First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?
Jul20

First Pitch: Remember All of Those High Beta Players From the Off-Season?

Over the winter there was a lot of talk about how the Pittsburgh Pirates were adding a lot of high beta players. The term first came up when David Todd described Francisco Liriano as a high beta player, pointing out that there were many possible outcomes for his 2013 season, ranging from very bad to very good. I wrote about how the Pirates had a roster full of those players, and how the 2013 season would depend on the success/failure...

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First Pitch: The Trade Market is Looking Pretty Weak So Far
Jul19

First Pitch: The Trade Market is Looking Pretty Weak So Far

Tonight we heard once again that the Pirates were looking at Alex Rios. Jon Heyman reported the interest this time, also saying they could be interested in Alexei Ramirez. One comment Heyman made stood out to me. He noted that Alex Rios is the top all around outfielder available on the trade market. He’s right about that, and that speaks to the quality of players on the market right now. Earlier today, Pat Lackey of WHYGAVS...

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First Pitch: The Pirates Are Built For Short and Long Term Success
Jul18

First Pitch: The Pirates Are Built For Short and Long Term Success

This is the third straight deadline where the Pittsburgh Pirates have been buyers instead of sellers. It’s the third straight deadline where we’ve seen a ton of rumors about players they could get, and debated over which prospects to give up. It’s the third straight deadline where the question has been asked: should they give up a top prospect? And it’s the third straight deadline where people have said the...

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First Pitch: Giving Some Perspective to Trade Rumors
Jul17

First Pitch: Giving Some Perspective to Trade Rumors

It’s hard to imagine, but the MLB Trade Deadline is two weeks away. We’re starting to get some actual rumors connecting teams to players. We’re even getting the Pirates connected to players like Matt Garza, Alex Rios, Nate Schierholtz, and Kendrys Morales. The rumors surrounding the trade deadline can be fun. It can be exciting to think about what players could be on the move, what prospects rebuilding teams could...

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First Pitch: Which Prospects Should Be Available In Trades?
Jul16

First Pitch: Which Prospects Should Be Available In Trades?

Last night I wrote about how Gregory Polanco should be untouchable. Today I broke down the trade values of Alex Rios and Nate Schierholtz, and noted that Nick Kingham would be fair value for Rios and cash, but that I wouldn’t trade Kingham. I get asked a lot of questions about which prospects I would trade. I don’t really like that question because the answer is dependent on who you are trading for. As an example,...

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First Pitch: Gregory Polanco Should Be Untouchable
Jul15

First Pitch: Gregory Polanco Should Be Untouchable

I’m pretty sure I built the Gregory Polanco bandwagon. I was calling him a sleeper and one of the most promising international prospects on the Pirates back at the start of the 2011 season. That’s one year before his big breakout in West Virginia. I called that breakout season in March 2012 after seeing Polanco in Spring Training for about two weeks. Fast forward past his breakout season and I put him on the cover of the...

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