Jarek Cunningham interview

The Mets blog Seven Train To Shea posted an interview with Pirates shortstop prospect Jarek Cunningham the other day. The audio quality isn’t great, but it is worth the listen if you have time. Cunningham had a great start to his professional career, hitting .318/.385/.507 in 174 plate appearances after the Pirates took him in the 18th round of the 2008 draft. Unfortunately, he tore his ACL and missed the entire 2009 season.  Cunningham was a potential steal in the ’08 draft, and that is still a good possibility despite the lost season.

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Matt Bandi

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.

The first sign of spring

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  • millenniumused

    wow

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      No one has been right or wrong about anything. Less than 50 at-bats in Spring Training doesn’t make a career. My opinion about Hague has always been that he’s a James Loney/Casey Kotchman type of first baseman.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Richard-YaZhynka/100000448392567 Richard Ya’Zhynka

        I agree that Hague is a Kotchman/Loney type of first baseman. I’d love to see him become a Grace/Olerud type. But if he hits like Kotchman did last year, we should all be quite pleased. (.306/.378/.422 with 10 HRs.)

  • ElGaupo77

    I like the comment about the walks.  Though he has shown a decent walk ratio in the past.  

    He HAS to realize that being a high OBPguy is his ticket.  If he can get to 70 BBs with only 50 Ks he’ll stick.  His defense is good and he has gap power.

  • Lee Young

    I like his potential more than GI Jones. Give him a shot!!! Sorry, but I have been on Hague’s bandwagon since AA. 

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      The thing is, it’s not Hague vs Jones. It’s Hague vs Jones/McGehee.

      Jones is a platoon player. So straight up, I’d take Hague. But since Jones is in a platoon, you can’t really say “I’d take Hague over Jones”. I wouldn’t, because Jones has already proven himself to be able to hit right handers well, which is his role in the platoon.

      • leadoff

        What makes Hague a platoon player?

        • Kevin_Creagh

          To date, Hague has shown much stronger numbers versus righties than against lefties.  As a RHB, that means he has a reverse split.  With Jones feeble against lefties, you can’t platoon him with Jones at this point.  But in general, his splits say he may be best as a platoon option.

  • http://twitter.com/Spazaru Murray Passarieu

    I agree Lee.  It’s not like this is a World Series team with Jones on 1st.  Let’s see what Mr. Hague has got!

  • keithconto

    I still gotta disagree with you Tim.  Theres something to be said for effort being rewarded.  One of the things around here that has, in the past, been a problem is players getting spots that didnt deserve them.  And if spring training means nothing then theres no reason to keep stats,  Hague has shown a willingness to do whatever the Pirates have wanted him to do to be a better player.  Rewarding him goes just beyond him, it sends a message throught the ORG that if you work hard and show results, they will be rewarded 

    I;d propose sending Pedro down, he clearly has issues.  Then moving Casey to 3rd and working Jones/Hague/RF in some kind of rotation.  Then giving starts to whomever produces the best.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Here’s my take on the “earning spots” argument. You’re basing this off of 50 at-bats in Spring Training. Why do those matter? Why are we only basing the decision on those at-bats?

      Jones has a career .838 OPS against right handers in 1010 major league at-bats. So why do we ignore what he’s done in the past three major league seasons, and just focus on the most recent numbers?

      It would be absurd to suggest this at any point in the season. No one would suggest making a change if a guy has two bad weeks in June. And that’s pretty much the equivalent of Spring Training. Overall it’s two weeks worth of numbers.

      I think you’re doing more to reward effort by focusing on what a player has done in his career, rather than focusing on a small sample of Spring numbers. I also think that a “what have you done for me lately” approach makes a player feel more unappreciated than sending a player down after 40-50 good at-bats in Spring Training.

  • scrappy2499

    completely unrelated but how did Pedro hit yesterday?  I heard he was supposed to get multiple at bats.  Was he able to hit a few? 

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Not good from what I heard. He was on the road.

      • scrappy2499

        oh, ok i thought he was supposed to bounce around yesterday and get a chance to see a lot of pitches.

  • Lee Young

    Jones kills you on defense. I guess we’re gonna have to
    agree to disagree on this one Tim.
     

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/MWVBPIKGEZWDFVWKO45ETHJCRQ Bryan

    I don’t understand the analysis on Hague.  Of course you don’t get a good sample size and have limited number of AB’s in spring training.  But what else do you have to go by except his spring training stats?  At least it is against Major League players.  And he is doing well.  He has earned his spot with the Pirates.  I don’t care if he doesn’t walk.  Just hit baby.  No one is saying he is going to be the next Pujols but give the guy a chance.  He can’t be any worse than the Overbays and LaRoche’s.  And he is still in his mid 20’s.

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