Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pirates' Minor Leaguers - opening weekend

The minors started on Thursday (the 2nd opening day of the baseball season) and so far, the majority of the Pirates' top prospects and key players have gotten off to good starts.

The power hitters are hitting for power, the speed guys are stealing bases. And we have some 2nd and 3rd tier guys stating their cases as well.

At West Virginia (Low A), the bats were slow to start the season, but Jarek Cunningham is batting .375. Off the radar guy David Rubenstein is batting .400 in the early going and Evan Chambers has more BB than K's. Quinton Miller had a nice debut start going 5 IP, 1 run (unearned) with 1 BB and 3 K's.

In Bradenton (high A), the bats have been on fire in the supposedly-pitcher friendly FSL. Robbie Grossman is batting .500 thru the first 3 games with 2 BB and zero (!!!) K's. He may not have gone 3 consecutive games at any point last season without striking out. Starling Marte is off and running (.364) and DBS whipping boy Quincy Latimore is at .400 with 1 HR and 2 BB's. But the star at the plate has been Jeremy Farrell, heretofore a 3rd tier prospect at best. He is hitting .455 with 3 HR's and 12 RBI's. On the mound, both Locke and Morris have pitched decent starts their first times out. Hopefully, they move up sooner than later.

At Altoona, most of the bats have been slow to start, but Jordy Mercer is swinging at a .417 clip with 1 SB. Chase D'arnaud is only at .214 in the very early going. Jared Hughes had a decent first start with 5 IP, 4 K's and 1 R allowed.

In Indy, the future-is-now crowd of Alvarez, Tabata, and Lincoln have a mixed bag of results. Pedro has only 3 hits (.176) but all 3 are HR's and he already has 3 BB's. Tabata is batting .350 with a couple of 2B's and 2 SB's. Lincoln had a rough first game, giving up 3 HR's but did strike out 4 in his 3 IP. Walker is living up to his name, with 3 BB and 0 K's so far. And Pearce is making a case for getting a call up with a .471 start.

Hard to believe the minor league season is already nearly 3% done. Where has the time gone?

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