Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #10 – Nick Kingham

The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, 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 20 prospects over the next few weeks.  Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.

To recap the countdown so far:

20. Jin-De Jhang, C

19. Andrew Oliver, LHP

18. Vic Black, RHP

17. Adrian Sampson, RHP

16. Wyatt Mathisen, C

15. Bryan Morris, RHP

14. Justin Wilson, LHP

13. Tony Sanchez, C

12. Dilson Herrera, 2B

11. Clay Holmes, RHP

We continue the countdown with the number 10 prospect, Nick Kingham.

Nick Kingham

Nick Kingham

10. Nick Kingham, RHP

Kingham showed a lot of promise during his first year in State College. He came in with a 90-93 MPH fastball with good life, and displayed flashes of an above-average curveball and changeup. The secondary pitches struggled at times throughout the year, mostly due to the heavy fastball approach.

Heading into the 2012 season, Kingham’s stuff looked better. In Spring Training he saw an increase in his velocity, hitting 95 consistently, and sitting 90-93 early in the outings. He saw that velocity drop in the later innings, going down to the upper 80s by the fifth frame. As he gets older and stronger, he should be able to maintain that velocity, and might be able to consistently work in the mid-90s.

Kingham threw his curve and changeup more often in West Virginia, and saw both pitches improve. They both have the potential to be above-average pitches, and the curve has the look of a strikeout pitch.

The right-hander struggled at the start of the season, putting up an 8.59 ERA in his first five starts. He settled down, and really hit his groove in the second half, posting a 3.69 ERA in 68.1 innings after the South Atlantic League All-Star break. That included a 61:17 K/BB ratio, and a month of August where he had a 2.23 ERA in 32.1 innings with a 28:6 K/BB ratio.

Kingham has looked like a very polished pitcher for his age. He’s got good fastball command, with the ability to throw the pitch on a downward plane and to either side of the plate. His curveball acts as a strikeout pitch when it’s on, and his changeup does its job to take care of left-handers. He has the build of a future workhorse, and is already seeing his inning count rising, throwing 127 innings in his second full season.

His second half numbers earned him a promotion to Bradenton in 2013. During the 2013 season he will need to continue working on getting his off-speed pitches to their full potential. As he gets stronger he should get to the point where he holds his velocity deeper into the game. He’s got a good chance at a plus fastball and two above-average off-speed pitches, plus great command. That would make him a strong number three starter with the potential for 200 innings a year.

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Tim Williams

Author: 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.

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  • elgaupo

    I just looked at his peripherals for 2012. Wow he had a nice year.

  • da bux

    Tim. you picked a great time to move to Bradenton. That team is going to be stacked!