The West Virginia Power have released their 25-man Opening Day roster for the 2015 season.
Trace Tam Sing
This group includes 14 draft picks from last season, including first round pick Cole Tucker, who will be among the youngest players in the South Atlantic League. There is also fourth round pick Taylor Gushue, Michael Suchy(fifth round), eighth rounder Austin Coley and Alex McRae, who was taken in the tenth round. John Sever is a possible breakout candidate on the pitching side. A lefty that sits in the low 90’s and had terrific results last season for Bristol. He was taken in the 20th round last year.
Among the international players, Yeudy Garcia is making the jump from the Dominican Summer League, right to full-season ball, which is something you almost never see. Elvis Escobar returns to the Power after briefly playing there last year. He signed for a $570,000 bonus in 2011. Tito Polo is a possible breakout candidate, a toolsy outfielder, that can hit, run, throw and play defense.
Tucker is the only prospect ranked in our top ten and Gushue at #30, is the only other one in the top 30 prospects. This team will look better on the prospect side when Jordan Luplow and Connor Joe join the club. Luplow has a shoulder injury that set him back for now and Joe is slowly working his way into shape after hurting his back last season.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
Indy, Bradenton, and Altoona all look to have competitive to good teams, at least on paper. In contract, on paper, WV looks pretty weak – maybe even really bad. Other than Polo, Reyes, and Escobar, I don’t see much to excite on the hitting side. Other than Burnette, Garcia, and Sever, the pitching staff looks pretty weak as well. Hopefully, they are very strong defensively.
I am surprised that Trace Tam Sing got this much of a push. He seemed to be a nothing but defense type player when I saw him in the North woods League last season. He was, however, exceptional defensively at short, far and away the best in the league. My guess is that he is only there until Luplow returns. Have the Pirates minor league coaches done anything to help him hit even a little? When I saw him his entire back side completely fell apart, I can only guess that he was trying to impress someone. Two games in a row he was the Miller Lite beer batter, and two games in a row he popped out 3 times to second and short, and I missed out on two for one beers.
Regardless, it is good to see him getting this push, even if it is short lived.
No Tarpley? He was scratched from his last ST start, so I wonder what’s up . . . .
Bumped from last two starts, no word yet on why