All I Am Saying.. Is Give Snider A Chance

by Kipper | Apr 06, 2014 - 5:11 PM

Every Pittsburgh Pirates fan from one side of the bandwagon to the other want either an RF with All-Star credentials or Top Prospect - Gregory Polanco in the lineup yesterday. While Gregory Polanco is most likely a mid-season call up away, people shouldn't be giving up on Travis Snider either.

Travis Snider?

Lunchbox Hero?

Yes, that Travis Snider, who went 0-3 in the Opener and 1-8 in the first 2 games prompting every fan from Pacific to Atlantic Ocean to claim him as a massive failure. A failure who shouldn't start on a Minor League field let alone a Major League one. Yet, after those first couple games, all Travis Snider has done is taken his Batting Avg. to .316. Yes, his power numbers are on the sad side of putrid, however on a team not hitting much at all, a .316 Avg. is nothing to sneeze at.

Last season Travis Snider got off to a great start, batting .300 with a .799 OPS largely hitting from the #2 spot where getting on base for Andrew McCutchen is the name of the game. In that game he had an excellent OBP of .382.

Then a nagging left foot injury escalated and Travis Snider's season went downhill along with any faith that a fan might have had in him. That injury has since been corrected with surgery which has left Travis Snider one of the Pirates most interesting players.

When the Pirates traded reliever Brad Lincoln for Travis Snider in 2012, Pirates fans were irate that we gave up a failed top prospect with the ceiling of "Set-Up Man" for a guy that was project. It was a low risk/high reward trade. Toronto Blue Jays fans hated it. They were giving up on a budding prospect that had been developed poorly who could reach his potential late for an ordinary reliever.

Enter the 2014 season, Travis Snider is healthy. He can plant his foot when he swings, he can twist it when he needs to. At the age of 26, he's coming into those prime years when players start to "get it" mentally and the mind catches up to the physical ability. That potential that the Blue Jays fans didn't want to get rid of, could start to see the light of day. Afterall, when he's been fairly healthy the last 2 seasons, he's hitting .300 or better.

So, why all the vitriol? The kid is hitting. We as fans should want that! His long term future isn't with the Pirates due to Gregory Polanco, but... [Read More]
    6 Replies | 2,155 Views

Minors Review - Top 30 Prospects

by battlingbucs | Mar 28, 2014 - 12:41 PM
I thought a good way to finish off the minors review series would be to post my personal top 30 prospect list. The list only represents my semi-educated opinion as an interested on looker. There is some conformity on the list but you'll also notice a few players who I am probably a little higher or lower on than most.
Top 30 Prospects
1. Gregory Polanco
2. Jameson Taillon
3. Tyler Glasnow
4. Austin Meadows
5. Alen Hanson
6. Nicholas Kingham
7. Josh Bell
8. Reese McGuire
9. Tony Sanchez
10. Luis Heredia
11. Harold Ramirez
12. Stolmy Pimentel
13. Andrew Lambo
14. Blake Taylor
15. Barrett Barnes
16. JaCoby Jones
17. Joely Rodriguez
18. Cody Dickson
19. Clay Holmes
20. Michael De La Cruz
21. Brandon Cumpton
22. Jin-De Jhang
... [Read More]
    2 Replies | 1,782 Views

Minors Review - Top 20 Pitching Prospects

by battlingbucs | Mar 28, 2014 - 12:30 PM
Much like the position player top 20 this is just a recap and a shot as of this time so you may notice a few inconsistencies (although I think there is only one on this list).

1. Jameson Taillon
2. Tyler Glasnow
3. Nicholas Kingham
4. Luis Heredia
5. Stolmy Pimentel
6. Blake Taylor
7. Joely Rodriguez
8. Cody Dickson
9. Clay Holmes
10. Brandon Cumpton
11. Jason Creasy
12. Kyle McPherson
13. Phil Irwin
14. Jonathan Sandfort
15. Buddy Borden
16. Duke Welker
17. Casey Sadler
18. Ryan Hafner
19. Zach Thornton
20. Neil Kozikowski
    0 Replies | 1,819 Views

Minors Review - Right Handed Starters Part III

by battlingbucs | Mar 27, 2014 - 7:48 AM
Upper Level Right Handed Starters

Top 3 Prospects

1. Jameson Taillon: As Iím sure most of you know Taillon is the Pirates top pitching prospect in the organization. He was selected 2nd overall in the 2012 draft out The Woodlands High School in Texas. His arsenal of pitches include a mid 90s fastball that can reach the upper 90s, a curve ball thatís when itís on is considered one of the better ones in baseball and a changeup that he is still working to develop. I get the sense that Taillonís is inconsistent with his curveball as scouts opinions range from calling it simply a plus pitch to one of the better curves in baseball. My guess is it depends on when these scouts watch him. Taillon made his pro debut the following season in A ball and had a fairly successful year posting good strike out and walk numbers although he was hit a bit harder than one might think do to an issue he has with elevating his pitches. The following season he started off strong in A+ and then just sort of became ok at the level; the Pirates still promoted him to AA at the end of the season and he pitched outstanding there. Last year he started in AA and had similar results to what he did in A+ the previous season. He posted solid K and BB numbers, drew rave reviews but his numbers were simply good not great. He got a taste of AAA at the end of the year and performed nearly the same. It might be a little concerning that the eye popping numbers just arenít there for Taillon but then again they werenít there for Cole either. It is possible this is all a byproduct of how the Pirates develop pitchers. At the beginning of the offseason it appeared the likely plan with Taillon was to have him spend half a year at AAA before joining the big league club but elbow discomfort has put that all on hold as the team tries to figure out to what extent he will need to rest. Hopefully the injury does not prove to be serious and heíll start pitching in AAA sometime in May with a possible July or August call up to Pittsburgh.

2. Nicholas Kingham: The Pirates drafted Kingham in the 4th round of the 2010 draft. Right now Kinghamís arsenal includes a mid 90s fastball, a good curve and an average change up. In a lot of ways minus the hype that surrounds them Kingham is very similar to Taillon. He doesnít quite have his upside but both are prep pitchers out of the 2010 draft with similar arsenals and similar builds. Kingham... [Read More]
    1 Reply | 641 Views

Marte Signs 6 Year $31 Million Deal with #Pirates. Great Deal For The Bucs

by Kipper | Mar 26, 2014 - 9:58 AM
It was just announced via Ken Rosenthal and Jim Duquette that the Pittsburgh Pirates and Starling Marte have reached an agreement on an extension that will keep the 25 year old Starling Marte a Pittsburgh Pirate through his prime years, into his early 30's, at a sweet reasonable price of a little over $5 million per year.

Considering that guys like Garrett Jones were getting $3.5 million per year this offseason and are well past their prime, what the Pirates got for Starling Marte who is just getting ready to enter his, is a remarkable deal. When you consider the deal that the Pirates struck with Andrew McCutchen and Jose Tabata, Neal Huntington and company have become masterful negotiators at shoring up contracts that are very favorable to the Pirates.

The question now is if they can force Scott Boras into these sweet deals with Pedro Alvarez and Gerrit Cole or if they will have to pony up some more cash to get the stubborn Scorr Boras to accept?

    7 Replies | 2,439 Views

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