Over the off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates added a new short-season team, joining the Appalachian League with the franchise in Bristol. The Appalachian League uses the MLB team names, and thus, the Bristol Pirates were born.
The Pirates will only have one DSL team this year, rather than two in previous years. Because of this, they have essentially moved their second international team to the US. This can be shown by the large number of international players who will be playing in Bristol this year. Most of these guys are organizational fillers, which means their only role will be to fill out the rosters of the lower level teams in the minors.
Bristol is a slight step above the GCL, due to the atmosphere of playing in front of fans, and under the lights. The age at the new level is also slightly higher than the age in the GCL, with more college talent. It is a step below the NYPL, with a slightly younger age in the Appy League. It's interesting to see how the Pirates are using th...
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.