1. Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Alvarez is a true power threat, which the Pirates have been missing. He’s got a nice swing and his eye has gotten better in the minors; the results have shown in a lower K rate. His defense is a question mark, as many scouts are saying he’ll end up at first base. At either position, Alvarez is a top prospect.
2. Brad Lincoln, P – Lincoln was questioned about his durability after he missed time having Tommy John surgery, but people aren’t questioning him now. He’s got a power fast ball and an incredible curve ball. He’s a #2 in the making.
3. Jose Tabata, OF – Tabata was once a gem in the Yankees system, but they gave up on him due to his effort and questions about his age. Many still question if he’s older than 21. Tabata has questionable power, but could hit into the mid-20s for home runs if it continues to develop. He could be up this year if everything works in Triple A.
4. Tony Sanchez, C – Many questioned the Pirates front office with using a high pick on Sanchez; the pick was seen as them going cheap, as they did with the old management group (Bryan Bullington shouldn’t have gone #1). Sanchez responded by having a great season. His bat was better than advertised, while his defense didn’t live up to the reputation. He’s got a great attitude and work ethic, so don’t be surprise to see him improve behind the plate.
5. Tim Alderson, P – Prior to being traded to the Pirates, scouts were questioning Alderson’s mechanics and drop in velocity. Those questions didn’t go away. If Alderson, lives up to potential he’s a #2 starter. If the Pirates can’t get him straightened out, they are looking at a #5 at best.
6. Chase D’arnaud, 2B – D’Arnaud isn’t going to win over scouts with his tools, but he’s a hard worker and gets results. He’ll be able to get on base enough to be an effective middle infielder and top of the order bat. If he becomes blocked as second, he can play short without a problem.
7. Zack Von Rosenberg, P – ZVR has the potential to be a #1 starter, but he’s really young (19). There is still a lot that can happen to him. He’s got a big frame that still being filled out (6’5″). He’s got 3 average to plus pitches, so he’s only got to work on the mental part of the game and keeping everything the same as he fills out.
8. Daniel McCutchen, P – McCutchen has 4 good pitches: a low-90s four seam fastball, a low-90s two seam fastball, a plus curve, and an OK change-up. His problem is he keeps the ball up too much and gives up a lot of homers. If he were to work on the 2 seamer and keep the ball down, he’d be more successful. Look for McCutchen to be pitching at the back end of the rotation this year.
9. Rudy Owens, P – Owens is your typical lefty – low-90s fastball with good off speed pitches. He’s got mid-rotation written all over him. He’ll need to play against the upper minors to make sure his control is good enough to get him to the majors. Worst case scenario is LOOGY.
10. Gorkys Hernandez, OF – Many people are down on Hernandez; maybe it’s because he’s been traded twice. He has speed, but doesn’t run the basepaths well. He’s got a moderate amount of power, but it’s more for doubles than homers. His speed and arm make him a natural for center, but he’s definitely blocked; could a third trade be on the horizon?
Tags: 30 Teams in 30 Days, Baseball, Baseball Preview, Pittsburgh Pirates, Top 10 Prospects