Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Top Prospects: #10 – Nick Kingham

The Pirates Prospects 2012 Prospect Guide will be released later this week, featuring over 250 prospect reports, the 2012 top 50 prospects, a feature on the top four pitching prospects in the system, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find.  While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top ten prospects over the next week.  Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.

We start the countdown with the number ten prospect, Nick Kingham.

Nick Kingham had a 2.15 ERA in 71 innings during his first pro season.

10. Nick Kingham, RHP

Kingham had a lot of success in his first professional season in State College, and really stood out as a guy to follow going forward. His scouting reports out of the draft said that he threw 90-93 MPH with good life, along with a solid-average changeup and a below average curveball. Kingham displayed the 90-93 MPH fastball this year, and his secondary pitches ended up being much better than advertised.
His curveball looked strong early in the season, fooling a lot of hitters, and used as a strikeout pitch. The focus on fastball command led Kingham to use the curve only two or three times per outing, which led to the pitch getting rusty late in the season. When the pitch was on, it was an average to above-average offering. His best off-speed pitch was his changeup, which was very effective against left handers, grading out as an above-average pitch.

His fastball sits in the 90-93 MPH range early in outings, but he’s not to the point where he can carry that velocity past the first few innings. He attacks both sides of the plate with the fastball, and does a great job using the pitch to set up his off-speed stuff.

Kingham saw some improvements in his fastball velocity heading in to his junior year of high school, and he could see further improvements to all of his pitches as he moves throughout the minors. He profiles as a strong number three starter with the ability to throw 200 innings a year due to his build.

The Pirates will send Kingham to West Virginia for full season ball in 2012. He will get a chance to use his off-speed stuff more often, and will add to his workload. He already has an advantage there, throwing 71 innings in 2011. That could allow him to top 125 innings in 2012, which will be a good step towards building him up towards that workhorse role.

Share This Article

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.

Pirates Have Eight Arbitration Decisions Due Today

Next Story »

Pittsburgh Pirates 2012 Top Prospects: #9 – Kyle McPherson

  • Anonymous

    Kingham looks like a strong kid already, not being able to carry his fastball past the first couple innings to me is a problem, either he can pitch when his fastball goes away or he will end up a middle reliever, good that he is already advanced enough to know how to set hitters up.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      It’s typical for guys coming out of high school to lose velocity after the first few innings. Nothing to be concerned about at this point in his development.

      That said, his command is great. I see him as a younger version of Kyle McPherson.

  • Anonymous

    With high dollar arms like Tallion in the system, Kingham might be a little overlooked. He had a very good rookie season and IIRC was highly consistent, a good sign in itself. If he keeps progressing and reaches a solid #3 tossing 200 innings or so, that’ll be an awesome rotation if the front guys develop.

Latest Analysis

  • (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Willy Garcia Has Some of the Best Power in the System, But One Thing Holds Him Back

    4 hours ago

    Almost exactly three years ago today, I wrote an article outlining some of the potential international breakout hitters in the lower levels. The article started out by ...

    Read More
  • Jung-ho Kang signing autographs.

    Q&A: Will Jung-ho Kang’s Presence Create Issues in the Pirates Dugout?

    7 hours ago

    Every Friday we run a Q&A with questions that I’ve received throughout the week. You can submit your questions all week by using the Q&A form on the ...

    Read More
  • Austin Meadows

    Austin Meadows Lowered His Hand Position to Add More Power

    1 day ago

    Ever since he was drafted, Austin Meadows was regarded as a prospect with power that you could dream about. He drew comps to Jay Bruce in the ...

    Read More
  • Tarpley Brault

    Will the Snider Trade Result in the Pirates Finally Having a Left-Handed Starting Prospect?

    2 days ago

    Despite adding plenty of pitching through the draft over the last several years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been short on the amount of quality left-handed pitching in their ...

    Read More
  • Connor Joe 2

    Meet Connor Joe: The First Round Pick You Know Nothing About

    2 days ago

    This site is now in its seventh year of existence. For the last four years, I’ve been doing this full-time, allowing me to see every affiliate throughout the year, along ...

    Read More
  • (Photo Credit: David Hague)

    What is the Difference Between Mel Rojas and Keon Broxton?

    3 days ago

    Mel Rojas Jr. was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2010 MLB draft. The son of the former big league closer had ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles