Thursday, June 17, 2004

Bucs 30

PITTSBURGH’S TOP 30 PROSPECTS
According To VORB

1. Jon VanBenschoten, RHP, Nashville, 4/14/80. Finally figuring things out at AAA; should join Bucs rotation soon. ETA: late 2004.
2. Bryan Bullington, RHP, Altoona, 9/30/80. Respectable so far, but must improve K/9 rates. ETA: 2005.
3. J.J. Davis, OF, Nashville, 10/25/78. Concerns about attitude stopping Pirates from playing minor league masher who could help them now if given the chance. Now on Kafkaesque rehab assignment. ETA: NEVER.
4. Ian Snell, RHP, Altoona, 10/30/81. Little guy, big sleeper: best performance record of any Pittsburgh pitching prospect. ETA: late 2005.
5. Freddy Sanchez, IF, Injury Netherworld, 10/21/77. Middle infielder could hit .300 in majors, but lacks much power or plate discipline. Future McClendon fave, then. ETA: soon.
6. Sean Burnett, RHP, Nashville, 9/17/82. Control guru isn’t fooling anyone yet at AAA, but may be called up soon anyway. ETA: 2004.
7. J.R. House, C, Nashville, 11/11/79. Great bat, but serious injury issues. Must silence grumbles about his defense to avoid move to first base or outfield. ETA: 2005.
8. Zach Duke, LHP, Lynchburg, 4/19/83. 1.26 ERA, 78 K, 14 BB in 13 starts. Wow.
9. Ryan Doumit, C, Altoona, 4/3/81. Catcher with reasonable defense and a very good bat. May force House to a corner spot. I’m too lazy to turn that into a pun. ETA: late 2005.
10. Paul Maholm, LHP, Lynchburg, 6/25/82. Polished college product, #1 pick, no problems at Lynchburg, #3 starter upside. Zzzzzzz. ETA: 2006.
11. Cory Stewart, LHP, Nashville, 11/24/79. Strikeout artist acquired in Brian Giles trade. Has hit a snag in AAA. ETA: 2005.
12. Dave Williams, LHP, Nashville, 3/12/79. Seems to have recovered from shoulder surgery. Low upside, but deserves promotion now. ETA: soon.
13. Brad Eldred, 1B, Lynchburg, 7/12/80. Outstanding power so far but old for his league; should be moved up the chain more quickly. ETA: 2006.
14. Tom Gorzelanny, LHP, Hickory, 7/12/82. Second rounder in 2003, 83 Ks in 76 innings at Hickory. ETA: 2007.
15. Nathan McLouth, CF, Altoona, 10/28/81. On-base threat who can run: 40 steals in 44 attempts at Lynchburg in 2003. ETA: 2006.
16. Tony Alvarez, OF, Nashville, 5/10/78. Can play circles around Tike Redman, but is dogged by concerns about his attitude. ETA: soon, if injury occurs.
17. Frank Brooks, LHP, Nashville, 9/6/78. Reliever and rule 5 draft returnee who’s played in the Phillies, Pirates, A’s and Red Sox organizations in last ten months. Great at AA and AAA last year, but this year’s numbers not too exciting. ETA: soon.
18. Jeff Keppinger, 2B, Altoona, 4/21/80. Former University of Georgia masher hitting .411/.450/.469 at AA. Not clear whether Bucs view him as prospect. ETA: late 2005.
19. Neil Walker, C, Bradenton, 9/10/85. Local boy becomes Pirates’ top pick in 2004 draft. I shed a little tear. ETA: 2009.
20. Leo Nunez, RHP, 8/14/83, Hickory. Great stuff and control for his age, but TINSTAPP rules apply. ETA: 2007.
21. Javier Guzman, SS, Hickory, 5/4/84. Young Dominican hitting well for average at Hickory. Needs to work on plate discipline, but he’s young for his level. ETA: 2008.
22. Jonathan Albaladejo, RHP, Lynchburg, 10/30/82. Control guy was excellent at Hickory last year (110 Ks, 19 BBs) but has struggled a bit this year at Lynchburg.
23. Chris Duffy, CF, Altoona, 4/20/80. Similar player to McLouth but eighteen months older. Played well in 2003 Arizona Fall League. ETA: late 2005.
24. Bobby Bradley, RHP, Altoona, 12/15/80. Injury problems one after another for 1999 first round pick. Probably won’t put it together. ETA: late 2005.
25. Craig Stansberry, 2B/3B, Hickory, 3/8/82. Needs to improve plate discipline. Little in Hickory lineup but moss and tumbleweed. Thanks, Dave. ETA: 2007.
26. Ray Sadler, CF, Altoona, 9/19/80. Acquired for Randall Simon, hasn’t figured out AA. Still improves the Bucs as much as Simon ever will. ETA: 2006.
27. Jeff Miller, RHP, Altoona, 2/1/80. Reliever finally performing well at Altoona. Very inexperienced pitcher, so there may be some upside here. ETA: 2006.
28. Jason Quarles, RHP, Williamsport, 4/20/83. Seventh round pick has already signed and could be a steal. Throws very hard, with good breaking stuff. ETA: 2008.
29. Joshua Sharpless, RHP, Hickory, 1/26/81. Reliever striking out 13.6 per 9 at Hickory.
30. Rich Thompson, OF, Nashville, 4/23/79. Runs like the wind. Unfortunately, you’ve got to let him try to hit at some point. ETA: late 2004.

NOTES
The Pirates’ organization is organized as follows:
Pittsburgh: Major
Nashville: AAA
Altoona: AA
Lynchburg: A+
Hickory: A
Williamsport: A-
Bradenton: Rookie

Take the ETAs with a grain of salt. If even ten of these guys make the majors, the Pirates will be thrilled.

Who are we? Well, we’re not experts, but we have the good sense to know that many self-proclaimed “experts” aren’t either. This information was compiled from the following sources: personal observation, Baseball Prospectus 2004, Baseball America, MLB.com, ESPN.com, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the Baseball Cube, various minor-league team pages, and the Pirates Scouting Report.

7 Comments:

Blogger Mike said...

Just wanted to say good blog, and that if I remember correctly Freddy Sanchez had an OBP up in the high 400s when he was traded last year. Keep writing guys

5:25 PM  
Blogger Charlie said...

He did have a .430 OBP at Pawtucket in '03 and OBPs of .403 and .350 at Trenton and Pawtucket in '02. He hit over .300 at each stop, though, so most of his OBP was concentrated in his batting average. I hope he can maintain those high OBPs in the bigs.

Thanks. This isn't Mike Emeigh, is it?

10:58 PM  
Blogger Mike said...

Nope, sorry. It's Mike Nute, a college kid from Boston. I saw the link to your blog at Dave Pinto's site, and you guys do a pretty good job, so I'll be checking back. I like the name too, btw.

10:11 AM  
Blogger Charlie said...

okay, Mike, thanks for reading. -Charlie

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