Monday, April 30, 2012

Pittsburgh Pirates Top Prospects 1-5

We finish the Pirates series today and I hope to start the Indian series as soon as possible....

1) Jameson Taillon-RHP
I give Taillon a shade of an advantage for the top spot over Gerrit Cole.
Taillon does not throw quite as hard as Cole,but he can still turn the heat up to the high 90's.
Taillon has an A+++ curve and frankly,it is unhittable when Taillon is on his game.
When I saw Taillon face the Hagerstown Suns last season,the Suns were overmatched anytime that Taillon threw the curve.
As in ZERO chance.
The fastball tended to get up into the zone and the Suns then had success.
Wilbur Miller says the only issue with Taillon is that he can allow the fastball to run high and flat and that can result in problems.
Taillon is currently at High A Bradenton and will not turn 21 until after the season concludes.

2) Gerrit Cole RHP
Most observers list Cole above Taillon by a nick,although I have the two reversed.
Cole has been known to hit 100 MPH and can be dominant at times.
Cole also however,has been known to post numbers that are less than the sum of his parts.
Cole has the same type of issues as Taillon,as in keeping the ball down and the fastball can occasionally get a bit straight and lack movement.
Cole does have all the tools to be a top of the rotation starter and will  hopefully mature to part of what could be a tremendous rotation in Pittsburgh....

3) Starling Marte OF
Marte is a four tool player that might even develop the fifth tool (power) as time goes along as his homer total at AA Altoona jumped dramatically last season.
Marte will steal 30 bases a season and plays such a strong defensive center field that he could move Andrew McCutchen to left,which in massive PNC Park is preferably manned by a plus defender.
Marte hit .332 with the Curve and cut down his strikeout total as well.
Marte could have started the season with the Pirates after a terrific spring training and only the urge to not rush him sent him to AAA Indianapolis.
I would bet that Marte is on schedule to make his debut in Pittsburgh by September and perhaps well before that....

4) Josh Bell OF
The best power prospect in the system was an expensive sign (five million) to keep Bell from the University of Texas and Bell instantly earned that title in a system that lacks power hitters.
The switch hitting outfielder does not appear to be a swing and miss guy and could hit for a strong average as well.
Bell looks to be a right fielder,although he could likely play center field right now.
Bell was fast tracked to Low A West Virginia and was holding his own until a recent knee injury that required surgery.
Bell is expected to return before the season ends.

5) Robbie Grossman OF
The breakout player of 2011 with a solid year in Bradenton as Grossman raised his average significantly and his power numbers dwarfed his previous pro numbers.
The only worry for me was that Grossman did that in his second year at the High A level.
Grossman walked over 100 times which shows a great deal of plate patience from both sides of the plate.
Grossman has the speed to play center,but might wind up in left considering his average arm strength.
Even though Grossman is still just 21,I am very interested in how he does at AA Altoona as my mild skepticism of his terrific 2011 is because of his repeat time there....

I hope to start the Indians series shortly when time permits....

No comments: