First Pitch

First Pitch: How Far We’ve Come Since The Altoona Four

Jeff Locke ended up being the only MLB starter from The Altoona Four in 2010-11. Photo Credit: David Hague
First Pitch: How Far We’ve Come Since The Altoona Four

It wasn't long ago that the hope for the future of the Pirates' rotation rested on four pitchers who were pitching in Altoona during the 2010 season. We called the group The Altoona Four, in a bit of a nod to the show LOST. The pitchers were Jeff Locke, Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Rudy Owens, and they helped lead the 2009 Lynchburg Hillcats and the 2010 Altoona Curve to championships. The hope was that they would eventually do the same for the Pirates.

This was during a very weak time for the organization. The team finished dead last in the majors in 2010. There were very few top pitching prospects in the system until they drafted Jameson Taillon and signed Luis Heredia. Heading into the 2011 season, we had The Altoona Four ranked in the 6-12 range of the top 50 prospects.


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First Pitch

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, 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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