Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Eldred To Altoona

First baseman Brad Eldred has been promoted to Class AA Altoona. As Honest Wagner points out, Eldred's strikeout numbers are worrisome - he struck out nearly 100 times this year at High-A Lynchburg. He may find it hard to make contact at AA. But when he does hit the ball, he'll hit it a long way: he has 21 homers already this year, and he had 28 last year at Low-A Hickory.

It's strange that Eldred hasn't been pushed through the system more quickly - he's 24, he's clobbered every level so far, and it's not as if there are great first base prospects in front of him. It's good that the Pirates are finally pushing Eldred up to Altoona to see what they've got, but they should have done so a while ago.

* * *

The Post-Gazette has a new article on Bobby Bradley and Sean Burnett, who went to high school together and were selected by the Pirates in the first rounds of the 1999 and 2000 drafts. Burnett, the younger of the two, entered the Pittsburgh rotation earlier this summer and has been even better than expected, while Bradley is still struggling on the farm. Bradley's 23 now and has an extremely extensive injury history and mediocre minor league numbers. He's probably not going to make it. While I hate to see any Pirate flop, I'm not shedding any tears over Bradley, who used part of his bonus money to buy a Hummer and once showed up another team in high school by telling them what pitches he would throw and striking them out anyway.

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