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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First Pitch: Is Stetson Allie the Breakout Prospect of 2014?
Mar06

First Pitch: Is Stetson Allie the Breakout Prospect of 2014?

Pretty much anytime I’ve seen someone this Spring, one of the first questions they’ve asked has been wondering who the breakout prospect would be this year in the minors. I’d like to think that’s because I was saying Tyler Glasnow and Stolmy Pimentel would be breakout prospects last year, or that I said Gregory Polanco would be a breakout prospect a year before. But I feel like it’s just part of the job...

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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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