First Pitch: The New International Player Pages
Mar05

First Pitch: The New International Player Pages

Last week I wrote about the international players who would be in camp for the first time this year. A lot of these guys are expected to make the jump to the US this year, and the number of players making that jump for the first time is pretty large, due to the addition of Bristol. We usually wait for players to jump to the US for Spring Training before making a player page for them on the site. Today, Wilbur Miller created a ton of...

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First Pitch: Five Big Stories to Watch From Minor League Camp
Mar04

First Pitch: Five Big Stories to Watch From Minor League Camp

Today is the first day of full squad workouts at Minor League camp. Previously the Pirates had minor league players in camp, but mostly lower level guys, and only partial practices. The Minor League Spring Training schedule begins today with a camp day. On Friday, the Pirates start playing games against other teams. So far the only thing that has been taking place has been batting practice, fielding and base running drills, and a few...

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First Pitch: Passing on Mark Appel Was a Great Decision For the Pirates
Mar03

First Pitch: Passing on Mark Appel Was a Great Decision For the Pirates

The Major League Baseball draft doesn’t allow you to go over your total bonus pool without some extreme penalties. These include the loss of future draft picks, as well as a 100 percent tax on the overage. If there was any team wondering if an individual player was worth those penalties, all they need to do is look at what happened with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Mark Appel. Appel was the top prospect in the 2012 draft, but fell...

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First Pitch: Pirates Prospects Site Updates
Feb28

First Pitch: Pirates Prospects Site Updates

There are a lot of great things about my job. I can live wherever I want, set my own hours during most of the year, and normally when I’m working, it involves watching baseball and giving my analysis. But the downside to being the owner of an independent media outlet is that my job as a sports writer is only one of many jobs that I have. I’m also the webmaster, the HR department, the IT department, and countless other jobs...

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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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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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