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
9. Zack Von Rosenberg
8. Jeff Locke
7. Rudy Owens
6. Bryan Morris

We continue the countdown with the number five prospect, Luis Heredia.

5. Luis Heredia, RHP

The Pirates signed Heredia for $2.6 M in 2010.

Heredia was one of the top international prospects in the 2010 class, possibly even the top option. The Pirates were said to be favorites to land him from the start, ending up signing him hours after he became eligible to sign. The Pirates gave Heredia a $2.6 M signing bonus, shattering the previous team bonus.

Heredia has a huge frame for a 16 year old, and already throws a 92-93 MPH fastball. Due to his projectable frame, Heredia could easily increase his velocity as he gets older and his body fills out. He has four potential plus pitches: a fastball, changeup, slider, and curveball. His slider is his worst pitch right now, and each offering will need work as he develops.

Heredia is expected to start the 2011 season in the Gulf Coast League. He is part of the trio of potential top of the rotation pitchers added by the Pirates last summer, although he will be on a slower timeline than Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, due to his young age and his raw skills that will need to be developed. An optimistic timeline has Heredia arriving in the majors around the 2015 season.

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