The minor league season is roughly at the halfway point, so it's a good time to look back at the first half to see which players surprised and which disappointed. There are going to be more of the latter than the former. To some extent, this is normal. Prospects are a game of attrition; a team starts off with a bunch of guys whom it believes have potential and they gradually fall by the wayside until--hopefully--just a few are left to make an impact in the majors. In the case of the Pirates, there's the additional factor that the pitching at the system's lower levels has been deeply disappointing so far this year. In most of its drafts under the current front office, the team placed a large percentage of its eggs in the "projectable prep pitcher" basket. At this stage, there's growing reason to question whether that strategy might have been either misguided or poorly implemented.
Part One will focus on the two class A affiliates.
Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.