Prospect Notebook: Looking at a Few 2013 Breakout Candidates

In 2012 the Pittsburgh Pirates featured two of the biggest breakout players in all of minor league baseball. Gregory Polanco and Alen Hanson both had huge seasons, propelling each hitter onto national top 100 lists. During Spring Training last year, I identified Hanson and Polanco as breakout candidates, after watching them for a few weeks. Polanco was crushing the ball every time I watched him, while Hanson was picking up a lot of...

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Prospect Notebook: Josh Bell Has Been Working Out at IMG Academy

The 2012 season was supposed to be the first full pro season for top outfield prospect Josh Bell. Instead, the outfielder went down early in the season with a knee injury. After undergoing MCL surgery, he was expected back by August. Some swelling in the knee held him out longer, causing him to miss the remainder of the season, as well as the instructional league games. The outfielder underwent Platelet Rich Plasma therapy to speed up...

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Prospect Notebook: Farm System Evaluation, Instructional League Reports

Ben Badler of Baseball America had some discussions today on the state of the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system. The conversation started with this tweet from Badler. Lost in recent criticism of Pirates' development program: They probably have four top 50 prospects, maybe five Top 100, plus Starling Marte. — Ben Badler (@BenBadler) September 24, 2012 The five players are most likely Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Luis Heredia,...

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Prospect Notebook: Josh Bell Might Not Play Until Spring Training

Josh Bell went down early in the 2012 season with a torn meniscus. The 2011 second round pick was originally expected to return during the 2012 season. However, Bell’s knee experienced swelling during the rehab process, which kept the outfielder out of action for the remainder of the season. “He’s still within that four to six month window for the meniscus tear that he had,” Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington...

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Prospect Notebook: Cole Impressed In Short Time With Altoona

Gerrit Cole will not likely help the Pittsburgh Pirates in their playoff push, but the right-hander will get the experience of pitching in playoff baseball. On Wednesday evening, Pittsburgh promoted their top pitching prospect from Double-A Altoona to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move is to give Cole the taste of not only a higher level of competition, but to give him the chance to pitch in playoff baseball with Indianapolis. Triple-A...

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Prospect Notebook: September Callup Candidates

Less than a month from now, on September 1st, Major League Baseball rosters will expand. Teams will be able to call up additional players, beyond the current 25-man restrictions. Only players who are on the 40-man roster will be eligible to be called up, which means teams can call up a maximum of 40 players. The Pirates will be contending for the first time in a long time this year, which should change their approach to September...

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