Yesterday I had my weekly radio segment with David Todd on ESPN 970, and we covered a lot of topics, with many involving players in Altoona. Here is a quick rundown.

**Last week we discussed the results of the draft, but this time around we touched on Kevin Newman, his upside, and where he would fit in our updated prospect rankings, which are in the works.

**We discussed the recent promotions for Willy Garcia and Keon Broxton, and the demotion for Mel Rojas. The interesting thing here is that last year in the second half, Rojas got the promotion over those two. That was legit, as he was ahead of both, but obviously things have changed since then.

**On the subject of outfielders, we touched on the fact that the Pirates have a strength at the outfield position throughout the system, which means if they need to trade someone, it would make sense to deal from that outfield depth. The outfield in the majors is set for the next few years, and they have so many outfield prospects trending upwards in the minors that they could trade a few of them and still have several options to keep around for themselves for the future.

**Sean McCool wrote about Jacob Stallings yesterday, noting his offense has improved. I broke down what works with the defense, and gave a Chris Stewart comp, giving Stallings the upside of a defensive minded MLB backup catcher.

**Jeff Inman has had some impressive velocity lately, along with good numbers. He’s an interesting pitcher, and we discussed his stuff and upside, but ultimately he’s behind a lot of guys with similar stuff, including the recently promoted Yhonathan Barrios. So don’t expect him to get a shot in the majors with the Pirates this year, unless a lot goes wrong.

**Gift Ngoepe does have a shot in the majors in the future, all for his defense. We discussed how good that defense has been, and how he could reach the big leagues.

**Finally, I had the reminder on the show, but I’ll be covering the Dominican Summer League live next week on Monday and Tuesday, with a lot of content coming from the academy down there. It’s a long way from the majors, but it’s a very important aspect of the Pirates’ development, especially when you consider Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte currently making an impact in the majors.

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  1. Speaking of the Wily Garcia promotion…why isn’t Josh Bell getting promoted? Yes, I realize they want him to work on his defense, but his bat is AAA ready and there is NO ONE blocking him at AAA. He can move up to AAA, still work on the 1B position. He’s earned it every bit as much as Garcia has.

    • I was thinking the same thing last night. The last game Indy played on Tuesday they had John Bowker at 1B. Bell would fit in so nicely there RIGHT NOW!

    • My only guess is they want to work on his defense while not increasing the difficulty of pitching he’s facing. And that’s completely a guess. If he were completely established at first base I would imagine he’d be in AAA right now. Would a promotion to AAA distract his focus on first base defense? Anyone?

  2. Question: If Lambo, Bowker, and Tabata are such hot topics then why isn’t the White Sox’s [a team in need of a lot of help] flooding the Pirates with offers for these gems ???? The Pirates have to go shopping if they hope to catch the Cardinals. They need another relief pitcher as [in order] Caminero is lightning it up in the 7th., Watson, and then Malencon are solid. It gets a little iffy after Hughes [he is ok] and this is where the help is needed. IMO that they will try and find a starter, Jeff Samardija is my guess. The Pirates cannot afford to sit and watch a possible break down of Locke or Morton. A SS is another possibility and that means Mercer may be on his way out. I doubt Walker will be in Pittsburgh next year. Another trade chip could be Polanco as he cannot hit left handed pitchers. If Polanco goes Harrison could move to 2nd. or RF.

  3. I love these things. I usually put this on speaker phone over a nice glass of scotch while I do the dishes on Friday nights. Is this an extended one like the one about Taillon a few weeks back?

  4. I’m waiting for a HART DFA. Cannot believe he is still hanging on and that the PBC is still waiting for a turnaround?

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