WTM: The Pirates Could Be Sending a Bad Message to Their Young Players

The Pirates are facing a delicate situation at catcher.

Assuming they don’t get Blake Sabol back from the Rule 5 draft, they have two top upper-level catching prospects in Endy Rodriguez and Henry Davis, and exactly zero catchers besides Rodriguez on the 40-man roster as of this writing.

They have to find not one, but two experienced catchers to get them through what, at most, should be a 2-3 month period in 2023.

Or do they? Davis isn’t an option; since being drafted, he’s appeared in only 67 games, and he was struggling with injuries during many of those.

Rodriguez is a different matter.  He’s played 289 games in the minors, has a career OPS of .303/.394/.503, and is rocketing up prospect lists right now.

Endy Rodriguez is Looking Like the Best Prospect in the Pirates System

Derek Shelton put any speculation about Rodriguez to rest during the winter meetings.  While discussing the catching situation, he dismissively relegated both Rodriguez and Davis to the minors.

The “needs more seasoning” trope has always been a convenient fallback for baseball lifers and fans who don’t want to see a prospect in the majors.  It fits well with other empty buzz-phrases, like “he’s working on some things,” or the even more mindless “more seasoning won’t hurt him.”

These are especially convenient tropes for front offices looking to manipulate a player’s service time.  Remember the Cubs sending Kris Bryant to Triple-A, saying he needed to work on his defense at third?  They promoted him after he got a whopping 18 chances in the field.

Moar Seasoning! is an easy trope to trot out with Rodriguez.  He’s played 31 games in Double-A and six in Triple-A, to go with 186 in A-ball.  Trouble is, with top talents, which Rodriguez has certainly shown himself to be, this is baloney.  Elite players just don’t need much time.  Here are a few examples of games played at each level:

Ronald Acuna, Jr.:  83 games in AAA, 57 in AA, 68 in class A.
Wander Franco:  47 in AAA, 0 in AA
Alejandro Kirk:  14 in AAA, 0 in AA
Fernando Tatis, Jr.:  0 in AAA, 108 in AA
Julio Rodriguez:  0 in AAA, 46 in AA
Adley Rutschman:  45 in AAA, 83 in AA, 17 in class A

This is nowhere close to an exhaustive list.  The exact trajectories for guys like this vary, but the speed for this sort of talent is the norm, not the exception.

So, no, not everybody needs a full season, or even half a season, or even any time at all, at each level.  It’s obvious from the above that major league organizations are happy to make individualized decisions with their top prospects, based on what they see on the field.

Endy Rodriguez entered different territory this year.

Rodriguez was already a very good prospect, coming off a strong 2021 season at Bradenton.  He was plugging along this year, until he jumped to a different level in July.

Over the last half of 2022, Rodriguez was the best hitter in the minors.  He put up an OPS of 1.120 in Double-A and 1.208 in Triple-A.  Reviews of his defense were very good.  He switched back to catching almost full-time once he moved up from Greensboro, where he’d been playing a lot at other positions.

He specifically worked on his throwing, and his CS% jumped from 17% in 2021 to 31%, including 45% at Altoona.  By all accounts, he’s a high-energy, highly motivated worker.

Of course it’s possible Rodriguez really does need more time in Triple-A, for something other than just saving Bob Nutting a bit of money by putting off his arbitration eligibility.

That’s not the point.

The important point is the message that Shelton sends when he indicates the decision is already made, regardless of what Rodriguez might do in Spring Training.  It can’t be good to demonstrate to young players, over and over, that the front office isn’t interested in what they’re doing on the field.

Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

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john.benedict

Its not unlike them

RaisetheJollyRancherGirl

I wonder if Bob has an accountant he pays enough to understand this article?

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/why-are-teams-issuing-extremely-long-contracts/

1979andCounting

The author sure put a lot of time into explaining bond interest rates and the present value and future value of money! But my financial take is that NOT one of the ownership groups doling out 10+ year contracts is paying any attention at all to fluctuating interest rates. It’s a cash flow business, with ever-increasing revenues. These groups don’t care one iota about a point or two of interest rate changes!

Aurorus

The crux of the matter is that the Pirates have lost the confidence of everyone, and most people believe that they put financial consideration and service time ahead of what is best for prospects. They wasted time with Endy and their silly idea of forcing everyone to play everywhere even if a guy does not have the tools for position (putting Castillo in RF with his arm… just plain stupid… he can barely hit the cutoff man). Endy probably does need some AAA time especially to work on game-calling and reading swings at the higher levels where every pitcher and hitter is not working on fixing some mechanic.

James_Robert5

He’d be a good candidate to sign for 10 years $80M with 2 team options for $20M each

Josh

Wilbur, these players are grown ups. You think the Pirates are sending a bad message? What, are they children?

Danatural08

I agree with WTM. Typical bucco mismanagement. Its irritating from a roster building standpoint, a general fan that wants to see an exciting new player, & the message that it sends.

My wonder is if Shelton slipped up by saying what he did or if they just dont care.

PiratePrimate

Speaking of sending messages, the Giants have signed Manaea and Stripling which means they’re going to resign Rodon. He’s asking $200 million for sever years. Offer him the $200 million for eight years and send a message that you’re serious about playing major league baseball, Nickles.

esd4

The examples given kind of undermine the point you’re trying to make. You list six guys, five of whom were much better prospects than Endy is, five of whom got more AA/AAA time than Endy has, and half of whom got more than twice as much upper level time as Endy has. That doesn’t really suggest to me that prospects of Endy’s caliber don’t need upper level experience.

Furthermore, whether intentionally or not, you are ignoring the effect of the cancellation of the minor leagues in 2020. Franco and Kirk both skipped AA because they missed 2020 altogether after being in A+ in 2019 (though Kirk did get a nine-game cup of coffee in Toronto in Sept. 2020).

More importantly though, the list is begging the question and obviously cherry-picked. There are plenty of counterexamples of elite prospects who had minimal time in the upper levels and have never figured it out in the major leagues (Victor Robles is the first to come to mind for me), and as your list shows there are also plenty of examples of elite prospects who spend 100+ games in the upper levels before finally getting to the Show. Listing six guys who ended up succeeding tells us nothing about what elite prospects, either as a whole or individually, do or don’t need.

You all may remember that less than a year ago, people were complaining that the Pirates were manipulating Oneil Cruz’s service time by sending him to AAA out of spring training, but then he struggled mightily in his first month in AAA and then struggled mightily again in his first couple months in the bigs after getting promoted. That should perhaps give us some caution in arguing that elite prospects don’t need upper level seasoning, or in believing that good prospects can definitely perform better than mediocre major leaguers, or in claiming that the only reason to send an elite prospect to AAA is service time manipulation.

Finally, there actually is, I think, a good argument to be made for telling a prospect that he will be going back to the minors no matter how well he performs in spring training, which is that spring training is not real competition, and it would be a mistake to base developmental decisions on what happens in spring training, and it would potentially be a bigger problem to have to tell a prospect who has a hot spring that he needs to work on some things in AAA than it is to just tell him he needs to work on some things in AAA regardless of how well he does in exhibition games.

All of which is not to say that the Pirates are necessarily doing right by Endy here. It’s more just to point out that the certainty expressed in this article that they’re doing something wrong is unreasonable.

James_Robert5
ayukish2001

They should take the original order down and put this comment up instead.

1979andCounting

I’m on the fence about rapid promotions. The last and biggest step with the highest degree of difficulty by far is going from AA or AAA to the show. Why?……it’s the level of pitching of course. On one hand I’d like to see elite hitters make the jump quickly so as to help our 28th worst MLB team become more competitive. On the other hand, so few can make the jump seamlessly, with many just flat out failing. I’ve got to believe professional coaches and analytics should help the club know who is most ready for the promotion.

Almost immediately, MLB scouting will find and target a new promotion’s weaknesses. Cruz was a great example of this. He wasn’t ready for the advanced pitching espec breaking balls in the majors. So it was a brutal 2 months for him and the fan base to see if he could learn how to adjust. That messes with a hitter’s confidence if he’s over-matched, as Cruz was.

I think the bad message being sent is not the time spent at each level, but the lack of Nutting investing in a winning product at the MLB level. How they handle Reynolds will go a long way toward what message is being sent.

chuck_conner

Where was the Pirates hitting coach in that time? I heard, just heard, Cruz flew his own hitting coach up and al of a sudden that was when he started being a major league hitter. It’s embarrassing watching the bucco’s trying to play in a Champaign league carring a case of beer.

PirateRican21

My stance was set when McCutchen was in AAA and people were complaining about his promotion. We have these players for 6 years, let’s have the best six years and not waste a year or two by rushing them.

emjayinTN

Not sure the issue or concern is when they get to MLB. I think that what happens to them from that point is their biggest concern. They want to play for a team that will be able to compete and they also want to play for a team that will not nickel and dime them for the first 3 or 4 years of their careers.

The Extension to Hayes last year was a nice first step. Does BC have the authorization to negotiate some extensions containing guaranteed dollars to buy out the first year or two of Free Agency?

If interested, take a look at the extensions Alex Anthopoulos has negotiated with many key players of the Atlanta Braves, including home grown kids like Ronald Acuna, Ozzie Albies, Spencer Strider, Austin Riley, and Michael Harris. And then to Matt Olson after getting him in trade from the A’s. And, how long before he signs Murphy long term?

SufferinBuccotash

Does BC have the authorization to negotiate some extensions containing guaranteed dollars to buy out the first year or two of Free Agency?”

Sure he does. As long as they are willing to accept well under market value contracts, he can sign as many to extensions as he wants…see Reynolds, Bryan.

James_Robert5

I’m assuming that the authorization is coming from BN …

TheDudeSaysThis

To be fair, the Pirates are sending a bad message to veteran players and to fans as well.

bianco599

Oh man. Not getting Carlos Correa. Have to cancel my premade Correa Pirates jersey.

k1rainey

These ads suck

bianco599

Agree

k1rainey

The ones that were just some sweatshirt were perfect. But these ones that constantly move and the video ones are a deterrent

Tim Williams

The old ones barely paid anything. They still put the responsibility of funding the site on the readers. There’s limited growth potential in that path, and too much risk when the Pirates are struggling.

These ads might allow me to hire several full time employees and build this site in a way that I was practicing for from 2015-18.

I’m giving everything a few weeks to gather a sample size. From there, I’ll be able to weigh the opportunity cost of each individual advertisement type.

For example, the video ad at the bottom of the site alone might end up paying for a full time writer, starting in 2024. It might be annoying. It might also fund our next Pirates beat writer.

The ads, in total, I’m hoping will put the site in position to add two full-time employees, plus a custom site, all by 2024. That site will have the option of disabling the ads for supporters, and grandfathered-in subscribers. Eventually you will have that option.

Be patient with this for a bit, as I work to adjust everything. There’s a larger plan at play here.

k1rainey

I appreciate the response. Yeah i figured the annoying ones probably pay better. Too bad. Trying to write this comment on mobile and i can’t believe how annoying the video ones are lol. It’s good to hear we may have the option to pay like we used to and have no ads.

Scam likely

The ads are alright , if this is worst thing people have in their life going on, there doing just fine.

mehutch

I don’t mind the ads even if I do contribute.

Tim Williams

I appreciate it!

Catch_22

How far are we going to go with this? If Termarr has a good start in Greensboro, they’ll want him in PNC by Sept of 2023.

James_Robert5

I don’t think that’s a problem

Some of his peers who graduated HS in June 2022 will be playing in the NBA by Oct 2023

There is less pressure playing MLB in front of 8000 fans than playing QB for a big-time college football team

Catch_22

What’s does this have to do with the price of tea in China?

ArkyWags

That kinda misses the point, doesn’t it?

James_Robert5

It’s funny you say that

Wilbur ends his piece with the following …

“ Of course it’s possible Rodriguez really does need more time in Triple-A, for something other than just saving Bob Nutting a bit of money by putting off his arbitration eligibility.

That’s not the point.

The important point is the message that Shelton sends when he indicates the decision is already made, regardless of what Rodriguez might do in Spring Training. It can’t be good to demonstrate to young players, over and over, that the front office isn’t interested in what they’re doing on the field.”

I think that’s his main point

Rereading the comments, I don’t think you’d find 2% of them that even address his main point

ArkyWags

I’m not talking about Wilbur and the article when I made my comment. I’m talking about your bizarre irrelevant comment invoking the NBA and college football.

James_Robert5

The problem with using modern MLB as the comparator is many decisions are based on the free-agency model that’s been in place since the mid-1979’s

In the late 1950’s a trio of HS teammates graduated, spent a little time in the minors, and then established themselves as MLB regulars by the age of 20

All three had very productive MLB careers

That type of thing rarely happens now for US born players

IMO the main reason for that is the player would be a free agent a few years sooner compared to the slower development model

Catch_22

click bait

Tim Williams

I hate this claim anytime it is made. It’s so lazy, dismissive, and disingenuous.

Catch_22

Disingenuous is writing articles like this. If you want to complain, there’s dozens upon dozens of things to complain about the Pittsburgh Pirates.

If any of the other 29 GMs were the Pirates GM, how many would have Endy on the OD roster? The answer is zero.

Tim Williams

If you pick any one of those dozens of things to write about instead, someone can come along with the same reply, telling you that one of the other issues is actually the valid thing to write about.

In the end, I’m the only content gatekeeper here. No one else’s individual opinion matters on what should and shouldn’t be published. You’re wasting your time with this.

Catch_22

I respect that, Zuul.

Tim Williams

I actually go by Cerberus.

Catch_22

At the end of the day, I come in here to get away from reality. To get away from the daily grind…It’s an escape. My intent was not to troll Wilbur, and I don’t believe I did.

Tim Williams

The joke is always on them. I’ll waste my time for free, daily.

James_Robert5

How do you know this?

Catch_22

If you’re going to write these types of articles, you’re going to get criticized. Get thicker skin.

Also, why bring money into this?

James_Robert5

“ Also, why bring money into this?”

To get under your (thin) skin 🙂

Tim Williams

I have an issue with the term “click bait”, this day in internet age.

We as a society are online too much, now more than ever. It’s unavoidable. Everyone has their roles online for this change.

Ours is entertainment. It’s literally my job to produce articles that a mass amount of people would find interesting enough to read, as an escape from the more serious things online.

Your articles bring people in, and more importantly to the production schedule on Wednesday, kick off good discussion on the site.

This article, while I’ve only scanned the comments, has led to some good discussion, and clearly is a divided issue. I feel the discussion tells the story of the issue more than any side anyone in the discussion could take.

The article is meant to kick off this discussion and draw people in who wanted to read about the Pirates today. Someone needs to take the first stance. That’s the entire purpose of the site.

Of course it’s click bait. Everything on the internet is. But that term is usually reserved for poor quality articles that don’t add any value. A lot of work went into this one, including at least an hour of my time and two different reads during the entire process.

I’m writing this to Wilbur, but I’m writing it for anyone who wants to know the editorial standards here.

I didn’t write my column today, because I’m not feeling well, and refuse to put out a lower quality article. I could bring in a few thousand views easily with a bad, traditional click bait article. I want people clicking and reading something of substance. This was it.

NMR

With all due respect clickbait refers to article meant to drive engagement, and for better or worse nothing drives engagement more than the outrage cycle. There were a hundred better ways to write this article that didn’t ratchet the outrage meter at every chance.

Maybe we don’t deserve it, but I’d hope you all had higher views of your readers than this. Your most entertaining/informative articles are often the one’s with least engagement as measured by comments. Ethan writing 3000 words about economics, you embedding yourself for a week to study and report on a single pitcher’s grip of a single pitch he’s trying to improve. Maybe we don’t deserve it. Maybe we are just a bunch of Neanderthals who’d flee to one of the shock jocks if you guys didn’t write like this. I’d just hope for better.

Last edited 1 month ago by NMR
john_fluharty

Wilber is just expressing what he thinks and feels and sharing it with us. Agree with his opinions or not, but please try to understand that he is just sharing them with us and not trying to drive up readership by being some kind of shock jock or whatever.

mehutch

Grumpy

NMR

Remember when Kris Bryant played 70 games in AAA and logged an OPS over a thousand the season before the one in which he was held back for a few games?

Remember when Oneil Cruz was called up with less time than spent in AAA than Ronald Acuna?

Remember when Adley Rutchsman was the top prospect in the entire game and yet was still promoted a full two year older than what Endy is projected to be upon callup?

why bother, not enough fodder for the outrage machine.

Last edited 1 month ago by NMR
emjayinTN

I’m satisfied with Endy spending a few months at AAA simply because I am not sure he has ever caught any of the current Pitching Staff.

Hope to see him spend a lot of time with them in Early Reports & ST, and I think that our best option at Catcher is to start with the Heineman and Delay tandem. Be ahead of the game because they know how to handle the staff, and they are strong defensively – like coaches on the field.

john_fluharty

Young players may not like it but it’s the reality of baseball. Teams that can’t afford $30 million dollars a year for a single player are going to manipulate the service time of their best players to try to get them for as long as possible at the best rate possible.

JoeNastasi

Isn’t cherry picking what you’re doing, that’s a small handful of players out of 700. Cruz’s Defense is bad & still needs work. Even though I feel that work should be in the OF + when he came up he was King at a ridiculous amount & probably should’ve been sent back down.

NMR

The darkest pot calling the kettle black, incredible.

Bryant being held back for financial reasons was laid bare by the fact that he had already in fact slaughtered AAA. Nobody was bitching that he wasn’t called up straight from AA, we bitched after he proved he had nothing left to learn in AAA. The situation isn’t at all comparable to Endy.

Oneil Cruz got his teeth kicked in on both sides of the ball against AAA competition and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that he was not ready for big league baseball. In any rational conversation, this would be remembered as player development success.

I’m perfectly comfortable asserting that Acuna’s success against competition as close to big league-caliber as you can get means more than Oneil’s success against kids in A-ball. Feel free to argue otherwise.

b mcferren

anybody else want to trade KeBryan Hype to the Dodgers or Twins and start the year with Triolo at third base?

robertkasperski

Quoting Marcel Marceau in the only word spoken in the film Silent Movie; Non!

roberto

Great movie

robertkasperski

I like everything that Mell Brooks has ever done 🙂

PiratePrimate

That includes Ann Bancroft. Oh, Mrs. Robinson!

Cocktailsfor2

R.I.P.

robertkasperski

Lol!!
I forgot that they were married. Definitely yes!

Last edited 1 month ago by robertkasperski
roberto

I recommend his book, It’s All About Me, even though it’s not.

robertkasperski

Just ordered it 🙂

robertkasperski

Thanks!

SouthernBuc

Negative.

skliesen

Nuts!

Boshbuckler

Not really, no

SBRO

I was thinking about this after reading the projected bullpen piece yesterday – the plan is pretty clearly coming into focus, 2023 is made up of two half-seasons.

In H1 they’re going to continue weeding through the collection of outfielders, second basemen and relief pitchers with no options to see if anyone is a keeper, while Choi, Santana and Velazquez hopefully establish enough value to fetch an interesting return. Basically what they did in 2022, but with marginally better assets. At catcher, they’ll sign a one-and-done free agent like Perez or Barnhart and a 3rd stringer like Heinemann they don’t mind casting out.

In H2, pending health, they’ll bring up Endy, Bae, Gonzales, Ortiz, Burrows, Priester and maybe half the Indy pen, and trade or release the seat fillers. That’s a ton of 45s and 50-55s joining within weeks of one another. Bae is the only one who rightfully should be on the 26-man opening day.

I can’t imagine this hasn’t filtered down to individual players, whether explicitly or not. Guys are going to be pissed – how could you not be, when you’re serving time in Indy even though you and everybody on the planet knows you could outplay the guy filling your seat in Pittsburgh. Fair enough, I like someone coming up to Pittsburgh with talent AND a chip on their shoulder.

tventimiglio

Additionally, who knows what the plans will be come March? Shelton’s statements are as the plan stands now. That may change. Guy’s get this sort of message in every organization. Getting a bit tired of Wilbur and Jeff taking their cues from the rest of PGH “Sports media” and resorting to daily posts about how f’d up the organization is. There are plenty of places to get that. This site used to be better.

SBRO

IOW, nothing to see here, and if you did want to make someone the poster child for “bad message sent” then I think Bae’s your guy. But they haven’t announced their intentions yet with him, I guess.

NMR

Right so we should totally get worked up about it before rosters are even announced.

SBRO

Just to make clear, I agree with you. I am saying “we can’t get worked up about Bae because what’s likely to happen to him hasn’t happened yet, so I guess we have to get worked up over Endy.” In truth, there’s nothing to see here, i.e., nothing to get worked up over.

NMR

Ah, gotcha buddy.

redwards60

As talent starved as the Pirates are obviously, why are they so slow and reluctant to play their top prospects? Its utter incompetence. Last year we had to wait 2 to 3 months for Cruz to be called up when he was obviously their best SS option in Spring Training. They wasted Swaggerty and Bolton last year in regard to getting major league exposure. This year it will be Rodriguez, Davis, and Burrows. This organization is just a train wreck in all aspects except stupidity and losing.

JoeNastasi

1. Swaggerty hasn’t done absolutely nothing to warrant a promotion.
2. Bolton was coming off a long inactive stretch, easing him back was the right thing to do if they still have high hopes for {which I still have}
3. Cruz still has issues to work on as well.

roberto

As someone who was thrust into a role he wasn’t ready for due to multiple injuries, I do not believe it speeds development. It does speed depression.

patrick_kelly

Pretty sure I got roasted in the comments a week or so ago by saying basically this. Man it would be nice to see a 21-22 y/o hit the ground running in the bigs and see him rewarded with one of these big fat 13 year deals that everyone and their brother in baseball seems to be throwing out right now.

Duckhunter

This was more dumber comments Shelton has said hey Derrick when your team can’t hit and can’t drive in runners and you have your top prospect in AAA because of the NH school of thinking he has holes in his game and he is hitting 280 and your catcher in the minors is hitting 210 you might want to change that thinking because you might be managing in triple AAA a year from now.

PiratePrimate

That’s duck blind talk, dude

HeyFred

IIRC, to avoid getting super-2 status, the rookie has to have less service time than (I think) 22% of all rookies. So do what we did last year — break camp (or promote early) a bunch of rookies who don’t project to break the bank as super-2s — the Diego Castillos and Jack Suwinskis of the team. Maybe 7 rookie pitchers. Let them chew up the 22% of service time and maybe you can bring Endy up in May.

robertkasperski

The only way there would be a bad message is if they Pirates have kept Endy totally in the dark on what their plans are for him. We have no clue what has been or not been discussed between any player and management. Our conjecture here means nothing in the reality of the world. It is fun conversation though 🙂

NMR

Oh FFS. Our brains are completely broken.

b mcferren

I think there could be increased pressure from both mlb and the players association for the Pirates to participate this year in the new ROY incentive program to enter the year with actual rookies on the opening day roster

they skipped it last year with Cruz and Roansy, thereby signaling to everyone that they could care less about last years bargaining agreement

leefieux

As a grammar nazi, I HAVE to point out that it is ‘couldn’t care less’ (unless you COULD care less than you do now). 😇😇😇

As a Pirate fan, I hope that we DO get MLB to come down hard on us. Of course, Nutting would just yawn and keep counting his money!

leefieux

June at the earliest. Almost ALL ball clubs do this. We HAVE to maximize the amount of time our good prospects stay with us. It is baseball reality for all of us now. Sadly.

The days of a Clemente, Stargell, etc staying with us their whole careers are like the days of having pitchers complete games on a regular basis.

chuck_conner

If you want your good young ball players, do what Atlanta and more teams are following, sign them to a long term contract. The Pirates need to be absolutely positive, guaranteed that the player is going to be good, then it’s to late and they can’t afford them.

b mcferren

oh you mean like Votto, Molina, Happ or Braun?

Every team in the Central has this and Cutch should have always been a Pirate

JoeNastasi

So you think they should’ve over paid Cutch for 10 years. That would’ve been a disaster

b mcferren

Yes i do

Disaster like losing 100games every year until oblivion?

leefieux

What part of ‘us’ did you miss in my statement? 😸😸😸

NMR

Nah, this ain’t it.

There’s perfectly rational baseball reasons for putting a prospect like Rodriguez in a more conducive developmental environment and make him earn his promotion just as 99.9% of all big leaguers do.

Money has absolutely nothing to do with this.

NMR

Wilbur, a third of the examples you chose to fearmonger about the Pirates hurting prospect feeling for not getting handed a big league job out of AA spent at least two months in AAA before promotion.

You follow the Pirates, there’s plenty of legit reasons to be upset.

NMR

calling a spade a spade my brother.

You wrote an entire article centered on the fear of harming prospects from a developmental path that 99.9% of the population follow without a single shred of evidence that it actually harms any of them.

That is, by definition, intentionally raising fear of a completely banal issue.

NMR

Endy is a Grade 55ish prospect with the most bullish outlets likely to rank him in the 30s across all of baseball.

Acuna and the like were all 65s and above, Top 5 prospects or better in the sport. The elite of the elite.

You’re elevating him into a class above where anyone else has been willing to go.

I’ll even concede and drop the .9. It takes like three minutes of actual research to see that at least 99 out of 100 prospects at Endy’s level follow the exact same promotional path he’s on.

Aurorus

Rodriguez is much better than a 55ish prospect. He is literally of the same ilk as Wander and Julio. I think even the mainstream outlets of baseballese are in agreement on this. Now.. if you want to argue that because he is a catcher and the Pirates would like him to work on game-calling and the like (since they wasted development time with their “guys have to play everywhere no matter what tools they have” idea) that is a different matter than saying he is merely an above average prospect as opposed to a unique talent. I will agree with the latter argument… the former… no… Endy is unique.

NMR

As somebody who admittedly overuses “literally”, that ain’t it boss. 😉

These conversations are the worst. Endy has been my favorite prospect for two years running. I was ahead of the pack in calling him the best catcher in the system. I think he absoilutely has an outside shot to be a star.

But because I don’t think he’s literally the best prospect in baseball i’m put in a position of looking like I’m talking him down.

Extreme takes are dumb.

Last edited 1 month ago by NMR
ArkyWags

The first part of your comment is just not true. Just using one outlet, FG has him as a 55. Franco was the only prospect they’ve ever given an 80 on, Julio they had as a 65 before he debuted last year.
The woefully outdated MLB rankings have Endy barely in the top 100. I’m sure he’ll be much higher when they re-rank them. But he won’t be in Adley/Julio territory.

James_Robert5

FWIW Baseball America has Endy scored as a 65

NMR

Where do you find that? I only see individual tool grades.

James_Robert5

Hard copy in the mail

Not sure when it will be updated online

Rob Baran

I was going to have to fight this fight if you hadn’t. Thanks for speaking my mind.

NMR

Nolan Ryan through a billion pitches and is a Hall of Famer.

Many people, very smart people, are saying that prospects are being given a bad message that they aren’t treated the same.

leefieux

And he threw them so hard that they could go through a bat, I hear. 😁😁😁

robertkasperski

Read Ron Luciano’s Fall of the Roman Umpire. Talked about the first time he called a game with Ryan on the mound. Threw a heater and Luciano thought something was wrong with his eyes. He thought that the ball exploded. Had a hard time seeing the pitch.

PiratePrimate

Expecting normal humans to follow the examples of the Gods is foolish and will get them hurt

Cocktailsfor2

We primates exist merely to *serve* the Gods, not to try understanding their ways…

robertkasperski

Could not have said better. I could see the point if the Bucs were one of the few teams to operate the way we do with prospects.

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