Tuesday, November 8, 2011

2012 DBS Top 30 Pirate Prospects - #20 to 16

This will be the post that covers the first half of the Top 30 prospects in the system, according to...this guy.

Just a reminder that the thresholds for prospectiness are no more than 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched, or 30 relief appearances at the major league level.

The number in parentheses is the player's 2012-season age, using the standard July 1st cutoff date. The level shown is my assumed level that the player will start at in 2012.

20. Bryan Morris (25) RHP, AAA -- Morris is the lone wolf remaining in the pack from the Jason Bay of 2009. Morris was forecast to be a mid-rotation starter, or even a #2 starter if everything went right, but last year he was injured again and moved into the Altoona bullpen where he experienced success and a velocity bump. At this point his durability must be questioned and the Pirates should try and get value out of him as a power reliever.

19. Zack Dodson (21) LHP, A+ -- Dodson started off well in West Virginia and a case could have been made early on that he was the best starter on a staff that included Jameson Taillon and Colton Cain. Then Dodson got injured and started a long rehab sojourn that saw him spend time in the Gulf Coast League and State College again. His Low A stats were 66 IP, 61 hits, 15 walks, and 46 strikeouts with a 2.57 ERA. Dodson should move up to Bradenton to start 2012 and be part of a stunning rotation that may be Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Dodson, Colton Cain, and...some other guy (maybe Fuesser?).

18. Jordy Mercer (25) SS, AAA -- Mercer has seen fellow 2008 draftees Pedro Alvarez and Chase d'Arnaud experience the good life at the major league level. Mercer's turn may come at some point in 2012. After a down 2010, Mercer rebounded to have an impressive display of power at Altoona in 2011 (13 HR's) and another 6 HR after being promoted to AAA Indianopolis. His overall season line between the two levels was a so-so .255/.317/.440 (757 OPS), but 30 doubles and 19 home runs plus above-average defense at shortstop, will get you a look in just about any system. Interesting note about Mercer -- here's his batting averages by year with the Pirates: 2008 (.250), 2009 (.255), 2010 (.282), 2011 (.255). So let's just pencil him at a .250 batting average in the majors and move on.

17. Clay Holmes (19) RHP, SS -- So a tall, projectable high school righty pitcher walks into a bar...Holmes is a 2011 draftee (6'-5") and has a fastball that sits 91-93 right now. His other pitches are a mixed bag right now, but the Pirates offered him $1.2 million on the promise of better things to come. He will join a bunch of other tall righties at State College in 2012.

16. Stetson Allie (21) RHP, A -- This will probably be one of the lower rankings you'll see for Allie this offseason. I just can't hype up a pitcher that had as bad a 2011 as Allie did. His final line at State College (as a starter and reliever) was 26 IP, 20 hits allowed, 29 walks, 28 strikeouts, 9 hit batters, and a 6.57 ERA. Add in that his age makes him one year older than most HS players in his 2010 draft class and his projection of being a reliever (a sentiment shared by Allie himself) and you see why I have him here.

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