Saturday, March 30, 2013

5 Prospects to Watch in 2013

If you're a Pittsburgh Pirate fan, even if you just follow the major league team, you've probably heard about Gerrit Cole.  Future ace, flame throwing pitcher that hits 100 mph, #1 overall pick in 2011.  You've probably also heard of Jameson Taillon, too.  Ace potential, more likely a strong #2, huge fastball as well, #2 overall pick in 2010 (behind Bryce Harper).  After that, you might have heard about "that Mexican kid" (Luis Heredia) or that shortstop we have (Alen Hanson) or maybe the "next great outfielder" (Gregory Polanco).

So who are some prospects that casual fans may not have heard about that could be in line for great seasons?

Nick Kingham, RHP -- Kingham is a near certainty to start in Bradenton this year.  Kingham is a big bodied (6'-5") pitcher who looks to be a 200-inning workhorse one day.  He's a 2010 draft pick that has progressed nicely with a low to mid-90's fastball, with a decent curve and changeup.  It wouldn't be a total surprise to see Kingham get a late season promotion to Altoona if he has a good start to 2013.

Dilson Herrera, 2B -- With the huge breakout of Alen Hanson in 2012, now every prospector is looking for The Next Alen Hanson.  Most people feel that Dilson Herrera is that player, due to his similar small stature (5'-10") and big power profile for his size (8 HR between GCL and a cameo at State College).  Herrera, like Hanson, is a great candidate to skip short-season and play 2013 at West Virginia.  Herrera, like Hanson, strikes out a little too much but also can draw a walk, too.  If the Pirates didn't promote Hanson during his massive 2012, neither will Herrera get bumped up, so expect to see him at WV all year.

Robby Rowland, RHP -- Rowland came over last spring from the Diamondbacks in exchange for Brett Lorin.  With the D-backs, Rowland couldn't escape short-season ball due to horrible control and command.  But the Pirates took Rowland and taught him the 2-seamer sinker with great success.  He pitches to contact now and has sped up his work process, allowing his defense to do the work.  Rowland should also be in the Bradenton rotation along Kingham.  Ultimately, Rowland is a #3 or #4 starter at his peak, but those have huge value nowadays, too.

Tyler Glasnow, RHP -- Glasnow is a real gigantor, standing 6'-8" and seemingly still growing.  His fastball velocity continues to grow along with him.  Glasnow was drafted with an 89-91 mph fastball that in 2012 started to peak out at 96 mph.  This season should see Glasnow sit mid-90's and peak around 96-98 mph.  Glasnow is the furthest away from the majors of these first 4 guys, as he could start the season either at Jamestown (new short-season affiliate) or extended Spring Training to limit his innings pitched and then send him to West Virginia.  Glasnow needs to upgrade his changeup and curveball, but his pure potential puts him right next to Heredia and Taillon.

Barrett Barnes, OF -- When Mark Appel spurned the Pirates in 2012, Barrett Barnes became the highest-signed draft pick in the 1st supplemental round (thanks Ryan Doumit!).  Barnes started off very hot, showing both power and speed (5 HR and 10 SB in just 125 AB's), until his season came to an end with a leg injury.  Barnes is healthy and ready to go, with an outside chance to get accelerated to Bradenton in his first full season.  There's also a chance he goes to WV, which isn't the worst thing in the world, but a High A assignment would speak well of his development and put him in the same OF as Polanco.


  1. Every time I see you post a prospects list, I know you're still pining(PINING, I say!) for the Quincy Lattimore fjords.

  2. But he's young!!!! And he hits dingerz!!!

    Good lord, a portion of my soul would die with each poll vote he would get. Good riddance, Quincy. And your name sucks too.

  3. Your mouth sez "No, no!", but the bulge in your Kuppenheimer slacks sez "Yes, Quincy! 1,000 times yes!"

    Deny it all you like. I'm making certain the world knows the truth.