First Pitch

First Pitch: Why We Won’t See Top Prospects in the Majors Until Mid-Season

First Pitch: Why We Won’t See Top Prospects in the Majors Until Mid-Season

Earlier today the Pittsburgh Pirates made their first cuts of the Spring, which included sending Jameson Taillon to minor league camp. Taillon is the top pitching prospect in the system, and is expected to arrive in Pittsburgh by mid-season. I say "mid-season" not because he needs about two and a half months of Triple-A experience to get ready for the big leagues. I say "mid-season" because there are strong business reasons to keep him in the minors until mid-June or later.

All around the league, top prospects arrive in the majors in mid-June or later to make their debut. It's not a coincidence why this happens for probably 90% of the top prospects in the league. There are probably legitimate things they need to work on in Triple-A, but the main reason prospects aren't called up before that date are due to service time and Super Two status.

The MLB season is usually about 182 days long, but a year of service time is counted as 172 days. Teams only control players until they have ...

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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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