The Pirates drafted Maurice Bankston in the 8th round of the 2007 draft out of Texarkana Community College. The 6' 4" righty signed early enough to get in some innings in the GCL. In 2008 he was a starting pitcher at State College before an injury shut him down in early August. He started the 2009 season with West Virginia and pitched better than the previous season but was sent back to State College once their season started where he started nine games before again getting hurt.
The Pirates switched Maurice to the bullpen in 2010 with improved results across the board. He showed a more consistent fastball with more velocity. Still just 23 years old to start the 2011 season he has a chance to keep building on his improvements from last year as he goes higher up in the system.
For more about Maurice, and all of the other prospects in the system, check out the Pirates Prospects 2011 Prospect Guide.
I had a chance to talk to Maurice about his improvement from last yea...
John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.