Wednesday, November 11, 2009

DBS's Top 30 Pirates Prospects - 2010

Over at OnlyBucs in December of 2008, I was bored. So I put up a poll of 25 names or so and asked people to rank who they thought the #1 prospect was. I thought, maybe at best, we could do a Top 10.

Well, it caught on like a house on fire, and eventually went all the way out to 30. People love to talk and argue about prospects!

This year, we started the OBN Top 30 again and the response has increased by over 50% in votes from last year.

I struggle to not jaundice the polls with my opinions, though. But now I have a forum to put up my guys and the reasoning behind it.

The number in parentheses in the players' 2010 age, using July 1 as the cutoff. His position and expected starting level follows:

1. Pedro Alvarez (23) 3B, AAA/MLB -- Alvarez is a legitimate home-grown power threat, something the Pirates have not had since Aramis Ramirez. My concerns about his K rate have lessened and he is semi-respectable against LHP. Even if he has to shift to 1B, the bat will play.

2. Brad Lincoln (25) RHP, AAA/MLB -- Lincoln has shown that he has rebounded from Tommy John surgery and is ready to challenge for a spot in the Pirates' 2010 rotation. He has a mid 90's fastball and perhaps the best curve in the system.

3. Jose Tabata (21) OF, AAA/MLB -- So many questions swirl around Tabata that it seems like he is permanently enveloped in a fog sometimes. The rumors that he may not really be 21, his perceived lack of hustling, and his long term ability to hit for power will not go away. If he can play a competent RF, bat .300+, and generates lots of doubles and 15 HR's, I will take it.

4. Tony Sanchez (22) C, A+/AA -- Sanchez was a much-maligned pick in 2009, as he was seen as an overdraft and a cheap way out by ownership. He proceeded to put down a huge debut season with the bat, a so-so season behind the dish (the exact opposite of what was expected) and impress me with his commitment and winning attitude. Playing the most important defensive position doesn't hurt either.

5. Tim Alderson (21) RHP, AAA -- Ahh, the curse of the Pirates prospect. With SF, Alderson was #2 behind only Madison Bumgarner. He was a future #2 starter with impeccable control. He gets traded to the Pirates for Freddy Sanchez and all of sudden he is complete trash. Reports came from every corner that his velocity was way down and he would be, at best, a #5 starter. I think the Pirates will straighten out his awkward delivery and extrapolate a few more MPH on the fastball.

I'll post more prospects later....this is already turning into quite a missive.

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