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 Post subject: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:05 pm 
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Right now, the Pirates have what I see as potential blue-chip hitting prospects. I think they rank as follows:

(1) Gregory Polanco: Left-handed hitter with good power, decent eye at the plate, plus speed, plus base-running. Good power to the opposite field, which is a critical factor in projecting a player. OBP skills together with power and lefty-hitting make him a top-end hitting prospect. He looks to be good enough to be a middle-of-the-order bat.

(2) Alen Hanson: Switch-hitter with good eye, decent walk rate, good power for smallish frame (had 62 XBH's, including 16 HR's in A-ball). Good production for level compared to age in 2012. Switch-hitter and is true with a lot of switch hitters, with right side his natural side, he is good from both sides. (The eventual decline seems to arise where a player faces 3x as many right-handed pitchers as lefties, at which point the R-handed hitting declines.) Good speed, but not a high SB percentage in A-ball. Highly ranked in part due to position (MI).

(3) Josh Bell: Knee injury robbed him of first season. Reports that he is 100% right now and working on smoothing out his approach. Excellent power, plus speed, plus arm in the OF. Tremendous bat speed. Switch hitter. A switch-hitter with great bat speed, power, and foot speed is a top-tier prospect. If he can keep his K rate under control, he is a superior prospect.

(4) Barrett Barnes: College OF'er who was selected with Pirates' 2nd round pick last season. R-handed OF'er who hit well in low-A last year. Good eye at the plate, power, solid speed. He projects as a legitimate corner OF player in a relatively short time given his solid walk rate, good power, good approach, and good speed.

(5) Dilson Herrera: Right-handed hitting SS. Very young for level last season (18 years old in low A). Good walk rate, good speed, and reports from first-hand observers indicate that Herrera has plus bat speed. He is my choice for the 5th best hitting prospect in large part due to optimism expressed by those in the know regarding Pirates' prospects, and who believe he is the 2013 Alen Hanson.

The Buccos have 2 of the top 14 selections in the 2013 draft. I suspect they grab another blue-chip hitting prospect in June. Looking over the top-end prospects, and believing the Pirates get another top-end bat this year, the top-end hitting prospects actually look pretty good. Criticism about the lack of depth are well-founded, but personally, I would rather have 6 or 7 blue-chip prospects than 3 blue-chippers and 6 lower-level prospects.


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:25 pm 
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Awesome list! I'd like to point out that Dilson Herrera is a second baseman now. Scouts said he does not have enough arm to handle SS duties. I can't wait to see what a healthy Josh Bell can do for a whole season provided he stays healthy.


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 3:46 am 
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Did Josh Bell get his knee injury doing those inappropriate boot-camp exercises?!

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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:44 am 
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Bertie wrote:
Did Josh Bell get his knee injury doing those inappropriate boot-camp exercises?!

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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:10 pm 
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Are we looking at all of these guys logging significant time at Bradenton this year, with the exception of Herrera?


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:43 pm 
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Good list, and I like those guys, but I don't think any of them will be on the Pirates in the next couple of years. In fact, 2015 is probably the earliest we can project any of those guys to play with the big club, right? I hope one of them manages to rocket up the system and get to Pittsburgh by 2014...


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 6:41 pm 
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Bertie wrote:
Did Josh Bell get his knee injury doing those inappropriate boot-camp exercises?!


Good one Bertie!


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:42 pm 
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J_C_Steel wrote:
Good list, and I like those guys, but I don't think any of them will be on the Pirates in the next couple of years. In fact, 2015 is probably the earliest we can project any of those guys to play with the big club, right?

The two who seem most likely to get some time with the Pirates in the latter part of 2014 would be Barnes, a quality college hitter with good command of the strike zone, and Polanco, who is simply too good a hitter to be stuck in high A this year.

I think Polanco moves to AA in July or so, and if he hits (I think he does), then he is in AA and well on the way to AAA or even starts in AAA in 2014.

Barnes was slowed a bit by injury, but will be in high-A at the start of this season. It is not unreasonable to see a player succeed in high A and then make it to the majors before the conclusion of the succeeding season.

But as regular contributors, I agree that 2015 is the projected date. Polanco and Barnes probably get some AB's and maybe some September playing time in 2014.


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:44 pm 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
Bertie wrote:
Did Josh Bell get his knee injury doing those inappropriate boot-camp exercises?!


Good one Bertie!

Why do I feel like George Burns? :D


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 Post subject: Re: Pirates hitting prospects
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:25 pm 
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