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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First Pitch: The FanGraphs Reports, and Luis Urena as a Sleeper

Over the last month, Kiley McDaniel has been posting some great reports over at FanGraphs. I’ve been retweeting them on Twitter, but keep forgetting to link to them in the nightly First Pitch column. So here are links to all three reports, with some thoughts on each one. Gerrit Cole The first report was specific to top prospect Gerrit Cole. Overall it was a great look at Cole. A few notes: **McDaniel feels that Cole should scrap...

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Pittsburgh Pirates 2013 Top Prospects: #10 – Nick Kingham

The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find.  While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks.  Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site. To recap the countdown so...

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First Pitch: A Few Cases of Increased Velocity, and the More Important Skill

Today I wrapped up the West Virginia Power 2012 season recap. The three lowest levels in the farm system are now complete, which covers a lot of the young pitchers in the system. It also covers a lot of the guys who fall under the “projectable frame” category. You might see that term used a lot. When a pitcher has a projectable frame, it usually means that the pitcher is tall and skinny. The idea is that the pitcher could...

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West Virginia Power 2012 Season Recap: Top Prospects

Complete West Virginia Coverage The Hitters The Pitchers Top Prospects 1t. Alen Hanson, SS 1t. Gregory Polanco, OF I had a tough time picking the top prospect from this pair. In a tiered ranking system, they’d both be in the same group. When it comes to picking between them, it’s splitting hairs. Offensively, the difference is minimal. Polanco was more consistent this year, and hit for a better average. Hanson hit for more...

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