Pirate City Results: Holmes, Kingham, Oliver, Escobar

Today was a camp day at Pirate City. They held intra-squad games, with Indianapolis taking on Bradenton and West Virginia taking on the extended Spring Training group. The matchups were more even than it seems. The pitchers from each level threw for the other team, taking on their level. For example, rather than having Andy Oliver throwing for Indianapolis against an A-ball team, Oliver pitched for Bradenton and threw against the...

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

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 Hughes opened the game, throwing a dozen pitches and then departing.  That left Isaac Sanchez to let two inherited runners score, mainly due to a routine grounder that shortstop Alen Hanson fumbled. Kingham...

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Prospect Notebook: A Look at Nick Kingham’s Constantly Increasing Velocity

Nick Kingham pitched his first game today against the New York Yankees minor league system. Kingham started the Double-A game, going two innings while allowing three runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. The right-hander ran into some trouble in the first inning, getting hit around and having some trouble with his fastball command. After a visit to the mound from pitching coach Justin Meccage, Kingham responded with two...

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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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