Wilbur Miller

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Pitching, Part 3 (Lower Levels)

    It’s not easy to project how the Pirates will manage their low level pitching staffs. A lot of factors beyond on-field performance come into play when the team is deciding which pitchers to promote, or how to divvy up the finite number of innings that are available. The team looks at health...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Pitching, Part 2 (Upper Level Relievers)

    Justin Wilson is emerging as a power relief option from the left side Bullpens don’t work quite the same way in the minors as they do in the majors. Most teams, including the Pirates, prefer to develop their pitching prospects as starters. The Pirates won’t normally move a pitcher to the bullpen...

  • Transactions
    Report: Pirates Sign Doug Slaten

    According to Ken Rosenthal, the Pirates have signed left-handed reliever Doug Slaten to a minor league contract.  Terms are not available yet, but it's likely that Slaten will receive a non-roster invitation to spring training.  Slaten, 31, was a 17th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2000 and pitched all...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Pitching, Part 1 (Upper Level Starters)

    For the last three drafts, the Pirates have focused heavily on pitching, mostly of the high school variety. Combined with a number of trades that brought in pitching prospects, they now have a great deal of pitching depth throughout their farm system. The prospects who project as front-of-the-rotation starters are largely below...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Outfield, Part 2

    The outfield ranks at the lower levels of the Pirates’ system are loaded with very toolsy players who have a ways to go in their development. In most cases, getting better control of the strike zone is the primary mission. The odds are that most of these players won’t develop, but if...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Outfield, Part 1

      Robbie Grossman will be starting at AA Altoona in 2012 Until they signed Josh Bell after the 2011 draft, the Pirates had paid almost no attention to traditional power-hitting, corner outfield prospects under their current front office. Of course, under the previous front office, they paid almost no attention to prospects...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Third Base

    With power hitting down throughout baseball, classic thirdbasemen are increasingly difficult to find. Most teams want a player who hits for power while having the arm and quickness to play the position. In 2011, however, there were only five thirdbasemen who hit 20 HRs and only ten who hit 15. The Pirates...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — Middle Infield

    For the most part, “middle infield prospect” means “shortstop prospect.” A player with the ability to play secondbase at the major league level will usually be able to play short at the amateur and minor league levels. As a result, most major league secondbaseman start off at shortstop. There may be a...

  • Transactions
    Pirates Release Four Lower Level Minor Leaguers

    According to Baseball America, the Pirates have released four minor league pitchers.  The four are right-handers Mitchell Fienemann, Jarryd Sullivan, and Joe Parsons, and left-hander Diomedes Mateo.  None of the four had advanced far in the team's farm system.  Fienemann, one of the Pirates' first signees out of Australia, spent one year...

  • Analysis
    Minor League Depth — First Base

    “Firstbase prospect” isn’t a concept that’s highly popular with scouts. They tend to dislike players who are limited to first for a several reasons. One is that such a player has to hit extremely well to advance. Another is that athleticism does matter for hitters, so in many cases a player lacking...

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