First Pitch

First Pitch: What the Lower Level Talent Gap Says About the Pirates’ System

Stephen Alemais is one of few strong position player prospects in West Virginia this year. Photo Credit: Tim Williams
First Pitch: What the Lower Level Talent Gap Says About the Pirates’ System

It's hard to believe right now, but there was a time not too long ago when every time I mentioned the performance of a hitting prospect, I'd get a sarcastic question of "Can he pitch?"

Not long before that, when I would talk about a pitching prospect, the question would be "Can he hit?"

This would rotate depending on the current strength and weakness of the farm system, along with the current strength and weakness of the team. It always went in cycles, and that continues today and will continue for as long as MLB has a farm system approach to developing players. A farm system is never going to have an equal amount of prospects on either side of the ball, spread evenly through the levels. An MLB team is never going to have zero weak spots on the roster. And if you're looking for that,...

To continue reading the rest of this article, subscribe to Pirates Prospects. Subscribers get access to every article on the site, along with all of our exclusive live coverage of the Pirates' minor league system, all for a very low monthly or yearly rate.

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

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.

More in First Pitch

First Pitch: The Best Way to Evaluate Defensive Shifts

Tim WilliamsApril 5, 2017

First Pitch: Breaking Down the Pirates’ 2017 Payroll

Tim WilliamsApril 4, 2017

First Pitch: Two Players Who Could Impact the Pirates the Most in 2017

Tim WilliamsApril 3, 2017

First Pitch: Taylor Hearn’s Development Includes Video of the Best Lefties in MLB

Tim WilliamsMarch 8, 2017

First Pitch: From Walt Weiss to Clint Barmes to Jordy Mercer to Kevin Newman

Tim WilliamsMarch 3, 2017

First Pitch: Indianapolis Will be Loaded With Young Talent This Season

John DrekerMarch 2, 2017

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 © 2017 Pirates Prospects