Baseball America’s Top 150 Prospect Lists

Baseball America released their 2011 top 100 prospects a week ago, with three Pittsburgh Pirates prospects making the list.  Those players were Jameson Taillon, Tony Sanchez, and Stetson Allie.  Today, in the Ask BA segment, Jim Callis answered a question about the individual top 150 prospect lists which make up the overall top 100.  Callis didn’t release the individual lists, but he did list all of the prospects who were listed...

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2011 Prospect Watching: Baker and Anderson

Continuing to look at the first basemen in the Pirates’ minor league organization:

Aaron Baker —  Bats L/ Throws R,  6′ 2″,  220 lbs
Baker was chosen in the 11th round of the 2009 draft, and began his pro career right away with the State College Spikes.  He was promoted to A level West Virginia for 2010, where he hit for close to the same average — .247 with the Spikes and .253 for the full season in West Virginia.  Baker’s power performance improved, as he hit 34 doubles, 18 homers, and 79 RBI for the Power.  His high strikeout rate in State College (54 strikeouts in 62 games, 24%) continued in 2010 with 115 strikeouts in 115 games (25%), but he also continued to work a reasonable number of walks —  52 (10%).  Baker’s best months at the plate were April (.282, 12 RBI) and May (.278, 16 RBI).  His average slipped to .179 in June, though hit hit 5 homers and 12 RBI.  He bounced back up to a .274 average in July and hit 7 homers and 21 RBI, then slid back to .247 in August, with 2 homers and 16 RBI.  He’d had a big righty-lefty split in 2009, but that disappeared in 2010 (.252 against left-handers and .253 against right-handers).  In the field, Baker played all his games at first (with a few DH appearances).  He made a whopping 19 errors at first, and that’s going to need a lot of work.  Baker should be the primary first baseman at A+ Bradenton for 2011, with some possible back-up by Matt Curry.  The Pirates would like to see him continue to increase the power numbers, and cut back on the strikeouts.  

Calvin Anderson  —  R/R,  6′ 7″,  240 lb
Anderson was the Pirates’ 12th round pick in the 2008 draft.  He moved up to A+ Bradenton for the 2010 season, where he was the starting first baseman (plus a few games as the DH).  He started the season with a so-so April, a .239 average, one homer, and 8 RBI.  May began in the same vein, then Anderson had a 12-game hitting streak in the second half of the month, during which he went 22-for-46 (.478) with 3 homers and 16 RBI.  That included a 5-RBI game on May 22nd, and a 4-for-4, 4-RBI game on May 26th, and Anderson was named the Florida State League Player of the Week for that week.  Unfortunately, that hitting spree came to an end, and Anderson did not do that well again for the rest of the season.  He finished with a .259 average, 29 doubles, 11 homers, and 73 RBI.  Strikeouts had been a problem for Anderson in previous seasons, and that did not change in 2010 —  141 strikeouts in 125 games (30%).  In the field, Anderson struggled even more than Aaron Baker did — 23 errors at first base.  The combination of low hitting and difficulty in the field may make the Pirates re-think the idea of moving Anderson up to AA Altoona for 2011.  If he remains at Bradenton, though, he’s going to be squeezed by Baker, and without some big improvement this season, Baker may well pass Anderson by.
 

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Kevin Creagh on Savran on Sports

Kevin Creagh of Pirates Prospects was on Savran on Sports today, discussing last week’s interview with Pittsburgh Pirates’ president Frank Coonelly. If you missed the interview, you can check it out here on the ESPN 970 web site. KDKA’s #1 Cochran Sports Showdown also discussed the interview last night.  You can watch the video of the discussion on their site (starts around the 22 minute...

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Four Pirates in Kevin Goldstein’s Top 101 Prospects

Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus has released his top 101 prospects for the 2011 season.  Goldstein has four Pirates prospects on the list, with a bit of a surprise from the other lists that have been released. Jameson Taillon was the highest rated player on the list, coming in at number eight.  Taillon was the third best pitcher on the list, ranking only behind Julio Teheran and Aroldis Chapman.  He also ranked one spot ahead...

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2011 Draft Prospects Rundown: 2/28

Here is a recap of how each of the top 2011 draft prospects did this past week.  Click on their names to go to their tracker pages. ANTHONY RENDON Rendon started off the season on a slow note last week, hitting for a .250/.250/.250 line in his first 12 at-bats.  He did a complete 180 this week, catching fire at the plate, despite playing with a sore shoulder, which limited him to DH duties this week.  He went 6-for-9 with a walk...

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