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Thread: The Pirates Have Hope

      
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    Default The Pirates Have Hope

    "Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things. And no good thing ever dies."

    - Andy Dufresne

    http://insider.espn.go.com/mlb/blog?...ter&id=5259420

    Pirates are finding their anchors

    Stephen Strasburg will make his major league debut about 25 hours after Bryce Harper is picked No. 1 overall, so the Nationals will own most of the headlines this week. But these days also belong to the Pittsburgh Pirates, who have managed to build an island of hope.

    Whether the Pirates can build on that remains to be seen. In compiling 17 consecutive losing seasons, Pittsburgh's greatest problem is a repeated failure to either draft or acquire high-ceiling talent -- guys who aren't just good, but have the tools to lift a franchise, a must for any small-market or mid-market team.

    The Twins might be the best example of this: They had one of the best starters in the majors in Johan Santana, one of the best closers in Joe Nathan, and two excellent offensive players in Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, and they have surrounded those players with a capable if unspectacular supporting cast. The Pirates mostly haven't had those kinds of anchors in the years since Sid Bream slid across home plate.

    But today, they are expected to draft Jameson Taillon with the second overall pick. And on Wednesday, Brad Lincoln, the No. 4 overall pick from the 2006 draft who has recovered from surgery, will be promoted to the big leagues to pitch against the Nationals. At some point, young slugger Pedro Alvarez will be promoted from Triple-A.

    Tony Sanchez, their first pick last season, is off to a good start in High Class A, hitting .318, with a .423 on-base percentage.


    And as center fielder Andrew McCutchen moves into his second calendar year in the big leagues -- the anniversary of his debut was June 4 -- we can safely say that he has all the makings of an impact player. In his first 160 games, McCutchen racked up 185 hits, seventh most in the NL since the date of McCutchen's debut; was tied for fourth in the majors with 14 outfield assists; ranked third among all National League players with 35 stolen bases and seventh in the NL in runs scored (104).

    He had 65 extra-base hits, which ranked behind only Ryan Braun, Andre Ethier, Jayson Werth, Adam Dunn and Matt Kemp.

    There is more growth to come. When the Pirates played in Chicago in the middle of May, McCutchen noticed how much more comfortable he was as a major leaguer. Some of the natural anxiety that comes with learning how to play in the big leagues was gone, because McCutchen had faced all the pitchers he was about to face, he knew what they would try to do against him, knew what to expect. "Playing this long, you gain experience," McCutchen said the other day. "That experience helps you out. ... I'm not so hyped up or over-exuberant.

    "It's gone well. I've done a good job. I'm well-pleased with where I'm at, and the good thing about it is that there's still room for improvement in every part of the game."

    Freddy Sanchez hit for average for the Pirates, and Jack Wilson was an excellent shortstop in Pittsburgh, but they were never good enough to be anchors. McCutchen is an anchor. Alvarez could be an anchor. Maybe the first guy that the Pirates pick today could be an anchor. Slowly, the Pirates are evolving.



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    Kipper's Avatar
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    Default Re: The Pirates Have Hope

    A lot of people are suddenly saying "Taillon". Makes me feel like it's going to be someone else. Something about this many people agreeing on something this close feels like someone was tipped off to be tipped off
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    Default Re: The Pirates Have Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Kipper View Post
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    A lot of people are suddenly saying "Taillon". Makes me feel like it's going to be someone else. Something about this many people agreeing on something this close feels like someone was tipped off to be tipped off
    Except that trying to "leak" a pick to camoflage who they really want doesn't apply here. There's no one in front of them to fool, unless you think that Washington was worried who we will pick. Duh.

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    Default Re: The Pirates Have Hope

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    Last edited by jeffkingsmustache; Jun-07-2010 at 02:00 PM. Reason: i'm dumb

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    Default Re: The Pirates Have Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by exNCite View Post
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    Except that trying to "leak" a pick to camoflage who they really want doesn't apply here. There's no one in front of them to fool, unless you think that Washington was worried who we will pick. Duh.
    True.

    Messing around on Twitter and a lot are believing that it's Taillon. Saying this close last year it was pretty widely spread around that Sanchez was the pick and by now it was leaked that we had a deal in place.

    Man, I don't remember hearing about Sanchez last year until later in the day when the leak about the deal came up
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    Default Re: The Pirates Have Hope

    If Tailon is willing to sign for 7 mill or less and sign early then I am ok with that. I have heard some people say he is a poor man`s Strasburg. We could control the use of his arm, so I can live with it.

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    Default Re: The Pirates Have Hope

    Quote Originally Posted by Hittman View Post
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    If Tailon is willing to sign for 7 mill or less and sign early then I am ok with that. I have heard some people say he is a poor man`s Strasburg. We could control the use of his arm, so I can live with it.
    Considering that Strasburg is a generational type talent as a pitcher, a poor man's Strasburg would be a good thing .

    I wouldn't anticipate anything less than $7 million. I think Ackley cost $7.5 and it won't matter if Ackley is better talent wise than Taillon either..
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