The Pirates got a little bit of a break this week due to a few rain delays. They ended up going 2-3 in the short week, winning two games in comeback fashion over the weekend. At the start of the week they had fallen so much that they were no longer projected as playoff contenders.
Nate Barnes wrote this week about how the Pirates are looking to improve the offense by emphasizing On-Base Percentage. Nate also looked specifically at how that emphasis was working out. Of course the offense has been a big issue this year, with a lot of players under-performing. I looked at two bounce back candidates in Neil Walker and Pedro Alvarez. If the Pirates wanted another boost for the offense before Gregory Polanco arrives, then they should consider calling up Andrew Lambo for right field.
**Jeff Locke Will Start For the Pirates on Monday. It’s only expected to be a spot start, since the Pirates won’t need a regular fifth starter until May 24th.
This week we announced our Player and Pitcher of the Month for the month of April. To no surprise, Gregory Polanco was the Player of the Month For April. Polanco also got some national recognition, being named to Baseball America’s April All-Prospect Team. Of course the biggest topic surrounding Polanco is when he will arrive in the majors. That largely depends on the Super Two deadline, even if the Pirates won’t say that. I wrote about why teams don’t come out and openly discuss the Super Two deadline.
Casey Sadler was the Pitcher of the Month For April. He is currently in the Majors, and made his debut this week, pitching two shutout innings on two separate occasions. Ryan Palencer wrote about how the sinker is working early for Sadler, leading to his success in Indianapolis and the majors. Sadler being named the Pitcher of the Month was impressive, especially considering the strong pitching throughout the minors in April.
**Ryan Palencer wrote about how Andy Oliver is dominating, but still has questions with his control. Ryan also wrote about the depth that is coming out of Indianapolis this year to help the Pirates.
- Minor Moves: Jose Osuna Goes on Disabled List, Paulino Injures Knee
- Minor Moves: Elvis Escobar Joins West Virginia Outfield
- Reese McGuire Returns to West Virginia Roster
- Pirates Trade Benji Gonzalez to San Diego Padres
**Here are the minor league recaps from this week, highlighting all of the notable prospect performances each day.
- JaCoby Jones Homers Again, Jason Creasy Pitches a Gem
- Wyatt Mathisen Homers Again, Waldron Making Most of Opportunity
- Alen Hanson Heating Up, Wyatt Mathisen Hits First Homer
- Joely and Wandy Rodriguez Struggle, Homers For Hanson and Lambo
- Tyler Glasnow Walks Seven Batters in Two Innings
- Andrew Lambo Hits First Home Run, Nick Kingham Struggles
- Andrew Lambo is a Doubles Hitting Machine
**And here are the Prospect Highlights from this last week, looking at clips of some of the best plays from the top prospects over the last week.
- Homer From Alen Hanson, Ngoepe Continues to Hit
- Andrew Lambo Breaks Homerless Drought
- Homer From Gift Ngoepe, Hits From Polanco and Lambo
- Alen Hanson Continues Hot Streak on Offense
- Another Big Hit From Alen Hanson, Lambo’s Latest Homer
by John Dreker
The 2014 amateur draft is just under a month away and we started our preview of the players mentioned most in the Pirates range. Each Thursday we will profile four new players leading up to the draft on June 5th. In the upcoming days, we should start to see more mock drafts as the industry experts get a better idea of where these players are ranked.
**2014 Pirates Draft Prospects: Sean Newcomb, Braxton Davidson, Casey Gillaspie, Spencer Adams Profiles for the four players mentioned most often in Pirates range.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Casey Gillaspie Homers Twice, Sean Newcomb Throws Two-Hitter The two players mentioned most in the Pirates range both have big games on Saturday.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Trea Turner Scores Five Runs in Carlos Rodon’s Win The two big names for North Carolina State help them to victory over Coastal Carolina. Article also has links to the best articles on the draft and who the Pirates might take.
**Getting to Know Some Potential Pirates First Round Draft Picks Video highlights of the four players mentioned in the previous link
**Draft Prospect Watch: Sean Newcomb or Casey Gillaspie? Mock drafts and rankings
**Updated MLB.com Draft Prospect Rankings New rankings for the top prospects in the draft.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Michael Chavis Hits Four Homers In Two Days Chavis has been mentioned often in the Pirates range. Also updates on the best college relievers.