BRADENTON, Fla. and INDIANAPOLIS - The Pirates set expectations for their international hitting prospects pretty high in 2012 when they had Gregory Polanco, Alen Hanson, Jose Osuna, Willy Garcia, and Elias Diaz all making the jump to West Virginia at a young age. Add in Starling Marte's emergence in the upper levels, and his eventual MLB debut, and the Pirates were looking like an organization set to churn out international hitters.
Marte has quietly been one of the best players in baseball since he came up. Polanco has arrived, but hasn't come close to his upside yet, so far looking like an average starter with around a 2.0 WAR per year. Osuna is looking like a strong bench bat, and maybe more if he wasn't blocked in Pittsburgh at his two positions. Diaz is blocked, but could be a star...
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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.