Saturday, November 27, 2010

DBS' Top 30 2011 Pirate Prospects - #6 to #10

Let's continue marching towards the top of the list. Time to enter the Top 10....

10. Chase d'Arnaud (24) SS/2B, AAA -- I still believe. d'Arnaud had a down season in 2010 with his triple slash line of .247/.331/.377 (708 OPS), but his walk rate was still slightly over 10%. His K rate did increase to just under 20%, though. There were rumors that d'Arnaud was battling pneumonia at the start of the season, but he never used it as an excuse. The bottom line is that he should move up to Triple A in 2011 and hopefully regain his mojo. There are some lingering doubts if he could play shortstop full time in the majors, but it sure would be helpful if he could at least be competent with his batting potential and speed (33 SB/40 ATT).

9. Colton Cain (20) LHP, A -- I love lefties that can gas it in the mid 90's and Cain has that potential. Cain was sidelined at the start of the year recovering from offseason back surgery, but he was ready for a brief GCL stint in June and was then moved to State College for the remainder of the year. His overall line of 48 IP, 35 H, 19 BB, and 47 K's was very positive, as was his .197 BAA. His GO/FO rate of 0.54 was a little disturbing. Cain should move up to Low A West Virginia and be part of a tantalizing rotation of ZVR, Taillon, Cain, and some others from State College (Dodson, Fuesser, Stevenson, Pounders). Cain should be recovered fully from his back injury (he was sitting 89-92 in 2010 on his FB) and be able to incorporate his slider more effectively.

8. Luis Heredia (16) RHP, R -- There are exceptions to every rule and Heredia is proof of that. In the past, I have been very militant against including internationals in the Top 30 polls until they hit the states. But Heredia is such a special talent, as evidenced by his $2.6M bonus (by far the largest international bonus in Pirate history) that the rules must be changed. The rumors are that Heredia already sits 92 with his FB at 16 years old, with plenty of room on his 6'6" (that's huge at 16, especially for a Mexican) and 185 lb frame. He will be right next to Taillon in terms of pitchers to watch this upcoming year. The only reason he's not higher is that he has miles and miles to go until he's close to the majors. But he is 16.

7. Jeff Locke (23) LHP, AA/AAA -- Locke came over in the McLouth trade and may be the Pirates best hope to salvage the trade, as Morton has struggled in the majors and Gorkys Hernandez is struggling to hit in AA. Locke is slightly more than a "soft tossing lefty" as he sits 89-91 with his FB and has a curve and changeup that are at least average. Locke very quietly had a fantastic year over two levels. He always seemed to be in someone's shadow this year...first in Morris's shadow at A+, then Owens's shadow in AA. Locke's combined stat line was 144 IP, 139 H, 26 BB, and 139 K's with a .251 BAA and 1.15 GO/AO rate. As shown above, Locke has fantastic control and enough swing and miss in his arsenal. He may be held back at AA as he had "only" 10 starts there, but realistically the AAA rotation should be his destination.

6. Stetson Allie (20) RHP, SS -- Allie was the 2nd most talked about draft pick by the Pirates in 2010. That happens when you're a high school senior that sits 95 on his FB and hit 100 during the year. Allie will probably be given the State College treatment in 2011, but it would be fantastic if he could open 2011 in Low A. Something to keep in the back of your mind...Allie is an older first year player as his March 13th birthday makes him 1 "year" older than most 2010 HS draftees. My only fear is that Allie is able to harness his fastball and develop some secondary pitches. I have the Ghost of Colt Griffin haunting my prospect dreams.

One list left to go...The Top 5 prospects as rated by me.

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