An Early Look at the 2014 Pirates Minor League Rosters: Pitchers

A few days ago I looked at the position players on the early minor league rosters for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Today we’ll take a look at the pitching. Just like the position players, this list is very early, and will probably change. A lot of the guys from Triple-A could move down to Double-A once major league cuts are made.

One of the things I noticed with the projected starting pitchers is that the Pirates are loaded with prospects. I could count on one hand the amount of rotation options who have no chance at a major league future. And that’s only looking at the 20 projected starters in the full-season league, and the injured players, or the two or three guys in the lower levels who could probably make piggyback starts. This doesn’t mean I see about 20 future MLB starting pitchers. There are guys who will be starters in the majors, but the rest of the guys have a shot at being depth starters, back of the bullpen options, middle relief options, or bullpen depth out of Triple-A. Then of course you’ve got a few guys who might get a cup of coffee at the major league level. Overall, the system is strong with pitching.

Here is a very early look at the rosters for the full season teams. Expect a lot of this to change, especially with the top two levels. I included the projected rotations, along with notes for each level. Players with an asterisk next to their name are currently injured.

Indianapolis

Jameson Taillon

Casey Sadler

Nate Baker

Ethan Hollingsworth

Kenn Kasparek

Brandon Mann

Seth McClung

Elvin Ramirez

Tyler Waldron

Aaron Pribanic

A.J. Morris

Jhonathan Ramos

Collin Balester*

Jeff Inman*

Kyle McPherson*

Jake Burnette*

Projected Rotation: Jameson Taillon, Casey Sadler, Jeff Locke, Brandon Cumpton, Phil Irwin

Notes: Obviously the final three guys in my projected rotation are still in big league camp. Unless the Pirates make a surprising move in the majors, I think it’s going to be these five guys at the start of the season. Kyle McPherson should return in June or July for the rotation.

Altoona

Nick Kingham

Joely Rodriguez

Adrian Sampson

Eliecer Navarro

Pat Ludwig

Zack Dodson

Ryan Beckman

Matt Benedict

Quinton Miller

Robby Rowland

Emmanuel De Leon

Joan Montero

Tyler Sample

Zac Fuesser

Jason Townsend*

Projected Rotation: Nick Kingham, Joely Rodriguez, Adrian Sampson, Eliecer Navarro, Pat Ludwig

Notes: I think that it could be a toss up between Navarro, Ludwig, and Zack Dodson for the final two rotation spots. Matt Benedict and Robby Rowland could also challenge for those spots, or get starts during the season. Sampson has a lot of promise, but didn’t do well in Bradenton last year. The aggressive push to Altoona isn’t really a surprise, since there wasn’t much room for him in the Bradenton rotation. Kingham and Rodriguez will be the top guys to watch this year. I’d expect Kingham to make it to Indianapolis in the first half, and Rodriguez could make it there by the end of the season.

Bradenton

Tyler Glasnow

John Kuchno

Chad Kuhl

Ryan Hafner

Orlando Castro

Jason Creasy

Tom Harlan

Bryton Trepagnier

Zack Von Rosenberg

Kirk Singer

Josh Smith

Jhondaniel Medina

Cesar Lopez

Clario Perez

Marek Minarik

Jovany Lopez

Clay Holmes*

Projected Rotation: Tyler Glasnow, John Kuchno, Chad Kuhl, Ryan Hafner, Jason Creasy

Notes: I could see Orlando Castro challenging for a rotation spot, battling it out with Creasy. Clay Holmes is currently slated to visit Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday to get a diagnosis on his elbow. He’d fit in the rotation if healthy, but right now that doesn’t look good. There are a lot of starting options in West Virginia, and some of those could move up to Bradenton in the first half.

West Virginia

Dovydas Neverauskas

Luis Heredia

Cody Dickson

Buddy Borden

Adrian Grullon

Shane Carle

Isaac Sanchez

Justin Topa

Jerry Mulderig

Yhonathan Barrios

Brett McKinney

Henry Hirsch

Will Kendall

Jared LaKind

Jonathan Minier

Miguel Rosario

Axel Diaz

Felipe Gonzalez

Dalton Friend*

Kevin Kleis*

Rinku Singh*

Projected Rotation: Dovydas Neverauskas, Luis Heredia, Cody Dickson, Buddy Borden, Adrian Grullon

Notes: I could see some piggybacking at this level. Shane Carle and Isaac Sanchez are both rotation candidates. The Pirates piggybacked guys in Jamestown last year, and a lot of those guys are now projected for the West Virginia rotation. There are a lot of exciting arms to watch in this group. I think that Heredia, Dickson, Carle, and Borden have shots of making it to Bradenton in the first half of the season.

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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  • Dom DiDominic

    When the Pirated added Bristol, I wondered if the piggybacking in Jamestown was the driving force. Evaluating the pitching, especially starting pitching, should get clearer with Bristol this year.

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=9333667 Adam Johnstonbaugh

    Tim, there’s an article on the Pirates website that lists Cumpton as the leader for the 5th rotation spot for the big club. Is there any way, other than multiple injuries, that you see that happening?

    • http://@gwbicster gwbicster

      Tom Singer is not the brightest bulb in the box….

  • da bux

    Anyone know where I can find bucco minor league box scores? Tx.

  • lonleylibertarian

    Tim, you need to make a change to the Indy rotation – it will probably include Edison Volquez. The Pirates should have no problem getting him through waivers and knowing how cheap they are they will try and see if some extra work at Indy might get them something for the $5M that now looks like a total waste of money.

    • smurph

      Your comment doesn’t even make sense. Whether or not Volquez makes it is yet to be determined. However, the Pirates know that Volquez will not make it through waivers, as many other temas tried to sign him. Picking him up on waivers would mean he has to be on the 40-man, not on the big club. Pirates will not dump the 5 million in the toilet until they find out one way or the other on him.