Taillon and Allie- are you ready?
By this time tomorrow, I expect Pirate fans will have Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie as the newest members of the farm system. At this point, it would be a major disappointment if both don’t sign. I am astonished at how little press the signings have gotten, in terms of comments from either side, not speculation, of which there has been plenty. Perhaps it’s a sign of maturation in the way the Huntington management conducts its negotiations after having learnt a hard lesson with Pedro Alvarez. Perhaps, it means nothing. Regardless, signing both would be a huge shot in the arm for the farm system. Perhaps, the only questions that remain are how much they sign for, and whether Taillon could potentially be a ML signee. I doubt that Taillon gets a major league deal, and I hope Huntington and the front office go to some length to avoid it.
In 2-3 years, Taillon could be in Pittsburgh, potentially anchoring a rotation involving some of Morris, Owens, Locke and Wilson. Still, let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves with the signing of 2 pitchers yet to pitch to a player above high school. Note first that their stats from high school mean nothing. Then take a look and allow yourself a smile, if you will: Taillon and Allie– 16+K/9 and 20+K/9. Just a little something to help you dream through very rough days for the parent ballclub.
The Pirates will have a golden opportunity if they manage to sign both, who will instantly become the crown jewels of a farm system that is slowly recovering from the misdeeds of the past. They will turn them over then to their minor league system, and then will come the biggest test of Neal Huntington’s tenure. There is little or no doubt that in 4-5 years both these players could be #1 level pitchers- can the farm system develop them into pitchers that get to their ceilings?
That’s why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call the Prestige –from Christopher Nolan’s Prestige
Turning these kids into major league aces will be the hardest part, and that part might well determine the short-medium term success of this team.
If they signed right now, Taillon and Allie will be the 25th and 26th draftees to sign. But the Pirates could well have a few tricks up their sleeves. By at least one account, it looks like Chris Kirsch is gone. I am very surprised that the Pirates would close off negotiations with a pick they must have liked at least a decent amount this early. It seems to me like it may have been a negotiating ploy, and I’d expect at least one of Hursh, Weiss or Kirsch to sign, if not 2. Hursh, especially, seemed close to signing at one point before his name disappeared from the rumor mills!
Dale Carey and Emmanuel Kent- what’s going on there? Carey seemed the likelier option, and hasn’t made up his mind yet, one way or another, which leads me to believe that unless the Pirates pull back, Carey is going to be a Bucco.
Drew Maggi might well be already done, with the formalities remaining, depending on who you believe. I’d expect at least 3 of the above to sign. That would lead the Pirates to a draft class of about 29, with possibly a 30th lurking somewhere!
Apparently, the experts think tomorrow will be a good day to be a Bucco fan. We’ll find out. Here’s to tomorrow!