Thursday, December 20, 2012

DBS Top 30 Prospects 2013 -- #10 to #6

If you're a Pirate farmhand and you want a piece of this action, you can't have more than 50 innings pitched in the majors, 30 relief appearances in the majors, or 130 at-bats in the majors.

#10.  Matt Curry, 1B (24), AAA -- I'm too high on Matt Curry for some non-explained reason.  My only rationalization is that there are no other good candidates for the 10 spot.  Curry had a .285/.352/.480 (832 OPS)  Dickerson and Osuna have similar batting profiles and position, but Curry is further up the chain.  Herrera is too young for me to really justify putting him at 10, so here we are with Curry.  He may not have enough bat for a full-time 1B -- a full season in AAA in 2013 will determine that -- but right now he is the placemarker at 10.

#9.  Kyle McPherson, RHP (25), AAA/MLB -- Kyle McPherson sports a 92-93 mph fastball and good changeup.  His slider is workable and he has the upside of a #3-4 starter.  The downside is that he missed time at the start of the season with shoulder issues and then recently had more shoulder issues in winter ball.  There currently exists a wide open chance at the rotation and both McPherson and Locke (ineligible for the list) are the top 2 candidates.  If the shoulder problems persist, McPherson could be converted to a late-inning reliever.

#8.  Clay Holmes, RHP (20), A -- Holmes, like Nick Kingham in 2011, had a great 2012 campaign at short-season State College.  Holmes pitched 59 innings and only gave up 35 hits while walking 29 and striking out 34.  The walks are too high and that will need to be monitored, but so far the 2011 overslot pick is very promising.  Holmes will move up with Luis Heredia to form a formidable 1-2 punch in the West Virginia rotation.  Holmes is the kind of guy you'll need to be patient with as he gets refined over the next 3 years, but his upside is a #3 starter or #2 if things break right.

#7.  Nick Kingham, RHP (21), A+ -- ...and speak of the devil here's Nick Kingham.  Going into the season, I felt that Kingham had the chance to break into the ML-wide Top 100 of some publications.  Then he got off to a horrendous start in West Virginia in April (8.59 ERA).  He proceeded to right the ship over the remainder of the year, with a poor June sprinkled in, and finished with a very respectable line over 127 innings.  He allowed only 115 hits, struck out 117 and walked only 36.  Kingham's 6'-5" frame portends a workhorse #2 starter.  Kingham has a heavy mid-90's fastball and good curve and changeup.

#6.  Josh Bell, OF (20), A -- Early in the 2012 season, Bell tore his meniscus.  His normal recovery path would have put him back in August.  His knee would not drain properly, however, and remained inflamed. After a period of rest, it was hoped he could participate in Fall Instructionals, but that did not happen either.  Bell recently underwent a Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection in hopes to reduce the inflammation.  Bell's lost season will be forgotten if he comes back strong in 2013.  His power potential is too great to ignore.

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