How Tony Watson Went From a Non-Prospect in Double-A to an All-Star Reliever

How Tony Watson Went From a Non-Prospect in Double-A to an All-Star Reliever

After putting up some of the best numbers of any reliever in baseball this season, Tony Watson was named to the National League All-Star team. The accomplishment is special for any player, and rare for middle relievers. In Watson's case, it's extremely surprising when you consider that just a few years ago he looked like a prospect who would top out at the Double-A level.

Watson was named the Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2008, after putting up a 3.56 ERA in 151.2 innings as a starter with Lynchburg, in what was a very thin system at the time. He moved up to Altoona the following year, but an injury limited him to just five starts.

The progression to the bullpen began in 2010. The Pirates had a strong rotation in Altoona that season, which moved Watson to a long-relief role. In...

This content is for Pirates Prospects subscribers only. Subscribers get access to all of our daily articles on the Pirates and their minor league system, with live coverage throughout the system on a daily basis. Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit.  Subscribe today to access all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.

If you're already a member, you can log in below. If you think you're receiving this message in error, please e-mail


Ryan joined Pirates Prospects as the Indianapolis Triple-A writer in 2014. Prior to joining Pirates Prospects, Ryan covered high school, college and professional sports in the Indianapolis area. For more updates throughout the season, follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanpalencer.

More in Analysis

(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Two Open 40-Man Spots With Two Top Pirates Prospects Unprotected

Tim WilliamsNovember 23, 2015

Pirates Prospects Who Are Eligible For the 2015 Rule 5 Draft

Tim WilliamsNovember 20, 2015
Tyler Glasnow 2

What Do the Triple-A Pitchers Need to Work on Before a Promotion to Pittsburgh?

Tim WilliamsNovember 19, 2015
(Photo Credit: Sean McCool)

The Pirates Have a Lot of Talented Players to Protect in the Rule 5 Draft

Tim WilliamsNovember 17, 2015
Yeudy Garcia 0810 2

Early Look at the 2016 Pirates Minor League Rosters – Pitching Edition

Tim WilliamsNovember 15, 2015
(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Using the Craig Kimbrel Trade to Figure Out Mark Melancon’s Trade Value

Tim WilliamsNovember 14, 2015

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects