The Pirates Prospects 2011 Prospect Guide was released last week, featuring 237 prospect reports, interviews with Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, Zack Von Rosenberg, and Zack Dodson, the 2011 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, the top ten prospects will be released on the site. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book by clicking “Buy Now” at the bottom of this page (or to the right).
We start the countdown with the number ten prospect, Colton Cain.
10. Colton Cain, LHP
The Pirates gave Cain a $1.125 M signing bonus, signing him away from a commitment to the University of Texas as part of the crop of over-slot prep pitchers from the 2009 draft class. Cain made his pro debut in 2010, with impressive results in the lower levels, where he was mostly working on fastball control and command.
Cain’s fastball can touch 94 MPH, and has sink. His curveball is an average pitch, but projects as a plus offering in the future. Cain also has a changeup, which he will need to develop in order to be an effective starter.
Cain ranks behind fellow 2009 prep pitcher Zack Von Rosenberg, although some have Cain as the better prospect. His frame won’t allow for an increase in velocity, but his fastball is already strong for a left hander. He is a long way away from the majors, so any projection is far from concrete, but a good comparison for what Cain could become would be the 2008 version of Paul Maholm.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.