First Pitch: The Pirates Don’t Need to Trade For an Ace at the Deadline
Jul14

First Pitch: The Pirates Don’t Need to Trade For an Ace at the Deadline

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates had three pitchers who looked like top of the rotation guys in the second half. Francisco Liriano had a great season, A.J. Burnett continued his success with the Pirates, and Gerrit Cole was looking like a top of the rotation guy by the end of the year. Prior to this season it looked like they could potentially have three once again by the end of the season. They had Francisco Liriano and Gerrit Cole...

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Prospect Watch: JaCoby Jones Extends Hitting Streak to 15 Games
Jul13

Prospect Watch: JaCoby Jones Extends Hitting Streak to 15 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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How Tony Watson Went From a Non-Prospect in Double-A to an All-Star Reliever
Jul13

How Tony Watson Went From a Non-Prospect in Double-A to an All-Star Reliever

After putting up some of the best numbers of any reliever in baseball this season, Tony Watson was named to the National League All-Star team. The accomplishment is special for any player, and rare for middle relievers. In Watson’s case, it’s extremely surprising when you consider that just a few years ago he looked like a prospect who would top out at the Double-A level. Watson was named the Minor League Pitcher of the...

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DSL Pirates Report: A Catching Prospect Shows Improvements on Offense and Defense
Jul13

DSL Pirates Report: A Catching Prospect Shows Improvements on Offense and Defense

A couple weeks ago, we were talking about a team that lost nine games in a row, but since then the DSL Pirates have really turned things around. They have gone 10-4 since breaking the streak, including a 4-2 record this week. Last week, we highlighted a hard-throwing starter that just might be a prospect. This week we focus in on a rookie catcher that has looked good both at the plate and behind it recently. This week we start with a...

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Francisco Liriano Activated, Matt Hague Optioned Back to Indianapolis
Jul13

Francisco Liriano Activated, Matt Hague Optioned Back to Indianapolis

Starter Francisco Liriano has been activated from the disabled list to start today’s game against the Cincinnati Reds. To make room for him on the 25-man roster, the Pittsburgh Pirates have optioned Matt Hague back to Indianapolis. Liriano started on rehab with Indianapolis on Monday and pitched brilliantly. He threw six shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks and he struck out eight batters. Ryan Palencer covered the...

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Prospect Highlights: A Five-Tool Outfielder By the Name of Tito Polo
Jul13

Prospect Highlights: A Five-Tool Outfielder By the Name of Tito Polo

When I was ranking the top ten players from the DSL last year, I had a lot of input on the team from first-hand sources and they all praised outfielder Tito Polo, saying he could do anything on the field. I got similar, but slightly lesser reports about outfielder Alexis Bastardo and decided to rank him one spot ahead of Polo for two reasons. Both players are about the same age and same size, so that was a wash there. Bastardo showed...

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