The big news for the Pittsburgh Pirates this week was the trade for Ike Davis. Beyond that, the Pirates went 2-5 against the Reds and Brewers, although they could have been 4-3 had it not been for Ryan Braun hitting ninth inning homers off Jason Grilli in back to back games.
Neal Huntington Thinks the Pirates Can Get Ike Davis on the Right Track. That’s pretty obvious, since Huntington traded for Davis. However, he talks about some of the things that could give Davis a boost in his move to Pittsburgh, such as escaping Citi Field. Meanwhile, Davis Looks Forward to a Fresh Start With the Pirates.
**I’ve updated the future payroll chart with the Davis addition. If he works out, then the Pirates will have all of their offensive starters under team control through the 2016 season. That doesn’t include the Gaby Sanchez half of the first base platoon, since Sanchez is only under control through the 2015 season.
**Over the weekend, I looked at how good the Davis/Sanchez platoon could be. If they play to their career numbers, they could provide top ten production from the first base position.
**Travis Ishikawa was designated for assignment to make room for Davis. In other moves, Chris Stewart was activated from the Disabled List, and Tony Sanchez was optioned.
Gregory Polanco continued his dominance this week, being named the International League Batter of the Week on Monday. He was also the top performer in the system from the previous week. Ryan Palencer took a look at how the development is coming quickly for Polanco.
**Here are the latest injury updates:
- Injury Updates: Tyler Glasnow, Harold Ramirez, Barrett Barnes
- Luis Heredia Placed on the West Virginia DL
- Tyler Glasnow Brings Heat in Extended Spring Training Start
**Here are the minor league recaps from this week, highlighting all of the notable prospect performances each day.
- Willy Garcia Hits His Third Homer in Altoona
- Pat Ludwig Throws Five Shutout Innings
- Casey Sadler Goes Seven Strong After Rough Start
- Three Hits For Polanco; Seven Shutout Innings For Cumpton
- Adrian Sampson and John Kuchno pitched gems
- Chad Kuhl Throws Six Shutout Innings
- One Big Inning Sinks Indianapolis
**And here are the Prospect Highlights from this last week, looking at clips of some of the best plays from the top prospects over the last week.
- More Speed and Defense From Gregory Polanco
- Willy Garcia’s Third Homer
- Willy Garcia Shows Off Arm, Hanson Legs Out Triple, Allie Homer
- Doubles From Polanco and Rojas
This week we took a look at what the Pirates could expect with their first round pick. Having the 24th overall pick is unfamiliar ground for the Pirates, but from the looks of it, they will have a chance to get a real strong pick. It’s a draft deep with pitching, both college and prep, although the college pitchers are taking over the top 15 spots in the draft. That means that some real high ceiling prep pitchers will be available when the Pirates make their selection. If they choose to go that route, they could find a potential #1 starter because there are a lot of hard throwers and projectable arms around. If they go the safer route, there will be some college arms available that could move quickly through the system and fit into the middle of the rotation.
While there aren’t many high end bats, early rankings suggest that there will be at least a couple strong prep bats to choose from when the Pirates pick. Except for a couple players(Alex Jackson and Nick Gordon), the depth of pitching is pushing the best bats down the rankings, even ones that are living up to their potential. What that all means is that the Pirates look like they are still in a good spot despite the fact they aren’t picking until the 24th spot.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Kyle Freeland Matches Up With Pirates In New Rankings Some new rankings came out early in the week and Kyle Freeland was rated 24th. He has 42 strikeouts combined in his last three starts.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Matt Imhof Throws Shutout Ball Vs Top College Bats This week’s performance against Cal State Fullerton will help the draft stock of Cal Poly starter Matt Imhof.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Trea Turner Hits Two Homers Trea Turner, the former Pirates draft pick, showed some power that was lacking early in the season, which was causing him to drop down a few spots in the rankings.
**Draft Prospect Watch: Four Prep Players That Could Be Interesting Picks For Pirates Updates on four high school players that look like good late first round picks. Also, an update on Sunday’s college baseball action and catching up with some former Pirates draft picks.