Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #9 – Kyle McPherson

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

10. Nick Kingham, RHP

We continue the countdown with the number 9 prospect, Kyle McPherson.

Kyle McPherson

Kyle McPherson

9. Kyle McPherson, RHP

McPherson looked like a guy who could arrive in the majors by mid-season 2012. Instead, he went down late in Spring Training with a shoulder injury, and didn’t start his season until June. He went back to Double-A and struggled the first few starts, but eventually shook off the rust and found his groove. After a promotion to Triple-A, and three strong starts in Indianapolis, McPherson was called up to the majors. He made a few starts at the end of the year, showing a lot of promise, and putting himself in good position to win a job out of Spring Training in 2013.

The shoulder injury is a concern. McPherson was healthy at the end of the 2012 season, and went to the Dominican Winter League. He made one start, then came home with a sore shoulder. That shouldn’t impact him in 2013, but the fact that he’s had two shoulder issues in one year is a red flag. One positive is that he hasn’t lost any velocity. He still throws 92-93, topping out at 95, along with a plus curveball and a solid changeup. He also has some of the best command and control in the system.

McPherson’s command and three pitch mix give him the upside of a number three starter. He should get a shot at the rotation out of Spring Training, and his limited results in 2012 should give him the inside track for a job. The key will be staying healthy. If healthy, McPherson should play a big role in the rotation in 2013, with the chance for a breakout season in the majors.

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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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  • Brian

    I hope Kyle stays on the team. He could switch between long reliever and spot starter like Brad Lincoln did last year.

    Notice our team was winning a lot before Lincoln was traded.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      They were also winning a lot before Gorkys Hernandez was traded.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 Lee Young

      and before we acquired Wandy and after we traded Casey Mc and…..

      • NorCal Buc

        and notice how well Lincoln, Gorkys and McGehee did AFTER we traded them.

        Oh well, the BIG move of the 2012 mid-season was the acquisition of Wandy, the only significant talent of this whole bunch.

  • leadoff

    Wouldn’t it be great if we could pin point one player or reason why the Pirates faded in 1012, but there is not one reason, there were many.

    • da bux

      At least holding runners wasn’t an issue. Seriously, they fix that bull squat!

  • La Pirate

    Personally I think McPherson’s stuff is much more impressive than Locke. I could see McPherson assuming the Brad Lincoln role in the pen and making spot starts. Hopefully his shoulder will hold up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ian.rothermund Ian Rothermund

    Personally, I’d rather see Locke as the swing man/spot starter with McPherson as a starter starting off in AAA. Considering McPherson’s recent should issues, and the fact that they view him as a future starter, I think it would be best for his arm if they didn’t constantly switch his role and expectations. I just see Locke as having more flexibility at this point in time.

  • jedinite66

    I’ve heard that the 2nd injury wasn’t related to Kyle’s shoulder at all. It was bicep tendinitis, so hopefully the shoulder injury and bicep injury are behind him and he comes out gunning in spring training for a spot in the rotation.