Locke led all Altoona starters with an 8.7 K/9 ratio in 2010.
When I was looking at the 2010 Altoona rotation for yesterday's preview of the 2011 Altoona starting pitchers, I noticed a trend. Every one of the top starters at the level had a strong K/9 ratio, in the 8.0 range. Rudy Owens was the only starter below an 8.0, with a 7.9 K/9 ratio. Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Tony Watson each had an 8.5 K/9, while Jeff Locke led all starters with an 8.7 K/9.
A lot of expectations are placed on these starters, mostly due to the fact that they're the first wave of pitching prospects expected to reach the majors in this current rebuild. However, the struggles of past top pitching prospects for the Pirates has some people worried that this group will be just another group of Zach Duke and Ian Snell type pitchers.
The high strikeout rates were significant, mostly because it's something that has been rare in the upper levels of the minors for the Pittsburgh Pirates. It's also so...
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.