Austin Meadows to Make His Return to the Field on Monday
Jun28

Austin Meadows to Make His Return to the Field on Monday

With Gregory Polanco in the majors, the top hitting prospect in the system is now outfielder Austin Meadows. We have yet to see Meadows in action this year, due to hamstring problems that have kept him out for the first four months of the season. A few weeks ago I reported that Meadows had started on-field activities, and was making his way back to where he could play in games. The expectation at the time was that he’d start off...

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First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade
Jun28

First Pitch: The Sequel to the Mark Melancon Trade

There are two things I feel should be common knowledge by now about relief pitchers. 1. Relief pitchers are very volatile. 2. ERA is a horrible stat to evaluate relievers. The Pittsburgh Pirates have had success finding strong relievers at low costs because they’ve ignored short-term struggles, and have looked past a poor ERA to see potential with advanced metrics. Meanwhile, other teams give out long-term deals to relievers,...

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Prospect Watch: Harold Ramirez Extends Hit Streak to 19 Games
Jun28

Prospect Watch: Harold Ramirez Extends Hit Streak to 19 Games

TOP OF THE SYSTEM A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. ¬†Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. If a player is out for the season (Jameson Taillon #1, Clay Holmes #12), he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot....

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Pirates Trade Jason Grilli to Angels For Ernesto Frieri
Jun27

Pirates Trade Jason Grilli to Angels For Ernesto Frieri

The Pittsburgh Pirates have traded reliever Jason Grilli to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for reliever Ernesto Frieri. Frieri is a a 28-year-old righty that has struggled in the closer role this year, something he has in common with Grilli. Both have pitched well in the recent past in that role, so they might be able to return to their success in a different uniform. Frieri has a 6.39 ERA this season in 34 appearances, with 11...

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Luis Heredia Headed in the Wrong Direction
Jun27

Luis Heredia Headed in the Wrong Direction

The 2014 Luis Heredia isn’t the same as the 2013 version. In some ways that is a good thing, but in other ways that is a bad sign. I got to see Heredia pitch last Saturday in Lakewood and talked to a scout afterwards, as well as someone who has seen Heredia a lot the last two years. Then, after his six shutout innings last night, I talked to that same scout, who followed the team to Delmarva. While the reports were better, they...

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Prospect Highlights: Hits From Willy Garcia and Elias Diaz, Thoughts on Both Players
Jun27

Prospect Highlights: Hits From Willy Garcia and Elias Diaz, Thoughts on Both Players

Below are two hits from Altoona right fielder Willy Garcia and one from catcher Elias Diaz. Garcia is the flashier of the two players and younger, but Diaz just might be the better prospect of the two players. Garcia is a toolsy outfielder, with a cannon for an arm, good speed and he can hit for power. He has the one major flaw though, that is usually a deal-breaker when it comes to Major League success, a horrible BB/K rate. Last...

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