May Prospects Rundown: West Virginia Power

West Virginia has some interesting prospects, but at the moment they’re probably the only full season league without a top 10 prospect in the Pirates’ organization.  The guys who are top prospects either haven’t been consistent enough this season, or haven’t taken their game to the next level.  West Virginia should see a surge in talent by the end of June, as prep pitchers like Zach Von Rosenberg could be in line for a Quinton Miller like path once Extended Spring Training ends.

Here is a quick breakdown of the month of May, with players who played up to expectations, some surprises, and some disappointments.
Good as Advertised
Aaron Baker - Baker hasn’t been lighting up opposing pitchers, but he hit for a decent .278/.351/.443 line in the month of May, with two homers in 97 at-bats.  It would be nice to see some more power from him, although one good thing is that he walked 11 times this month, compared to twice in April.

Evan Chambers - Chambers showed what he is capable of in the month of May, hitting for a .284/.416/.402 line, with two homers in 102 at-bats.  Chambers has been excellent at getting on base this year, and is also capable of stealing a bag, stealing 9-of-13 bases in the month of May.  He’s been a good leadoff hitter, but he could develop some power and be more than just a top of the order guy in the future.

Nathan Baker - Baker had a great month of May, with a 2.73 ERA in six starts, and an 18:9 K/BB ratio in the 33 innings he pitched in those starts.  Baker held opponents to a .218 BAA.  He could be in line for a promotion to Bradenton once the domino effect takes place following Brad Lincoln’s eventual promotion to Pittsburgh.

The Big Surprises

David Rubinstein - Rubinstein continues to hit, batting for a .314/.354/.419 line in the month of May.  The average is down, and the OPS took a hit from his April numbers, but it’s still a step up from the sub-.700 OPS we saw from him in State College the last two years.

Elevys Gonzalez - Gonzalez made his debut in mid-May, after playing in just 13 games in State College last year after spending most of the season in the GCL.  Gonzalez was impressive, with a .303/.395/.394 line, and four steals.  He doesn’t have any power, but so far he’s shown to be a good hitter.  I’m skeptical on him, as he only hit for a .271 average in the GCL, with a .304 OBP in 107 at-bats.

Kyle McPherson - McPherson had a horrible month of April, ending up in the disappointing section of my writeup last month.  He turned things around in May, with a 3.48 ERA in six starts, and an incredible 43:4 K/BB ratio in 33.2 innings.  McPherson has since carried that excellent run in to the month of June, which makes you wonder if his performance is somewhat legit.

Kind of Disappointing
Jarek Cunningham - C

unningham had a great month of April, and has started to come around recently towards the end of May, but overall the month of May wasn’t kind to him.  Cunningham hit for a .194/.242/.333 line in 93 at-bats, with two homers.  He’s starting to come back around, so hopefully it was only a one month thing.

Wes Freeman - Freeman continued to struggle in May, hitting for a .179/.226/.321 line in 28 at-bats, before being demoted to Extended Spring Training after eight games.  Freeman struck out in 15 of his 28 at-bats.

Author: 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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