Four More Pirates Prospects Heading to the AFL

Four more Pittsburgh Pirates prospects have been added to the Mesa Solar Sox roster in the Arizona Fall League this year.  At the end of last month we heard that Robbie Grossman and Brock Holt were heading to the AFL.  Joining them will be left hander Nathan Baker, right handers Mike Colla and Phillip Irwin, and second baseman Jarek Cunningham.

Baker had a 3.34 ERA in 148.1 innings in high-A Bradenton this year, with a 6.4 K/9 and a 3.1 BB/9 ratio.  Colla had a surprising season in Altoona, with a 3.70 ERA in 133.2 innings, including a 3.72 ERA in 123.1 innings as a starter.  Irwin had a big season, starting out with a 2.03 ERA in 53.1 innings in high-A Bradenton, then moving up to Altoona, where he posted a 3.81 ERA in 87.1 innings, with a 69:10 K/BB ratio.

Cunningham had a .258/.320/.516 line in 310 at-bats for high-A Bradenton this year.  He hit 15 homers, which ranked second in the organization, but missed a large part of the second half with concussion symptoms.  He returned to play two games in the GCL at the end of the season.

The Pirates have one more spot on the AFL roster, and 2011 first round pick Gerrit Cole is a strong candidate to take that spot.  He started instructional leagues today, and could be heading to the AFL after the first group leaves from instructs.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

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.

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