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Thread: Taillon 'feels good' about contributing to the Pirates' future

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    Default Taillon 'feels good' about contributing to the Pirates' future

    Taillon 'feels good' about contributing to the Pirates' future
    Friday, August 20, 2010
    By Chuck Finder, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    Keith Srakocic/Associated PressTop draft pick Jameson Taillon meets Pedro Alvarez, the Pirates' top pick in 2008, in the dugout before a game Thursday night against the Florida Marlins.Jameson Taillon thinks about the Pirates' future, too.

    He and Stetson Allie, his friend and fellow power right arm in whom the Pirates invested $8.75 million to secure both their first- and second-rounders, spent time just last weekend pondering such a future together.

    "We've talked about it," Taillon said Thursday at his introductory PNC Park news conference, where he uttered in a stage whisper "feels good" upon slipping on a ceremonial Pirates jersey with his name across the shoulders. "This is a team obviously that has to rebuild through the draft. When you get picked so highly and paid the way they were willing to pay us, that definitely says a lot about where they want us to be. That sends a message to me that they kind of want me to anchor the staff in a few years -- joining some already talented players they have coming up."

    There is Taillon, a $6.5 million second-overall selection from The Woodlands, Texas. There's Allie, a $2.25 million second-round pick introduced a day earlier. "And with [Luis] Heredia," Taillon said of the Thursday acquisition, a 16-year-old Mexican pitcher with a power right arm, like them, "that'd be a pretty mean trio right there."

    Taillon talked about a three- to four-year rise to the majors. When informed that Allie on Wednesday cut it a year shorter, to a two- to three-year potential process, he nodded in agreement.

    "That's definitely a goal for both of us. Like a Rick Porcello [of Detroit] or a Josh Beckett [with Florida and now Boston], they're up there by their 21st birthdays," Taillon said. "I think it's pretty reasonable to expect that, if I work and can progress the way I think I can."

    Taillon admitted that he cannot live up to part of his big billing. The reason: The Pirates' doctor last Friday measured him smaller than previous reports.

    Listed as a 6-foot-7, 225-pound specimen entering the draft, Taillon was 6-5 -- though he believes he is an inch taller than that -- and 223 pounds, according to the Pirates' physician. No big deal. He still throws: a 97 mph fastball regularly, a 12-to-6 curveball; an 87-88 mph changeup that admittedly fooled few Texas high school hitters because it looked like "a bad fastball;" and a slider that he can't wait to morph into a cutter and "break some bats now that it's wood bat."

    "I'm extremely excited to be here and join the Pirates family. It has been an interesting process," he began his news conference, attended by Pirates owner Bob Nutting and president Frank Coonelly, among other club officials and Taillon's parents, Christie and Michael. "The signing bonus and signing and everything was great, but my goal is to be back here in PNC Park in a few years and help this team turn it around.

    "I feel like I'm a pretty advanced pitcher, but I know there's a ton I can learn -- sequence, fastball command and all that. I know it will take a while. Hopefully, I can be back here in three or four years, that'd be great."

    Taillon, the most expensive draft bonus baby in Pirates history, apparently will report to short-season State College to spend two weeks there. He will work out, learn the everyday routines expected of Pirates minor league pitchers and toil further with the Spikes pitching coach, Mike Steele, who he met at offseason workouts in nearby Tomball, Texas, and called often this past scholastic season. Allie, who initially was headed for much the same indoctrination with Class A West Virginia, may head instead to State College to join his pal Taillon, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.

    Both will report in September to Pirate City for the instructional leagues and the fall, much akin to the 2009 draft high school class. If they progress rapidly through spring training, it is possible they could start the 2011 season with West Virginia, Huntington said. If not, they will follow a path similar to Zack

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    Default Re: Taillon 'feels good' about contributing to the Pirates' future

    I hope that Allie is right...two years. I think for Taillon two years is realistic. For Allie its going to take a little longer.
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    Default Re: Taillon 'feels good' about contributing to the Pirates' future

    If they can get a September call up in their 3rd year, and perform well, that it would be excellent progress.
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