Monday, August 24, 2009

The Boys...

OK, day off. With call-ups a week or two away, we thought it would be a good time to peek at the system. This list consists of the all the new guys that arrived via trade and the home-grown prospects:

-- RHP Nate Adcock (from Seattle) The 21 year-old is 3-0 at Lynchburg. In 14 innings, he's got an ERA of 3.21 with 10Ks and 4 walks.
-- RHP Tim Alderson (from San Francisco) The 20 year-old (he'll be 21 in November) has a combined 8-1 record with a 3.57 ERA in AA. He's started 17 times, gone 93-1/3 innings, and walked 21 while striking out 60.
-- 3B Pedro Alvarez (first round - 2008) The 22 year-old lefty has a line of .330-10-32 at Altoona; combined with Lynchburg's stats, he's .283-24-87.
-- 1B Calvin Anderson (twelfth round - 2008) At 22, Anderson is raw, but the 6-7 first sacker is hitting .282-12-61 at West Virginia, good power numbers for an A batter.
-- 1B Jeff Clement (from Seattle) The man without a glove, he'll come up in September and let Perry Hill teach him a little first base. The 26 year-old's combined AAA line is .280-21-88, and he's one of the very few Pirate power bats in the system.
-- SS Chase d'Arnaud (fourth round - 2008) In his first full season, the 22 year-old is hitting .285-6-54 between West Virginia and Lynchburg.
-- SS Argenis Diaz (from Boston) The 22 year-old Venezuelan better have a great glove. He's hitting .196 with 2 RBI at Indy, and doesn't have an extra-base knock in 28 games. His OBP is .260, and so far hasn't been much to write home about.
-- C Robinzon Diaz (from Toronto) After a cup of coffee in Pittsburgh (.295-1-18), he's the third catcher, and batting .275-3-14 at Indy. He'll be 26 in mid-September.
-- 2B Shelby Ford (third round - 2006) Ford was a fast tracker until he landed in Indy this season, where he hit a sickly .188. The 24 year-old is at Altoona now, where he's batting .260. Ford injured his wrist in Florida, so it's to be seen if this is an injury bump or if he hit the wall at AAA.
-- SS Brian Friday (third round - 2007) The 23 year-old has questions about his bat and durability. He's hitting .262-7-38 at Altoona, with a good eye and a .363 career OBP.
-- CF Robbie Grossman (sixth round - 2008) He's doing OK for a kid that was playing high school ball last year, with a .268-5-41 line at West Virginia. The switch-hitter has stolen 32 bases in 43 tries. He'll turn 20 in the middle of September.
-- IF Josh Harrison (from Chicago) The 22 year-old Harrison is now at Lynchburg, and has a combined .319-6-54 line with three teams. The fireplug has stolen 30 of 41 bases. He's played second, third and in left field, and is being groomed as a MLB utility guy.
-- 1B Matt Hague (ninth round - 2008) The 24 year-old is hitting .289-5-45 for Lynchburg.
-- CF Gorkys Hernandez (from Atlanta) He's hitting .256 at Altoona; his combined AA line is .282-3-42. Hernandez has stolen 17 bases in 30 tries, a mere 57% success rate. The Venezuelan is a highly regarded prospect who won't turn 22 for another ten days.
-- C Steve Lerud (third round - 2003) Lerud was thought of highly enough to be placed on the 40-man roster, but now is looking up at a slew of catchers. The 24 year-old lefty is hitting .247-3-22 at Altoona.
-- RHP Brad Lincoln (first round - 2006) After pitching lights out at Altoona, he's finding life not so sweet at Indy. The 24 year-old is 4-2 with a 5.72 ERA. In 50-1/3 innings, he has walked 10, and struck out 31.
-- LHP Jeff Locke (from Atlanta) Locke is 3-4 with a 4.69 ERA at Lynchburg. In 63-1/3 innings, he's struck out 42 and walked 16. Locke will be 22 in November.
-- RHP Brett Lorin (from Seattle) The 22 year-old lefty starter has pitched well in A this year, with a 5-5 slate, 2.44 ERA, and 100 K's and 33 walks in 107 innings.
-- CF Starling Marte (free agent) After a strong year in the Dominican league, marte's doing even better in the states. He's hitting .319-2-28 with 20 stolen bases in 27 attempts. Marte will turn 21 in October.
-- RHP Daniel McCutchen (from New York Yankees) He's the ace of the Indy staff, with a 13-6 record and 3.36 ERA. McCutch has struck out 110 and walked 24 in 136-2/3 innings. He's likely to come up in September, if he doesn't opt to play for the US. McCutchen will be 27 in late September.
-- SS Jordy Mercer (third round - 2008) The Bucs drafted him for his bat, and haven't been disappointed. He's hitting .254-8-70 for Lynchburg. mercer will be 23 this week.
-- RHP Quinton Miller (twentieth round - 2008) Drafted out of high school, he pitched well for short season State College, but has found the going a little rougher in West Virginia. He's 2-3 with a 5.49 ERA, and 27 Ks and 18 base on balls in 41 innings in A. But he's got time to master some control; he won't be 20 until November.
-- RHP Bryan Morris (from Los Angeles Dodgers) This has been a lost year for the 22 year-old Morris. Coming off injuries and a suspension, he's pitched well his last couple of starts, but his numbers are 4-6 with a 4.94 ERA, and 27 Ks and 24 walks in 58-1/3 innings.
-- LHP Danny Moskos (first round - 2007) Yah, yah, Matt Weiter, we know. The 23 year-old lefty has been transformed into a starter, and he's 10-9 with a 3.78 ERA at Altoona. He's pitched 131 frames, and walked 53 and K'ed 62. That's way too few strikeouts and high on the walk rate, too.
-- IF Jim Negrych (sixth round - 2006) Altoona's Negrych is out for the rest of the year. In 92 games, he hit .272-3-30. The 24 year-old Pitt grad is considered a Delwyn Young lite. He's a career .308 batter without a position to call his own.
-- LHP Rudy Owens (twenty-eighth round - 2006) The 21 year-old lefty burst on the scene this year. He's a combined 11-2 at West Virginia and Lynchburg, with a 1.89 ERA and in 119 innings, has struck out 110 and walked just 16 while holding opponents to a .212 BA. He's approaching his inning limit and won't work much in the final couple of weeks for the Hillcats.
-- RHP Aaron Pribanic (from Seattle) He's a combined 9-7 in A ball with a 3.11 ERA. Pribanic has gone 107 innings with 64 Ks and 29 walks, another guy with an iffy strikeout ratio. He'll be 23 next week.
-- C Tony Sanchez (first round - 2009) Hey, looks like a bargain so far. The 21 year-old is hitting .339-6-39 at West Virginia, and is the only 2009 draftee to start off in the regular minors.
-- RHP Hunter Strickland (from Boston): Strickland is a combined 8-5 with a 3.15 ERA in A ball, with 66 strikeouts and 16 walks in 111-1/3 innings. He'll turn 21 at the end of September.
-- OF Jose Tabata (from New York Yankees) The 21 year-old Venezuelan is hitting .333 at Indy in 18 games. He's shown little power, but hit over .300 at Altoona before being promoted and recovered nicely from the media storm his wife caused earlier in the season. The Bucs don't appear ready to call him up yet.
-- RHP Ron Uviedo (free agent) The 22 year-old Venezuelan (he'll be 23 in October) was added to the 40-man roster. He's being converted from the bullpen to a starter, and is 5-5 with a 3.53 ERA at Lynchburg, with 73 strikeouts and 23 walks in 89-1/3 innings.
-- 3B Neil Walker (first round - 2004) The switch-hitter is heating up now, after having another terrible start. His line is .255-12-62 at Indy. He'll turn 24 on 9/10. Walker is expected to join the big club in September.
-- LHP Justin Wilson (fifth round - 2008) The 22 year-old lefty has a 6-7 record and 4.33 ERA at Lynchburg, and has been pitching much better down the stretch as he's getting acclimated to the pro game. In 108 innings, he has 89 K and 48 walks, so he still has some command issues to work out.

Two things struck us. First, the prosepcts are very young; they won't be arriving at PNC for awhile. And secondly, for a team that loves big hulking hurlers, there are quite a few guys with less than sparkling strikeout rates.

It doesn't seem like the Pirates will call many guys up this September. Half of Indy is already on the Pirate roster, and no use starting the clock too soon. Our uneducated guess is that Clement, Diaz, Walker, probably McCutchen and Eric Hacker will get the call.

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