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.
Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.
Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide -- a book that features profiles on every prospect in the system. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit. Subscribe today for our full playoff coverage, and all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.