Pirates Prospects » Prospect Reports http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:37:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Tyler Glasnow’s Curve Rated Best in AFL http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/tyler-glasnows-curve-rated-best-in-afl.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/tyler-glasnows-curve-rated-best-in-afl.html#comments Fri, 14 Nov 2014 23:30:31 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90604 Jonathan Mayo posted an article for the best tools in the Arizona Fall League and Tyler Glasnow was named the pitcher with the best breaking ball. Glasnow throws a big-breaking curve that sits 77-78 MPH, which really keeps hitters off-balance when paired with his mid-90’s fastball. Mayo mentions that one scout rated his curve as a plus-plus pitch.

The voting not only comes from Mayo, he also talked to scouts and took a poll of 50 players in the league. Glasnow was a runner-up for the best pitcher and got plenty of votes for the best fastball. No other Pirates players were mentioned among any of the other categories.

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What Does the Future Hold For Joely Rodriguez? http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/what-does-the-future-hold-for-joely-rodriguez.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/11/what-does-the-future-hold-for-joely-rodriguez.html#comments Sat, 01 Nov 2014 16:34:44 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=90118 If you were able to catch Joely Rodriguez pitch yesterday in the Arizona Fall League against Mark Appel, you probably have a low opinion of him right now. The game was broadcast(tape delayed) on MLB Network. He had no fastball command and was knocked out in the second inning when he reached his single-inning pitch count limit. If you saw Rodriguez pitch this year at Altoona, chances are you saw him struggle. In fact, if you’ve seen him any season besides 2013, there is a good chance you saw a poor pitching performance from him. So it seems like the question shouldn’t be what does the future hold for him, rather why is there even a question.

Joely Rodriguez made his fifth AFL start last night

Joely Rodriguez made his fifth AFL start last night

Rodriguez might be the toughest pitcher to figure out among prospects in the Pirates system. He has been around for six seasons now and his breakout year in 2013 was the only one in which he put up good stats. That usually doesn’t bode well for a pitcher’s future, but Rodriguez has a lot of fans among the people that watch games for a living.

Last year, I saw him pitch at West Virginia and he looked good, but nothing really special. Unlike yesterday when he was all over the place, he was pounding the strike zone in the game I saw. What I didn’t like that day was the fact his pitches had very little difference in velocity from his fastball, to his hard slider, to his change-up. In fact, almost every single pitch I saw during his five innings was in the 84-90 MPH range. I’ve seen numerous pitchers dominate a Low-A game using 90% fastballs in the 88-92 MPH range, just because they had good command of the pitch. Those pitchers tend to not succeed at higher levels using that same plan of attack. Left-handed pitchers can usually get by with even less at Low-A. That is something we have seen a lot of in the past in the Pirates system.

I watched that game last year with a couple scouts and they saw a totally different pitcher that I did. The guy who I wasn’t that impressed with, had them talking the next day, so I sat down and listened. Obviously the fastball command was a selling point, but every pitch he threw had movement on it and when he threw his slider and change, he was throwing them for strikes. Basically, my biggest concern, wasn’t a concern to them. They saw something special beyond the results and pitch speeds.

If you fast-forward the 2013 season, Rodriguez moved up to Bradenton and pitched well, which got him added to the Pirates 40-man roster and led to a promotion to Altoona for this season. That meant the Pirates obviously felt highly enough about Rodriguez that they thought someone could take him in the Rule V draft, despite the fact he had just a half season of High-A ball. So both scouts and the Pirates really liked him at that point.

In 2014, Rodriguez began the season in the Altoona rotation and did not do well. Through July 12th, he had a 4.44 ERA in 17 starts, with a 32:54 BB/SO ratio in 99.1 innings. He had allowed 103 hits, but that wasn’t out of line from his 2013 season, when he gave up 142 hits in 140 innings, finishing the year with a 2.70 ERA. Batters were getting hits, but they only had a .684 OPS at that point against him. So the higher ERA in Altoona probably came from timely hits in big spots, because batters weren’t getting many extra-base hits against him and his WHIP was league average. The league ERA was 4.35 over the entire season, so while a 4.44 ERA sounds high, his early results had him around the middle of the pack.

Rodriguez was moved to the bullpen after his 17th start, though he eventually returned to the rotation. He recently commented on his time in the bullpen, saying  he found the move difficult to make. Over the final 50 days of the season, he pitched a total of 34.2 innings and had a 5.97 ERA. As a reliever, he had a 5.40 ERA in 18.1 innings and allowed 28 hits.

A funny thing happened between the end of the season and the point we are at now. Rodriguez has now made five starts in the AFL and has a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings, with 15 strikeouts. He didn’t have much command yesterday, but he has issued just four walks so far, so the control has been good. The strikeout total is a big surprise and as pointed out in this article by Carson Cistulli on Fangraphs(h/t Bucs Dugout), despite the small size the AFL season represents, striking out batters at a high rate in the league is a strong indicator of future success. It’s an article worth checking out because the difference is huge between the future of high strikeout pitchers in the league and ones with low strikeout rates. Rodriguez is mentioned by name in the article.

That is another good sign for Rodriguez, who received some strong praise from Jonathan Mayo during the telecast last night. This was before his poor performance in the second inning, so keep that in mind. Mayo said that Rodriguez came into the AFL as a pitcher that looked like a future #5 starter and now it looks like he could be more.

My personal opinion on Rodriguez is that he can be a #5, but you could also get a dominating lefty reliever. The reason for the latter prediction is that he has hit 97 MPH with his fastball in the past and in shorter outings, you could have a three-pitch reliever bringing mid-90’s heat with command that is usually strong. A possible future reliever obviously limits his prospect status, but that is a worst case prediction at this point.

In that MLB article linked above, Rodriguez said that he basically wiped the slate clean going into the AFL and wanted to attack the strike zone, keeping the ball down. He is willing to embrace the “pitch to contact” style the Pirates want from their pitchers. Quick outs and longer outings are better than high strikeout totals and shorter outings. The pitchers with above average stuff can always get strikeouts in big spots, but you don’t need to strikeout every batter to be successful. The results against some of the best prospects in the game are encouraging, small sample size or not.

It’s important to remember that Rodriguez will be 23 years old this upcoming season. So while he has been around for six years in the Pirates system already, he will still be young for whatever level he ends up at next year. I think he will be back in the Altoona rotation to begin the season and if he can carry his AFL success over to the regular season, you could soon see the pitcher that the Pirates, scouts and experts see when they look at Joely Rodriguez.

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More High Praise For Tyler Glasnow http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/more-high-praise-for-tyler-glasnow.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/more-high-praise-for-tyler-glasnow.html#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 13:00:51 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89430 Tyler Glasnow did not have a good first outing in the Arizona Fall League last week. You could say that the start looked horrible on paper, but a pitching line, especially an abbreviated one that lasted just 29 pitches, can only tell so much of the story. People that were at the game tell a much different story of Glasnow’s outing.

Keith Law wrote that Glasnow was one of the top two pitchers he saw during the first week of the AFL. He mentions his fastball, which sat 93-97 MPH, had great downhill plane and his curve(79-80 MPH) was a plus pitch, with tight rotation and depth.

Baseball America also had a positive scouting report on Glasnow, saying that batters were powerless against his curve. They had his fastball topping out at 97 MPH as well, though they call his curve a low-70’s pitch, which is likely a mistake. When I saw him it was 76-80 MPH, which is in line with what Law said. Either way, both of them really liked his curve/fastball combo.

Both Law and the BA article mentioned that Glasnow got a bad call on a curve that should have resulted in a strikeout and instead, it was ball four and it caused Glasnow to reach his pitch count early. I also heard that same thing from another source, so that is something you don’t see in the box score. He obviously had control issues, which isn’t anything new with Glasnow, but the first-hand reports are much more encouraging than his pitching line.

Glasnow is scheduled to start tonight’s game at home against Mesa. We will have a recap up shortly after the game ends.

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Instructional League Highlights From Reese McGuire, Mitch Keller and More http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/instructional-league-highlights-from-reese-mcguire-mitch-keller-and-more.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/instructional-league-highlights-from-reese-mcguire-mitch-keller-and-more.html#comments Sat, 11 Oct 2014 13:33:52 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89393 On Friday, we posted highlights of Austin Meadows, Raul Siri and Adrian Valerio from Thursday’s Fall Instructional League game. We have some more video from the game courtesy of the FIL Fan page. Today’s highlights include 2014 second round draft pick Mitch Keller, last year’s first round pick Reese McGuire, pitcher Austin Coley and a second look at two interesting DSL players.

Mitch Keller received a $1,000,000 bonus to sign and could possibly end up being the best player the Pirates drafted this year. We had video from his pro debut, which also included Trey Supak, who was taken nine picks after Keller and received the same bonus. We also posted every pitch from his start on August 12th. Below is video of Keller warming up before his start, followed by a ground out to end the first inning, getting the batter out in front on an off-speed pitch

Ground out from Keller

Reese McGuire walked his first time up on Thursday, then followed it with this single shown below. In his first full season this year, McGuire hit .262/.307/.334 in 98 games with West Virginia. Those aren’t bad numbers considering his age(he turns 20 in March), but they were well off the .780 OPS he had in the GCL last year. His defense was above average and helped get him ranked as the fifth best prospect in the South Atlantic League by Baseball America.

Earlier this week, we posted videos from Tuesday’s action in the FIL, showing speedy outfielder Victor Fernandez for the first time. In that video, he hit a double to left field, going from home to sliding into second base safely, in seven seconds. Here is another video of the speed of Fernandez, causing a throwing error on an easy ground ball. To put it simply, he is fast.

Also in that Tuesday link was a first look at second baseman Luis Perez, who spent the 2014 season in the DSL. Here is a second look at him and a much better one.

Finally, we have video of Austin Coley warming up in the bullpen. The 2014 eighth round draft pick had a rough first season in pro ball. He missed some time with a shoulder strain, then finished with a 5.23 ERA and .323 BAA in eight starts. In 20.2 innings, Coley had a 9:18 BB/SO ratio. He had some control issues his junior year, so he will probably spend the 2015 season in the West Virginia rotation working on fastball command.

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Austin Meadows Goes Deep During Thursday’s Instructional League Action http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/austin-meadows-goes-deep-during-fridays-instructional-league-action.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/austin-meadows-goes-deep-during-fridays-instructional-league-action.html#comments Fri, 10 Oct 2014 13:57:53 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89383 The Pittsburgh Pirates took on the Toronto Blue Jays in the Fall Instructional League on Thursday and we have some great video courtesy of the FIL Fan page. The main highlight was Austin Meadows slugging a long home run, which is shown below. We also have first time footage of two of the top prospects from the Dominican Summer League. Both Raul Siri and Adrian Valerio are making their first appearances in the U.S. during the FIL and they will be players to watch next year.

This at-bat was the highlight of the day for Austin Meadows, who struck out in his other two times up, before walking in his last plate appearance. It was a long home run to right field early in the game. Earlier in the FIL, we had video of Meadows hitting an opposite field triple. Meadows hit three homers this season, seeing limited time due to two hamstring injuries. He has been healthy since the end of June and he has carried his hot hitting from the season(.881 OPS) into the FIL.

While his glove is what everyone is talking about, Adrian Valerio needs to show he can hit before he becomes a legit shortstop prospect. At age 17, he is already one of the top fielders in the system, with no doubts that he will stick at shortstop. We have seen with Gift Ngoepe, that a great glove can only take you so far and hitting is also critical for future success. Valerio had a decent rookie season(.608 OPS, 17 extra-base hits), especially when you factor in his age. In this at-bat below, which is the first footage we have received on him, he almost gets beaned with the first pitch, then ends up with a solid base hit. He’s a switch-hitter that has been called a line drive hitter, so he probably will never hit many homers. As you see from him running down to first base, his speed is average, which is consistent with the reports we got.

We have two at-bats from Raul Siri, who we ranked as the third best DSL prospect to watch, one spot behind Valerio. Siri is a terrific hitter, with some pop in his bat, despite being on the small side. He plays second base well and he has good speed on the bases. He seems like the type of player that could jump over the GCL next year and play at Bristol. He compares well to Pablo Reyes, who made the same jump this year. They are both small second baseman, pure hitters with a little pop and good speed on the bases. Siri is better defensively according to the reports and he will probably hit for a little more power than Reyes. His first at-bat of the game is shown here, followed by the second one below.

His second at-bat

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AFL Bound Tom Harlan Showed Versatility in 2014 http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/afl-bound-tom-harlan-showed-versatility-in-2014.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/10/afl-bound-tom-harlan-showed-versatility-in-2014.html#comments Fri, 03 Oct 2014 14:47:24 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=89178 Left-handed Pitcher Tom Harlan spent the first year and a half of his minor league career as a reliever, and was extremely efficient. At Low A West Virginia in 2013, Harlan had a 2.27 ERA in 74 innings to go along with an impressive 74/14 strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 2014, 24-year-old Harlan continued his success out of the bullpen in High A Bradenton, posting a 2.49 ERA with a 41/9 k/bb rate in 50.2 innings pitched. This success caused the Pirates to aggressively move him up to Double-A Altoona.

Harlan’s role changed in Altoona where he made 10 starts. As a starter, Harlan was able to hold his own. In 60.2 innings pitched, he had a 3.71 ERA with a 1.27 WHIP, although he was only able to strike out 26 batters while walking 17.

It’s been a challenging adjustment period for Harlan. Not only is he adapting to his new role as a starter, but he is also facing tougher competition.

“It’s been a learning process and it’s a little different,” Harlan said on his move to the starting rotation. “The strike zone is a little smaller [in Double-A] and the hitters are more experienced. [I have to] trust myself; have confidence in myself that I have the stuff to do it, and if I can execute and do what I need to do, I should be successful.”

Curve Pitching Coach Stan Kyles was impressed with Harlan’s poise on the mound considering his lack of professional experience as a starter. Former Curve Manager Carlos Garcia echoed Kyles’ sentiments regarding Harlan’s poise and confidence on the mound.

“It really surprised us because he was never a starter. He is sustaining good pitch-ability. Every day he is covering the innings he’s needed to cover. You know he is going to have a great effort every time he goes to the mound,” Garcia said.

Harlan throws a fastball in the low 90s and accompanies it with a slider and a change-up. Garcia said that Harlan is especially difficult on left-handed hitters, against which he attacks with fastballs and sliders. Harlan’s approach to lefties has been effective, especially coming out of the bullpen. In high A, he posted a 0.75 WHIP against lefties, striking out 28 of the 74 lefty batters he faced, while holding them to a minuscule .183 batting average. When he moved into the starting rotation he wasn’t as dominant against lefties, but he still had decent numbers. Against lefties in Double-A, Harlan posted a 1.17 WHIP while holding them to a modest .376 slugging percentage in 98 plate appearances.

Harlan has work to do against right-handed hitters.  In 2014, he had a 1.42 WHIP with a .439 slugging percent against and had a below average 28/20 k/bb rate in 67 total innings. He has been working on throwing more change-ups to righties in order to keep them off of his fastball and keep the hitters off-balance. With more experience, both Kyles and Garcia both have the confidence that Harlan has the talent to stay in the rotation.

The Pirates are sending Harlan to the Arizona Fall League to get more experience as a starter, and to see how he performs against the tough competition in the league. It’s uncertain whether Harlan will be a reliever or a starter in the future. If Harlan is able to improve against right-handed hitters, its possible that he could become a solid 4th or 5th starter. If not, he could fill the role as a left-handed relief specialist.

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Improved Fastball Command Propels Buddy Borden in 2014 http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/improved-fastball-command-propels-buddy-borden-in-2014.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/improved-fastball-command-propels-buddy-borden-in-2014.html#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 16:00:23 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=88726 Right-handed pitcher Buddy Borden turned in one of the best pitching performances in the Pirates minor league system this season. In his first full season in Low-A West Virginia, the 22-year-old finished with a 3.16 ERA in 128 innings pitched, to go along with a 122/48 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Pirates selected Borden in the 7th round of the 2013 draft out of UNLV. At 6’ 3’’ 210 pounds, he has a hard fastball with good movement, sitting in the low 90s that can touch as high as 96. He complements his fastball with a curveball and a changeup.

Borden got off to a fast start in this season, with a 1.37 ERA in his first 19.1 innings to go along with a 19/9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. But beginning in May, he struggled with his command, leading to inconsistent performances. Through May and June, Borden had a 4.62 ERA and a 1.46 WHIP, with a 38/24 K/BB.

On June 2nd Borden had his worst start of his year, giving up 8 hits, 4 walks and 6 runs in 5 innings pitched. On June 24th, he was only able to get through 1 inning because he reached the 35-pitch inning limit that the Pirates organization has in place in order to protect their young pitchers. He threw only 20 strikes in that outing.

After an appearance in relief, Borden got back on track starting in July, and had a dominant month of August. In August, Borden had a 2.00 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP, to go along with an impressive 33/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The biggest difference between the first half and the second half of his season was Borden’s progression with his fastball command. His main focus this season was to improve the command of his fastball to both sides of the plate, and to get ahead in counts. West Virginia Pitching Coach Jeff Johnson pointed at Borden’s fastball as the main reason for his dominant month of August.

“[He’s learned] how to stay ahead in counts, and that the quality of the pitch is more important than the velocity of the pitch. He’s learned how to manufacture the quality of the pitch, and still keep his stuff up too,” Johnson said.

West Virginia Manager Michael Ryan loves Borden’s willingness to pound his fastball inside on hitters, making the opposing batter feel uncomfortable at the plate.

“He attacks hitters inside and makes them uncomfortable and that opens up the outside [half of the plate]. His location of his fastball is what makes him so effective. He can put it anywhere he wants and his velocity is enough to get in on guys because of his location inside.”

Borden’s good command will enable his secondary pitches to be more effective, especially his changeup. Having the ability to throw a good changeup is extremely important for the next step of his development.

“Changeup usage [is important]. Not just throwing it when you want to, but at this level you kind of learn, as opposed to college, at times you have to throw it just to show it, so we’ve worked a lot on fastball command and changeup usage,” Borden explained.

The importance of the need for development of his secondary pitches was on display for Borden in his final start of the year on August 30th against Asheville. Borden cruised through the first three innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced. He was commanding his fastball to both sides of the plate, jamming Asheville hitters and producing weak contact. But in the 4th inning Asheville began to make adjustments, and began to square up his fastball. That night Borden did not have a good feel for his secondary pitches to keep the Asheville hitters honest, and that lead to a 6 hit, 5 run 4th inning that Borden would not be able to complete.

Johnson reiterated the next day just how important his changeup development will be.

“Not that he doesn’t have one, but he hasn’t quite learned how to fit it into what he likes to do. So as he moves forward the changeup is going to become a much bigger pitch for him. It will take pressure off of fastball command, help him get some easier outs and that will be the biggest thing for him is to get his changeup in play more,” Johnson said.

One of Borden’s best qualities is his make-up. Johnson and Ryan both raved about Borden’s work ethic and how hard he competes out on the mound.

“His focus and concentration is off the charts. He’s all business. It’s all about doing the job right, it’s all about maximizing his abilities, [and he’s a] total pro in that regard. work days are thoughtful, focus. All the intangibles that you need to have to be a very good pitcher, he’s doing it,” Johnson said

Ryan echoed Johnson, stating that “you can’t even talk to Buddy” on days that Borden starts, because of how focused and intense he is.

Borden’s make-up separates him from the rest of the pack, and his work ethic should play a big role in his ability to do what it takes to continue to progress. With his improved fastball command, the progression of his secondary pitches will determine his ceiling. If Borden is able to develop his two secondary pitches into consistent legitimate offerings, he has the ability to be a middle of the rotation starter.

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Wyatt Mathisen Adjusting Well to Third Base http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/wyatt-mathisen-adjusting-well-to-third-base.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/wyatt-mathisen-adjusting-well-to-third-base.html#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 17:48:12 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=88248 The 2014 season presented several challenges for 20-year-old Wyatt Mathisen. Not only did he see an aggressive push up to Low A West Virginia, but also saw a position switch.

When the Pirates drafted Mathisen out of high school in the 2nd round of the 2012 draft, the original plan was to have Mathisen play catcher. Because of the logjam of catching in the Pirates system, the Pirates moved Mathisen to third base. Mathisen’s athleticism and arm strength made him a good candidate for the position switch.  It also helped that he spent a lot of time shortstop in high school. Mathisen played 84 games at third base this season, and his manager, Michael Ryan, was encouraged by the results.

“He has done so much better than what I thought he was going to do at third base and what the organization thought he was going to do. I thought it was going to be a real challenge for him in his first year,” Ryan said. “For him to come and play third base for his first season and only have [19 errors], that’s not bad at all. The best third baseman in the league they say defensively have almost 34, 35 errors.”

Ryan recognized that Mathisen still has a lot more to work on at third base, including his first-step quickness and instincts at the position. Ryan believes that as Mathisen gets more reps, he’ll continue to get better and better.

Third base has provided a challenge to Mathisen that he is not used to. Mathisen pointed out that staying focused on every play is something that has been challenging.

“I’m not in every single pitch [like I was at catcher]. I have to make sure to stay focused every single pitch even if I don’t get the ball. So that was the big thing in moving from catcher where I did get the ball every pitch, to third base where I have to be ready. I might not get the ball the whole game,” Mathisen explained.

Playing third base kept Mathisen a lot fresher throughout the season, which is something that he really enjoyed.

“My body’s not as tired as it was last year when I was catching, so that helps out a lot. I like it a lot more and it helps out with my hitting,” Mathisen said.

At the plate, Mathisen progressed well this year after struggling in an injury-plagued 2013 season. He finishing the 2014 season with a slash-line of .280/.344/.360 with 3 home runs, 17 doubles and 3 triples in 375 at bats.

Mathisen started the year off slowly, batting .247 in April and .237 in May, but at the start on June he took off. From that point forward, he hit .319 with an OPS of .765.  In July, he suffered a leg injury in an incident at third base, missing much of the month, but that did not slow him down at the plate. An encouraging sign for Mathisen is his low 12.9 K%, showing that he is a line drive hitter who is able to make a lot of contact.  At 6’1’’ 215 pounds, Mathisen is a big kid and the ball jumps off of his bat.

“He hits the ball hard,” Ryan said smiling after their game at the end of August. Ryan is thrilled with the improvements he’s made mechanically and how he approaches every at bat.

“His balance this year is way better than it was last year here and his numbers have improved. What’s impressive is his ability to go the other way. He’s really good at it and he finally figured out that’s what his strength is, and that’s what he tries to do each time up. When he stays on the opposite field approach it keeps him on off speed and he can turn on that. Each day his confidence grows and grows.”

With his improved approach and his ability to make hard contact, Mathisen is a prospect to watch in 2015. The Pirates are thin at third base prospects in their system, so having a top prospect like Mathisen adjusting well to the position is a good sign.

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Pirates Name Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell Pitcher and Player of the Year http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/pirates-name-tyler-glasnow-and-josh-bell-pitcher-and-player-of-the-year.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/pirates-name-tyler-glasnow-and-josh-bell-pitcher-and-player-of-the-year.html#comments Tue, 16 Sep 2014 19:52:11 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=88192 The Pittsburgh Pirates have named their annual award winners for the minor league pitcher and player of the year. For the second season in a row, Tyler Glasnow walked away with the pitcher’s award. Josh Bell won the Player of the Year award for the first time. Andrew Lambo won the player award last year.

Glasnow finished the season with a 1.74 ERA in 124.1 innings. He had 157 strikeouts, a 1.05 WHIP and a .174 BAA. Glasnow finished the season leading the Florida State League in both ERA and WHIP.  He led all Pirates pitchers in both strikeouts and ERA. Glasnow was named the FSL Pitcher of the Year(Bell was the winner among hitters) and Baseball America’s 2014 Minor League All-Star team. Two weeks ago, we named him the Pitcher of the Year for the second season in a row. That last link has more information on his terrific season.

Bell already took home the FSL Player of the Year award(see link above) and he was named the Pirates Prospects Minor League Player of the Year. He won the FSL award despite being promoted to Altoona at the All-Star break. He finished with a .325/.375/.459 slash line in 108 games. Bell won the FSL batting title and slugging title.

Both Bell and Glasnow are in the Fall Instructional League right now and they will continue on to the Arizona Fall League in early October.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Fall Instructional League Roster and Schedule http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/pittsburgh-pirates-fall-instructional-league-roster-and-schedule.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/09/pittsburgh-pirates-fall-instructional-league-roster-and-schedule.html#comments Mon, 15 Sep 2014 22:00:32 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=88154 The Pittsburgh Pirates will begin the Fall Instructional League this week, commonly referred to as “instructs”.  The first games will be played on Wednesday, and the first day with full rosters in action will be on Saturday.

Instructs is a league for minor league players, mostly guys in the lower levels, to get additional work at the end of the year. As the name of the league suggests, players will get additional instruction at the end of the season, working on new pitches, refining old pitches, learning new positions, or working on other aspects of their game. The Pirates play other teams, in a similar fashion to Spring Training. They have two teams that participate in the league, with the Pirates 1 team made up mostly of players who were in full season leagues, and the Pirates 2 team made up of players who were in short-season leagues.

The schedule for both teams, and the roster for the Pirates 1 team can be seen below. The roster for the Pirates 2 team will be released later this week.

As you can see from the roster, this list isn’t exclusively made up of upper level guys. Some of the more interesting names from the lower levels are included, such as Michael de la Cruz, Tito Polo, and Billy Roth. There are also some upper levels guys on the list, like Alen Hanson, Adrian Sampson, and Elias Diaz. The list includes all of the players who will be headed to the Arizona Fall League: Tyler Glasnow, Tom Harlan, Joely Rodriguez, Sampson, Diaz, Josh Bell, and Dan Gamache.

The Pirates 2 roster will be the more interesting roster. That roster will feature a lot of players who are coming up from the DSL. Usually that is the first indication of who will make the jump from the DSL to the US the following season. The Pirates 1 roster has one player from the DSL, Jhoan Herrera, who was on the Opening Day roster for Bristol, but hurt his ankle and was sent back to the DSL after it healed. We’ll have the Pirates 2 roster later this week.

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