First Pitch

First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

First Pitch: Like the Pirates Pitching Staff? Thank Neal Huntington.

Dave Littlefield has not been in the general manager's office for over five years, but his impact on this Pirates team can still be felt.

Neal Huntington became Trader Neal to get a lot of young players in his early years.

No, that's not a bad thing! Sure, he left the Pirates' minor-league system in shambles despite six straight Top-11 picks, but at least a couple of those prospects worked out. Three productive players in the Pittsburgh lineup were all amateurs picked up by Littlefield: Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker and Starling Marte. The current front office gets credit for taking these guys as minor leaguers and polishing them into starters, but kudos to Littlefield for getting them.

As for the success of today's Pirates' pitching staff, that is pretty much all Neal Huntington ...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribers get access to all of our daily articles on the Pirates and their minor league system, with live coverage throughout the system on a daily basis. Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit.  Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail

First Pitch

James covers the Pirates beat for Pirates Prospects. He is a Broadcast Journalism student at USC and has written for such outlets as, Pittsburgh Magazine and the official websites of the Los Angeles Clippers and Pittsburgh Penguins. James previously covered the Pirates for Pittsburgh Sports Report. He also broadcasts play-by-play for the USC Trojans baseball team and was awarded the 2013 Chick Hearn Memorial Scholarship and Allan Malamud Scholarship. James dispenses puns at his Twitter account (@JamesSantelli) where he promises to write in first-person. Google

More in First Pitch

Fans outside PNC Park fill up to the streets trying to enter.

First Pitch: Allen Webster Could Be a Sleeper to Rebuild the Pirates’ Bullpen

Tim WilliamsNovember 26, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: The Truth About Gerrit Cole

Tim WilliamsNovember 24, 2015
Harold Ramirez 0817

First Pitch: Why the Rule 5 Draft is Unfair to International Prospects

Tim WilliamsNovember 20, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: What is the Right Price For Neil Walker?

Tim WilliamsNovember 19, 2015

First Pitch: Pirates Don’t Need Many Minor League Free Agents This Off-Season

Tim WilliamsNovember 18, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

First Pitch: The Idea of Extending Cervelli and Melancon’s Trade Value

Tim WilliamsNovember 13, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects