Saturday, November 12, 2011

DBS 2012 Top 30 Pirate prospects - #15 to 11

Before we have a small dinner for friends tonight (post to follow tomorrow), I thought it was time to squeeze in a post about the start of the top half of the system, as determined by me.

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.

15. Nick Kingham (20) RHP, A -- Kingham is like a good Cuban cigar...once he starts, it's like a slow burn and he never goes out. OK...I've never had a Cuban cigar...I'm watching Die Another Day right now and they talked about a certain type. In real life, Kingham is the best prospect that you never hear about. He was drafted in 2010 and has been completely overshadowed by Taillon and Allie in terms of hype. This year Kingham pitched at State College and was fantastic. He pitched 71 innings, gave up 63 hits, but walked only 15 while striking out 47. From early July to the end of the season in September, Kingham did not give up more than 1 ER in any of his individual starts. At present, Kingham possesses an 89-92 mph fastball, curve, and developing changeup. He'll be at West Virginia in 2012 and is the best candidate to spring into the Top 10 next year.

14. Jarek Cunningham (22) 2B, AA -- Cunningham has incredible raw power, which is a bigger plus considering that he is a 2B. In 2011, Cunningham hit 15 HR, 23 doubles, and 6 triples in an injury-shortened 310 at-bats. Cunningham had a concussion in late July and never felt comfortable enough to come back. He did recover enough to play in the Arizona Fall League (going on right now). The bugaboos for Cunningham are twofold -- the first is his alarming K/BB rates. In 310 at-bats, he only walked 17 times (just under 6%) while striking out 82 times (around 26%). The second problem is his less than fluid defense at 2B. There may be a time when Cunningham has to move to the OF, but his bat should still carry him.

13. Rudy Owens (24) LHP, AAA -- Owens pretty much had a season to forget in 2011. In 112 IP, he gave up 129 hits, walked 32, and only struck out 71. He's this high based on what he showed in 2010 when he was dominant at Altoona. His velocity was down this year and there were rumors that he did not come into the season in shape. He missed some time with various injuries, as well. Owens was supposed to be a mid-sesaon callup in 2011. Now he's almost an afterthought. This is a make or break year for him.671

12. Justin Wilson (24) LHP, AAA -- Wilson has always been a half-step behind pitchers like Owens, Morris, and Locke. This year, though, Wilson started off hot before he fizzled out by the end of the year. He pitched 124 innings, gave up only 121 hits, and struck out 94, but he had an unseemly 67 walks which undercut his effectiveness. Wilson had a short stint as a reliever at the end of the season and was clocked at 97 mph from the left side. His future has always been suspected to be a reliever...there's a chance we'll see him in Pittsburgh in 2012 as one.

11. Matt Curry (23) 1B, AA -- Curry was placed too low at the start of 2011 and responded by abusing Low A pitchers, to the tune of .361/.477/.671 (1148 OPS). He was promoted to Altoona in late May, which was a 2 step jump in level. Curry did struggle at the level as he hit only .242/.320/.374 (694 OPS) with a marked increase in strikeout rate to 30%. I'm giving him a pass because of the 2 level jump, but he needs to prove himself in 2012 with the newly drafted Alex Dickerson presumably one level behind him at Bradenton.

1 comment:

  1. I still like Owens....because he has that awesome, awesome wide dude 'fro.

    He make wind up the suck as a baseball player, but he's always going to have the 'fro. That counts for something in my book.