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Pittsburgh Pirates Top 20 Prospects in Review

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This list was first posted on January 6th, 2008. THIS IS NOT A NEW LIST!!! THIS IS A REVIEW OF THE OLD LIST AND OLD GRADES!!!!!!

1) Andrew McCutchen, OF, Grade A-
     .275/.371/.391 with 30 steals for Triple-A Indianapolis. More patience this year, power is still struggling a bit. Would reduce to B+.
2) Steven Pearce, OF-1B, Grade B+
     .258/.310/.425 in Triple-A, .208/.259/.292 in the majors. Was 2007 a fluke? Or is this "I have nothing left to prove in the minors so why didn't you give me a job" discouragement syndrome?
3) Neil Walker, 3B, Grade B
     .236/.272/.418 for Indianapolis. Young for the level at 22, but this isn't very impressive at all.
4) Daniel Moskos, LHP, Grade B
     6.33 ERA with 70/40 K/BB in 102 innings, 117 hits for Lynchburg. Has been more effective since moving back to bullpen lately. I think he can rebound as a reliever but the decision to draft him must really rankle now.
5) Brad Lincoln, RHP, Grade C+
     Tommy John recovery has been so-so. 4.94 ERA with 65/15 K/BB in 93 innings combined at two levels of A-ball, 105 hits allowed. Good command but stuff isn't back yet.
6) Brian Bixler, SS, Grade C+
     .279/.343/.408 with 16 steals in Triple-A, .173/.239/.198 in the majors. Won't hit enough to start for a good team.
7) Shelby Ford, 2B, Grade C+
     .281/.335/.449 with 14 steals for Double-A Altoona. Solid overall though walk rate is low.
8) Duke Welker, RHP, Grade C+
     5.51 ERA with 65/41 K/BB in 98 innings for Class A Hickory, 117 hits allowed. Yuck. Strong GO/AO ratio, but nothing else going for him.
9) Brian Friday, SS, Grade C+
     .292/.369/.391 for Class A Lynchburg, missed time with back problems. Not a lot of power.
10) Andrew Walker, C, Grade C+
      .256/.284/.384 for Class A Hickory. Poor for the most part, currently on DL.
11) Jamie Romak, OF, Grade C
      .279/.360/.552 for Lynchburg, .197/.250/.408 for Double-A Altoona, undone so far at that level by excessive strikeouts.
12) Nyjer Morgan, OF, Grade C
      .294/.346/.364 with 43 steals in 80 games for Indianapolis, .143 in 26 games for the Pirates. Speed guy, looking for fourth/fifth outfield job.
13) Brad Corley, OF, Grade C
      .271/.320/.410 for Altoona. Has shown a bit more discipline this year but overall production is mediocre.
14) Bryan Bullington, RHP, Grade C
       Now with Indians. 5.37 ERA with 88/30 K/BB in 104 innings in Triple-A, 121 hits. Will never be the same guy he was before the injury.
15) Matt Peterson, RHP, Grade C
      Signed by Royals as minor league free agent. Limited to 18 innings this year at four levels by injuries, has a 5.50 ERA but a 19/1 K/BB. Has a chance if healthy. Given how impressive he was in the Pirates system in 2007, it is hard to believe they didn't protect him. Or maybe it really isn't.
16) Romulo Sanchez, RHP, Grade C
      2.28 ERA with 29/16 K/BB in 51 innings for Indianapolis. Can help in the major league pen if command holds up.
17) Quincy Latimore, OF, Grade C
       .255/.288/.410 for State College in the New York-Penn League. Toosly, very raw, bad plate discipline.
18) Marcus Davis, OF, Grade C
      .229/.294/.434 for Hickory before going on the DL in June. Impressive power/speed athlete, but extremely raw for a 23 year old.
19) Tony Watson, LHP, Grade C
       3.72 ERA with a 92/32 K/BB in 131 innings for Lynchburg, 137 hits allowed. Throws strikes, but Double-A transition in 2009 may not be easy.
20) Josh Sharpless, RHP, Grade C 
      Now in the Giants system. 3.29 ERA with 24/26 K/BB in 27 innings for Double-A Connecticut. Can't survive with that kind of command.

Pass the Prozac.

The Pirates have suffered from years of trying to build a farm system on the cheap. They've had some bad luck as well, compounded by bad decisions in trades. Overall it has been a recipe for disaster. The Pedro Alvarez Era can't begin soon enough.