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MLB Rookie Report: Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates

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Joe Robbins, Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates have promoted right-handed pitcher Jameson Taillon to the major league roster and he will make his MLB debut tonight against the New York Mets.

Taillon has been on prospect lists for half a decade, being drafted in the first round from a Texas high school back in 2010. As you likely know, he missed all of 2014 and 2015 due to injuries and entered 2016 spring training as a huge question-mark.

Here is the pre-season comment from the 2016 Baseball Prospect Book

Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pittsburgh Pirates
Bats: R Throws: R HT: 6-6 WT: 225 DOB: November 18, 1991

2011: Grade B+; 2012: Grade A-; 2013: Grade A-; 2014: Grade B; 2015: Grade B

I don’t know, and you don’t either. Taillon missed all of 2014 with Tommy John surgery and all of 2015 with hernia surgery. He’s supposed to be healthy now and reports from instructional league and winter work are encouraging. There’s apparently been no loss of stuff; he still has mid-90s velocity and a big-breaking curve, but we need to see how his command and stamina respond under live professional game conditions. Missing two years of development time makes projection difficult. We’ll stick with a Grade B.


Well, now we know.

Taillon made 10 starts for Triple-A Indianapolis before moving up today and was terrific, posting a 2.04 ERA in 61.2 innings with a spectacular 61/6 K/BB, allowing a mere 44 hits. The numbers are impeccable; indeed, they are considerably better than anything Taillon did before he got hurt. The scouting reports back all that up: his 93-96 MPH fastball is fully restored, the big curve is there, and his change-up has improved significantly compared to where it was three years ago. His command of all three pitches is better, too.

On Monday, Charlie Wilmoth at SB Nation's Bucs Dugout interviewed Taillon. There's a lot there about how Taillon used the two years off to mentally and emotionally mature as a person and as a pitcher; it is definitely worth your time to read.

Players always talk a lot about learning from adversity but Taillon has backed up those words with action.

As for his prospect status, those 10 starts with Indianapolis are enough to fully restore Taillon's luster to the Grade A- rating he had pre-injury.