One scout attending Pirates – Blue Jays game told ESPN’s Jayson Stark he likes Taillon better than Cole


The Pittsburgh Pirates lost to the Toronto Blue Jays 4-2 on Friday afternoon in Spring Training action but the Pirates got to take a trip into the future as ESPN’s Jayson Stark writes. Gerrit Cole started the game working the first and second innings, followed by Jameson Taillon who pitched the third and fourth inning. Cole allowed three hits and two runs over two innings. He struck out two. Cole had some issues in the first inning but he recorded a 1-2-3 second inning, which included a pair of strikeouts. The buzz afterwards was about how good Taillon looked after throwing two scoreless innings and allowing just one hit. “Those two guys,” Clint Hurdle said smiling via Stark. “One (Cole) has gotten to the major leagues, and one (Taillon) is closing in on that opportunity. They have the skill sets, the mound presence, and all the things you need toRead More »

Mark Appel signing last summer could have had huge impact on Pirates this year at trade deadline


Keith Law released his updated top-50 prospects and three Pirates made the list: SP Jameson Taillon, No. 13 OF Gregory Polanco, No. 17 SS Alen Hanson, No. 36 Taillon is 3-7 with a 3.75 ERA in 17 starts for the Altoona Curve. Taillon is up seven spots from his preseason ranking but Law continues to point out the lack of life on Taillon’s fastball and that he can be too easy to hit. Gregory Polanco continues to emerge as one of the top prospects in the game. Polanco has moved from No. 55 in Law’s preseason ranking to now No. 17. There’s some scouts out there who feel Polanco is the Pirates top prospect. Law calls Polanco a high probability hitter. Law also mentions that Polanco’s batting practice before Sunday’s Futures Game was one of the best of any hitter, showing more power than scouts had seen from him before.Read More »

Perrotto: Ranking the Pirates Top-10 Prospects


By John Perrotto The Pirates’ stagger to the finish line is almost too painful to watch. The Buccos have lost six games in a row and 22 of their last 32. The freefall has dropped them to just two games over .500 at 72-70, meaning the possibility of a 20th consecutive losing — which seemed unthinkable a few weeks ago — is strong. While the Pirates are just 2 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second National League wild card, they are now in a five-team race. The Los Angeles Dodgers are 1 1/2 games ahead of the Pirates and Milwaukee and Philadelphia, both surging, are just 1/2 game behind. So with today being an off day and as a public service to all suffering Pirates’ fans, let’s think of something happier — the farm system. The Pirates have a number of talented prospects in their system and here’sRead More »

Perrotto’s Weekly Pirates Report: Lincoln starting to blossom in bullpen role & buzz on Burnett, Tabata & Taillon


WEEKLY PIRATES REPORT *Analysis, Rumblings, & Musings* By John Perrotto Brad Lincoln has a pretty good sense of humor, which is why he isn’t scared to joke about being “the guy the Pirates took instead of Tim Lincecum.” The Pirates chose Lincoln with the fourth overall selection in the 2006 amateur draft from the University of Houston. The Pirates felt Lincoln was a safer pick than Lincecum, then the ace at the University of Washington, because he had much cleaner mechanics and better makeup. Lincecum has gone on to win two National League Cy Young Awards. Lincoln, on the other hand, has won just four major-league games. However, at 27, Lincoln seems to be finally starting to blossom, albeit in a different role than the Pirates envisioned when they drafted him. Lincoln has made five relief appearances this season and posted a fine 0.87 ERA as he has allowed oneRead More »

Scouts, executives weigh in on the Pirates “Big Four” pitching prospects


By John Perrotto The Pirates, until this season, hadn’t given their fans much reason for hope since the dawn of the new millennium. That is what happens when a franchise reaches the depths of losing 90-plus games year after year. However, the Pirates are giving the faithful reason to hope this year and it goes beyond the fact that they are a respectable 30-31. They have the makings of a potentially devastating starting rotation. Imagine the Pirates going into a World Series later in the decade with a foursome of right-handers Stetson Allie, Gerrit Cole, Luis Heredia and Jameson Taillon. Of course, this all comes with the caveat that predicting future success for pitching prospects is next to impossible because of injury and inconsistency. Yet if those four, who are all 20 or younger, can somehow both survive and thrive in the upcoming years then the Pirates might be hardRead More »