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).
To recap the countdown so far:
10. Colton Cain
We continue the countdown with the number nine prospect, Zack Von Rosenberg.
9. Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP
Von Rosenberg was the cream of the crop from the 2009 prep class. The Pirates signed him away from a strong commitment to LSU, giving him $1.2 M, which is the biggest bonus the Pirates have ever given out after the third round. Zack signed late in the 2009 season, and only made one appearance, on the final day of the GCL season.
He jumped to State College in 2010, where he stayed in short season ball the entire season. The results were strong, considering he was mostly throwing his fastball and working on commanding the pitch. He started slow, with a 7.50 ERA in his first three starts, but posted a 2.11 ERA in his final nine starts. He struck out 36 in 47 innings over his final nine starts, including nine batters in eight innings in his final two starts of the year. His low walk rate was also encouraging, displaying his control and command of his fastball.
Von Rosenberg throws an 88-91 MPH fastball, although he has a very projectable frame, and is a strong candidate to add velocity as he matures and fills out that frame. He throws a good curveball, and gets good deception with his changeup. If he eventually adds velocity, he could become a top of the rotation starting prospect with three potentially above-average pitches. He should jump to full season ball in West Virginia in 2011, and could make it to Bradenton by the end of the season. Because he’s a highly projectable pitcher, it’s hard to predict what he could become in the future. A lot will depend on whether he can add velocity to his fastball, although the 2011 season should give us a better feel for how he projects if he doesn’t add that velocity.
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.