Sunday, November 28, 2010

DBS' Top 30 2011 Pirate Prospects - #1 to #5

I'm sure that all 6 of you that regularly read this blog are breathlessly awaiting the final 5 prospects, so without further ado...(Again, age is the player's 2011 season age and my projected starting assignment follows)

5. Rudy Owens (23) LHP, AAA -- Does he have a man-perm? Yes. Is he a "soft tossing lefty"? Well, maybe a shade more than that. Ultimately, I think Owens will be a cross between Paul Maholm and Zach Duke, with a touch more velocity. He sits low 90's with his FB and his secondary stuff, including his change, is above average. For that reason and due to his near-major-league-readiness, I've included Rudy Owens in nearly every trade proposal package I've made this offseason. I would love to see him in Pittsburgh, especially after his 150 IP, 124 H, 23 BB, 132 K performance this year, along with a .226 BAA and 1.32 GO/AO ratio, but he may bring us more value in a trade.

4. Tony Sanchez (23) C, AA -- The only thing keeping Sanchez from #2 on this list is his injury-riddled 2010. He got hit in his cake cruncher twice, the second time fractured his jaw and ended his season too early. He also had a severe drop off in throwing performance this year, due to a lingering shoulder injury of some sort. At the plate, he was fantastic again in High A with a .314/.416/.454 (870 OPS) with his great plate discipline (15% BB rate, 20% K rate). But a catcher who can't throw and stay healthy can't play many other positions....

3. Starling Marte (22) OF, AA -- And here's the other poster child for the Training Room Most Valuable Player in 2010. Marte apparently lines his uniform with baseball-attracting magnets, because he has been hit by pitches an abnormally high number of times. It must be that he's crowding the plate or diving in too much. This year he broke his hamate (same as Alvarez and Tabata did in the past) and missed a chunk of the season. A broken hamate saps power numbers. The good news is that Marte hasn't displayed power yet. He did put up a High A line of .319/.387/.460 (847 OPS) with 26 steals in 35 attempts. His defensive reputation is also top-notch, so he's at least working with 4 tools, including the all-important hit tool.

2. Bryan Morris (24) RHP, AAA -- Morris had a huge rebound year after a disasterous 2009 that saw his injured and then suspended for a bad attitude. His 2010 was dominant in High A and then merely very good in Double A. His combined line of 133 IP, 124 H, 38 BB, 124 K's is remarkably similar to Owens and Locke's lines from this year as all three had great control numbers and just under 9 K/9 IP. Morris gets the extra credit for greater velocity and being promoted more aggressively in the past than both Locke and Owens. Remember how Owens was stalled out in Low A for way too long in 2009? And Locke was dominant in High A this year? Morris (and Owens for that matter) may see some time in Pittsburgh this year, especially after the June Super 2 deadline farce.

1. Jameson Taillon (19) RHP, SS/A -- A high school pitcher who hasn't thrown a pitch in anger yet as a Pirate is #1 on this list? Yep, that's what happens when you are this year's "IT" pitcher. Taillon is a 6'7" monster from the Woodlands of Texas (same area as Kyle Drabek) and has the upper 90's heat and present day secondary pitches to enable people to call him a future #1 pitcher and be able to keep a straight face. The interesting thing to watch is where the Pirates place Taillon to start the season. If he is truly on the fastest of fast tracks, they will place him in Low A where he can start in May after one month in extended and still get 22 starts at 5 innings per start to conserve his arm. If he is in State College in mid-June, it will be a little bit of a disappointment. Either way, the Ace of The Future is here in Taillon. Let's hope he delivers.


  1. hey man, i like your blog here. pretty much all awesome stuff. I got a question for you. How come there is a new guy at onlybucs. I used to be a member then i dont know what happened, i didnt get kicked off or anything but now no one can register. i would love to get in on the pool and have what i feel is allot to offer to the board. If you could get me an answer i would appericte it. there is no way to contact anyone over there. thanks so much.

  2. Maybe a little high for Marte till he shows some pop but otherwise i agree.

  3. Jon -
    Over the summer, there were some bad apples at OBN from an alternate board that were causing problems. As a result, they were purged (and their duplicate log in accounts) and registration was suspended. It really calmed things down for the most part.

    New people are only brought in by the mods if they personally know them or are vouched for by someone they trust.

    You can try to state your case to WV Bucco at

    As for Marte -- I like his 4 present tools with the allure of power still to come. Sanchez had a lost season of sorts with the jaw and the shoulder problem, so I dinged him a spot. Still like Sanchez a lot, though.

  4. Thank you very much. I am a die hard fan and by mean a troll. I will send him an email. My job permits me much more time online and 90 percent is spent on Pittsburgh Sports sites.

    As far as Sanchez, i didnt know he was having problems throwing out runners. In that case i can see him sliding. When we drafted him i was ok with the pick with the feeling he was almost a lock to be a productive MLB starter. I didnt get the Moskos feeling that it was just a "save a few dollars" pick. Man how good would Jason Heyward look in RF though.

  5. I was really hoping in 2009 that the Pirates would draft Tyler Matzek, but the more I read about Sanchez, the more it is conveyed how good of a person and how good of a leader he is.

    If he can provide near-Gold Glove defense and be competent with the bat, I would take that from a catcher. Especially if the leadership skills translate.