2011 Prospect Watching: Stevenson, Cumpton, And Pals

Jason Townsend —  R/R,  6′ 3″,  190 lb
Townsend came to the Pirates in the 31st round of the 2010 draft.  He reported to State College, where he was mostly used as the closer.  He appeared in 20 games for a total of 20 innings in July and August.  July was his better month, when he allowed 3 earned runs and 12 hits in 11.1 innings (2.38 ERA) with 6 walks and 9 strikeouts.  In August/September, Townsend made another 10 appearances, and gae up 5 runs and 14 hits over 8.2 innings  (5.19 ERA), with another 6 walks and 9 strikeouts.  Townsend’s big plus is his fastball velocity, which is in the mid-90’s, and sometimes a bit higher; his weak point is his control.  He’s also got a slider and a changeup.  The 22-year-old Townsend can also be moved up to West Virginia to begin 2011.  

Kevin Decker  –  R/R, 6′ 1″, 185 lb
Decker is another hard-throwing righty who was chosen in the 2010 draft, coming to the Pirates in the 39th round.  He began his pro career in State College, where he made 4 starts and 11 relief appearances.  Decker struggled in the starts, allowing 14 runs on 20 hits in 13 innings, including one start when he gave up 8 runs in one inning.  The relief appearances were much better.  In 44.2 relief innings, he gave up 32 hits, but just 10 runs, for a 2.01 ERA.  Decker finished the season well, allowing just 4 runs in his last 6 appearances (23 innings) for a 1.56 ERA, with 11 strikeouts.  Decker has a fastball in the low 90’s.  He could be a starter or work in long relief if needed, probably at West Virginia.

Rinku Singh  —  L/L,  6′ 2″,  190 lb
Singh was signed by the Pirates after winning the “Million Dollar Arm” contest in his native India, and coming to the US to learn baseball.  He made his pro debut in 2010 with the GCL Pirates, where he made 11 relief appearances (12.1 innings) and earned a 1-2 record and a 5.84 ERA.  Singh returned to the GCL for the 2011 season, and made 13 relief appearances for the Pirates.  He showed improvement, allowing just 6 runs on 20 hits in 20.2 innings, with 8 walks and an outstanding 20 strikeouts.  At the end of the season, he was promoted to State College for one game, in which he threw 2 shutout innings with one hit and one strikeout.  Over the winter, Singh joined the Canberra Calvary of the Australian Baseball League.  He made 12 appearances for 16 innings, and allowed 7 earned runs (3.94 ERA) on 10 hits.  But his walks ballooned to 21, and he struck out 14 batters.  Singh needs to continue his steady improvement, and should begin 2011 at State College, but has a chance to see a little time in West Virginia later in the season.  


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Nancy Zinni

Nancy grew up in Rochester, NY, where her father indoctrinated her to the love of baseball as a small child. He taught her to keep score at the age of 5, and she hasn't stopped since. She now lives in the Indianapolis area with her husband and two sons. Nancy has followed the Indians on both the Most Valuable Network and the Bloguin group, before joining Pirates Prospects in 2011. She provides daily game recaps from Indianapolis, plus player analysis from the guys she sees live at the games.

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