The best story of the 2009 Pirates, and perhaps even the 2010 Pirates has been Garrett Jones’s performance. No one expects a rookie to suddenly make it big at his age. For a franchise that has been about as unlucky as possible, it was a welcome change. In half a season last year, Jones was worth 2.7 WAR. In 2010 though, he’s been worth about half that in almost the same number of games. Where lies the difference between the 2009 and the 2010 Garrett Jones?
This has been a great season for rookies thus far, with Stephen Strasburg and Carlos Santana lighting up the big leagues. For the Pirates, it’s been exciting too, even though their rookie seasons haven’t gone quite as well. Further, there have been more promotions in the minor leagues with Alex Presley, Danny Moskos, Bryan Morris all moving up levels. For the time being, we’ll restrict ourselves only to the big-leaguers, namely, Pedro Alvarez, Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln and Neil Walker, the last of whom has already been bitten by the Pirate bug, and suffered a concussion. The small sample size argument applies to every part of this post, so take the information here merely as a “Here’s where they stand now” rather than anything more.
So, across the organization, the injury bug is ripping out the hope, huh? Duke at the ML level, Brock Holt and Tony Sanchez in Bradenton are the latest to be bitten. On the other side, we’ve had positive starts from Kelson Brown, Chase Lyles and Adalberto Santos in State College, and Altoona keeps right on rolling! Heck, the Buccos even broke the string of losses and got a 2 win streak to boot.
But this post, like most of this blog, is about the positives. And while I’ll talk a little bit about Altoona, I’ll focus on some individuals too. The 46-24 Curve are 10 games ahead in their division leading from the Bowie Baysox, the AA affiliate of the Os, the only team in the majors with a worse record than the Pirates! Bryan Morris and Rudy Owens’ performances are well-documented, so I won’t go into those too much. So also with Danny Moskos, who has been great in the closing role for Altoona. Here’s hoping these 3 can continue their ways. But 3 people don’t carry a club, and the other, more intriguing (because they come with less hype) guys in Altoona are the ones we will discuss here. Justin Wilson and Alex Presley, 2 guys who have been great this year, were prospects but with question marks- they were on the borderline of too-old-for-the-level, and needed to make their play on the field speak, which it is doing. We’ll take a closer look at them later. D’Arnaud, Mercer and Harrison, the infield trio promoted from Lynchburg after winning the championship scuffled some, especially the first 2, and Harrison has his question marks. D’Arnaud and Mercer look like they are starting to make the adjustments necessary, but we’ll have to wait for their performances to make an impact. Gorkys Hernandez has a long way to go after an abysmal year in the Pirates’ system.
But the guy I really want to look at in this post is 1B Matt Hague. Read more…
Apparently, the promotion of Pedro Alvarez to the big leagues is a suspense-filled soap opera, if you follow one Ron Cook. Apparently, Huntington’s future rests on his performance immediately upon his promotion, and Alvarez is the last bullet in the gun that Huntington should go down firing so that there aren’t any left in the Evan Chambers in Indianapolis. Wait, no, Evan Chambers isn’t in Indy; ha… gun? What? Confused? That’s what Cook’s article leaves you with. Confusion. Pedro Alvarez will decide Neal Huntington’s fate with his performance. It’s not like he was the consensus pick or anything.
All this is moot, of course, if you follow the right columns and haven’t read Cook. Should I unlink the article? Cutch-22… catch, of course.
But then to get to the important points… Read more…
I have been busy on a freelance project over the summer, which meant that I’ve had little or no time to spend on the blog. I started a few articles which I couldn’t complete satisfactorily enough to post, but maybe I’ll be able to do that with some of those in the coming days unless they become irrelevant. I have, however, followed every game and every development closely, including the draft. I won’t bother compiling a table of the draftees, as New Bucs has already done it, and since I won’t be able to update it. I expect there will be draft trackers elsewhere too.
Wilbur Miller, perhaps better known as WTM, already has short writeups on the top 30 Bucco picks aggregating information from the internet into what is bound to become a starting point for fans looking for information in the near future- Link
Here is a quick take from me on the 2010 draft.