Tuesday, November 17, 2009

DBS' Top 30 2010 Pirates' Prospects - #11 - 15

Continuing on with my personal Top 30 list and the appropriate comments. Remember the age is the players 2010 season-age (July 1 cutoff) and the level my assumed assignment.

11. Jeff Locke (22) LHP, AA -- Jeff Locke and another Pirates' trade acquistion, Bryan Morris, got lumped in together this year as under-achieving players. But Locke improved down the stretch, has at least been not as much as an injury concern as Morris, and did not have "makeup" concerns this year like Morris did. Locke has the full arsenal and the additional bonus of being a lefty.

12. Colton Cain (19) LHP, R/SS/A -- Perhaps I have a blind spot for power-throwing lefties, so sue me. A lefty that can gas it at 94-95 at age 18 is a great starting point for a top of the rotation pitcher. For me, Cain is 1A behind ZVR in terms of ceiling in the high school pitchers we drafted in 2009. Cain may also follow ZVR by starting at State College before moving to West Virginia.

13. Quinton Miller (20) RHP, A+ -- Quinton Miller was like a Gatorade cooler in the middle of the desert during the 2008 draft season. Pirates fans were not used to us drafting a high-end high school pitcher under the reign of terror known as Dave Littlefield's tenure. Miller may have had too many expectations heaped on him going into 2009 (by me, too), but he had a very acceptable season for a 19 y.o. in Low A. He will move up with a very crowded staff to Bradenton this year.

14. Robbie Grossman (20) OF, A+ -- Grossman was another oasis from the 2008 draft as a high-end high school position player. Grossman in 2009 played the full season in Low A, with no extended training or short season ball in his path. However, he had serious contact issues, with an over 30% K rate and little power. So why so high? Grossman drew a tremendous amount of walks, played a competent CF, and stole 30+ bases. His K rate was disportionate while batting L (he's a switch hitter), so it may be a decision in 2010 to abandon switch hitting if the results do not improve.

15. Gorkys Hernandez (22) OF, AA/AAA -- To this point in his career, the best facet of Hernandez's game has been "tradeability". Originally a product of the Detroit Tigers, Gorkys was included with Jair Juirrens in the Renteria deal to Atlanta. Then, of course, he came here with Morton and Locke for Nate McLouth. Gorkys has blinding speed that doesn't translate well to stolen bases, a moderate amount of power, and fantastic defense. But where does he fit with the Pirates? McCutchen has CF locked down as long as he wants, so Hernandez would move to LF most likely due to the vastness of PNC. But his power does not profile well there....he actually would be much like the erstwhile Nyjer Morgan. He seems like a 4th OF, but age is on his side still.

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