This week on Pirates Prospects we’re covering the Bradenton Marauders.
This week is our specialty.
Single-A is where most breakout prospects are found. Some of them emerge early in the season and set fire to their league. Some have up and down years, finishing strong in the second half. Some never have that consistent stretch of good performance, and continue relying on age and ability for another year.
Our focus at this level is the same as any level — to keep you informed of what is happening with every player throughout the entire season. Not many sites dedicate this level of focus to Single-A, which is how we’re typically the first to report on the breakout players.
There’s one such player we covered this week who no one else has written about, and who might end up in my top ten in the system by the end of the year. I have a feeling you’ll read more about him by the end of the season, and this week’s article will tell you why.
Skip to the links below to check out all of the new content in this week’s article drop.
Cole Tucker was designated for assignment today, which led to an interesting conversation on Twitter. Adam Bittner pointed out how the front office was brought in to fix the issue of players not living up to their upside in the majors. That obviously hasn’t worked with Tucker and the new front office.
This FO was brought in specifically to fix the problem of people like him stagnating as AAAA guys. And here we are with one of the guys they spent the most time on. Another being his good buddy Mitch Keller, who it seems might learn more about movement from a Tom Emanski video.
— Adam Bittner (@fugimaster24) May 30, 2022
Tucker was drafted in the first round in 2014. One year later, the Pirates drafted second baseman Kevin Kramer out of UCLA. Kramer weighed in on the discussion, explaining the difficult task the current front office has with players under the old development system.
New management was given the impossible task of trying to fix all the wrongs of the previous regime. When you break a player down and don’t build him up, hence why so many of us struggled to find ourselves.
— Kevin Kramer (@Kevin_Kramer7) May 30, 2022
What really stood out to me was the follow-up comments from Kramer, especially the comments about the feedback he got from some former coaches.
Let’s just put it this way. I had multiple coaches in the organization tell me I would never make it. So instead of helping me get better, it was easier to just label me and not have my back. What a culture………
— Kevin Kramer (@Kevin_Kramer7) May 30, 2022
I’m going to be writing about this topic later this week, but I wanted to highlight it today while we’re talking about Single-A players.
Most of the players we’re covering this week are barely professional baseball players. Anthony Solometo is 19 years old and has pitched exactly three official innings in his career, for example. Even with the most talented players, it takes imagination to envision them as future MLB players from this stage.
Then, they reach the upper levels, where they have to face another challenge. They might be good enough to reach the majors, but are they the best option for the current system? The best prospects won’t have this issue, but the “depth” that the Pirates get touted for — all of the 40+ to 50 grade guys who might be average starters in the majors — those guys could end up in a competition.
From the very start, there is so much doubt for any player in a sport where very few amateur players make it to the majors.
I can’t imagine how difficult the journey would be if you have coaches reaffirming your fear that you won’t make the cut.
That’s a style of motivation that works on some people. It was a very prevalent style under the old system. It probably ruined some careers. I’ll get into that a little more, from my perspective, later in the week.
Overall, removing that type of tough-love, drill-sergeant style teaching is one of the biggest positives of the current system. They are treating the players with the respect of people.
Think of it this way: If you had someone telling you that you would fail at your life’s pursuit, would you consider that person to be treating you with respect? Is that a person you’d trust to help you reach your goal? What if both answers are “No”, but you have no other choice?
I’ll have more thoughts on this later in the week. For now, I’m glad these Single-A prospects we’re covering are growing up in a much more supportive system.
Pirates Prospects Spotlight
Daily Video Rundown: Oneil Cruz, Deivis Nadal, Sergio Campana
Pirates Discussion: Pirates 6, Dodgers 5
- Pirates Add Yu Chang to Active Roster; Option Hoy Park
- Pirates Designate Cole Tucker For Assignment
- Andres Alvarez: Richmond Series Highlights Hitter’s Breakout Start
THIS WEEK ON PIRATES PROSPECTS
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