First Pitch: Can the Pirates Develop Talent? It Appears So.
Mar14

First Pitch: Can the Pirates Develop Talent? It Appears So.

It was a little over a year ago that there existed some big questions surrounding the Pittsburgh Pirates’ ability to draft and develop players. Most of the questions surrounding the minors were spilled over frustration from the collapse that the major league team suffered. It seemed to convenient to just throw in “and there’s no help on the way from the minors” at the end of every doomsday story about the...

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First Pitch: The Parallels Between Andrew Lambo and Jeff Clement
Mar13

First Pitch: The Parallels Between Andrew Lambo and Jeff Clement

I can’t help but draw some parallels between the current Andrew Lambo situation and the Jeff Clement experiment at first base a few years ago. In both situations you’ve got a guy learning first base in the majors. Lambo has more experience at the position than Clement, which gives him an edge, but not enough experience to make you comfortable with his defense. In each case the Pirates couldn’t play the player at his...

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First Pitch: The Most Important Pitch For a Pirates’ Pitcher?
Mar12

First Pitch: The Most Important Pitch For a Pirates’ Pitcher?

Earlier today I wrote an article about the sinkerball. By that, I mean I wrote over 4700 words on that one pitch, which consisted of information I received from over a dozen interviews. I don’t know if he reads the site, but I do want to give a public thanks to Charlie Morton for all of his insight with the article. The article was inspired by the initial conversation I had with Morton, then grew after a 15 minute interview with...

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First Pitch: Why We Won’t See Top Prospects in the Majors Until Mid-Season
Mar11

First Pitch: Why We Won’t See Top Prospects in the Majors Until Mid-Season

Earlier today the Pittsburgh Pirates made their first cuts of the Spring, which included sending Jameson Taillon to minor league camp. Taillon is the top pitching prospect in the system, and is expected to arrive in Pittsburgh by mid-season. I say “mid-season” not because he needs about two and a half months of Triple-A experience to get ready for the big leagues. I say “mid-season” because there are strong...

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First Pitch: Clint Hurdle’s Awareness of the Minor League System
Mar10

First Pitch: Clint Hurdle’s Awareness of the Minor League System

There’s a perception with Clint Hurdle that he prefers veterans over rookies, and might not trust prospects. That often comes up in situations where he won’t play a certain prospect, or will go with a struggling veteran over a younger player who might be able to help in the short-term and long-term. I’ve had this perception of Hurdle at times, but the more you look at his actions, the more it looks like he’s...

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First Pitch: The Typical Development Path For Pirates Pitching Prospects
Mar07

First Pitch: The Typical Development Path For Pirates Pitching Prospects

Earlier today I wrote about how Clay Holmes looks to be following the Nick Kingham path. Holmes didn’t have the best numbers on the season in 2013 in West Virginia, and had some bad control numbers. But if you look closer, he improved in the second half, cutting down on the walks and posting strong results in his final two months. That’s a similar story to Kingham, who started slow in West Virginia, quietly dominated down...

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