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| Aug 05, 2013 - 10:18 AM
Ivan De Jesus. He was part of the package Pittsburgh received in the Joel Hanrahan trade. He was previously traded to Boston from the Dodgers in the Adrian Gonzalez/Josh Beckett blockbuster deal..
The 26 year old former 2nd round pick of the Dodgers has raked at the plate his entire minor league career. He was named the Dodgers 2008 Minor League Player of the Year and owns a career .301 minor league batting average. Last year in LA, De Jesus was manager Don Mattingly's top bench option for a brief period of time. He was used as a pinch hitter on 16 occasions between May and June while batting .273.
For the most part, De Jesus hasn't experienced more than a few cups of coffee at the major league level. He was among the Pirates final cuts in Spring Training this year and Neal Huntington described him as "a versatile and reliable defender who can handle the bat."
So I ask...should Pittsburgh find a spot on the 25 man for him now? He's destroying AAA pitching this season with a whopping .332 BA supported by a respectable .865 OPS. He can play 2B or 3B and could be a decent PH option. For a Pirates team ranking 11th in the NL in hitting, De Jesus could be a nice addition to the bench.
Not to mention, it doesn't hurt to have a player sporting "Jesus" on the back of his jersey...
So this is my first ever Pirates blogpost. I will admit upfront that my knowledge of the Pirates, and really all baseball in general, is quite limited. So please forgive me in advance if I come across as ignorant to some of the obvious and/or subtleties of baseball. As most of you know, I am a huge statistics guy. And yes, this post is mostly statistics based. But I will give the same disclaimer as I always do. Statistics aren't facts per se, they are data that support a particular position/point.
This year thus far, has been an amazing ride for both the Pirates and BUCN as a whole. The success the Pirates have garnered up to this point has been phenomenal. In fact, for the first time since well, 1992, the Pirates are breaking or tying records with each successive win; as a team and as individual players/sub groups. It really is quite amazing, and as a member of BUCN that is displaced from Pittsburgh proper, it is nice to finally be able to hold my head high as I root and cheer and brag about the Pirates. For the record, I have been laughed at vehemently over the past 7-8 years I have lived outside of Pittsburgh as I've rooted and cheered for the Pirates, in spite of their lack of success.
So where am I going with this? The overall premise of this blogpost is to put into perspective how successful this Pirates team is, compared to last year. The results are surprising, and quite sobering. Now, I am not here to "burst anyone's bubble" rather, I want to show how the 2013 Pirates in spite of their similar record to the 2012 Pirates are actually quite different.
So let's dive in to the data:
2012 Record @ the ASB (July 8): 48-37 (85 games)
2013 Record @ the ASB (July 14): 56-37 (93 games)
But that statistic is skewed due to the unevenness of the games played. So lets break that down to the 85 and 93 game records of both seasons.
2012 (85 Games, July 8): 48-37
2013 (85 Games, July 5): 53-32 (+5 Wins better)
2012 (93 Games, July 21): 53-40
2013 (93 Games, July 14): 56-37 (+3 Wins better)
Wow, amazing how similar these two records are. In 2012, at the 85 game mark, the Pirates were 11 games over .500. In 2013, the Pirates were 21 games over .500, but only +5 wins better. At the 93 game mark, the 2012 Pirates were 13 games over .500. The 2013, the Pirates were 19 games... [Read More]
When a major league team is rolling like the Pirates are right now the minor leagues become a little less important in the eyes of most fans. This is especially true of the lowest levels as these players are probably at least 3 years away from helping their parent club. I'm no exception to that rule but I care pretty deeply about the minors so even when my care level drops it is still pretty high. Anyway itís been a while since I took a look down on the farm so I invite all of you to join me.
Outfielder Michael De La Cruz, who was one of the Pirates big international splashes in 2012, is having himself quote a season down in the Dominican Summer League. He isn't flashing much power but he is showing off good hitting skills and good plate discipline. Overall he has a .891 OPS which is mainly driven by his .473 OBP. De La Cruz is only 17 years old so this goes without saying he is having an excellent season and I would be surprised if he didn't get promoted to the states next year.
Tito Polo caught my eye last year with a very strong performance in the DSL. I had thought the Pirates might consider bringing him to the states but he is still very young so it is no surprise they left him in the DSL for another year. He isn't having quite as good a season as he did last year but he is still putting up a solid campaign showing both speed (20 SB) and plate discipline (.364 OBP). Like most players down in the DSL the power isn't there yet but he could develop it as he matures.
Third baseman Julio De La Cruz, the other big international signing in 2012, isn't having as good a season as Michael. Unlike most players down at this level he is showing some power with 4 HR and a .156 ISO but that is really all he has flashed. He has struck out more than 3 times as often as he has walked and is only hitting .208 on the season. The thought going into the year was he was a little bit farther along than Michael but right now that doesn't appear to be the case.
Catcher Yoel Gonzalez and shortstop Johan De Jesus were two other prominent signings from the 2012 class and both of them are really struggling this year. It bears repeating that for the most part the better prospects in this league (who are the ones I am focusing on) are usually between 16 and 18 years of age so these are very young ball players who are still learning the game.
On the pitching side of the ledger Richard Mitchell... [Read More]
| Jul 31, 2013 - 3:19 PM
Andrew-Lambo.jpg Andrew Lambo, 24, was drafted in the 4th round of the 2007 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. He played well enough early in his professional career to make the Baseball America top 50 prospects list prior to the 2009 season as well as being named the Dodgers top prospect.
His career came to a screeching halt when he was suspended 50 games for testing positive for a banned substance on May 1, 2010. Just a few months later, Lambo was traded to the Pirates (along with James McDonald) for reliver Octavio Dotel.
Lambo has spent the last 4 years in the Pirates minor leagues, bouncing back and forth between AA Altoona and AAA Indy. He has played well in his time, but he's never lived up to his once heralded "top prospect" status. Until now...
Lambo is arguably the hottest player in the Pirates organization. He has destroyed opposing pitchers equally in AA and AAA this season. Lambo hit 14 homers in AA this season and 14 more in AAA (Albeit having over 50 less AB's).
Maybe more impressive, Lambo has driven in 87 RBI this season to compliment his 28 HR and .923 OPS.
Pirates right fielders rank last in just about every significant offensive statistic and the organization failed to make a deal before the trade deadline. Lambo is just 24 years old and will soon be reaching his "prime" years as a professional baseball player. Lambo deserves an opportunity to drive in runs for the Pirates this year and the Pirates need to #FreeLambo as soon as possible.
Tyler Glasnow, the right handed pitcher for the WV Power, the 6í8Ē strikeout machine, the second coming of AJ Burnett. If you even consider trading a prospect of his caliber, you better read into his abilities much more than you obviously have.
Glasnow was drafted in the 5th round in 2011 from Hart High School in California. Starting off for the GCL Pirates in 2012, batters hit .156 against him. In 2013 he moved to the WV Power, and heís been 8-2 this season with 128 strikeouts over 92.1 innings pitched (yes you read that correctly). Thatís about 1.4 batters per inning.
When Tim Williams gave his mid season review of the Pirates prospects, Glasnow was the fourth pitcher, listed 8th, behind only Cole, Taillon, and Heredia. Glasnow, much like Burnett, has had control issues early in his minor league career, but has shown improvement with the Power. His ETA to the majors is 2015.
(***Fun Fact: Justin Wilson, Bryan Morris, and Vic Black were all listed lower than Glasnow on the prospects ranking.)
For those of you who doubt my AJ/Glasnow comparison and those who love stats, hereís how AJís BEST YEAR in single A ball stacks up against Glasnowís first year in single A ball:
... [Read More]
||AJ Burnett Class A Kane County Cougars (1998 season)
||Tyler Glasnow Class A WV Power (2013 season so far)