Stetson Allie, Joely Rodriguez, and Orlando Castro to be Promoted to Bradenton

The Pittsburgh Pirates will promote three players from West Virginia to Bradenton this week. Stetson Allie, Joely Rodriguez, and Orlando Castro will all join the team, Pirates Prospects has learned. Rodriguez should arrive in Bradenton today, while Castro and Allie should arrive Thursday after the SAL All-Star game.

Yesterday Neal Huntington said that Allie was close to a promotion from West Virginia. On Sunday Huntington explained the potential promotion, and why the Pirates have left Allie in West Virginia to this point.

Stetson Allie will join the Bradenton Marauders this week.

Stetson Allie will join the Bradenton Marauders this week.

“He’s done a very nice job and the ability to drive a ball to right-center field with the authority that he does it is very encouraging,” Huntington said. “He’s got a short, clean swing for a big man. He’s got some things he can work on, and that’s where… we’ve left him there maybe a little bit longer than I think most would want us to because it’s his second or third time through the league. So those coaches have been able spot holes, so it may not be the pitcher on the mound that spots a hole, it’s a manager, it’s the pitching coach in that dugout and they can attack him. Now Stetson’s had to make some adjustments back. So sometimes that gets lost in the rush of prospects to the next level, is it may be better for a prospect to stay at a level longer, because of people knowing. It’s not that hard to blow through a system, because nobody knows you and you go do things that are a little atypical. Driving the ball to right-center field for a man as big as Stetson is atypical. Most guys are gonna look to hook and pull and they become easy to pitch. Stetson’s not easily pitched, so we’ve left him there with some patience to try to help him understand what pitchers are gonna do to him as they learn him more. But he’s certainly doing what he needs to do to move to the next level. It’s just a matter of time.”

Allie is hitting for a .324/.414/.607 line in 244 at-bats this year with 17 home runs. He will participate in the SAL Home Run Derby tonight, and play in the SAL All-Star Game tomorrow.

I mentioned over the weekend that I thought Orlando Castro was close to being promoted, and could arrive before his next start. The left-hander has a 1.93 ERA in 74.2 innings, with a 7.6 K/9 and an 0.7 BB/9. He’s got great control, plus good off-speed pitches, which combined with being a left-hander usually leads to great numbers in A-ball. Castro does throw his fastball a bit harder than most small lefties, getting it up to the low 90s at times, so he might have a better chance at carrying his success over to the higher levels. High-A hitters should provide a tougher test for him than the guys in the South Atlantic League.

One unexpected promotion is Joely Rodriguez. It’s not unexpected based on his season. The left-hander has a 2.72 ERA in 72.2 innings, with a 7.1 K/9 and a 2.5 BB/9 ratio. Rodriguez has been on fire since the end of April, with a 1.51 ERA in 53.2 innings over his last ten starts, along with a 41:11 K/BB ratio in that span. The left-hander is 21 years old, and one of the best left-handed pitching prospects in the system. He can throw his fastball up to 94 MPH, getting a lot of groundouts with his two-seamer and sinker. He has great off-speed stuff, with a mid-80s slider and a low-to-mid 80s changeup. Both pitches have good cutting action, and his fastball also has a lot of movement. One issue for Rodriguez in the past has been command. He’s struggled to command the fastball, especially in the 91-94 MPH range. That has caused him to lower his velocity, which has made the pitch less effective in the past due to the lack of separation in velocity with his off-speed pitches. This year he’s done a better job of commanding the pitch, even when it’s in the 91-94 MPH range.

Bradenton recently promoted Gregory Polanco and Nick Kingham, and last night we learned that Eliecer Navarro would be promoted to Altoona this week. Allie should replace Polanco’s bat in the lineup, and could move Jose Osuna to the outfield or split time as the DH. Castro and Rodriguez should take over in the rotation for Kingham and Navarro.

UPDATE 10:12 AM: A West Virginia press release confirms the Joely Rodriguez promotion. Jordan Steranka has been added to the West Virginia roster.

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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  • BostonsCommon

    At this point, has Allie regained his value as a $2.5M prospect? I’m wondering what kind trade value he would have, should the Pirates choose to include him in any moves leading up to the deadline. He seems like a prime candidate to sell high on IMO, I just don’t know how other teams view him.

    • smurph

      While the chances of Allie’s success translating to the major leagues is probably slim, I would certainly hold onto this kid. Not many big strong RH power hitters in the Pirates’ system. There’s always a chance he’s got what it takes.

      • BostonsCommon

        I’m not sure I’d move him yet either, more because I don’t think he has reached his full potential value as a prospect yet.

        I’m more curious what is value is than anything. Could he be the centerpiece of a deal now, or does he have to carry it all the way to AA before he becomes attractive to other clubs?

        • Sandoz

          His bat will have to play in AA before he has any real value to other teams.

          We’ve already invested the $2.5M, might as well see if it turns into something.

        • Sandoz

          Loved reading Huntington’s synopsis of Allie. Dude can really talk baseball.

      • leadoff

        Why would his chances be slim? I see his chances as very good.

    • Kevin_Young

      Aside from the obvious cases, prospects rarely have much value below AA because of the risk, and Allie is an even more extreme case. He’s not a very trade-able asset, but is a good one to own.

      • BostonsCommon

        I think the other thing that people forget about Allie (and Taillon for that matter), is that he would have just this year been a draft eligible Junior. Had he been a pitcher turned infield at UNC and put up a line of .324/.414/.607 line in 244 at-bats this year with 17 home runs, he likely would have been a first round pick, especially with the power potential he is showing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fred.langford.9 Fred Langford

    The Bucs promoted a bunch of guys…now people can stop losing their minds about them not promoting anyone.

    • leadoff

      A lot of people only look at stats and do not understand the Pirate system, the Pirates are not looking for a phenom, they are looking to educate players to point where they will succeed when they get to the majors, they could do what St.Louis and the Reds do and bring up a 19-20 year old kid and he might look good for a little while and the Cards and Reds could get recognized for their great systems, but bringing up kids that are not ready is bad thing to do, it catches up with them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.pingree Lee Pingree

    What kind of potential does Rodriguez have in the majors…mid rotation starter, etc?

  • jg941

    Tim – in your spare time :-) – any chance you’ll be updating the Organizational Depth Chart anytime soon?

    There’s still some things like Harrison on the MLB club, Mercer as d’Arnaud’s backup at Indy, Mazzaro, etc. at Indy and so on. Didn’t know if that was difficult to do, whether those actually ARE the club’s official depth charts for some reason, etc.

    No biggie, it’s just a great tool to help see whose at each level at any given point in time. As always, great stuff!