Is West Virginia Primed For Another Year of Breakout Players?

I don’t like same-organization player comps. I think they’re lazy, and provide a very limited view. Yet we see them all the time. When the Pirates have a left-handed pitching prospect, he’s just the next Zach Duke or Paul Maholm. The only reason he’s compared to those players is because that’s the frame of reference that Pirates fans have for a left-hander. This is the age of MLB.tv and internet stats, so...

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Pirate City Results: All The Home Runs

This time of year the pitching rotations in the Spring Training games get kind of crazy. Minor league rotations aren’t like big league rotations. There are no Opening Day starters or number two starters. You pitch when you pitch. Pitchers are currently on a schedule in Spring Training, and that schedule carries over to the regular season. Whoever is slated to start on Opening Day is the Opening Day starter. In a lot of cases,...

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First Pitch: The 2011 Draft is the Exact Opposite of the 2009 Draft

In 2009 the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of money on prep pitchers in the middle rounds. The hope was that one of those pitchers could one day emerge as a top of the rotation option, which is something the Pirates hadn’t seen in their system for a long time. So far none of those pitchers have emerged as anything close to top of the rotation guys. Here is a rundown of what the Pirates have from each pitcher. 2nd Round –...

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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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Could Tyler Glasnow Be As Good As Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon?

The Pittsburgh Pirates have spent about $9.5 M from 2008-2012 on middle round prep pitchers. The majority of them have been the same: tall, skinny pitchers with fastballs in the 88-92 MPH range, and hopes that those velocities could increase once the pitchers started filling out their tall, skinny frames. It’s not a totally uncommon story. You don’t have to go back far in draft history to find pitchers who greatly improved...

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