We're looking at the Pirates' minor leaguers, starting with the outfielders.  Generally, we're moving from the lower levels to the upper levels of the minors, but not specifically in any order.
Today, we'll consider two outfielders who need to show some improvement this season:

David Rubinstein --  R/R,  6' 2",  190 lb
Rubinstein was chosen in the 11th round of the 2008 draft, coming out of Appalachian State University.  In college, he pitched a little, but mostly played outfield and hit well.  He had a so-so start at State College for the remainder of the 2008 season, hitting .249, then another uninspiring season back at State College in 2009, when he hit .267 with 3 homers and 36 RBI.  Rubinstein was moved up to A level West Virginia for 2010, and things got better.  He split outfield duties with a handful of others, playing mostly right field but also some center field.  He's got a reasonable amount of speed, so it isn't crazy to have him playing in center.  Rubinstein took a big step forward at the plate in 2010.  His average popped up to .289, and he started hitting doubles (37), along with 3 triples, 3 homers, and 50 RBI.  He hit lefties much better than righties, so that will be something to work on for 2011.  He also needs to work on dropping the strikeout rate (95 in 113 games) and being more selective at the plate --  only 31 walks.  He'll probably be doing that work at A+ Bradenton, but he needs to get moving, because he's going to be 24 years old in May, and he can't afford to fall further behind others his age.  

Austin McClune --  R/R,  6'2", 175 lb
McClune is 22 years old, and because he was drafted out of high school, he has already been in the Pirates' organization for 5 seasons.  He was the 7th round pick in 2006, and that season he had his highest batting average in pro ball:  .291.  He has not been an offensive star at all, hitting just .222 with 13 doubles, a triple, and a homer, plus 30 RBI in 99 games for Bradenton in 2010.  McClune's strength is his defense.  He played both right field and center field for the Marauders.  His throwing arm is strong and accurate -- he had 17 outfield assists last season.  The problem he's going to run into is that other prospects are coming along who can play decent outfield but who can also hit.  McClune will likely start back with Bradenton for 2011, and he needs to figure it out at the plate.


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