Friday, November 22, 2013

DBS Top 30 Prospects 2014 - #25 to #21

We kicked off the first part of this six part epic series a couple of days ago.  The ground rules and ranking methodology were in that post, for reference.

#25 Clay Holmes, RHP (21), A+ -- Holmes had more fanfare than Tyler Glasnow in the 2011 draft, but Glasnow has broken out in a big way, while Holmes has struggled.  Such is the life of drafting prospects.  However, it's not time to give up on Holmes (unlike...say...Zach von Rosenberg from the 2009 draft).  Holmes' 2013 was "eh" on ERA (4.08), good on K's (90 in 119 IP) and terrible in BB's (69 in those same 119 IP).  He'll move up to a potentially crowded Bradenton rotation and really needs a strong year, lest he'll get lost in the shuffle of the amazing pitching depth in this organization.

#24 Casey Sadler, RHP (23), AAA -- Sadler was just recently added to the Pirates' 40-man roster, so they at least think his future will be with the team at some point.  Sadler had a breakout season in 2012 with Bradenton, but saw his K/9 peripheral drop significantly in 2013 at Altoona.  Sadler had a respectable season (3.37 ERA, 136 IP, 72 K, 43 BB), but his odd 3/4 delivery may not play out in the majors as a starter.  Ultimately, I think he's a middle reliever.

#23 Jin-de Jhang, C (21), A -- Jhang is a Taiwanese international signee that the Pirates are quite high on.  His offense for a catcher is promising (.277/.338/.413, 751 OPS) and his defense is good.  This year should see him go to full-season ball for the first time, as he's part of the jumble of catchers with Mathisen and McGuire.  Right now, he seems more like a backup or the lesser part of a job share, unless one of the bat or glove becomes spectacular.

#22 Joely Rodriguez, LHP (22), AA -- Rodriguez was also recently added to the 40-man roster by the Pirates.  I've been a fan of his for a while, because left handed pitchers with any modicum of velocity are my Achilles heel (imagine how much I like Justin Wilson).  Rodriguez has dealt with some injuries and so-so results throughout his career, but he seems poised to show his stuff coming off a good season split between WV and Bradenton (2.70 ERA, 140 IP, 39 BB, 101 K).  Rodriguez has demonstrated an incredible ability to generate ground balls, which gives him bonus points with the front office.

#21 Jason Creasy, RHP (22), A+ -- People ask me all the time (no they don't) 'Who is a sleeper in the Pirates' system?' My answer for this year would be Jason Creasy.  Drafted in the 8th round in 2011 (along with Holmes and Glasnow, to say nothing of Gerrit Cole), Creasy has been overshadowed.  Part of it was his own doing, as his 2012 was kind of bad.  But he broke out in 2013, first as a reliever in WV and then as a starter.  His stats for both were very good (Reliever -- 3.16, 42 IP, 7 BB, 41 K and as a Starter -- 2.47 ERA, 65 IP, 17 BB, 55 K), but I would expect him to be used as a full time starter in 2013 for the aforementioned crowded Bradenton rotation.

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