• Prospect Notebook: Sampson’s Early Inning Jitters, Benedict’s Off-Speed Stuff

    One of the starters I was looking forward to seeing this year in Bradenton was Adrian Sampson. I heard a lot of good reports on him from last season, and saw him pitch during instructs. He received a somewhat aggressive promotion to Bradenton this year, and has made all three starts on...

  • Prospect Notebook: Luis Heredia, Zack Dodson, and Rinku Singh Set to Return Soon

    I’ve had a lot of questions early in the year about the progress of Luis Heredia. The right-hander is in extended Spring Training, and hasn’t thrown in many games. He has been throwing on the side, and pitched a live batting practice earlier this week. Back in the middle of March I...

  • Prospect Notebook: Looking Deeper at Another Group of Breakout Players in West Virginia

    We are two weeks into the season, and once again it looks like West Virginia is the team to watch for breakout performers. The offense currently has four regulars with an .800 OPS or better. Other guys on the roster have potential and talent, but don’t have the numbers yet. It’s still...

  • Prospect Notebook: Zack Von Rosenberg Switches to a Two-Seam Fastball

    When Zack Von Rosenberg was drafted, the Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t have any ace pitching prospects. Jameson Taillon was a year away from being drafted. Luis Heredia was a year and a few months away from being signed. Gerrit Cole was two years away from being drafted. And the last time the Pirates...

  • Prospect Notebook: Recapping Week One in Altoona

    I should start by acknowledging that I’m taking some liberties by saying “week one” since I’m actually looking back over the first 11 games of the season. This review highlights the Curve players who have grabbed my attention at this very early stage of the season. Before diving in, it is PIVOTAL...

  • Prospect Notebook: Tony Sanchez, Kris Johnson and Victor Black

    Sanchez praises batting coaches after productive afternoon Sneaking a peek at Phil Irwin’s major-league debut on the visiting clubhouse’s television on Sunday afternoon, Tony Sanchez received an urgent summons to action: home plate umpire Jon Sapphire had ejected starting catcher Brian Jeroloman in the fourth inning and Sanchez had to take the...

  • Gerrit Cole vs Jameson Taillon at Pirate City

    Today was a camp day at Pirate City, which means intra squad games. Usually the Triple-A and Double-A teams go against each other on one field, with the A-ball teams squaring off on the opposite field. The upper level game featured a matchup of the top two prospects in the system. Gerrit...

  • Prospect Notebook: Hafner Having Success With New Slider; Kingham and Fuesser Pitch Well

    Hafner allowed just one hit and no walks in two innings The Pirates took on the Blue Jays in three lower level minor league games.  The two class A squads hooked up, while the teams added a rookie level game. The high A game featured Nick Kingham, although he didn't start.  Jared...

  • Prospect Notebook: Casey Sadler, Brandon Cumpton and Duke Welker

    Sadler allowed just one hit and no walks in five shutout innings The Pirates' AAA and AA squads took on their Toronto counterparts at Pirate City today.  They got good starts from Brandon Cumpton in the AAA game and Casey Sadler in the AA game.  Cumpton went four and a third innings,...

  • Prospect Notebook: Good Pitching in the Class A Games

    Rodriguez allowed no earned runs and fanned four over four innings The Pirates played host to the Yankees' class A teams at Pirate City today, in games dominated by the pitching.  Outside of a first inning outburst by the Pirates' high A squad, there was little offense. The low A game finished...

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