any projectability, which means he isn’t a candidate to improve on that velocity. Pounders does have three good secondary pitches.
Pounders throws a tight curveball and a hard slider that ranges around 80 MPH with a late bite. Both pitches have plus potential. He also throws a changeup, which is currently a plus pitch, serving as a solid out pitch.
His fastball is straight, and he doesn’t command it on a consistent basis, although he has above-average command when it’s on, and he could eventually develop plus command. One thing the Pirates stress at the lower levels is fastball control and command, which should help him in this area. A good thing about his fastball is that he manages to keep it down, which leads to a low home run ratio.
Pounders doesn’t throw the fastball hard, but he has the potential of a three plus pitch arsenal, with plus fastball command. He won’t need a mid-90s fastball if his breaking balls develop in to plus pitches, or even to above average pitches. Pounders also works fast, repeats his delivery, and throws strikes.
In order to achieve success, Pounders needs to improve his breaking pitches, keep his command consistent, and watch his weight. He probably won’t improve on his velocity, but he could be an excellent finesse pitcher.
2010 Expectations: Pounders will likely spend the 2010 season with State College, where he should make some good strides on improving his fastball command.
Optimistic Projection: Pounders has the ability to be a rare pitcher in the majors: a number two starter who only throws 90 MPH, but gets by with his secondary pitches and excellent command. That would kind of make him the right handed version of David Wells, although I’m not sure if Pounders will ever pitch a no-hitter while drunk.
Conservative Projection: A 3-5 starter who doesn’t record a lot of strikeouts, but has an ERA around 4.00 thanks to his control and command. Kind of like Zach Duke.
Check back late Sunday night/Monday morning for prospect number 25…

Share This Article

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.

AFL: Scorpions Sunk By Rafters

Next Story »

Hernandez Hurts Hankins’ Start

Latest Analysis

  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    14 hours ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    4 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Peacock Nevarez

    Will One of These Pirates Minor League Pitchers Be the Next John Holdzkom?

    2 weeks ago

    By now you probably know that John Holdzkom rose from independent ball last year and made it to the majors. It was one of the best stories in ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More