Pitching Prospects

by battlingbucs | Jul 29, 2014 - 3:22 PM
My last post was a list of the position players I have graded as a C or higher. My grades are always in flux and I am constantly reevaluating but that provided a good snapshot of that moment in time. Today I want to present my top 30 pitching prospects. I don't have an exact order for them yet so don't get on me too much about that but I have them sorted into groups based on level and my overall impression of them.

Low Level Average Prospects: Richard Mitchell, Luis Escobar, Neil Kozikowski, Jonathan Sandfort, Billy Roth, Tyler Eppler, Alex McRae

Richard Mitchell and Luis Escobar are regarded as the Pirates two best pitching prospects in the DSL. This is Mitchell's third season with the Pirates. He got his feet wet as a 16 year old in 2012, then moved on to a regular relief role last year where he did a decent job. This year the Pirates have moved him to the rotation and aside from not missing many bats it is going well. Mitchell projects to add some velocity but right now his fastball sits around 90 and he compliments it with a promising change up and curve. Escobar is a newcomer having just signed last season for a 150K bonus which is a large amount for the Pirates to give an international pitcher. Escobar was a 3B up to a few years ago but converted to pitching when he went unsigned. He shows promise on the mound getting his fastball up into the mid 90s but needs work on his breaking stuff. The conversion means Escobar is on the old side for a first time DSL player (18 years old) but his arm has potential and he has been solid so far this season.

Kozikowski, Sandfort and Roth are the best prep arms the Pirates selected and signed (aside from the traded Blake Taylor) in the 2012 and 2013 drafts. Sandfort was taken in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft and after a shaky debut in 2012 he rebounded with a very nice 2013 season. He missed a lot of bats which is odd for a Pirates pitching prospect at that level and while he struggled with his control he kept it pretty much under control. This year Sandfort moved up to Bristol and has shown improved control but his strikeouts are down and he has been getting hit hard. Roth is a similar story to Sandfort just a year removed. Roth was taken in the 16th round last year but ranked much better than that. He has a similar arsenal to Sandfort throwing his fastball in the low 90s with a solid curve and a work in progress change to compliment it. He too moved up to Bristol... [Read More]
    0 Replies | 2,415 Views

Jim Rutherford Deserves a round of applause

by Indiana Pittsburgh Fan | Jul 25, 2014 - 11:52 PM
When Jim Rutherford started in Pittsburgh, I think most people were disgusted by how he handled the first few weeks. But he has made some big changes, and some good ones at that.

One of the biggest problems the Penguins have had in the past few years is the bottom 6. They have not been the supporting cast that superstars like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin deserve. Let it be known, I'm not letting Crosby off the hook for his sub-par playoff performances. However, it is clear that the bottom 6 was an issue. The reason why it was such a struggle was forward depth. In recent years, Ray Shero has done a fantastic job supplying the Penguins with the young defensive talent they need, through good drafts and good development. Guys like Olli Maatta, Robert Bortuzzo, and Simon Despres. But can we say the same about the forwards?

Beau Bennett is probably the best forward that has been home grown in the past 5 years. Beau Bennett is a good hockey player, but that's not enough. So when you look at the offseason, you see that the forwards have been the main difference from last years team to this years. We all had to face the departure of James Neal, but in return we got a very hardworking and skilled Patric Hornqvist. Add in players like Steve Downie, a player we all loved to hate, and Blake Comeau, I'd say Rutherford knows what he is doing. Not to mention first round draft pick Kasperi Kapanen. Many experts are saying that Kaspanen has a real shot at seeing playing time this season. That's the kind of production I love to see from Jim Rutherford. So I say, we give him a round of applause. For now.
    3 Replies | 2,862 Views

Position Player Prospects

by battlingbucs | Jul 15, 2014 - 4:34 PM
As most of you know following the Pirates minor leagues is a hobby of mine and I keep a running top prospect lists as well as grades for most of the players in the Pirates organization. I'm no expert in the field by any means but I like to think I have well formed opinions on a lot of the players in the system. A couple times a year I go through an overhaul of my process and basically attempt to reset everything. Well I just recently finished that process for the Pirates position players and while I will always be tweaking the list I am ready to present it here.

After grading all the Pirates position player prospects I came up with 34 with a grade of C or higher. A grade C prospect for me is someone who has surpassed the point where he is just a project and is someone who if in the upper levels could be an immediate contributor in the majors (even in a bench role) or if farther from the majors has what I consider an above average chance to develop into a solid player. Not all of these guys have huge upsides or are likely to contribute but they are the ones that have caught my eye. I have them ranked 1-34 so let's count backwards.

34. Edinson Lantigua, OF
33. Danny Arribas, C
32. Chris McGuiness, 1B
31. Eric Wood, 3B
30. Michael Suchy, OF
29. Jaff Decker, OF
28. Jose Osuna, 1B

McGuiness and Decker find themselves on this list primarily because of their high floor. Both players are already in AAA and look like competent depth options for the majors. Ideally neither player should be in the majors full time but as a temporary fill in teams could do worse. Wood and Osuna have both seen their value take a bit of a hit. Both are power hitting prospects in A+ who haven't shown much power the past 2 seasons. If things don't change by the end of the year they might find themselves off the list. Lantigua and Arribas are players far away from the majors who I see as on the rise. Lantigua was just signed last year for 275K and looks like a solid all around left handed hitting outfielder who projects to add power as he matures. He has been a standout thus far this year in the DSL. Arribas is a catcher in his fourth year in the Pirates organization but his first of really catching full time (he split his time between 1B/3B/C while in the DSL and was blocked by McGuire last year). He has hit consistently well each year thus far and his defense has been solid despite limited experience.... [Read More]
    11 Replies | 4,991 Views

SteelerNation Has It's Bottom Feeders (Unfortunately)

by Steelreign | Jul 04, 2014 - 4:21 AM
SteelerNation is the BEST fanbase on the planet as far as I'm concerned. No other fanbase travels and supports their team better than SteelerNation, which is second to none, we are literally worldwide. We have taken over stadiums from Tampa to San Diego to London and we own Mexico. How many times have you gone on vacation and ran into another Steelers Fan (impossible not to) and talked like you've known each other for years? As good as most people in SteelerNation are, that I've come across, there are unfortunately a few bottom feeders among us.

recently, I came across a website that was Steelers related, called Steel-Balls so I thought I'd check it out.....


.....and the first thing I saw, ensured that I wouldn't read anything further on this site. This is a place, where evidently, the Jagoffs of our fanbase reside, to act as 8 year olds would, ripping on a woman of SteelerNation from her Steelers themed tattoos to the couch in the background of her photos. It's bad enough that this woman had to see herself get ridiculed and insulted, let alone anyone else. This fact bothered me to the point to where I have to rant about it in this article. What kind of site puts up a pointless blog article whose only intent is to insult, criticize and embarrass another fan for the way they show their pride for our Steelers? A site ran by someone who obviously has the mental capacity of the average Ravens fan. Why else would that pointless blog article not have been pulled by now?, as well as the idiotic comments that followed.

If you're looking for great sites for news and information on our Steelers, I would definitely avoid Steel-Balls and look to places like Pittsburgh Sports Forum, Steelernationlive.com, Rudy Reyes and Steeler Addicts among others, sites where you won't find the garbage that's on Steel-Balls (The Baltimore of Steelers related sites). I'm proud to be a lifetime member of SteelerNation, it's just a Shame that the people like those at Steel-Balls get to come along for the ride.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
    18 Replies | 11,129 Views

Pirates Finding New Identity This Season With J-Hay

by Steelreign | Jun 30, 2014 - 5:49 AM
Last season, the Pirates won 94 games and took the Cardinals to the brink of defeat, largely because the team took on the identity of starting pitcher AJ Burnett. They were brash and didn't care what anyone outside of the clubhouse thought or wrote, they just went out and proved everybody wrong. At the start of this season, minus AJ, that attitude seemed to be missing and the Buccos seemed to be adrift, but since May 9th, they seem to have found a new and different identity which has come from different individuals, like this year's sparkplug, Josh Harrison, the "little engine that could". The identity has gone from #STFD to sit back and watch what we do next.

While the starting rotation hasn't been as dominant this year, with Liriano, Morton and Cole getting off to slow starts, they have gotten consistent starts from guys like Brandon Cumpton, Jeff Locke and Vance Worley. The back end of the bullpen has struggled as well, blowing more saves this year than all of last season total, and with Jason Grilli now an Angel, Mark Melancon is the new closer. A 7th, 8th and 9th inning combo of Wilson, **** and Melancon should put the teeth back into the Shark Tank.

The new identity of this year's Pirates can be found on offense as I see it, and while it may not bring to mind the Lumber Company days, it's shaping up to be exciting nonetheless. You pretty much know what you're going to get out of Pedro and McCutchen, and it helps that Mercer and Marte appear to be coming around. Polanco has made them better since his arrival, but the most unexpected shot in the arm has been the guy who just won't go away, Josh Harrison. He has been electrifying with his performance and infectious attitude, and his performance has forced Clint Hurdle to find spots to get him in the lineup. He's been solid when filling in for an injured Neil Walker and Marte and gives Hurdle flexibility when guys need a day off. He is the Little Engine That Could, who has sparked the Buccos with his bat, his glove, and on the base paths (how about that Houdini act to escape that rundown). He has been the kind of player who may not win you a title, but one who you can't win one without.

Sent from my SM-N900V using Tapatalk
    9 Replies | 11,221 Views

Follow Us

Upcoming Games

There are no events scheduled within the next 30 days.

Recent News & Discussion

Mobile App


Members: 948
Threads: 17,323
Posts: 350,852
Welcome to our newest member, avangers

Online Members: 76

1 members and 75 guests
Most users ever online was 4,454, Sep-27-2011 at 01:16 PM.


Pittsburgh Sports Forum Donate Button
Pittsburgh Sports Forum Donation
Image Map


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.1.2