Prior to the 2011 season, Pirates Prospects released our 2011 Prospect Guide, which has been the best resource for insight in to the entire farm system. If you haven’t bought the book yet, you can still buy your copy, plus a copy of the 2011 Annual, all for a discounted rate as part of the mid-season sale. Part of the book included the 2011 Top 50 prospects in the system. With half a season in the books, let’s go back and review how those prospects have performed, with a one sentence analysis of their 2011 season to date.
1. Jameson Taillon – Has lived up to the hype for the most part, with some brief moments of struggles keeping the ball down.
2. Starling Marte – Made a successful jump to AA so far, with a .314/.351/.455 line in 325 at-bats.
3. Tony Sanchez – Has struggled in AA, with a total lack of power, and some questions about how his defense is progressing.
4. Stetson Allie – Struggling with control problems, but off to a decent start in his career in State College.
5. Luis Heredia – Has only seen limited pro experience so far, but results have been encouraging for a guy his age.
6. Bryan Morris – Struggled in his return to AA, and has moved to relief full time, where he has had a lot of success.
7. Rudy Owens – His struggles in AAA have been inexplicable, with a decrease in strikeouts, and an increase in walks.
8. Jeff Locke – Returned to AA only to have inconsistent results, which have left him at the level all year.
9. Zack Von Rosenberg – Leaving the ball up in the zone, which has led to him getting hit hard in low-A.
10. Colton Cain – He’s put up the best results of the 2009 prep pitchers, but has dealt with some fatigue issues.
11. Andrew Lambo – Hasn’t carried over his AFL success to the 2011 season, leading to a demotion from AAA and struggles in AA.
12. Justin Wilson – Putting up the best results from the 2010 Altoona rotation, although his control problems are still an issue.
13. Chase d’Arnaud – Had a bounce back season at the AAA level, and is now playing in the majors, getting a lot of time at shortstop.
14. Mel Rojas Jr. – Overall numbers don’t look great, but the talent is there, and he’s started to display some of his power potential.
15. Jarek Cunningham – The power has been great this year, although strikeouts are a concern, leading to a low average.
16. Exicardo Cayonez – Looked totally overmatched in his limited time in State College, and has dealt with injuries.
17. Gorkys Hernandez – Putting up a nice .289/.345/.403 line in AAA, mostly fueled by strong numbers since the start of June.
18. Diego Moreno – Struggled so far this year giving up more hits than usual, and has dealt with injuries.
19. Brock Holt – Putting up decent numbers at the plate in his move to AA, although the power production hasn’t been there.
20. Quinton Miller – Was hammered in his time in high-A, and is currently on the disabled list.
21. Nick Kingham – Hasn’t had the best results in State College, but flashed a nice curveball, and continues to work on fastball command.
22. Josh Rodriguez – Was returned as a Rule 5 pick, then reacquired later in the year after he struggled in AAA.
23. Josh Harrison – Carried his hitting success over to AAA, and is currently in the majors where he’s hitting for average with a lack of power or walks.
24. Eric Avila – Has been overmatched in his jump to West Virginia, and isn’t showing the power that got him ranked this high.
25. Matt Hague – His numbers have always been strong in the minors, and 2011 in AAA is no exception, leaving the question as to when we will see him in the majors.
26. Evan Chambers – Went from being a low average guy with power, speed, and walks in 2010, to just a low average guy in 2011.
27. Alex Presley – Has shown that his 2010 season was no fluke, and continues to surprise, even in the majors.
28. Aaron Pribanic – His results have been mixed, and his lack of strikeouts could eventually make him a relief option, rather than a starter.
29. Nathan Baker – He’s struggled some in high-A, after having success at the level at the end of the 2010 season.
30. Zack Dodson – Got off to a great start, but was injured in early May, and is currently in the process of rehabbing.
31. Daniel Moskos – Had much better results in his jump to AAA in 2011 than he did in 2010, and is currently having decent results in the majors.
32. Robbie Grossman – He’s made big strides with his walk and strikeout ratios, currently ranked second in the minors in walks, and looking like a strong leadoff option.
33. Brett Lorin – His numbers look good in high-A, but at his age he should be at least in AA right now.
34. Jorge Bishop – He’s shown flashes of his talent and potential, but the numbers haven’t been there in State College.
35. Elevys Gonzalez – Showing good numbers at the plate in high-A, although a lack of power makes him more of a future utility player.
36. Victor Black – He’s putting up good numbers in West Virginia, but is behind in his career due to injuries over the last two years.
37. Jordy Mercer – Mercer has seen a massive power increase this year, which has driven his value as a middle infielder way up.
38. Donald Veal – Currently returning from Tommy John surgery, and pitching in relief.
39. Joely Rodriguez – Made one start and struggled with his mechanics before being placed on the disabled list.
40. Drew Maggi – He’s got great hitting skills, and his speed is excellent, although he’s been inconsistent with his hitting and base running skills.
41. Trent Stevenson – Had issues the first two months of the season, but has had success recently, getting him a spot in the West Virginia rotation.
42. Brooks Pounders – He’s had a lot of success in the bullpen in West Virginia, and has made a few starts, with the highlight of his season being 45 strikeouts in 41.1 innings.
43. Zac Fuesser – The 2009 34th round pick continues his success, with a 1.89 ERA in 62 innings in West Virginia, gaining him a few starts.
44. Matt Curry – Absolutely dominated low-A, and was skipped over high-A to the AA level, where he has struggled some after a hot start.
45. Corey Wimberly – Looking like a AAAA player at best, and more likely an organizational guy in the upper levels.
46. Pedro Ciriaco – His defense is great, but his bat hasn’t come along, making him a bench option at best.
47. Tim Alderson – Moved to the bullpen at the AA level, where he’s turned his struggles around, and has seen a return of his curveball.
48. Quincy Latimore – His power is still great, but he’s more of a one tool prospect.
49. Kyle McPherson – Carried his success over to the upper levels, including a jump to AA that has led to good results.
50. Tony Watson – Moved to the bullpen in AAA, and has emerged as a strong left handed option in the majors.
5 Guys Who Are Moving Up: Zack Dodson, Robbie Grossman, Jordy Mercer, Matt Curry, Kyle McPherson
5 Guys Who Are Moving Down: Bryan Morris, Andrew Lambo, Exicardo Cayonez, Josh Rodriguez, Eric Avila
Guys Who Look to Be Graduating From Prospect Status: Chase d’Arnaud, Josh Harrison, Alex Presley, Daniel Moskos, Tony Watson
Candidates to Jump in to the Top 50: Ramon Cabrera, Brandon Cumpton, Ryan Hafner, Phillip Irwin, Samuel Gonzalez
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.