Monday, July 26, 2010

The Young Turks

Just to add to the last post, here's what the pitchers drafted by Pittsburgh in 2009 are doing:

Victor Black (RHP, 23, 1st round sandwich pick, Dallas Baptist): 1-2, 3.45 ERA with 33 K in 31-1/3 IP at State College; 0-0, 9.45 ERA with 8K and 5BB in 4-2/3 IP at West Virginia.
Brooks Pounder (RHP, 19, 2nd round, Tecumseh Valley HS): 2-2, 3.04 ERA, 20 K in 23-2/3 IP in GCL; 2-2, 4.63 ERA, 19 K in 23-1/3 IP at State College.
Zack Dodson (LHP, 20, 4th round, Medina Valley HS): 0-2, 6.08 ERA in 23-2/3 IP with 18 K and 13 BB for State College.
Nathan Baker (LHP, 22, 5th round, Ol' Miss): 6-5, 2.99 ERA in 87-1/3 IP with 63 K and 1.01 WHIP at West Virginia; threw 8 inning no-hitter.
Zachary Von Rosenberg (RHP, 19, 6th round, Zachary HS): 1-5, 5.23 ERA, 31 IP with 19 K for State College.
Trent Stevenson (RHP, 20, 7th round, Brophy Jesuit Prep):Pitched 5 innings in GCL; 0-1, 3.93 ERA in 18-1/3 IP with 8 K at State College.
Billy Cain (LHP, 19, 8th round, Waxahachie HS): 0-1, 3.77 ERA in 14-1/3 IP with 15 K; 0-0, 3.00 ERA in 6 IP with 6 K at State College.
Phillip Irwin (RHP, 23, 21st round, Ol' Miss): 5-1, 2.66 ERA in 73-2/3 IP with 69 K for West Virginia; threw a seven inning no-hitter.
Zachary Fuesser (LHP, 20, 34th round, Walters State CC): 0-1, 4.30 ERA in 23 IP with 21 K and 12 BB for State College.
Teddy Fallon (RHP, 43rd round, South Carolina @ Spartansburg): 0-0, 5.06 ERA in 5-1/3 IP with 3 K and 10 BB for State College; just promoted to West Virginia.

Baker, Irwin, and Cain are off to good starts; the rest, statistically, aren't performing real well, though most of them have a good strikeout ratio. And that's the key indicator at this stage of their profession.

The Pirates stress fastball command at the lower levels, so not only are the kids facing pro batters for the first time, but they're doing it with one hand tied behind their back, throwing the old number one.

But hey, the point isn't how they're doing now; that's immaterial in the early stage of their careers. The point is, as mentioned before, that the Pirates have restocked the pitching pool to a degree, but don't have anyone that's within shouting distance of Pittsburgh from the Neal Huntington era, and won't for awhile.

The suits, seeing how devoid the organization was in arms, veered 180 degrees from the old bosses and pinned their hopes on high school arms rather than later round college kids. And that's a sound way to stock the system for the long term.

But even if they hit the trifecta and land Jameson Taillon, Stetson Allie, and Luis Heredia this year, they can't expect full-time help from the last two pitching-rich classes until 2013. And that gap, especially with all the positional prospects already at PNC, is what they'll have to address in the coming seasons.

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