Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 Top Prospects: #4 – Jameson Taillon

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While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. The reports will only be available to site subscribers, including those with a monthly plan. You can subscribe here, and if you like these reports, be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site to get much more analysis on every player in the system.

To recap the countdown so far:

20. Willy Garcia, RF
19. Clay Holmes, RHP
18. Mitch Keller, RHP
17. Max Moroff, 2B
16. Chad Kuhl, RHP
15. Cole Tucker, SS
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP
13. Steven Brault, LHP
12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP
11. Kevin Newman, SS
10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B
9. Nick Kingham, RHP
8. Elias Diaz, C
7. Reese McGuire, C
6. Harold Ramirez, OF
5. Alen Hanson, 2B

We continue the countdown with the number 4 prospect, Jameson Taillon.

4. Jameson Taillon, RHP

Taillon was slated to jump to the majors during the 2014 season, but missed the entire year with Tommy John surgery. He had another shot in 2015 after rehabbing from the injury. He pitched in extended Spring Training, and was just about to make his return to an actual box score in the GCL when he suffered a season-ending hernia injury.
The one bright side of the time missed is that it has allowed Taillon plenty of time to focus on his mechanics. He has worked for years on reducing the drop in his delivery and throwing on a downward plane with solid command.

After returning from Tommy John, he looked better than ever, with a low effort throwing motion and the best movement on his fastball since entering pro ball. There was a time when scouts would comment that Taillon would never be able to pitch at the knees. Now he makes it look easy.

The fastball still sits in the 94-97 MPH range, and has touched as high as 99 MPH in the past. He still has a plus curveball, with slurve movement that he buries in the zone with late breaking action. He was working on a changeup before his injury, along with a two-seam fastball to generate more grounders. Overall, the results in his rehab work looked like some of his best stuff in his pro career.

After the injuries, Taillon worked with a nutritionist, losing 20 pounds in an attempt to be leaner and more durable in the future. He should still have the frame capable of pitching 200 innings per year.

Taillon resumed throwing during instructs, and will start the 2016 season with Indianapolis. Despite two years without showing up in a box score, Taillon could arrive in Pittsburgh in 2016, with innings remaining to pitch in September and the playoffs. He’s still got the upside of a top of the rotation starter, and after dedicating so much of his rehab time to his mechanics, he has very little to work on in order to finally make that jump to Pittsburgh.

Click Here to Purchase the Pirates Prospects 2016 Prospect Guide

  • Did our very own Arik Florimonte get a Community Blog picked up by FanGraphs?

    http://www.fangraphs.com/community/squeezing-a-little-more-out-of-ryan-vogelsong/

  • This kid is going to be the best of the three. I’m telling you now. In three years, the Bucs are going to have the best pitching staff in the history of the team. And it will be 100% home grown talent. And because of their drafting strategy, their position players are going to be immune to defensive shifts.

    The 2019 Pirates will be revolutionary.

    • Please elaborate on why you think their drafting philosophy will defeat defensive shifts.

      • Seems like the logic would be that taking a ton of contact guys who show advanced ability to hit to all fields at an early age naturally make shifting on them tougher.

        Not sure thats clear yet, but the strategy seems clear. Tougher to shift on a guy able to go the other way on a regular basis than it is Pedro. I think the issue with that logic is that teams can still shift into “hot zones” for even quality hitters. Cutch gets shifted even with a quality ability to hit it the other way and up the middle.

        • There’s *nothing* more overblown in baseball right now than “beating” the shift.

          • Well its certainly talked about a ton. I think a notion of “beating” a shift is silly to begin with, since it more than likely would just result in less aggressive shifts while teams still use hit charts to position fielders optimally.

            I personally dont think you can “beat” shifts into not being used, but theoretically if you stack the roster with enough guys who arent really pull heavy you could reduce some shifts. Not sure targeting guys who can hit the ball all over the field is really a new idea though.

      • They are drafting position players with quick bats and gap-to-gap power rather than pull hitters with projected big home run power: guys who can use the whole field. The pure power guys are becoming more and more one dimensional; how many singles through the second base gap became outs to a rover for Alvarez last year? More than a couple.

        I see it like an Ender’s Game thing, with the Pirates trying to stay ahead of the evolution. The more field a guy uses, the less effective shifts will be, and the less shifting, the more space for hits to drop. 4 base hits might fall, but overall runs will increase. If a guy has the potential to triple down either line, or double to either gap, or single to anywhere through the infield, that is one hell of a player.

        Of course I could be full of crap, and Max Moroff is Brent Morel is Ke’Bryan Hayes. But I hope I’m not, that some of these guys develop into studs. that’s why I think this is going to be exciting.

      • For the other part, my Taillon praise, I just always liked the guy from
        the day the Bucs drafted him. that’s pure fan being all pollyannaish.

  • I’m not sure why Taillon shouldn’t be considered for the major league rotation. His maturity and – potentially – his ability should give the opportunity to win a job in spring training.
    There shouldn’t be any reason for being full go for spring, and frankly he was ready for this opportunity before the TJ. Similarly to Jose Fernandez, Taillon has already shown his stuff is ready – ask Ryan Braun about it.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_p27j_31JM

    • It would seem highly unlikely for the Pirates to start Taillon, Glasnow, Bell, or Hanson at the beginning of the season – and for the whole season. If they did, they would be throwing away 5/6ths of a year away for that player.
      Now they might start Hanson for a month until Kang returns or bring up one of the pitchers to cover for a short term injury. But it would only be temporary

    • Because of the current CBA. If Taillon comes up at the beginning of the year, he’ll be a free agent after 2021. If he comes up late on, he’ll be a free agent after 2022. The Pirates gain an extra year of control in his prime by keep him down a month or 2.

      • “The Pirates gain an extra year of control in his prime by keep him down a *week* or 2.”

        ^Fixed that for you.

        • Lol… thanks. I wasn’t trying to get too deep into it. I actually typed up a longer response that included Super Two and then deleted it.

      • Month or two saves the team the money he’d make as a Super 2, thus an extra year of arb. Year of control only takes about 2 weeks to get beyond.

        If they didnt worry about the money he’d make in that last year of arb as a Super 2, they’d call him up after about 2-4 Vogelsong starts.

        And NMR made this point already i see as i read down.

    • Taillon just needs to pitch against some real competition for a while Brian. From what I read and see, that might be the only thing holding him back for a couple of months.

  • I’m really, and finally, optimistic that Taillon will make the transition to the being the stud the Pirates envisioned when they drafted him. Hopefully he stays healthy. Sounds like his transformation is complete regarding mechanics and he can be a at least a #2 starter.

    • I just hope he pitches better than Locke and Vogelsong.

      • I’m pretty high on Taillon. Guy seems like he is hungry to put all the doubters to rest who said he’s lost two years, when really he used them for mechanics, dieting, and training purposes as you mentioned. He crushed it in the world baseball classic for canada against an allstar lineup years ago when he wasn’t polished. I’ll go on record to say Taillon will have a better first 100 innings in the bigs than Glasnow. (Generally speaking the talent they’re throwing against is similiar…..)

  • Tim – it is reasonably likely that 5 of the top 10 prospects are going to “graduate” and join the Pirates this year. Without considering the impact that potential trades may have, do you feel like the minor league system is doing a good job filling the pipeline with similarly elite replacements? From my perspective, it seems like our minor league system runs the risk of not having similarly strong replacements, though I certainly acknowledge that may simply be the ebb and flow of a dynamic minor league system. Thanks

    • Don’t think you’re gonna get a response with him bedridden and all but hopefully he gets better soon and can get back to asserting all our questions

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    February 2, 2016 11:40 am

    It wasn’t that long ago that guys like Taillon and Dylan Bundy sat near the top of just about every list of top minor league prospects….
    Bundy is now out of options, so he will be with the Orioles all season in 2016 – sink or swim – my guess, working mostly out of the bullpen.
    For Taillon, this is a very big year for him – after missing just about all of the past two seasons. Will he reassert himself as a top starting pitcher prospect, or will he be one of those young pitchers that never makes it all the way back from TJS? Time will tell…I am keeping my fingers crossed….

    • That is interesting about Bundy. Lot of people thought he was a can’t miss guy even better than Cole.

      • Pitchers break.

      • Wabbit_Season
        February 2, 2016 1:49 pm

        Didn’t he take over that government state park facility out in Oregon somewhere?

        Wonder how that worked out.

        The mysteries of the draft.

        -BB

      • Maybe so, but the whole topic of conversation about him was that his arm was overused and he was an injury risk – it’s not always random chance. Doubt it was in this case.

    • I think the Bundy issue says more about the Orioles inability to develop pitching prospects than anything else.

      • Eh, the Orioles weren’t the ones sending him out on 150+ pitch outings in high school…

        But that’s maybe the ONLY excusable failure in a long line.

        • Yes I agree – that parents also probably enabled it.

          • Really tough to hammer the parents too much. While a parent totally ignoring the health of his kid and letting him throw whatever number a coach wants, its also tough for a parent to know how the difference between 60 pitches per outing and 80 pitches per outing does.

            Some parents surely place results over the kids best interest, but some parents also genuinely just dont know enough barring being really restrictive and having their kid throw a total fit.

        • Another is Kevin Gausman. They jerked him all around. Up and down, up and down instead of just leaving him in rotation and letting him pitch.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        February 2, 2016 2:45 pm

        How was it the Orioles fault that Bundy had TJS and another injury and has missed the past two years? The situation is very similar to Taillon, in regards to time missed…

        • My comment isn’t related strictly to Bundy. Look at Gausmann. Jake Arrieta. As a matter of fact look at Steven Brault and Steven Tarpley and their performance since being traded to the Pirates organization. You need to go all the way back to 1999 to find a starting pitcher the Orioles drafted and developed internally that was decent with them. His name… Erik Bedard. The O’s suck at developing pitchers.

          • BuccosFanStuckinMD
            February 2, 2016 4:59 pm

            Well, I will generally agree with that statement – they haven’t been very good at drafting or developing players – period – until the last 3-5 years, with Wieters, Britton, Machado, Schoop, Joseph, and a couple of others. Almost their entire roster is filled with guys who were traded for or signed as free agents. I think Gausman will be good – if they stop jerking him around and put him in the rotation and leave him alone. I think Mychal Givens is going to be good – and he was drafted as a SS, and is now a very promising reliever/closer.

  • I suffered from the blackout and couldn’t get Pirates games my last two years in Columbus and spent two years in Florida without the money to invest in getting the package. This year I am going to watch the games with mlb.com. After nearly 10 years of watching pretty much every televised game this year will be heaven. I had earmarked 3-4 years ago 2016 as “The Year”. I didn’t expect the retooling that we have seen so far although I think it is a little overblown anyways. The reason I thought 2016 would be the year was because of the arrivals of guys like Glasnow, Taillon, Hanson, Polanco, plus the transition to veteran player of Marte and Cole and a few others. Looking forward to seeing some huge debuts this year. If the “big two” pitchers come through I doubt we will have to talk much about retooling come Sept.

    • There is a lot of talk about a lot of players but I see Cole as maybe the biggest key to the 2016 season. They need him to reach the next level and get to the true ace status he is capable of. He was close last year but I think everyone feels he has one of those 230inning, a k+ per inning, low 1.00 whip seasons in him where he rattles off 20-22 wins because of his dominance and a good offense. They will need him to be an elite stopper, especially the first 2 months.

      • I hope every season he has with the Bucs is like that.

      • “Get to the next level and get to the true ace status.”

        Oh good, another conversation discussing the difference between clear #1 and ace, and why somehow last year doesnt make us stop acting like Cole isnt already clearly there.

        The only level above what Cole just did would be Arrieta/Kershaw-like. That aint a need, its a glorious want that 1-2 teams are fortunate to receive in any given year.

        • Perhaps you’ve missed the last two Wild Card games…

          • Lol dat bum. Assuming your joking.

            • Pretty much, but I do think freddy has a good point, and one I didn’t really consider.

              Yeah, it’s absolutely a luxury to want/need that kind of work out of Cole, but there’s also a good chance it’ll be a requirement. The Pirates are a wild card contender, barring dramatic happenings at the top of the division, and we know all too well what happens in wild card games.

              I think one could make a hell of an argument that Gerrit Cole is the most important Pirate for that reason alone.

              • You know Cole wants the ball in a WC game. He’s got the attitude and desire to be that guy. The only thing missing is the execution. I wonder if he will secretly root for another WC game. 🙂

              • Without a doubt his performance is key, and particularly late in the season as pitching becomes so key for all teams.

                I dont worry a ton about him being elite at this point, unless his ability as a rookie to throw high quality innings late in the season was a total fluke.

              • I really am not a fan of the narrative that the division is a lost cause. Last year’s Nats were projected to be better than anyone in our division this year and look what happened. Let’s all pump the brakes on the doom and gloom.

                • “…barring dramatic happenings at the top of the division…”

                  What in the hell do you call what happened to the Nats last year?!

                  • Baseball…Sports…I just think it’s silly to rule the Pirates out as division contenders before a single pitch has been thrown. Dramatically good things can propel us just as easily too.

                    • Nobody is ruling them out. Pragmatic folks are acknowledging the probability of them overtaking the Cubs and Cards, that is all.

                      Pirate fans were getting all bent out of shape this time last season because the Cubs hype machine was in full swing, and rightfully so. The Pirates deservedly were the better team.

                      There should be no difference now that the tables are turned. The Cubs are the better team, and there’s nothing wrong with acknowledging that.

                    • Nope, and in no way am I arguing that the Pirates are the better team. I think every sane person will agree all three should be good this year and to me, again before a single pitch has been thrown, I think it’s just throwing darts at certain point once that’s established. It does seem to me like they are being ruled out when our only chance to win is some kind of collapse of other teams. I guess I am just more bullish on the probability of us winning the division than most.

                    • Why are we calling the Cardinals a better team? If they make no more moves, I’m not seeing them as significantly better or worse than the Bucs.

                    • Neither am I, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Pirates still have to actually go out and beat them…for once.

                    • If by “beat” you mean “finish ahead of”, then, yeah.

                      If by “beat” you mean H2H, also, yeah, it would be great, and lucky, if they could do significantly better than .500 vs. the Cards, though they aren’t exactly falling short of expectations over the last 3 years, at 27-30.

                    • … in the playoffs… you mean. We’ve competed well with them in the regular season.

                    • Yes, gentlemen. Beat, as in beat. There’s only one definition for beat.

                    • Sometimes it’s not just that NMR. We kicked the mets ass last year and they went further than the Cards. Some of it is just luck and some of it is character and nerves, and talent and skill.
                      More parity than not at that point.

                    • Are the Cubs better? I know quite a few people on here who often cite small sample size as an important thing…
                      There be a lot of young kids on that Cubs roster and TWO guys in Arrieta and Rizzo who had likely unrepeatable career years… just sayin.

                    • And that’s why you regress single-year statistics when making projections.

                      That has been done, and the Cubs are still clearly the class of the Division.

                    • I don’t agree that it’s as clear as you make it to be

              • The issue with sneaking in potentially at the #2 w/c spot is the unlikeliness that you’ll be able to set up the game for Cole to pitch, we might need him to win a game 2 days earlier just to GET to the w/c game at all……

                • Solid point, though that also likely applies for other teams as well.

                  If its gonna be close, its likely no team is able to set up their ace going without taking a huge risk. Looking around, i dont hate how Liriano would set up against other #2 types. SF might be the only team with such depth id be worried.

                  Id hope we would be smart enough to give ourselves the chance to have one of the top 2 going, particularly since it should be clear about 2-4 weeks out if we need to arrange the rotation in that way.

                  • True- I was more concerned with a team running away with the first w/c spot and there being a battle for the second spot- if that first team can set up it’s #1 at home against Liriano- huge advantage for them potentially, but- I’m not sure why I’m worried about it at this point, I’m thinking way too far ahead

                  • I know it’s unrealistic, but imagine if JT or TG came up and dominated and we sent them out for the WC game, that would really be something.

                • Honestly, in three years across both leagues, isn’t Clint Hurdle the only Manager to find this an issue?

                  Hasn’t ever single Manager, for both teams in both leagues, managed to avoid starting an Edinson Volquez-equivalent in the most important game of the year?

                • Not necessarily true.
                  Last year the Cubs had Arrieta lined up for the WC game, and they were the No 2 WC
                  The year before the Giants had Bumgarner lined up, while The Bucs were foolishly pitching Cole to try to win the division.

          • Considering Kershaw’s early postseason outings, having the best pitcher in baseball isn’t a guarantee to win a single game. Variance rules on that level, and even Kershaw can have a bad inning every now and then. And he had a couple across his first few postseason starts.

            But nobody’s going to look at those couple starts and deny Kershaw is an ace. Honestly, I think anyone who says Kershaw isn’t the absolute hands-down best pitcher in baseball on the basis of those couple starts is being entirely unreasonable.

            Kershaw is baseball’s best pitcher. Kershaw can still be beaten in the playoffs. Cole can also be beaten in the playoffs, but that doesn’t revoke his ace status. Because the Gerrit Cole of last year was a top-10 pitcher in Major League Baseball, and I really don’t see how you don’t assign ace status to a top-10 pitcher.

            • Well, for the sake of argument, you most certainly do not rotate “ace” status year-by-year depending on whoever happened to fall in the Top 10.

              But that’s not even what I’m talking about here. As simple as this can be, the Pirates are likely to find themselves in a position to need Gerrit Cole to pitch like the ace he is when it matters most. Yes, that’s an extremely high expectation. No, failure to do so does not diminish his overall value or status as a baseball player. But those are academic arguments, meaningless to the physical, concrete need for it to actually happen in order to advance from a one-game playoff.

              • Can’t the other team just give us 9 runs like KC got a couple years ago?

              • NMR, are you arguing that Cole is not an ace? Just confused on if you is or isn’t…

                • Nah, I’d say Cole’s an ace but also think freddy made a good point. Fair or not, the Pirate may very well need him to be even better in the one game that counts the most. In that context, sure, I could buy him as the biggest key to the 2016 season. Silly that baseball comes down to that these days, but it is what it is.

                  • Eric Marshall
                    February 3, 2016 9:46 am

                    I would agree. Cole is a a very good #1. Did he somewhat choke in the Cards playoff three years ago and then again in the WC game last year? That just leaves a bad taste in my mouth and what i would hope he could improve upon this year. Love that he pitches for the Pirates and expect he along with TG, JT and FL to lock us into a Series win this year.

                    • Do you mean “World Series”? This year? I like the optimism but i’m not sure about that.

            • Indeed. Ask David Price also.

        • I love Cole and he is a stud but everyone knows when someone is an ace. You have to have that signature year or you are jus. t a strong #2 on a contender. Cole could have 10-12 more years like last year and be borderline HOF player but the all time greats go out and just have one or two years where no one can touch them. I think 2016 will be that year for Cole. If not 2016 and 1-2 years after that. I am only putting that much weight on him because I think he has that much potential.

          • Again, i think this has become an argument about what defines an ace….because its not “everyone just knows it.”

            I’ve seen a crapload of baseball fans call Madison Bumgarner an ace. Is he? If yes, please figure out how he is without ever putting up the season Cole just did. Otherwise you are simply saying no arm is an ace until he has a historic season.

            • Three seasons of a sub-3 ERA and 200+ innings holds a lot more weight than Cole’s one season of a .3 WAR advantage…

              • So innings make the ace? That sub 3 ERA has never been lower than Cole just put up.

                Which is my point, you just defined an ace differently than freddy did. Freddy spoke of untouchable year, seemingly Arrieta like as i read it. You are going more with throwing a ton of innings and being statistically solid with longevity.

                For me, the only thing Cole hasnt done is repeat it. He’s given us ace level production over an entire season statistically and thrown plenty of innings. It was Bumgarner’s 3rd full year where he put up his first sub 3 ERA and took a step into ace territory.

                Much like Cole, in his 3rd year, just clearly took that step. Repeating it is what solidifies any reputation, but Cole should absolutely be considered an ace right now until he does backslide.

            • Point taken…but part of Bumgarner being an ace was him taking playoff series’ on his back and dominating. Part of it is context but they all get there one way or another. The only way to judge a player is by performance and while the postseason can be overrated it still can carry a substantial amount of weight…and 88 post season innings of dominance is pretty impressive for a 26 year old Bumgarner.

              • And your first sentence is where i thought we were going to get to.

                Madison Bumgarner has not been dominant over 88 post season innings. He has thrown 88 total innings, and like many pitchers seen various levels of success.

                Like 2012, where 2 of his 3 outings were really poor. He deserves all the credit for his insane success in the postseason, but some of it garners on myth. He also struggled in the postseason before becoming MadBum the rubber arm.

                • At the rate Bumgarner is going he will be a 40 WAR player by age 30. That’s pretty impressive. I actually didn’t realize Cole had a 2.60 ERA last year. I was thinking it was 2.80. I do think Cole has upside left. He’s still only 25. Pitchers with stuff like his always seem to have a season or two where everything breaks right. Greinke is very good but he had two elite years. Cueto had two flukey great years. I feel like Cole has been slightly unlucky for his career although you are right he pitched like the guy he is last year. I will be more than happy with the same year again but hope for some luck and with a hopefully even better defense behind him, a monster year.

            • Cole is clearly an Ace. I recently heard his name dropped by Scott Boras as the closest thing to Jose Fernandez.
              He and the team need to win post-season games if they want to be in the conversation with the other big names in the game.
              The only other way is if you are in a major market like Philly, LA, NY, Boston, etc… or win Cy Young which Cole was in the running for this year until a few sketchy outtings and an insane year by both Grienke and Arrieta.

            • I’d say the thing that separates Bumgarner was he was lights out when it mattered. Cole is that sometimes in big pitch innings but in the Wild Card he wasn’t

            • …and by the way Bumgarner had just as good of a year last year as Cole. A 6:1 k:bb ratio is elite. It was 5:1 the year before that. Kershaw was 7.2:1

          • Cole had three wins given away last season by poor defense.

        • when you have 2 #5’s in your rotation, a true ace is as close to a need as you are going to get- speaking truly metaphorically

          • I dont think that makes any sense, since the point being discussed above is really Cole and needing a guy for “big games”.

            Having two #5s means you need to upgrade one of them first and foremost.

            • Luke- well duh. I’m working on the idea/assumption that this pile of mulch that is currently sitting at the backside of our rotation, due to the innate stubbornness of our front office, will leave us in the position that we will need cole to be about 22-4 to even get to the playoffs

              • Possibly, but i dont think thats a given. I mean, yes, Cole needs to be very good and win games. But i dont think we need some historic 20+ wins from him just to make it.

                I dont think we have gotten so much worse overall that we go from top 3 in baseball to not top 5-6 in the NL. Particularly if Vogelsong throws only about 10-12 starts.

                • I don’t think we have fallen that much either, but we are 1 significant injury from falling that much, and last year we weren’t. we went from being about the second best team in the league, to now……likely 4. Honestly, its a huge difference. For the record, I’m not expecting both Taillon and Glasnow to be better than Locke and Vogelsong. I expect a slight improvement over what locke and vogelsong would do in the first half of a year in general, but better when you look at how they should do vs. the second half pitching performance of vogelson/locke

      • I think Cole is unlikely to be better this year than last year — but of course more of the same would be good enough.

        His leap forward was pretty large, and in doing so he overachieved his xFIP by about half a run. Also, I have some concern that he’s cut his curve and change usage way down — he was 88% FB-slider last season.

        I have a feeling there will be a counter punch by the league before he goes to the “next level.”

        • Offspeed usage will be interesting, since the move to use the slider more seemed intentional on his part. He came into the league using the slider a tick less, but last year unleashed it to great results.

          Its a battle of adjustments on both ends, but im not sure the curve is so bad he’d shy away from it if someone the league figures out how to hit that rather nasty moving slider.

  • BallHeadWonder
    February 2, 2016 11:09 am

    I really hope the bats get hot and stay hot until June!! That is the only way we stay in the race!! I really feel that JT and Glassnow will put us over the hump!!! We get them 2 by the Break, we win the division and take this thing all the way!!! We just have to get to Mid June!!!

  • I cannot wait to see him in PNC. I think he’s been under-rated for years because of being sandwiched between Cole and Glasnow, but could be a huge boost to the Bucs this year. And he doesn’t seem to have the adjustment problems that Glasnow has every time he moves to a new level, which worry me about adding Glasnow in a tight pennant race.

    • I do not think he has been underrated, but every Pirate fan will be thrilled to see him get to the mound at PNC. And, if he was able to lose 20, it was not doing him much good carrying it around. Maybe he can add that back in muscle over the next year or two.

      • Agree Emjay – Taillon has not been under rated IMO he has simply not dominated the minors – therefore he was mostly projection rather than awe.

        • Cole never dominated at any level in MLB. I saw Taillon look better than I had seen Cole pitch on more than one occasion in AA.

  • Kind of amazing how many pitchers from 2010 and 2011 drafts are still in the organization, didn’t have to be moved to the bullpen and are expected to either be rotation locks or back end starters/quality AAA depth for the next several years.

    2010: Taillon, Kingham, Cumpton, Sadler
    2011: Cole, Glasnow, Creasy and potentially Clay Holmes

    • Well, that’s certainly one way to look at it…

      • The glass is half full.

        • There is a chance – if everything works out right – that the staff in Pitchburgh could feature 5-Aces in the future.

          That sh*t is crazy.

          -BB

          • Who would be the 4th and 5th in this scenario?

            • Heredia and Allie.

            • Depends on how things shake out, but if the Bucs get that RARE event of EVERYTHING going right for once (like, we had enough TJ surgery in the last year), I like
              Cole
              Liriano
              Glasnow
              Taillon
              & Kingham

              We’ve got Liriano for three years yet ( I think) and, though P2 lists Kingham as a possible #3 with his ceiling, I think the description of the stuff might work out better.

              Now, we’ve got Niese for three years too, it looks like on very team friendly one year contracts and he could wind up that very useful quality depth option.

              The other guy that I’m pulling for is Chad Kuhl. Extreme ground ball pitcher with a 4 seam that hits upper 90s. Working on a good out pitch, his second half at Altoona was lights out last year.

              From the guide: “His second half was amazing, with a 1.83 ERA from mid-June to the end of the year, with even better results in July, when he only allowed four extra base hits all month.”

              I think his write up was the one that jumped out at me from the top 50 prospect pages. Tantalizing. I always like to look for that guy who might break out in a big way and – while P2 lists him as a possible mid-rotation guy – there is nothing not to like about his recent success.

              -Wabbit

              • Not sure Yeudy Garcia could catch up to this group… Maybe…. He’ll make Altoona this year.

                -BB

                • Only other thing is that the Pirates would probably stagger their arrival so that they couldn’t all pitch in the same rotation maybe?

                  I don’t know much about the time-tables for these guys. Maybe someone on here knows more?

                  -BB

                • foo gave Yeudy the kiss of death when he started building then bandwagon in his garage.

              • We have Liriano for 2 years and he’s a #2 at his best but a good #2. I’m rooting Chad Kuhl as well as my wife’s cousin graduated high school with him and he’s from the next town over from me but he’s a #4 at best. Kingham’s most likely a 3/4 with the potential to hit a #2 if he develops a better out pitch. I do like the Niese transaction as well. I think think 5 aces is unrealistic and I really think 3 aces is even a stretch. Best case scenario by 2017 is an ace and 3 number 2’s.

                • Wabbit_Season
                  February 2, 2016 1:46 pm

                  Thanks for being so kind Kozy.

                  Yeah, it is a bit of hyperbole to say a staff would have 5 aces… Esp. when you consider what “Ace” means in MLB.

                  But we certainly could have a really strong rotation in that group, for sure. Looking forward to it.

                  I like pitchers like Kuhl. His whip is low though he doesn’t generate a lot of strikeouts. Interesting cat.

                  Looking forward to see how the Brault / Tarpley thing works out too. Pirates have a lot of useful looking guys in the upper levels.

                  -BB

              • Is there any prospect pitcher in baseball with the last name slaw? Because I’d love for our #1 and #2 to equal coleslaw

              • I think Liriano only has two left.

            • Nick Kingham and Yeudy Garcia, if not Kuhl, Brault etc.

              • None of those 4 has anywhere near the ceiling of an ace though. I think Kingham can be a workhorse #3 and Garcia has huge breakout potential but I would put Tarpley ahead of both Kuhl and Brault.

                • It’s not fair to say the 4 don’t have Ace ceilings. You can not project that anymore than someone could project Garcia doing what he did last year.
                  The four above and Tarpley all have that ceiling potential it’s just less likely they get there. 🙂

                • Don’t agree there. Some (not all) of these guys will break out further than their present expectation. I can’t tell you which exact ones, of course.

  • Geez, I trust the staff, but 20 lbs seems like a lot.

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