Baseball America 2011 Top 10 Prospects

Taillon is the number one prospect for the Pirates, and the projected number one starter in 2014.

Baseball America released their 2011 top 10 prospects for the Pittsburgh Pirates, which was compiled by Dejan Kovacevic.  The rankings can be found here, and for BA subscribers, you can read scouting reports on each player here.

The top prospect isn’t a surprise, with Jameson Taillon taking the honors.  Tony Sanchez follows Taillon in second place, followed by Stetson Allie and Starling Marte.  Luis Heredia rounds out the top five, putting the three highly touted pitching prospects from the 2010 draft/international class all in the top five.

The 2010 Altoona pitchers come next, with Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, and Jeff Locke in order in the 6-8 spots.  Zack Von Rosenberg follows that group at number nine, and Chase D’Arnaud finishes off the list at number ten.

BA also has a projected 2014 lineup, which includes Tony Sanchez at catcher, Andrew Lambo at first base, Chase D’Arnaud at shortstop, and Starling Marte in center field.  The lineup, which includes Neil Walker at second, Pedro Alvarez at third, Andrew McCutchen in left, and Jose Tabata in right, is almost identical to the one I have.  The exception is that I have Alvarez at first, with Jarek Cunningham at third, although I think each lineup will eventually include Alvarez at first, and Anthony Rendon at third.

The pitchers in that group are interesting.  Taillon is listed as the number one starter, and it’s not a stretch to assume he will be in the majors by 2014.  James McDonald is listed as the number two starter, which I like, as I’m a fan of his abilities.  Following those two are Luis Heredia, Bryan Morris, and Rudy Owens, with Stetson Allie as the closer.  I think Taillon could make it to the majors by the 2014 season, although I doubt Allie would be there (unless they make a quick switch to the bullpen), and I definitely don’t think Heredia will be there at the age of 19, turning 20 during the season.

Six of the ten spots match the 2011 Pirates Prospects rankings, and the only player on the Baseball America list that isn’t in the Pirates Prospects top 10 is D’Arnaud.

Tim Williams

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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  • Anonymous

    I think Lambo really is a wildcard in all this. If he canrealize his power potential he could become a fixture in RF. Also I really don’t see the OF of Cutch, Tabata, and Marte happening. One of them will be moved to add either a major piece to MLB club or some high end spects to replenish the system.

    Could see a lineup of Tabata, Marte, Rendon, Alvarez, Lambo, walker, Sanchez, and D’Arnaud(even though I think they might try to fill SS from outside, maybe dealing Chase+ for high upside starter)

    Id replace Heredia with Locke or some pitching from outside. Hold off on Allie as closer and replace with Moreno or maybe something crazy like Morton or Hart. Definitely. A LOT

  • Anonymous

    bettter than 3 years ago for sure

  • salempirate

    Q: Mistake?
    A: Overpay. Salary and prospects. Astros couldn’t find a taker for over a year. With all the PR from the F.O. about young pitching, the Pirates now start 2 33 y.o. and a 35 y.o. Not that I’d be willing to give the 35 y.o. back to the Millionaires club.
    Q: Qualls=mistake #2?
    A RP facing DFA for a 1B/3B whose a desirable fill-in for 2 injured players?

    • Lee Young

      Don’t forget about getting a 1bman who had hit .225 the 2nd half of last year and was hitting so poorly that the Marlins sent him to AAA AND traded for Carlos Lee.

      Not sure why we wanted that.

      • john.alcorn

        We wanted that because the Snider trade made us very LH and Gaby can hit LHP while McGehee can’t.

        The Qualls trade was two guys about to be dfa’d for each other, no loss there.

        • Lee Young

          Gaby USED to be able to hit LHPs. From the All Star break last year to before got sent down, his average is WORSE than Casey’s vs LHP.

          But then, you knew that, right?
          Let me repeat: The Marlins preferred Carlos Lee over Gaby!!!

          I love Neal, but he traded for PAST performance vs current performance.

          Two years ago, these would’ve been steals. Now, we’ve been stolen from.

          .

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

            I think the Sanchez move is a buy low move. If he rebounds to his 2010/2011 numbers he’d be worth more than a compensation pick in return.

            • Lee Young

              And he was LOW….

              Did they really buy him low? It cost us a comp pick and more importantly the $$$. If we had had that extra pick THIS year, we could’ve drafted a HS senior and Mark Appel might be a Bucco farmhand.

              JMHO.

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

                I don’t think that would have changed the Appel situation. They had a comp pick this year, and they spent the money. They didn’t save money until rounds 6-10.

                • Lee Young

                  Tim….but what I am saying is: They may not have wanted the player (and #33 picks don’t have an impressive history), but if they HAD had that pick this year, they could’ve drafted a College (not HS) and used that towards Appel.

                  AND, if Appel falls again and he consents to us drafting him again, we may rue losing that money?

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

                    What I’m saying is that they didn’t go with that approach last year (booting the comp pick to save money for Appel) so I don’t think they’d do it this coming year.

                    Also, if Appel falls again, this time as a college senior, then I don’t think a team would have to struggle finding money for him.

                    • Lee Young

                      Good point on ‘booting’ the comp pick.

                      Like I said above….I need to get over this.

                      GO BUCS! Go JMAC!

          • cocktailsfor2

            …and then the Fish spent the last week trying to GIVE El Caballo AWAY.

            • Lee Young

              The point is, they thought a washed up Lee was better than Gaby.

              • cocktailsfor2

                No, the point is that THEY WERE WRONG. CLee is not better than Gaby.

                Teams make bad decisions / wrong evaluations alla time.

                • Lee Young

                  Then why did they trade Gaby? Perhaps they didn’t want to bring him up?

              • http://twitter.com/VRRCards VRR Cards

                And where have the Marlins astute evaluations gotten them this year?

          • http://twitter.com/NovaTodd Todd Brown10

            You seem well versed in the art of using arbitrary endpoints to advance your arguments. The fact of the matter is we have a large amount of data that shows Gaby Sanchez to be a superior hitter against LHP; we don’t have enough data to conclude that he USED to be a superior hitter against LHP. The statistics you cite COULD mean something has materially changed with Sanchez and he is no longer the hitter he used to be. They could just as easily be noise in a sea of data. Time will tell.

            • Lee Young

              (time will tell) You are correct….I think what irked me is that these two guys were being mentioned prior to the trade deadlines and I posted that I didn’t want them. I thought their best days were behind them.

              But, now we have them, so it is time, as I posted above, for me to get over it.

              Like you said, time will tell, and as a Bucco fan, I hope I am proven wrong big time. Right now, all any of us have are opinions.

  • http://twitter.com/MrAwesomeWVU MrAwesome

    Locke has every opportunity to crack the 2013 rotation and stay there. The chances 1 of J-Mac, Karstens, Wandy, and Burnett getting injured for an extended period of time are really high. He has certainly earned it and would be pitching for the Pirates right now if not for the fact they’re fighting for a playoff spot.

  • Lee Young

    Tim….my sentiments exactly! It is a VERY unpopular opinion tho. I’ve been getting ‘down arrows’ when I mention that….lol

    I thought Grossman had the potential to be a Lenny Dysktra type.

    I didn’t want Wandy BEFORE the trade. He had a 5,45 ERA since mid-May. Yes, he was pitching in a bandbox, but his HOME ERA was 1 run better.

    Dumb Deal, imho!

  • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

    Locke instead of Wandy for a team in a pennant race? No. If Locke fails the team is screwed. No wait! They could try Rudy Owens! If he fails? How many starts do you give these AAA pitchers before you pull the plug? How much time do yu have to mess around with it? If you have to pull the plug what is your option? You’re not gonna see a good starter pass thru waivers. The trade for Wandy did two things. 1. It gave the Pirates a solid left handed starter to stabilize the rotation. He’s been consistently good and it’s highly unlikely that that will change. 2. He gives the team a needed starter for next year and possibly 2014. they need him to go with AJ, JMac, Karstens and possibly Locke next year.

    • Lee Young

      Do you think Locke, Owens or even KC could pitch better than the 5.45 ERA Wandy has put up the last 2 months or so? I do. So does Tim.

      • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

        By that logic, you’re probably ready to send JMac to the minors. After all, he has an 8.71 era over the last month. Would the players you mentioned pitch better than that 5.45 era? I don’t know. I know that Wandy did last night and he’s been better over his last two starts.

        • Lee Young

          JMac ain’t 33 yrs old.

          I hope Wandy does well AND proves me wrong. I AM a Bucco fan. I just think that last night was as good as he’s gonna get. And the Reds had their 3 best hitters OUT of the lineup.

          I’d still rather have Grossman than Rodriguez.

          JMHO.

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

      This is a big reason why I’ve been saying for the last few months that they should have removed Correia and called up one of the Indianapolis left-handers.

      • ElGaupo77

        This is easily the most trigger-happy and emotional I’ve ever seen you write. You waited a whole two starts to criticize Wandy when you know better than all of us that it takes years to truly determine if a trade was appropriate.
        We thought we won the Bay trade two weeks after it happened and wanted to crucify Neal initially for the McClouth trade.

        Unless…. this is a blatant attempt to stir the populous and draw attention to the website; then Bravo, you’ve succeeded.

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

          First of all, emotions have nothing to do with it. I felt that after Locke had another great start last night, the topic was relevant.

          Second, it’s not like Wandy only has two starts. I don’t start evaluating a player once he joins the Pirates. His two starts did nothing to change my opinion of him. I think he’s a good pitcher, but I also think that the pitcher he is now is much cheaper to acquire. And that’s what I pointed out in this article.

  • maguro

    I thought Wandy pitched pretty well. In any case, what is the point of revisiting the trade after two starts? Let’s see where Wandy, Locke and Grossman are at around this time next year – we’ll have a much better idea of whether the Pirates made a good move or not then.

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

      This wasn’t so much about Wandy as it was about Locke. I thought Wandy pitched well. It just so happened that his outing came on the same night as Jeff Locke’s latest dominant outing.

      • maguro

        At some point, either next year or later this year, Wandy and Locke will be in the Pirates rotation, so it’s not like it’s an either/or situation with those two guys.

        The real question is what does Grossman become, and we won’t know that for another couple years at least.

        And again, revisiting the deal after every start by Wandy or Locke oesn’t seem very analytical. Step back a bit, give the players some time to put up some statistiically meaningful performances, then reevaluate.

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

          This is the only time I’ve revisited the deal. And it came after another strong outing from Locke (against one of the top three IL hitting teams), and after I looked at the payroll for next season.

          • http://twitter.com/VRRCards VRR Cards

            Does that mean if Locke got shelled there would be no article?

  • http://twitter.com/jamesmvargo James Vargo

    Everyone is neglecting the fact that we can’t HIT! The Cutch/Alvarez powerslump rollercoaster drives me nuts. Could have used a resurgence last night. Please, prove me wrong tonight, guys…

    • Lee Young

      I think we fall somewhere in between our HR bashing ways and our April/May funk.

      Alvarez is streaky….he’ll start bombing again soon.

  • http://twitter.com/jamesmvargo James Vargo

    Also, with Polanco and Bell, Grossman would probably been another stopgap like Pressley. And why was Ludwick written off as a BIG bust after only 112 AB last year? He wanted to resign with us, I thought. I honest to goodness, wanted us to resign him last winter…..just sayin’ — talking about track records.

  • Todd Smith

    Oh, good! It’s the latest edition of Drama Queen Theater!

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

      Thanks for adding to the discussion.

      • Todd Smith

        Grossman only went 1 for 4 last night. Clearly,this trade was a huge win for the Pirates.

        • http://twitter.com/VRRCards VRR Cards

          Yea but if Grossman goes 4 for 4 today the trade will be a failure.

    • Lee Young

      we’re guys…it’s Drama King Theater!!!

      sheesh!!!

  • yepperbobknepper

    I think the Wandy trade should be analyzed after every inning he pitches. Two games is too large of a sample size.

    • Lee Young

      lol

  • Lee Young

    After arguing about this all morn, I have beaten to death that I only liked the Snider deal. So as someone said below, the trades have been made, so it is time I got over it.

    Let’s GO BUCS!

  • Ben Hohlfelder

    i think that nh slightly overvalued wandy due to his years of control…am i more comfortable with wandy than locke this year? yes but the years of control may be less meaningful, especially if wandys (age 33) velocity and k rate continue to drop. While the 8mil salary is an issue, the salary issues should and can be dealt with in the offseason by declining barajas option and hopefully trading hanrahan for a bat

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.zalisnock Dan Zalisnock

    Wandy has pitched solid since we got him. He is an established veteran with a good track record. he is a well known name in major league baseball. I’m tired of everyone whining because we got rid of a prospect or 2. You have to deal prospects to get good veteran help down the stretch in a pennant race. Wandy has one of the nastiest curves in baseball and hasn’t had en ERA over 3.60 since 2007. Grossman was going to be a bench player at best, Owens a 5th rotation guy at best, and Cain might not ever make it past bullpen. Being obsessed with prospects in unhealthy.

  • Lee Young

    Wandy pitched against a team that wasn’t exactly murderers row last night. Votto, Bruce and Phillips were out.

    And he still gave up 3 runs!

    Weren’t we getting that production from KC? How did we upgrade?

  • john.alcorn

    Wow, if you need to be told how Wandy is better than Correia its a lost cause.

    I liked Grossman more than most, but Wandy is a very godo addition to this rotation. Tim claiming Locke is just as good is a huge stretch overvaluing our prospects. At any rate Locke will likely be the #5 next year.

  • Lee Young

    John…Wandy USED to be better than KC ‘hands down’. Now, they are the same pitcher. What part of “5.45 ERA since May” don’t you understand? He is nothing more than a 5th starter type.

    I don’t MIND having Wandy, but not at the price of Grossman.

    Foo

    .

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

    It’s not overvaluing Locke at all. Is it possible that you’re just undervaluing him?

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

    I would still take Wandy over Correia. They’re not the same pitcher. Wandy gets twice as many strikeouts, which is really important.

  • cocktailsfor2

    …if you’re going to use ERA as your basis of argument, you’ll find yourself pretty lonely around P2

  • Lee Young

    I hate being lonely….:) :)

    Foo

    .

  • Lee Young

    Btw, I read all the articles about KC supposedly will regress. Now KC wasn’t great, but a) he WASN’T regressing (pretty good last outing) and b) if anything Bedard should’ve been sent to the ‘pen.

    I am not a fan of KC, Bedard OR Wandy. Would’ve loved to have seen Locke up here. And even if I agree that Wandy is the better of those pitchers, the upgrade wasn’t enough to trade Grossman.

    Hopefully, as I’ve stated above, I will be proven wrong and Wandy will dazzle us down the stretch.

    I just don’t see it.

    .

  • Lee Young

    I’d rather seen Locke come up than trade for Wandy.

  • cocktailsfor2

    Ha! ;-)

  • cocktailsfor2

    I didn’t say KC was crappy. I AM saying Wandy is better than KC.

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

    Funny thing about Correia is that I would have replaced him all season due to the lack of strikeouts. But in the last month he’s put up decent strikeout rates (6.3 K/9 in July before being removed from the rotation, 7.9 K/9 after the break). He also said he made an adjustment to focus more on strikeouts.

    A big reason I liked him when he came to the Pirates was that he could strike people out (6.7 K/9 in 2009/2010 as a full time starter). I would have been less inclined to call for him to be removed from the rotation if he was striking out guys like he was in those three starts after the break.

  • Lee Young

    The much maligned Mark Malone, er ah Kevin Correia. Just starting to pitch well and he’s yanked from the rotation.

    :) :)