Matt Benedict Promoted to Bradenton

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted right-handed pitcher Matt Benedict to Bradenton. The right-hander put up a 3.42 ERA in 76.1 innings in the West Virginia rotation this year, and should take the rotation spot vacated by Gerrit Cole in high-A. Benedict was drafted in the 30th round of the 2011 draft out of Western Carolina University. He’s a sinker ball pitcher who gets good results with the pitch, leading to a 1.67 GO/AO...

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Wes Freeman Retires

Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Wes Freeman has announced his retirement, per a West Virginia press release. Freeman started the year in Bradenton, but was demoted to West Virginia after putting up a .147/.201/.227 line in 150 at-bats in high-A. Freeman was taken in the 16th round of the 2008 draft, and was given a $150 K bonus to break his commitment to the University of Florida. He had raw power, but lacked strike zone...

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Minor League Moves: Cole Officially Promoted, Curry Activated

A few minor league moves this afternoon. **The Pirates officially promoted right-handed pitcher Gerrit Cole to Altoona today, in time for his debut tonight. They also activated Matt Curry off the disabled list. Curry has been out with a hamstring injury. **To make room on the Altoona roster, Elevys Gonzalez was transferred to the Bradenton Marauders, and right-handed pitcher Kris Harvey was placed on the Altoona disabled list with a...

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Pirates Officially Announce Three Deals; Create More Bonus Pool Flexibility

The Pittsburgh Pirates officially announced three signings today, making fifth round pick Adrian Sampson, ninth round pick D.J. Crumlich, and 11th round pick Chris Diaz official. We already knew all three players had agreed to deals. Baseball America updates us with the bonus information. Sampson received $250,000. That’s a small savings versus his $252,100 slot price. Crumlich received $5,000, which is a big savings compared to...

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Pirates Sign Fifth Round Pick Adrian Sampson

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed fifth round pick Adrian Sampson, according to Sosnick Cobbe Sports (h/t to Charlie). No word yet on the bonus amount. The slot for Sampson is $252,100. Sampson pitched in the JuCo ranks after having Tommy John surgery during his senior year of high school. He had a commitment to Oregon. His fastball is 87-91 MPh at times, and sits in the low 90s at other times. He’s touched as high as 94.  His...

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Hunter Strickland Promoted to Double-A

Right-handed pitcher Hunter Strickland was promoted from High-A Bradenton to Double-A Altoona today. The 24-year-old appeared in nine games (10 starts) where he posted a 2.98 ERA. Strickland struck out 25 batters over 45.1 innings with the Marauders in 2012. Strickland missed the second half of 2010 and the entire 2011 season with a right forearm...

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