Along with the promotion of Victor Black to high-A Bradenton, the Pittsburgh Pirates have also promoted right handed reliever Duke Welker from Bradenton to Altoona. Welker has put up a strong season in Bradenton, with a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings, along with a 7.1 K/9 and a 4.3 BB/9 ratio. In the past year he's displayed a 98 MPH fastball, although control has been a big issue, with almost a walk an inning during the 2010 season. Welker got those control numbers down to a more respectable range, although it's still high. The 6' 7", 220 pound right hander is 25 years old, but due to his high velocity, he's definitely a prospect....
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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.