Results tagged ‘ pittsburgh pirates ’
After any Top 100 prospects list comes out, there’s going to be outrage, disbelief, dismay (there’s also some triumph, jubilation, celebration, but that doesn’t fit into the subject of today’s post). The list gets pored over and complaints about snubs come pouring in. You thought people were upset that Ben Affleck didn’t get a Best Director nod for “Argo”? You should talk to Astros fans about Delino DeShields Jr. Sheesh.
So, I thought it a good idea to throw out a Nos. 101-110 list. Yes, this could open a pandora’s box if guys aren’t on that list who you think should’ve been on the Top 100 to begin with. But I can deal with that. I’m happy to keep the conversation going. And keep in mind, the team Top 20s start rolling out on Monday, so there’ll be more fuel for the fire soon enough. Keep in mind, this next 10 isn’t a guaranteed list of who’ll be the first to move in when guys graduate as 2013 gets started, but clearly some names will come from this list onto the top 100 during the season. No time for expanding on this list, so here it is:
101. Dan Straily, RHP, A’s
102. Delino DeShields Jr., 2B, Astros
103. Luis Heredia, RHP, Pirates
104. Daniel Corcino, RHP, Reds
105. Brett Jackson, OF, Cubs
106. Marcell Ozuna, OF, Marlins
107. Michael Choice, OF, A’s
108. Tyler Thornburg, RHP, Brewers
109. Corey Seager, 3B/SS, Dodgers
110. Arodys Vizcaino, RHP, Cubs
Coming up with an 11-15 is easier for some position lists than others. Right-handed pitchers? A piece of cake. When the outfielders run the beginning of next week, that’ll be an easy assignment. But not all positions are as deep and there’s a drop-off the further you go down. There’s a reason why good catching is always in high demand — there isn’t enough supply to go around. So keep that in mind when looking at the 11-15 catchers.
Sebastian Valle, Phillies - He can really defend and has some pop, but plate discipline is holding him back.
Rob Brantly, Marlins – Quietly has made his way to the big leagues, chance to play every day for Marlins after Anibal Sanchez trade
Michael Perez, Diamondbacks – A 2011 draftee from Puerto Rico, Perez had a very solid Pioneer League season and is a solid defender.
Wyatt Mathieson, Pirates — A solid debut for the 2012 draftee, making the GCL All-Star team. Whether he catches long-term remains to be seen.
Tim Federowicz, Dodgers — The former UNC standout doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he can defend and can hit a bit.
You can read all about the Pirates prospects in the AFL, featuring Vic Black. You can also watch the video report, which focuses on Black, Brandon Cumpton and Gift Ngeope. Black and Cumpton are currently on the Pirates’ Top 20.
And Monday’s Star of the Day goes to…
Chase Anderson of the Diamondbacks. The right-hander, ranked No. 19 on the D-backs’ Top 20, has flown under the radar because of injuries that forced him to miss nearly all of 2011. But he had a very solid 2012 season in Double-A and he’s kept it up in the Fall League. In his third AFL start on Monday, Anderson tossed four shutout innings, allowing one hit and one walk while striking out five. He now has a 2.79 ERA over 9 2/3 IP, with the league hitting just .152 against him.
And we’re back.
Due to some technical difficulties, I wasn’t able to keep up my OMG (One More Guy) streak. But we’re back in operational mode for now, so I wanted to get back on board, this time with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Here’s their Top 10 prospects list.
Chase d’Arnaud, SS: The 2008 fourth-round pick out of Pepperdine has been making a fairly steady climb up the Pirates ladder, though his 2010 season, with the all-important jump from A to Double-A, led to some questions about what his ultimate ceiling might be.
d’Arnaud definitely can run — his 33 steals were second in the organization. In his first full season, he had shown an ability to to hit for average (.293) and get on base (.398) across two levels. He even had some extra-base pop, with 47 extra-base hits leading to a solid .454 SLG for a middle infielder. Last year with Altoona, though, he hit .247/.331/.377 and saw his strikeout rate go up.
Defensively, the brother of Blue jays catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud has the tools to be a good shortstop, with an outstanding arm and the speed to give him above-average range. That being said, he committed 28 errors at short last year and saw some time at second base. The Pirates still think he could be their shortstop of the future and if he can put his tools into play consistently, he has the ability to be just that in 2012. He’ll play shortstop for Triple-A Indianapolis this season.
Hey all. Sorry B3 has been on hiatus awhile. Me and Mrs. B3 were away for a week in honor of our 10th wedding anniversary (a complete blog post on that will be forthcoming, for those curious).
Back in the saddle now, the job has taken me to Lynchburg and Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday and today. Aside from getting driving through what I think was the worst thunderstorm ever to get from Lynchburg to the hotel here in Charlottesville, it was a very productive trip.
We got a little lucky yesterday. We came here with the objective of doing a feature on Orioles top prospect (and 2007 first-round pick) Matt Wieters. That mission was indeed accomplished, but we got a lot more bang for our buck. Turns out that Daniel Moskos was on the hill for Lynchburg and we got to talk to him post-game as well (throw in an interview with Carolina League batting leader Jim Negrych and I’d say we got our money’s worth. Look for all of this fine work in the coming days).
Remember, this wasn’t just a matchup of two first-round picks from last year. It was the guy the Pirates did take — Moskos — facing the guy everyone thought they should take — Wieters. It was pretty clear that the intrigue in that wasn’t lost on Moskos, who picked a good day (since we had come all this way) to have the best start of his pro career. He pitched into the seventh inning (6 2/3 to be exact) and didn’t allow a run, not walking anyone and allowing just three hits while striking out three. By my count, he induced 12 groundball outs (As an added bonus, he was facing Pedro Beato, a good pitching prospect in his own right. Beato had some nasty stuff, but was all over the place command-wise in the first inning, forcing his pitch count up and forcing him out of the game after four innings.).
The biggest reason for his success compared to some of his previous up-and-down outings? Fastball command. Now that may sound a little oversimplified since it’s always about fastball command, isn’t it? But it should be noted that the Pirates have asked Moskos to focus on throwing his four-seamer more often and more consistently. So some of the reasons he’s been a little inconsistent is that he’s, in effect, learning how to throw the pitch in on-the-job training. Last night, he simply had really good feel for the heater.
As for the Wieters-Moskos matchup? It looked like the catcher would have the upper-hand early, when he hit a ball opposite field off the wall in the first inning. But Moskos got him to ground out the next two times he faced him, so Round 1 goes to Moskos, though as the lefty put it — Wieters did go 1-for-3 and that’s about what people should expect from the guy.
As the resident draft guy, it sure was fun to see these guys play in person for the first time. Wieters is a ridiculous physical specimen and you wonder how a guy that big can stay behind the plate. But then you see him move and it makes some sense. He’s incredibly agile and athletic. Frederick manager Tommy Thompson was emphatic in his praise of how Wieters has handled the spotlight and about his leadership skills behind the plate. Keep in mind that he’s basically calling his own game for the first time. It’s one of the bigger problems with big college programs, in my opinion — everything is over-programmed and the coach controls everything. At Ga. Tech, Wieters wasn’t charged with anything — calls on pitch selection, location, even pickoff throws to first, all came from the dugout. Now, the O’s are asking Wieters to pick up all of those skills during his pro debut season. So far, he seems to be a quick study.
Today, I put on my draft hat and go to see Howie Long’s kid (Kyle), who’s actually a baseball player. Then we go on to watch University of Virginia tonight, so you can check out my report on that visit over at Geeking on the Draft.
I leave you with this: On the long drive down from Pittsburgh, I’m enjoying the farms and rolling hills of Virginia. Beautiful country, really. I pass by a little road-side store which sports a big sign that says, “FRIED CHICKEN GIZZARDS.” Now, I have no problem with any store selling anything and maybe that’s a delicacy in these parts. What is concerning to me is that it’s so popular that this place of business felt it would be a huge drawing card to trumpet that they carry the item.
Anyone know what fried chicken gizzards tastes like? And “it tastes like chicken” is not an acceptable response. If you want a recipe for this “delicacy,” check one out here.
I’ll catch up with y’all (see, I’m fitting right in) later.