First Pitch: The Annual “West Virginia is the Team to Watch” Post
Feb27

First Pitch: The Annual “West Virginia is the Team to Watch” Post

Earlier today, Baseball Prospectus rated the Pittsburgh Pirates with the third best farm system in baseball. They’ve been rated in the top three by pretty much every outlet, so the ranking isn’t the big news that came out of that article. The most encouraging thing was that BP said the Pirates had the talent to remain a top three farm system for years to come, even after they graduate Jameson Taillon and Gregory Polanco to...

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Spring Training Notes: Liriano Focused on the Sinker; Sanchez Does it Again
Feb26

Spring Training Notes: Liriano Focused on the Sinker; Sanchez Does it Again

The Pittsburgh Pirates came back to beat the New York Yankees 6-5 today, recovering from some early game struggles by Francisco Liriano and Edinson Volquez. Both pitchers gave up two runs in one inning of work, although the Pirates were able to rebound late with a four run seventh inning to take the lead and their first victory of the Grapefruit League season. Liriano All About the Sinker Francisco Liriano only went one inning in...

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Baseball Prospectus Ranks the Pirates With the Number Three Farm System
Feb26

Baseball Prospectus Ranks the Pirates With the Number Three Farm System

Baseball Prospectus is the next outlet to rank the Pittsburgh Pirates with a top three farm system. The outlet released their farm system rankings this morning, putting the Pirates third behind the Twins (1) and Cubs (2). The Pirates have been ranked in the top three in all of the main ranking lists. Baseball America and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com had them number one. Keith Law also had them third. BP had good things to say in their...

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First Pitch: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing
Feb26

First Pitch: Why Tony Sanchez Spending 2014 in Triple-A Isn’t a Bad Thing

Heading into the 2013 season, I was looking at Tony Sanchez as a guy who would only have value in the majors for his defense. He was showing good defensive skills in the minors, but wasn’t hitting, and that included a lack of power. Perhaps that was due to multiple broken jaws, which caused him to lose a lot of weight and muscle. Or maybe it was that he needed a change in approach. Whatever it was, Sanchez turned things around...

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Taiwan is a Baseball Hotbed, and the Pirates are Getting a Strong Presence There
Feb25

Taiwan is a Baseball Hotbed, and the Pirates are Getting a Strong Presence There

“We’re working very hard to be global. Not just in the Dominican, but as we spread out, there’s ballplayers everywhere, and our challenge is to go find them, as it is for the other 29 teams.” That was Clint Hurdle when I talked to him last week about the talent that is coming to the Pirates out of Latin America. Hurdle probably didn’t have to point that out. The track record for the Pirates speaks for...

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