First Pitch

First Pitch: The Altoona Four – Where Are They Now?

First Pitch: The Altoona Four – Where Are They Now?

Jeff Locke was one of the four pitchers known as The Altoona Four.

In 2010 the Altoona Curve had a group of pitchers that went on to be called "The Altoona Four" out of convenience. I say convenience because the group led Altoona to an Eastern League title in 2010, but they also led the Lynchburg Hillcats to a Carolina League title in 2009. So they could have easily been "The Lynchburg Four", which isn't really as catchy. Then, in 2011, only two of them moved up to Indianapolis at the start of the season. Eventually the other two pitchers made that jump. After that it would have made sense to call them "The Indianapolis Four".

But you say "The Altoona Four" and most people know you're talking about Jeff Locke, Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, and Justin Wilson. For most of the 2010 season the Pirates didn't have an ace of the future. They had the pitchers in Altoona, and the hope that one of the prep pitchers from the 2009 draft would break out and become a top prospect. It wasn't until...

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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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