Recent

0
Carlos Paulino

Pirates Invite Four Players to Spring Training

The Pittsburgh Pirates have invited Matt Hague, Carlos Paulino, Jameson Taillon, and Zack Thornton to Spring Training, per a team press release. We heard last week that Taillon received an invite, but this is the first we’ve heard about the other three.

Hague has been invited to Spring Training in each of the last two seasons. His most notable Spring was in 2012, when he showed off some impressive power. He made the team out of camp that year, but only spent a short amount of time on the Major League roster before returning to Triple-A. The power from that Spring never returned, but Hague does do well against left-handers, and could be an option as an injury replacement for Gaby Sanchez in the first base platoon. He has also played some third base, and could be an option there, although his defense at the position isn’t as strong as it is at first base. Hague doesn’t project to make the team out of camp.

Paulino is one of the best defensive catchers in the system, with the best arm among the catchers. However, he has struggled to hit in Altoona, making him more of a defensive only depth option. It will be interesting to see where he starts the 2014 season. Tony Sanchez is expected to get the bulk of the playing time with Indianapolis. Paulino might be better off working out of Altoona again, to maximize his playing time. If the Pirates experience injuries behind the plate this year, Paulino could eventually make it to the majors as a backup. As for Spring Training, he will serve as an extra catcher, which is always a position that is in need, due to all of the pitchers in camp.

Thornton had a great season in 2013, after being acquired for Chris Resop last off-season. He doesn’t have the best stuff, but gets great results thanks to an extreme ground ball ratio. He went unselected in the Rule 5 draft this off-season, despite being named as a top prospect in the draft by several outlets. Due to the amount of bullpen options the Pirates have, it doesn’t seem likely that Thornton will make the majors out of camp. He should start the season with Indianapolis, and seems like a strong option to make the majors at some point this year as bullpen depth.

None of the four players invited project to make the Opening Day roster. Taillon is expected up in June, and the other three players profile as depth at their respective positions.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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.

Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 Top Prospects: #14 – Andrew Lambo

Next Story »

Alen Hanson Named Among Top Shortstop Prospects

  • babeadamsforthehall

    What kind of “stuff” does Zack Thornton posess? He had a very interesting year climbing the ladder. Not a high draft pick and was not very good in 2012. What do you make of him?

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com/author/admin Tim Williams
      • dr dng

        Been holding these three (maybe four) questions for some time.

        1) I thought Hague was a free agent, I not realize that Hague had signed. I guess back to Indy.

        2) Here is a concern that I have not heard anyone address. Who are our backup options at 3rd base?
        What if Alvarez was hurt (help us). Do we have any solid option? Harrison?

        3) Following up on that. This should be right up in Tim’s wheelhouse. I think Alvarez is ours at least through 2015. Who is our option after that? I have not heard anyone talk about this.

        4) Suppose we sell/trade Alvarez with high value after the 2014. Do we have any option to replace him?

        If not, we better start saving up the every nickel and dime now so we can sign him for the future.

        (Wonder if he would sign now for $60 m. for the next 5 years?… I doubt it…)

        Tim???

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

          1. Hague isn’t FA eligible until after the 2014 season.

          2. Harrison would probably be the backup at 3B. The depth at that position is thin at the top.

          3. There’s a reason you don’t hear much about this. 3B is thin in the system. There are a few highly projectable and extremely raw guys in the lower levels. The upper levels don’t have any answers. Just guys like Josh Harrison or Adalberto Santos who profile better as utility players. It is possible that Mercer could move over if needed, but that means you’re replacing Pedro offensively with Barmes.

          4. There’s no need to do this, unless you’re getting a replacement 3B back. And I don’t know why a team would do that.

          • buster09

            God bless us all if we ever have to see Santos at 3d base in PNC !

  • dr dng

    Tim,
    Well at least I had it correct in reading between the lines over the last several months that we are a little thin down the road at 3rd. Do you have a solution? Trade for a prospect? Develop internally?

    I was not a big Pedro fan but he converted me this past season with his improved defense, offense and it just seemed to me much better attitude.
    I guess we just hope he has another good and healthy season.

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

      I don’t think you need a solution until Alvarez leaves. He’s still around for three more years, so my solution right now would be to keep him for those three years, then figure out 3B at that time, if it hasn’t figured itself out by then.

  • Y2JGQ2

    ….Because that has worked so well so far at first base

  • Y2JGQ2

    Our front office has shown a much stronger ability to plan for the future than it has to be able to react to immediate needs. That being said Tim, I can’t disagree more that waiting for 3 years to pass and figure it out then is a reasonable course of action, unless you want to end up with the next Andy LaRoche at 3b

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

      Why do they need to figure out the third baseman in 2017 immediately?

Latest Analysis

  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    20 hours ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    3 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    4 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    5 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    6 days ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    1 week ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Jason Creasy

    Another Pitcher to Watch From the Pirates’ 2011 Draft

    2 weeks ago

    The 2011 draft is shaping up to be a great class for the Pittsburgh Pirates. They picked first overall that year, so naturally you’d expect good things ...

    Read More
  • Peacock Nevarez

    Will One of These Pirates Minor League Pitchers Be the Next John Holdzkom?

    2 weeks ago

    By now you probably know that John Holdzkom rose from independent ball last year and made it to the majors. It was one of the best stories in ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More