First Pitch: Instructional League Player Updates

Games are underway in the Florida Instructional Leagues, and ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel was covering the Pittsburgh Pirates this afternoon. Below are some tweets from McDaniel on today’s progress from some of the players, along with some of my notes below those tweets.

My Notes: Allie definitely has some raw power. My concern when he made the switch to being a position player was that he would struggle with strikeouts, which was the case this season. It’s not hard to find a guy with raw power who can’t hit for average and strikes out too much. That makes Allie a non-prospect as a hitter at this point. He’s a project, and while there is a chance he could improve his hitting, that chance seems very unlikely.

My Notes: Heading in to this year I had an irrational prospect love for Gregory Polanco, mostly based on his build and tools. Polanco broke out, which no longer made that prospect love irrational. Luis Urena is now taking his spot. I’ve been following Urena just as long as Polanco. Only Urena has yet to break out like Polanco did this year. Every time I start to cool on him, I watch him crush a homer, or throw a perfect strike from right field to third base, or demonstrate one of his other tools. Urena is a potential five tool guy who can hit for power, and has the build of a major league ball player. It’s good to see that he’s hitting so well in instructs.

My Notes: Good to see Black keeping the velocity up, even if it isn’t the 99 MPH he hit the other day. I wouldn’t be too concerned with Taillon’s curve. It looked very sharp at the end of the year with Altoona.

Per LA Sports Management, Alen Hanson will be leaving instructs on Saturday to get ready for winter ball with Toros del Este.

I’ll be heading down to instructs in about two weeks to get the final information needed for the 2013 Prospect Guide, and to get some live reports.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates lost to the Mets 6-5.

**Pirates Notebook: Rough Start From Correia Sends Club 80th Loss; McCutchen, Walker Updates.

**From last night: 2013 Is the Make or Break Year for Huntington and Company.

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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, 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.

First Pitch: 2013 Is the Make or Break Year for Huntington and Company

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  • emjayinTN

    I give you credit for mentioning Urena, but he repeated GCL in 2012 with very inconsistent results. He hit for a lower average, his W/K went from 1/2 to 1/5, but of the 29 hits he got, 16 were EBH’s. I think the Pirates are allowing Allie to develop physically and mature mentally and then I see him as being back as an upper 90’s pitcher. From everything I read, it is not any type of injury, it is just his inability to throw strikes. The most important tool in baseball is the quality of that space between the ears.

    • Lee Young

      Allie’s only hope of making the majors is going back to pitching.


    • Tim Williams

      Everything you mentioned about Urena is why I’ve cooled on him. But every time I do that, I see him go on a hot streak, or read a good report about him going on a hot streak. The BB/K ratio makes it less likely that he’ll be the next Polanco.

      • leadoff

        Urena is young, streaky goes with young. Watching Polanco for 5 minutes is enough to figure him out, he is another stud in the stable.
        I did not like Allie when I saw him play a game in a high school all-star game, he will go down as a bad draft pick, problem is he cost about 2.5mil.

        • Tim Williams

          I liked Allie much better as a pitcher.

    • whiteAngus

      i think Allie’s time as a pitcher is over. they wont be pulling a james mcdonald with this guy.

  • Lee Young

    Tim….if you go down to instructs, I hear they expect all press to go thru the same SEALS drills….just wanted to make sure you’re prepared for that.


    • Ian Rothermund

      Random thought, but talking about the seal training for a minute….all of the drills are pretty much the same thing as high school football players do in preseason work outs; rolling tires, running together, grappling….if our pro athletes cant handle that, they’re probably going to hurt themselves in the gym or doing sprints in the outfield before a game. What a massive overreaction all of that was. Just my opinion. I think it would be hilarious to see all the writers being yelled at to do drills in the outfield though. Lol

      • Lee Young

        Ian…I was one of the ‘knee jerkers’ and I am embarrased by it.

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