Comments on: First Pitch: Looking at the Bigger Picture Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Thu, 13 Nov 2014 16:00:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: beatembuccos21 Fri, 01 Feb 2013 01:28:56 +0000 I’m with you – I think he’s young enough and talented enough to turn it around. Hopefully the club hasn’t given up on him entirely. Even if he doesn’t bang 20 homers a year, hopefully he can hit for a high enough average and draw enough walks to be valuable at the top of the order.

By: atniup Fri, 01 Feb 2013 00:25:51 +0000 Fair enough.

I read some things like,

“He has quick, strong wrists and a compact swing, which should translate his current gap power into homer power,” ” The consensus is that Jose Tabata has a big league bat capable of Manny Ramirez type numbers, (, and “skilled contact hitter … with line-drive power to all fields … projects to be a .285 to .300 hitter in the majors, (sickels?),” and potentially inflated the power thought.

I just get frustrated because we seem to think at the minimum, he has the ability, or at least has the potential ability to hit the ball all over the field, and I don’t see it. I see him continually hitting the ball to right field.

Regardless, great response. At the end of the day, I see that the evidence would favor you. maybe someday he can be a complete player and help us. Let’s hope!

By: beatembuccos21 Thu, 31 Jan 2013 23:33:29 +0000 Here’s a quote from the 2008 Hardball Times Annual regarding Tabata: Despite occasional comparisons to sluggeres, the 5 foot 11 Tabata doesn’t hit the ball particularly hard and for the second year in a row was among the league leaders in groundball rate. There is plenty of time for Tabata to evolve and he may develop more power if he stays healthy, but as of now he looks on track to become a high average hitter with limited power.

The 2009 Baseball America Prospect Handbook references the gap power that you commented on. But, from 2010 Baseball Prospectus: The last piece of the puzzle for Tabata is to learn how to hit for power, which is why he will go back to Indy to begin the season…If the home runs come, Tabata will become one of the cornerstones of the Pirates’ rebuilding effort; if not, he’s going to need a whole lot of everything else to be employable in a corner.

By: atniup Thu, 31 Jan 2013 22:30:30 +0000 I will try to make this brief and limit my commentary.

1. Thanks for the great posts Tim, this is my first comment, but I have been reading for years.

The lack of respect Jose Taba receives makes me sick to my stomach. It does. He is STILL, after 2 horrendous, circus seasons, a career .271 hitter. How many people on this team can say that?

You may make the argument that he has no power. I wouldn’t disagree, but I have a theory. Has the system and the coaches forced him into being a singles hitter. Does anybody remember that when he was young, he hit for power, specifically gap power. Jose Tabata has power, make no mistake.

The problem is that he pushes the ball to the opposite field ENTIRELY too much. I don’t have the numbers on this, and I don’t really need them because if you watch the team, you know that’s the case. Is he being forced into this? I firmly and strongly believe that if you put him in the 1 or 2 slot, cut him loose (not forcing him into anything he isn’t and just let him play), he is a .290 hitter with 20 HR and some equivalent RBI depending on the slot he is in. I don;t think that prediction is the top end either, I think it is what he would routinely turn in.

Maybe I have lost my mind, but I see NO reason that he cannot be an above average outfielder in MLB. I just had to put the pieces together to get there, but I really do think they have given him no input into his approach. He plays tight every time he plays, and it bothers me. Even with all of that, he is a career .271 guy. To me, Travis Snider, Alex Presley, or Jerry Sands being considered instead is utterly absurd.


By: beatembuccos21 Thu, 31 Jan 2013 01:57:37 +0000 Maybe I’m forcing the choice by misinterpreting or over-emphasizing some points, but that’s not my intention. What I’m getting at is the ‘why’ aspect of his potential one year leash? Why is there at least one school of thought that suggests Huntington has just one more year if things don’t go well? If the plan is coming into view and the farm system is ripening on the vine, why not give him two or three more years to see it through?

By: Tim Williams Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:44:48 +0000 I think you’re over-emphasizing the whole “the team is headed in the right direction” thing to try and force this into a choice.

My interpretation of Brisbee’s article, and my thoughts above were that you can see the plan of the Pirates if you take a step back and look at how they’ve been adding players over the last few years. They should have a few upgrades because of the guys they added, although there are still question marks for some of the other additions.

Those question marks will really determine whether the 2013 team is a contender, or another losing team. If they’re another losing team, then it would be time for Huntington to go.

By: beatembuccos21 Thu, 31 Jan 2013 00:36:55 +0000 Which narrative is the correct one? On one hand you have this type of thinking as posed in the article Tim linked to: 1. the team is headed in the right direction. 2. Huntington has fortified the team if you look at his trade deadline acquisitions in conjunction with his off-season acquisitions and 3. The farm system that will put this team over the top is on its way.

On the other hand (as Tim postulated before the 2012 season had been put to bed), some would say this is a make or break year for the current administration (

Which one is correct? Has Huntington done a great job but, perhaps, Nutting does not understand that Huntington needs seven or more (assuming the club doesn’t reach the post-season in 2013) years to build a winner? Or has the current front office done merely an average (or perhaps a below average) job and, therefore, one more non-winning/non-contending year means a new front office?

I mean, if Huntington has the team headed in the right direction and all it needs is a boost from the stockpiled farm system, then shouldn’t Nutting be more patient than giving him what could be one last year to put a winner on the field at the Major League level?

By: wkkortas Wed, 30 Jan 2013 19:48:02 +0000 Excellent point–and, in addition, it would be good if J-Mac took Tom Seaver’s notions about the importance of strike one. MacDonald doesn’t have to nibble.

By: jalcorn Wed, 30 Jan 2013 16:25:23 +0000 JMac’s velocity was 92 last year, right where it has been his whole career. That wasn’t the problem, it was command on the edges of the zone that fell apart late.

By: Ron Zorn Wed, 30 Jan 2013 15:26:11 +0000 Tim, first want to thank you for being the only person I read on the Pirates that actually reviews what you have said in the past, and owns up to mistakes, errors in judgment, etc., Makes me take you articles more seriously, as I know it won’t be endless negative-ism without review and reflection back.

Excellent article with multiple valid points. Overall, I like that NH always takes the big risk approach of acquiring former big time prospects, i.e, Clement, Snider, Zach Stewart, LaRoche, Moss, Hansen. Most have not worked, but our Buccos don’t need more middling, low-ceiling prospects, they need impact players. I’m sure I am in the minority, but only need one of this type of transaction to hit for it to be a huge win.

Also, really like the philosophy of “not just for this year approach”. I cannot foresee a day when Buccos can take this approach, pockets simply aren’t deep enough, I just think it is bad business. Rodriguez, Sanchez, and Snider can all be viewed through the prism above, and rightfully so. Had we gone for it with a Dempster, Victorino, etc., approach, whole different outlook.

Lastly, Hanrahan was a great acquistion at the time, part of the high upside approach, trading two decent players, Burnett and Plush, for two realy high upside guys, Hanrahan (great) and Milledge (waste, which was too bad, didn’t really seem like a bad kid). However, watching him last year, I started to get the “Mike Williams” feeling. Was pretty sure he was going to hold on, but was going to be an adventure. Regardless of who else we received in this trade, I think Melancon can easily be Hanrahan’s equal, with more year’s of control. Everyone else is simply a bonus!. And the exact same approach, former top prospects Sands and DeJesus, see if one of the them hits. I am strongly behind this approach, going in knowing it will only work 2 or out of 10 times.

Thanks again, really enjoy the site and the hard work.