The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 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, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks.  Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.

To recap the countdown so far:

20. Jin-De Jhang, C

19. Andrew Oliver, LHP

18. Vic Black, RHP

17. Adrian Sampson, RHP

16. Wyatt Mathisen, C

15. Bryan Morris, RHP

14. Justin Wilson, LHP

13. Tony Sanchez, C

12. Dilson Herrera, 2B

11. Clay Holmes, RHP

10. Nick Kingham, RHP

We continue the countdown with the number 9 prospect, Kyle McPherson.

Kyle McPherson
Kyle McPherson

9. Kyle McPherson, RHP

McPherson looked like a guy who could arrive in the majors by mid-season 2012. Instead, he went down late in Spring Training with a shoulder injury, and didn’t start his season until June. He went back to Double-A and struggled the first few starts, but eventually shook off the rust and found his groove. After a promotion to Triple-A, and three strong starts in Indianapolis, McPherson was called up to the majors. He made a few starts at the end of the year, showing a lot of promise, and putting himself in good position to win a job out of Spring Training in 2013.

The shoulder injury is a concern. McPherson was healthy at the end of the 2012 season, and went to the Dominican Winter League. He made one start, then came home with a sore shoulder. That shouldn’t impact him in 2013, but the fact that he’s had two shoulder issues in one year is a red flag. One positive is that he hasn’t lost any velocity. He still throws 92-93, topping out at 95, along with a plus curveball and a solid changeup. He also has some of the best command and control in the system.

McPherson’s command and three pitch mix give him the upside of a number three starter. He should get a shot at the rotation out of Spring Training, and his limited results in 2012 should give him the inside track for a job. The key will be staying healthy. If healthy, McPherson should play a big role in the rotation in 2013, with the chance for a breakout season in the majors.

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9 COMMENTS

  1. I’ve heard that the 2nd injury wasn’t related to Kyle’s shoulder at all. It was bicep tendinitis, so hopefully the shoulder injury and bicep injury are behind him and he comes out gunning in spring training for a spot in the rotation.

  2. Personally, I’d rather see Locke as the swing man/spot starter with McPherson as a starter starting off in AAA. Considering McPherson’s recent should issues, and the fact that they view him as a future starter, I think it would be best for his arm if they didn’t constantly switch his role and expectations. I just see Locke as having more flexibility at this point in time.

  3. Personally I think McPherson’s stuff is much more impressive than Locke. I could see McPherson assuming the Brad Lincoln role in the pen and making spot starts. Hopefully his shoulder will hold up.

  4. Wouldn’t it be great if we could pin point one player or reason why the Pirates faded in 1012, but there is not one reason, there were many.

  5. I hope Kyle stays on the team. He could switch between long reliever and spot starter like Brad Lincoln did last year.

    Notice our team was winning a lot before Lincoln was traded.

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