2011 Prospect Watching: Taillon, Von Rosenberg And More

Continuing to work our way up the Pirates’ minor league pitching ranks… Zacharys today…

Jameson Taillon  —   R/R,  6′ 6″,  225 lb
Everyone knows about Taillon, the Pirates’ #1 draft pick in 2010.   Taillon, who is 19 years old, has a mid-to-high 90’s fastball and a hard curve, plus a slider and changeup that both need some work.  He signed at the deadline, so did not make his pro debut in 2010, though he did report to Fall Instrux and did fine there.  Taillon got into a minor league spring training game today, and pitched 2 innings, allowing a run on 3 hits with 2 strikeouts.  Just fine for his first time out.  Taillon should be ready for A level West Virginia to begin the 2011 season, though Pirates’ Kyle Stark has suggested that Taillon might remain in Bradenton for some extended spring training if it is “too cold” in West Virginia in early April.  

Zack Von Rosenberg —  R/R,  6′ 5″,  205 lb
Zack’s full name is Zachary, and he was born and attended high school in Zachary, Louisiana.  The Pirates picked Von Rosenberg in the 6th round of the 2009 draft.  He signed in time to make just one start, one inning, for the GCL Pirates that year (no hits, no walks, one strikeout).  He made 13 starts for the State College Spikes in 2010.  He struggled in his first four starts, allowing 12 earned runs in 16 innings for a 6.75 ERA.  He had only 4 strikeouts over the first three games, but struck out 4 more in the fourth game, going into July.  His next two starts were better, as he allowed only one run in each of two 5-inning starts, and struck out 4 and 5 batters respectively in those two games.  On July 20th, he had another tough outing, as he gave up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 innings.  Von Rosenberg pulled it together for the rest of the season.  In his remaining 6 starts, he allowed 3 earned runs over 28 innings (0.96 ERA), and struck out 20 batters in those games.  The 20-year-old should start 2011 in West Virginia, where the Pirates would like to see more velocity develop on his fast ball (usually high 80’s to 90 or so), which could boost his strikeout rate.

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Jakubauskas Begins Rehab (Again); Power Get Over-Powered

Action for the Pirates’ lower minor affiliates on Tuesday…� The Bradenton Marauders were rained out.� They’ll play a double header against Palm Beach today.

GCL Phillies� 5,� GCL Pirates 0 (box)

The Phillies dominated the Pirates for the second day in a row, adding 12 hits today to their 19 hits yesterday.� Righty pitcher Chris Jakubauskas made his first appearance in a game in months but suffered the loss with a 3-inning start for the Pirates.� He gave up one run on 3 hits and 2 walks.� The run scored in the 3rd inning. on a single, a wild pitch and an RBI ground out.� Kevin Kleis also gave up one run in his 2 innings of work, on two singles with a stolen base in the 5th.� Rinku Singh made his longest appearance to date, going 4 innings and allowing 3 runs on 6 hits.� Two runs scored in the 6th, on two doubles, a hit batter, a walk, and a wild pitch.� A single and a double added another run for the Phillies in the 8th.

The Pirates were held to 5 hits — a double by DH Justin Howard, and singles by CF Junior Sosa, 3B Eric Avila, C Elias Diaz, and 1B Dylan Child. The Pirates came closest to scoring in the 6th, when Howard doubled and Avila followed with a single into left field.� Howard tried to score from second on the throw, but was tagged out at the plate.� That was also the only inning in which more than one Pirate was on base at the same time.

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Six Scoreless Innings For Watson and Von Rosenberg

Thursday’s action with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates….

Altoona Curve� 6,� Akron Aeros� 1 (box)

Starter Tony Watson dominated the Aeros with 6 shutout innings, allowing just 2 hits, no walks, while striking out 3 batters.� Watson retired the first 13 batters he faced, before allowing a single with one out in the 5th.� The second hit, also a single, also came in the 5th, but both runners were left on base.� After retiring the side in order, with 2 strikeouts, in the 6th, Watson was relieved by Ramon Aguero.

The Curve also went down in order in the first three innings.� With one out in the 4th, 3B Josh Harrison was hit by a pitch, then stole second and third bases.� He scored on 1B Matt Hague’s single.� SS Jordy Mercer reached on a throwing error by the Aeros pitcher.� C Hector Gimenez singled, driving in Hague.� A balk moved Mercer up to third base and Gimenez to second, then RF Miles Durham walked to load the bases.� DH Yung Chi Chen’s line drive into left field plated both Mercer and Gimenez to give the Curve a 4-0 lead.

Aguero gave up 2 singles in the 7th but kept the Aeros from scoring.� Then in the 8th, two singles were combined with a walk, to bring in a run.� Anthony Claggett pitched the 9th inning, and gave up a walk and a single, but left the runners stranded.

2B Chase d’Arnaud singled and stole second base (his 23rd of the season) in the 5th, then he doubled in the 7th.� The Curve added two runs in the 8th.� LF Andrew Lambo led off with a single and Hague walked.� Mercer dropped down a sacrifice bunt toward third base, and a throwing error by the Aeros’ third baseman allowed Lambo to score, and put Curve runners on first and third.� After two outs, Chen again brought in a run when Hague scored on his RBI single.

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Durham’s Grand Slam Sparks Curve; Marte Back With A Homer

Monday’s action in the Pirates’ lower minor leagues… the Bradenton Marauders have a scheduled day off today.

Altoona Curve� 11,� Erie SeaWolves� 2 (box)

RF Miles Durham’s grand slam ignited a 9-run 8th inning to lift the Curve over the SeaWolves in the series opener.� Both teams put runners on base in the first four innings, but none of those runners scored.� The Curve got the scoring started in the 5th, when LF Brandon Jones led off with a single and DH Yung Chi Chen brought him across the plate with a double into center field.� CF Anthony Norman singled to score Chen from second base, and the Curve were ahead, 2-0.� The SeaWolves tied the game in the bottom of the 9th.� Curve starter Jeff Locke had allowed two doubles over the first 5 innings and had struck out 9 batters.� With two outs in the 6th, Locke gave up three singles and hit a batter, which gave Erie two runs.

Then came the 8th.� Norman led off with a double, and he scored the go-ahead run on singles by SS Chase d’Arnaud and 1B Matt Hague. A new pitcher, Luis Marte, came in from the bullpen for Erie.� 2B Jordy Mercer was the first batter Marte faced, and Mercer bunted the runners up one base.� C Kris Watts was intentionally walked, then Durham rocketed a grand slam over the left field wall, to give the Curve a 7-2 lead.� Jones followed the home run with a single, and Chen followed that with a 2-run homer, bumping the Curve to 9-2.� The next batter, 3B Josh Harrison, was hit by a pitch, which caused the ejection of Luis Marte and his manager.� The next pitcher got a ground out, then walked d’Arnaud.� A wild pitch put both Harrison and d’Arnaud into scoring position.� Hague grounded to the mound, but a throwing error by the pitcher brought in both Harrison and d’Arnaud, to make it 11-2.� A ground out ended the inning.

Ramon Aguero pitched two scoreless innings of relief for the Curve, with a walk and a double.� Mike Colla pitched the 9th, and gave up only a single.

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Spikes’ and Pirates’ Bats Are Booming

Good news and bad news today…

The bad news is that OF Starling Marte has had some problems with his hand after surgery.� Marte had played in two rehab games last week, going 3-for-6, but has not played in over a week.� He’s going to need to rest the hand for awhile yet — a setback indeed.

The good news is that OF Mel Rojas Jr, the Pirates’ 3rd-round pick in the 2010 draft is reported to be on his way to Pittsburgh to sign a contract.� If all goes as expected, he could report to the State College Spikes by the weekend.

A few non-all-star-games going on today:

State College Spikes� 11,� Connecticut Tigers� 1 (box)

The Spikes posted 13 hits on their way to 11 runs this evening in Connecticut. 1B Matt Curry led the team with a 3-for-3 game and 2 RBI.� RF Adalberto Santos, DH Chase Lyles, LF Pat Irvine, and C Miguel Mendez each had 2 hits, and 3B Kelson Brown contributed 3 RBI.

The Spikes started off with 2 runs in the top of the 1st.� 2B Walker Gourley began the rally with a walk, and Santos reached base on a fielder’s choice that Gourley beat out.� Curry singled, scoring Gourley, and Lyles singled, bringing in Santos.� They added 4 runs in the 3rd inning, when Curry and Lyles both singled again.� Irvine followed with a double to plate Curry.� Brown’s single drove in both Lyles and Irvine.� Mendez made it runners on the corners with another single, and Brown scored when CF Kyle Saukko bounced into force out at second but beat the throw to first base.

The Tigers scored their lone run in the bottom of the 3rd, on two singles and a sacrifice fly.� It was the only run that Zack Von Rosenberg allowed in his 5 innings.� He gave up 5 hits and one run, and he struck out 5 batters.� Colton Cain, Casey Sadler, Teddy Fallon, and Jason Townsend all pitched one scoreless inning.� Townsend was the only one who allowed a hit, a single in the 9th.� Fallon was the only one to allow a walk, and he erased that runner with a double play.� Sadler struck out the side, all swinging, in the 7th.

The Spikes kept going after Connecticut scored their run.� Santos tripled with one out in the 4th.� Curry walked, and Lyles reached on a fielding error, as Santos scored.� A throwing error on the play put Curry on third and Lyles on second.� Irvine singled, and Curry crossed the plate, then Brown’s sacrifice fly brought in Lyles.� Spikes ahead, 9-1.� Back-to-back doubles by Santos (ground-rule) and Curry added the first run in the 6th.� A walk to Irvine and Brown being hit by a pitch loaded the bases.� Mendez singled, scoring Curry and giving the Spikes an 11-1 lead.� The Spikes’ bats slowed down after that.� They had only one base runner over the last three innings — Curry walked to begin the 8th, but was erased in a double play.

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