Prospect Notebook

Prospect Notebook: Baker’s Fastball Command, Welker’s Control

Prospect Notebook: Baker’s Fastball Command, Welker’s Control

Nathan Baker was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fifth round of the 2009 draft. He spent the last two years in A-ball, playing in high-A during the 2011 season. This year Baker will be making the jump to the Double-A level, starting in the Altoona rotation.

The Pirates sent Baker to the Arizona Fall League over the off-season to give him some experience against upper level hitting. The left-hander had some inconsistent results, putting up a good outing, then following that with a poor outing. He largely struggled with his control and command throughout the process, some of which could have been due to entering the fall league with a career high in innings.

Baker and Altoona pitching coach Jeff Johnson have been working over the off-season and during the spring on preparing for the upcoming jump to Altoona, with a focus on his command.

"There's a big difference between Single-A and Double-A," Baker said. "And I think the main thing is being able to read hitters. I thin...

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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.

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