Thursday, March 12, 2009

Pirates Top Prospects Rundown

The 2009 MLB season kicks off in 2009, but really for most Pirate fans this season isn't going to be about contending or trying to get over the .500 mark, because I just really can't see that happening. No, for most intelligent baseball-watching folks, this year will be progress. Seeing progress in the organization that hints that maybe our despair is slowly coming to an end. That maybe some of these young players currently with the major league club are guys we could see playing important roles for good baseball teams. And perhaps most important of all, that some of the top prospects in our minor league system are progressing and will be able to have a major impact on the PBC in the very near future.

With that in mind, I wanted to do something of a preview of the top prospects in our system. Alas, I'm not scout and the only legit prospects I've seen play with my own two eyes are Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker, and that was only for two games each. So I'm not exactly qualified. Instead, I thought I'd allow some of the real experts on this type of stuff to take over. So here is some of the stuff I have found on our top prospects with links to the sites and a brief quote from each, along with a little personal input at the bottom of each. I'd like to make this a regular feature on here to be updated whenever we get a new prospect with promise or at the start of each season with new info.

Pedro Alvarez-Named the #1 NL Prospect by Jim Callis at Baseball America, "Spring injury, summer holdout overshadow his devastating hitting ability."

-A scouting report from from last year.
"Whether or not Alvarez can remain at his current position, however, is not such a sure thing. Although he has a enough arm strength to remain on the left side of the infield, some scouts fear that his size/weight may become an issue, similar to Miguel Cabrera's situation this spring in Detroit. He made 10 errors in his brief campaign with the Commodores in '08, posting a .903 fielding percentage. Regardless, many scouts also feel—as does he—that he can remain at the position at the highest level.

-An in-depth piece on Alvarez from Baseball-Intellect that includes a good breakdown of his swing (scroll halfway down for Pedro).
"On the whole, Alvarez's swing is pretty simple. His hip rotation is aggressive and forceful; he doesn't let his hands get out in front. Rather, he turns his hips and hands together. He could stand to let the ball travel a little deeper, but that may just be a result of this one particular swing.
"The biggest weakness for Alvarez is his propensity to swing and miss though I can't say whether this is because of poor pitch recognition or something else."

-A report from Scouting Book:
"A left-handed power hitting third baseman, Alvarez has a very very high ceiling and is almost big-league ready. He could be a big part of a devastating future Pittsburgh lineup. He's recovering from a hamate bone he broke in 2007, but all reports are positive so his strength should be back soon."

-Of course we'll wrap up everyone with a link to each player's page at the superb Wilbur Miller. Here is Pedro's. Also here's a good quote about Alvarez:
"He has a strong arm, but has been erratic at third. Some scouts consider him athletic enough to make sufficient progress to stay at third as an average fielder. Others, not including the Pirates or Alvarez himself, believe he'll have to move to first. A bigger question mark arose, however, when he was hit by a pitch early in the 2008 season and broke the hamate bone in his right hand. Numerous articles at Baseball America and elsewhere, as well as pre-draft statements from Pirates GM Neal Huntington concerning medical advice he'd received, have indicated that an injury of that sort may detract from a hitter's power for a year or so, but should eventually cause no loss of ability."

Personal Consensus: A legitimately prodigious hitting talent by all accounts, Alvarez is expected to develop into at least a 30-40 home run type of player. There is much speculation about where he will end up playing, and I personally think we will see him at first base or right field before all is said and done, but I think there is a good chance he'll play third base at the beginning of his major league career. The guess here is that Pedro tears his way through A and AA pitching this season and makes it to Indy by season's end, though I'm not as convinced about a Pittsburgh visit, as I think leaping that far will be enough of a challenge for him. I then think he starts 2010 in AAA but is in Pittsburgh by June or July for a half season stint.

Andrew McCutchen
-Keith Law named Cutch his 18th best prospect in baseball and had this to say:
"McCutchen has strong wrists and forearms and makes hard contact, but doesn't get his lower half involved at all and thus hasn't hit for the kind of power he's capable of producing. He has great bat speed and has hit for average while making plenty of contact. He's a 65-70 runner but had an uncharacteristically sloppy year as a base stealer; he's a plus glove in center but could use a little work on routes."

-The Diamond Cutter: And another from the DC
"McCutchen is an exciting five tool player who has been unfortunately rushed through the Pirates system. He hasn’t been able to fully develop at each level and instead of staying put and working on his skills, he has been pushed through. McCutchen has a great glove in center and despite his great defensive prowess, his impact bat may be his best skill.

-Imaginary Diamond's fantasy-spun take:
"McCutchen has 20 home run, 20 stolen base potential, while already taking an advanced approach to hitting."'s report that also includes an interesting accompanying video:
"He's a five-tool player with terrific athletic ability to go along with plus bat speed and good pitch recognition. The development of his power will determine whether he's a leadoff hitter or an eventual run producer. He has outstanding speed and is an excellent defensive center fielder, but is still learning the nuances of base-stealing."

-From the scouting book,
"he could break in two directions: as a top-of-the-order speed threat, or a middle-of-the-order power bat as he continues to refine his approach at the plate. If his MLB career follows his minor league ascent, expect some early struggles in the majors followed by a relentless rise to greatness."

-From Armchair GM
"McCutchen projects as a Gold Glove caliber center fielder with a plus arm and plus speed and instincts. Offensively, McCutchen has a powerful upper body, and combined with quick hands and his already above average strike zone recognition, projects to hit for both a high average and with escalating power. A righthanded hitter timed at 4.1 seconds from home to first, he projects early in his career as a leadoff hitter with the potential to steal thirty bases plus."

-McCutchen's WM profile:
"His plate discipline remained good throughout the season, though, and he reduced his platoon split, posting a .742 OPS against RHPs and .836 against LHPs, so he seems to be making progress against his main nemesis, the slider. His base stealing skills obviously need a lot of work, although for some reason 2008 was the first season in which he was allowed to run a lot. It's possible that McCutchen won't be more than a speedy leadoff type, which wouldn't be such a bad thing. He has very good range in CF, although his arm is average at best."

Personal Consensus: Cutch is the closest thing the Pirates have to a major-league ready prospect. That said, he will almost certainly start the season in AAA. There are many who expect him to still develop an as-yet-unseen power stroke, but for now he appears likely to bat at the top of the order when he does get the call and maybe the power stroke will develop in time.

Jose Tabata
-From the scouting book:
"Tabata is a polished fielder who's almost major-league ready, despite his young age. A natural right fielder with excellent patience"

-From Baseball Intellect
"In terms of physical tools and raw talent, Tabata is amongst the best in minor league baseball. However, Tabata has yet to turn that talent into production."

-A report on Tabata from a Yankee blog that is over 2 years old. Obviously things have evolved a bit, but this is interesting because of the long-term projections.
"(Ceiling is) very high. In my opinion it is still limited due to size, but Tabata certainly has the ability to hit like an MVP candidate. If nothing goes terribly wrong, he is going to hit #3 somewhere someday for a long time."

-And another Yankee blog with a report on Tabata from last March.
"One of the most promising youngsters is Jose Tabata. He's a right fielder from Venezuela who's hitting and fielding have been most impressive in his three seasons in the Yankees farm system. He's got an arm like Roberto Clemente and the hitting skills of Bernie Williams."

-A report from the Diamond Cutter from when Tabata was still a Yankee has him as the number 3 prospect in the system behind Joba and Ian Kennedy (?).
"Tabata is an excellent hitter and hits the ball hard all over the field. Due to this and his great plate discipline, he looks to have the makeup to be a potential batting champion competitor someday"

-A page from Armchair GM that includes a Baseball America synopsis of Tabata and a couple videos of him down at the bottom.
"He's solidly built at 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds and will have more power as he gets stronger and more experienced. He drew more walks (15) than strikeouts (14), and while we shouldn't infer too much about his plate discipline when he's facing such raw pitching, that's definitely a positive sign. He has plus speed and the tools to play center field"

-Raise the Jolly Roger did a bio on Tabata shortly after he arrived from the Yanks.
"He has been dubbed “Mini-Manny (Ramirez)” for having quick hands and great bat speed, but also for his bad attitude."

-Tabata's Wilbur Miller Profile.
"He was considered to have five tool potential, with good speed, a very good bat with the potential to hit for power, and a slightly above average arm for right field."

Personal Consensus:
After reading through these reports, it seems like Tabata may be much closer to being major-league ready than most people realize. Obviously he is slated to start this season in AA, so that means he still has to prove himself at two more levels, but I fully expect him to dominate there. Perhaps the only reason he is in AA is because the Pirates still want to play him in center field and have Cutch in Indy. I think Tabata is in AAA by June regardless of where McCutchen is and is starting to play some corner outfield, and I wouldn't bat an eyelash to see him get a cup of coffee in September and be given a chance to win a job along side Nate and Cutch next spring.

Brad Lincoln
-From the Diamond Cutter. A list of the team's top prospects prior to last season.
"before going down he had a good moving fastball which sat in the mid-90’s as well as a hard breaking curveball. He had a little trouble with the command of his pitches before the injury so it will definitely be a tough battle for him once he comes back from the surgery. As with all Tommy John surgeries it will take about a year for Lincoln to potentially regain what he once had."

-From CBS Sportsline Blog type thing Lincoln is listed as the number 11 prospect for the Bucs.
"Lincoln throws his fastball in his low-mid 90s, and a good curveball. He has a nice comeback story unfolding if he can continue to improve next season"

-A recap of 2008 Baseball Prospectus rankings via Be Like Tike:
"Lincoln is a smallish pitcher who is also a very good hitter. More importantly to the Pirates, however, is the fact that when he is healthy, Lincoln can hit up to 95 mph. According to BP, he projects as a mid-rotation starter"

-The Bleacher Report puts together the Pirates top 10 prospects.
"The numbers, in Lincoln's case, are not nearly as significant as the fact that he was able to stay injury free. Now that he has proven that he can stay healthy, management will look for Lincoln to be one of the prospects that makes a big jump in 2009."

-From Wilbur Miller:
"Although some fans were put off by the ERAs, Lincoln's return was successful. He stayed healthy, his fastball sat around 93, and his control was very good. It may have been a little too good, as he had a moderate gopher ball problem, but one article said he was concentrating mainly on throwing strikes. He actually didn't allow many baserunners."

Personal Consensus: Along with the next guy on this list, Bryan Morris, Lincoln is really one of just two starting pitchers in the entire farm system with any sort of professional pedigree, and the sad thing is they are both probably 2 years away (at least) from the majors. Still, his first year back from injury gave us a lot of positive signs and it is probably safe to think of him in glowing terms yet again, even if he does figure to be at least 25 or 26 before he makes his debut.

Bryan Morris
-Halfway down this page from Pirate Revolution is a bit about Morris.
"Their No. 5 prospect, Baseball America figures Morris to be "a fixture in the middle of Pittsburgh's rotation by 2011 or 2012."

-Just like Tabata, Raise The Jolly Roger again did a nice job with a player bio after the acquisition of Morris.
"He may not progress very quickly, but the minor league experience is good for him. I expect Morris to be in the majors by late 2010 or in 2011, and excel at that level. I am excited about him, but we must be patient"

-From the scouting book, where Morris was the 192nd ranked prospect.
"Morris has a high-90's fastball and a plus curve, and frustrates batters with an unorthodox delivery."

-This Dodger MLB Blog had Morris as their number 9 Dodger prospect in 08.
"He has a 93 mph fastball that sinks, a wicked breaking ball and an unorthodox delivery. Could be a top of the rotation pitcher in a year or two."

-A bit of info from the Baseball Analysts on Morris from shortly after he was drafted in 2006.
"The 6-3, 200-pound RHP has a plus fastball and a power curve."

-His Wilbur Miller profile:
"He was the youngest of the four players they got in the deal and may have the highest ceiling. Morris had Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss all of 2007. He had pitched well in 2008 up through the time of the trade, though, with his fastball reaching as high as 95. He has an above-average curve and is working on a changeup. Baseball America projects him to be a potential 3rd starter."

Personal Consensus:
By all accounts it seems like Morris has shown strong progress coming back from TJ surgery, and maybe it is a bit of a blessing that it happened early to him and not after he had progressed through much of the minors. It sounds as if he is probably a minimum 2 full years away from being a big leaguer, but he is just shy of his 22nd birthday, so to me that is no big deal, and I'd be in no real rush to get him up. This will be an important year for Morris to show he isn't injury-prone.

Neil Walker
-Diamond Cutter has a report on Walker and others
"Walker has a strong frame with muscular arms and legs which give him fabulous power potential as line drives jump off his bat. He has excellent physical make-up"

-From the scouting book.
"Walker has had a bumpy road to pro ball. Now a full-time third baseman, he still shows the switch-hitting power stroke that brought him to the Pirate's attention years ago."

-From Be Like Tike's BP recap:
"Walker appears as if he will be an average major leaguer with trouble in the field and a little bit of power at this point."

From Hot Prospects:
"He continued to make strides defensively last season cutting his errors down from 27 to just 19. He shows good agility and has drawn rave reviews within the organization for his extraordinary makeup and work ethic. The big bugaboo with Neil continues to be his substandard plate discipline."

-Wilbur Miller
"He did make progress defensively, cutting down on errors and getting voted the top defensive thirdbaseman in the International League, although those awards are often based on little more than name recognition. Walker's future is in some doubt now."

Personal Consensus: With the addition of guys like Tabata, LaRoche and Alvarez and the new emphasis on spending in the draft and Latin America, it seems to me that most have decided that Walker is now basically irrelevant. I'm not so sure about that. The athleticism is still there, and while I think he probably was rushed to this point, I still think he has major league value. I don't think he'll ever be an All-Star third baseman, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him turn into a solid utility guy capable of playing 3B or either corner outfield spot and maybe even 1B/2B. That's not exactly what you want from a first round pick, but those type of guys certainly have value, too. I do think we see him this year in Pittsburgh, at least in September, now that he is on the 40-man.

Danny Moskos
-Diamond Cutter has a report on Moskos and others from 08 before Moskos was turned back into a starter.
"Moskos has a strong fastball in the mid-90’s (up to 96 mph), a plus slider in the mid to upper-80’s and a mediocre change-up. As a reliever he probably won’t need to rely on his change all that much especially considering how strong his slider is."

-From the scouting book.
"He's a quality arm with great stuff, including a 94mph heater and plus slider"

-From Be Like Tike's BP recap:
"Moskos is a three-star player according to BP, who reveals that despite Moskos’ being drafted as a reliever the Huntington administration may be considering moving him back into a starting role. Moskos still has potential"

-From the Pittsburgh Lumber Company
"His mechanics were reportedly out of whack, and he was also said to be out of shape. There were whispers right after the draft that his maximum-effort delivery could be an indication that he had already peaked. That is looking more likely as his career progresses. He no longer displays the velocity on his fastball that he was said to possess in college."

-From Wilbur Miller:
"He threw in the low- to mid-90s with a lot of life as a closer, but only 89-92 when starting, and by the end of the season he was down in the high 80s. This should be of concern to the Pirates, because the pitchers they draft have a pattern of losing velocity after turning pro. Moskos supposedly had a very good slider that served as his out pitch, along with a curve and change that were not as well regarded. BA described his command as average."

Personal Consensus: I think the Pirates were wrong last year to try and convert to Moskos to a starter, and will continue to be wrong it appears with him. He was lousy in the lower minors as a starter. I think the team and Moskos would be much better served with him as a bullpen arm. I understand their idea, but he could've progressed very quickly through the system as a reliever, and that still could happen if they switch him back. I don't know that he'll ever make it a starting pitcher in the bigs.

Ross Ohlendorf
-The numerous Yankee blogs continue to be very helpful in this exercise with this piece from 2 years ago on Ohlendorf
"I see Ohlendorf as a David Bush type if he make the majors. He can't afford to lose any more of his strikeout rate, or else he'll never get enough major league hitters out to be an effective pitcher."

-Pat from WHYGAVS does a great job with an in-depth breakdown of Ohlendorf's pitching tendencies last season.
"there's two things to keep an eye on with Ohlendorf early in the year. The first is velocity. Is he hitting the high 90s? Is he doing it the second time through the lineup? The second is pitch selection. Is he working a changeup in? Is it effective at all?"

-Another Yankee blog (good lord there is a freakin' ton of these things) that breaks down Ohlendorf. This is from November 07.
"He throws a grounder-inducing two-seamer (96-97 mph) with a four-seamer that can top out at 98. His sinker is his primary pitch. He has a nasty slurve-like pitch that really causes strikeouts."

-Good piece on the return from the Nady Trade that includes Ohlendorf halfway down the page from Baseball Intellect.
"Ohlendorf is better than his numbers in New York indicate. I think he profiles best as a solid middle reliever type. I don't think he's a top set-up guy, but in that 6th and 7th inning, he'll give the Pirates a quality reliever that is under control for a number of years."

-Of course, here's the Wilbur Miller profile
"As a starter, he threw in the upper 80s to low 90s, relying on a sinker and slider to produce grounders. Once he started pitching in relief, his velocity improved to 94 and occasionally better. He's always struggled with LH hitters due to the lack of a useful changeup."

Personal Consensus: I think there will definitely be a place for Ohlendorf somewhere on the major league staff, the question is just where that is. I fully support the Pirates decision to test him out as a starter and think that his upside makes it worthwhile to do this and give him half a season or even all season to try and prove that he is worthy of a spot in the rotation. If he doesn't work out there, by all accounts he can be at least a solid relief pitcher as a fallback option.

Shelby Ford
-The Bleacher Report puts together the Pirates top 10 prospects.
"Ford looks like he has the potential and the chops to hold down half of the double play combination in Pittsburgh for years to come."

-From Be Like Tike's BP recap:
"An offensive player, Ford will have difficulties advancing through the system due to his aggressive approach at the plate"

-Wilbur Miller:
"It doesn't look like he'll have more than very good gap power and he'll need to draw more walks than he did in 2008 to have a decent OBP. He hasn't shown any consistent platoon split over the years. His numbers for 2008 overall were solid and not dominant, but you have to wonder what he'd do if he stayed healthy a whole year."

Personal Consensus: In a minor league system that is mostly desperate for decent-looking prospects, I think Ford has been one of the most overlooked guys around. He has been steady, if not spectacular at each stop, and while he has had some issues staying healthy, he also has shown enough upside to merit serious consderation as a future starter. I think this year will be a very big one for Ford. If he can stay healthy and onceagain bat .280+ with another healthy OBP and some continually developing power and decent speed and a decent glove, then all of a sudden he could be a legit replacement for Freddy Sanchez. But like I said, health is the first thing that must come for Ford.

Robbie Grossman
-From Minor League Baseball:
"Grossman is a good hitter, but his approach does need some work. He has a high leg lift that will need to be toned down.

-Grossman was rated as the 45th top prospect in the draft by Rivals:
"Grossman is a throwback type prospect who plays the game with passion and at full speed at all times. Not nearly as "toolsy" as other top high school outfield prospects"

-Ranked number 9 in the Bucs system by a MiLB blogger
"Very toolsy, could be a seven skill guy if he maintains the patience he showed in very brief rookie ball trial. High ceiling, could rank much higher a year from now."

Wilbur Miller:
" characterizes him as lacking any above-average tools and playing above his abilities, which combined with the tweener tag gives him some things in common with Nate McLouth, who's a good example of why it's a mistake to dismiss players based on tags like that. BA did characterize him as having raw power potential and he showed good power in a workout at PNC Park."

Personal Consensus: Grossman is a long way off, hard to have much of a consensus except that he is an all-effort type of guy by all accounts, and that like most high schoolers it will probably figures to be 4 years or so before we can reasonably expect to see him in the bigs.

Daniel McCutchen
-From the Pinstripe Press
"McCutchen's future may be in the bullpen. "McCutchen pitches aggressively, which shows in his delivery at times and in his mound demeanor. The Yankees have worked with him to tone down somewhat."

-From the Scouting Book:
"Some see him as bullpen-bound, but McCutchen's lethal combination of a high-control 92mph fastball and knee-buckling curve/splitter, as well as his penchant to change speeds often, make him look like a better starting prospect to us."

-A story on him from the Post Gazette:
"Dan is a guy we feel can be a quality starting pitcher for years to come," Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said yesterday. "Tough, fearless, wants the ball every day, pounds the strike zone, throws first-pitch strikes. ... He absolutely is here competing for a job."

-A piece on the players acquired in the Nady trade from Baseball Intellect.
"McCutchen is an interesting piece in this deal because he has quietly put up quality numbers in the minors though he has always been old for his league. His stuff received an uptick in its quality in the past year, which makes him an intriguing guy to watch going forward."

-Wilbur Miller's profile:
"Baseball America characterizes him as a very aggressive pitcher who throws a four-seam fastball in the low 90s and a two-seamer slightly slower than that, with his best pitch being a curve. He also throws an improving changeup. His aggressiveness has resulted in low walk totals and his K rates have generally been good."

Personal Consensus: I'm really not at all sold on McCutchen. He is 26 years old, and you just don't see 26 year olds with only moderate minor league success succeed in the majors too often. I do think he is probably just about at his peak and will likely get at least a few starts in with the Bucs this season. There have been theories floated that he may be a bullpen arm, and I think that probably makes sense.

Donnie Veal
-Story on him from right before the Rule 5 draft.
"The stuff is still there -- evidence of that comes from his 476 strikeouts in 470 1/3 pro innings. But his command has eluded him, with 256 walks in the same timespan."

-From Chicago Cubs Online, an article from 2 years ago:
"Donald Veal has had success at each level so far and if he continues to have success as he ascends through the Cubs minor-league system, he could see Wrigley Field soon. If he does start in AA this year he could be called on to make a start if the Cubs injury problems come back again this season."

-Ominous stuff from the Scouting Book
"showing no signs of the curve that once made scouts rave. Add in the fact that he's a one-pitch flame-thrower who did most of his development under the 'care' of the Cubs trainers, and you have a recipe for a very fantastic, and very short, major league career."

-The requisite Wilbur Miller feature
"He's drawn comparisons to Dontrelle Willis, as he's a big LHP with a high leg kick and very good stuff, including a mid-90s fastball. After his big 2006 season, he was regarded as one of the best LH pitching prospects in the minors, with the high K rates and miniscule opponents' BAs being especially outstanding. Once he reached AA, though, he stalled due to his poor control."

Personal Consensus: I like Veal as a prospect, but really don't think he can survive the season with the big club. Maybe the Bucs can work out something like they did with Evan Meek last season, but I just can't seem him being good enough to justify using a roster spot on him for 6 months. The kid just isn't ready yet.

Jim Negrych
-A story on Negrych from the Green Weenie blog:
"Negrych cranks out line drives, and has pretty good gap power. He's patient at the dish, and his walks to K's ratio is almost 1:1. Throw in the fact that he finally had an injury-free year, and it added up to a break out season."

-A story on him from the Trib
"Despite his credentials as a college slugger, Negrych no longer swings from his heels in every at-bat. 'I don't really look at power numbers. I just want to make contact and get on base,' he said. 'In college, I was supposed to hit home runs. At this level, there's a lot of other things you can do to help the team.'"

-From Wilbur Miller
"I suspect his exact position could remain rather fluid. His position probably isn't terribly relevant because he is not good defensively, and by this I don't mean "shaky" or "inconsistent," I mean he just doesn't have the tools to play defense. He committed 31 errors in 2008. He's awkward in the field and doesn't have good hands or a good arm. It's unlikely he'll be a regular in the majors, but he could be a very good bat off the bench."

Personal Consensus: I essentially agree with what Wilbur Miller suggested. I think Negrych's bat will continue to propel him through the minors and that he will force his way into the bigs at some point, but I also don't see him ever being anywhere near good enough to be a legit starting player and could just be a solid bat off the bench who can play a few different infield positions at a mediocre level. I like Negrych and will be rooting for him because he is a Pitt man and I can't tell you the last time a Pitt player played in the bigs, but it was quite a while ago I'm sure.

Brian Bixler
-From Be Like Tike's BP recap:
"Bixler does nothing particularly well, but instead does everything at a level that is a little bit above average and simply continues to move up the rungs."

-From Wilbur Miller:
"Bixler was overmatched at the plate, incessantly chasing sliders far outside, sometimes fanning on three straight pitches in the same location. Initially, he was just as bad defensively, struggling with errors and misplays, but he eventually settled down and started to play much better in the field."

Personal Consensus: Bleh. Thats how I can best sum up my feelings for Bixler's future with the Pirates. He once looked like a half-decent prospect, but he was pretty lousy last year in the majors and I think can officially be labeled with the AAAA prospect tag. There is a very good chance that Bix and Luis Cruz will split the shortstop role once the inevitable Jack Wilson trade goes down. I'd be happy if he even proved to be a mediocre replacement.

Jamie Romak
-From Be Like Tike's BP recap:
"Romak has power and he has patience, but he generally does not hit for average."

-The Bleacher Report puts together the Pirates top 10 prospects. Romak is tied for 10.
"He has yet to prove that he can hit consistently enough to be a big league player. With a logjam of prospects ahead of him at outfield it is unlikely that we will see Romak with the club in 2009. But if he continues to make progress and work on hitting consistency, there's no reason that Romak can't make a splash with the Pirates in 2010 and beyond. "

-From the Project Prospect site
" A 6-foot-2, 220-pounder, Romak is the best .256 hitter you’ve never seen, tabbing a .383 OBP and .496 SLG through High-A."

-The Wilbur Miller piece
"Romak's approach at the plate is very similar to fellow Canadian Jason Bay's, as he often goes deep into counts by taking pitches and looking for one he can drive, but this sometimes leads to him getting into bad counts. Like a lot of hitters of his type, he tends sometimes to disappear offensively for days at a time. The strikeouts can't just be dismissed"

Personal Consensus: Romak to me is a poor man's Steve Pearce. And that is not a good thing in any way. I'd honestly be surprised if he ever gets anything more than a cup of coffee with the Pirates.

10 Other Guys To Keep An Eye On Who I Couldn't Find Much About:
Quinton Miller
Jordy Mercer
Chase D'Arnaud
Justin Wilson
Evan Meek
Brian Friday
Duke Welker
Jarek Cunningham
Matt Hague
Jeff Sues
Andrew Walker

Note that all of the above quotes are not mine and are taken from the sites linked above them. If these are your quotes and you have any issues whatsoever with me using them, please let me know and they will be removed immediately. Thank you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is insanely long and you basically just stole everything from other sites. Congrats on that.