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 Post subject: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:09 pm 
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No, not the new posters (welcome all), but the new players. I see some definite, clear trends in terms of the pitching.

So, here goes my analysis:

Bryan Morris 6'3" 175 lbs. DOB 3/28/87. 21 years old. R/R Pitcher. Drafted and played 2006. Underwent ligament surgery in 2007 and missed the entire year. Reported to have fastball in the low 90's and power curve. Logged high K rate in minor league career thus far (136.2 innings, 149 K's). Working as a starting pitcher. Problem with control in 2006 when he had a walk rate of 6.0/9 innings, but unclear how much of that was due to developing elbow problems. Walk rate this season is down to 3.2/9 innings, while the K rate is still very high in the low minors (8.2 per 9 innings).

Craig Hansen 6'6" 210 lbs. DOB 11/15/83 24 years old. R/R pitcher. Drafted by Sox in the 1st round of the 2005 draft. Worked primarily as a reliever in the minors, though he has also started this year. Throws power fastball at 97 mph. Had very good slider in college, but has had trouble in the pros controlling the pitch. Worked at developing a change-up last year, with mixed results. Has pitched in 73 games in the majors, all as a reliever. Major league stats include a 6.21 ERA. Minor league performance consists of 127 innings, 110 hits allowed, 61 BB, 117 K's. Minor league K rate of 8.3/9 innings. and major league K rate of 7.35/9 innings. Needs to work on control, and developing slider to become an out pitch. If he can harness the slider, he looks to be a power pitcher with a dominant offspeed pitch. Possibly an 8th or 9th inning pitcher.

Ross Ohlendorf 6'4" 235 lbs. DOB 8/18/82. 25 years old. R/R pitcher. Attended Princeton, so he is obviously a smart guy. Throws power fastball, with 2-seam at 94 mph and 4-seam up to 97 mph. Worked as reliever in the majors with Yankees. Starting this year. Slider is his offspeed pitch of choice, and can be a good pitch if he can keep it down in the strike zone. Throws slider at 88 mph, Big frame, built like a guy who can throw a lot of innings. 10-8, 3.29 ERA as a starter in AA in 2006. Spent time on rehab in 2007, and returned to make the majors. Started 5 games for Yankees AA team in Trenton. Needs to develop and control secondary pitches to remain a starter. Power arm makes him a late inning reliever if he is not able to work as a starter.

Daniel McCutchen 6'1" 195 lbs. DOB 9/25/82. R/R Pitcher. 25 years old. Starting pitcher all the way. Good to great command of the strike zone, as evidenced by his minor league walk rate of just 2.09 per 9 innings. Averages 7.4 K's per 9 innings, which is an acceptable rate, particularly where the rate increased from A ball to AA. Features a 2-seam at 92-93 mph, 4-seam as high as 95 mph. Very good curve. Good control of all pitches. 14-4 combined record at high-A and AA ball in 2007, with just 116 hits allowed in 142 innings. Followed that up with 8-9 record, 3.21 ERA in AA and AAA this year before trade. With Yanks farm teams in 2008, worked 123 innings, 116 H allowed, 29 BB, 110 K's.

Jose Tabata 5'11" 170 lbs. DOB 8/22/88. OF R/R. Just 19 years old right now. Ranked Yankees 3rd best prospect (behind Joba Chamberlain and Austin Jackson) in 2007. Reported to have lightning quick bat, decent foot speed, pure RF'er arm. Good walk rate for such a young guy. ,362 career OBP in the minors. Reached AA at age 19, which is remarkably fast advancement. Has not shown the power that he is expected to develop as he matures and settles in. Got into trouble in April, after leaving the game following a strikeout. Maturity, attitude and desire have been questioned, but his baseball talent has not. Example of a young guy who hits just 5 HR's in A and high A in 2006 and 2007, but is projected to develop XBH ability based on his swing and performance against much older and more experienced competition. Stole 22 bases as a 16-year old in rookie ball. Has stolen at least 15 bases in each full minor league season. Decent speed, good defense, plus arm.

Andy Laroche 6'1" 220 lbs. DOB 8/13/83. 3B R/R. 24 years old. Remarkable plate discipline and eye for the strike zone. Good power. Projects as a 25 HR player. Above-average defense at 3B. Ranked the best Dodger prospect in 2007. Ranked among the top 35 prospects in baseball by Minor League Baseball site in 2008. Production thus far very good. 30 HR's and 94 RBI's in A and AA ball in 2005. 19 HR's and 81 RBI's in 2006. In minor league career, has a .382 OBP and .516 slugging. In the majors, has continued to show remarkable strike zone control, as evidenced by 30 BB's and 31 K's in 152 at bats. That type of ratio is remarkable for a 24-year old player. That suggests he will wind up as a player who will walk more than he K's, and will fan less than 15% of his plate appearances. The players currently in the majors who perform that way can be listed as follows: Albert Pujols, Joe Mauer, Lyle Overbay, Brian Giles and Chipper Jones. Only negative - he may talk to Adam about hitting and believe that older brother has something to offer,

Brandon Moss 6'0" 185 lbs. DOB 9-16-83. 24 years old. OF L/R. Left-hander with pop. Plays corner OF, and is projected as a RF'er due to his cannon arm. Pitched in minors in 2005. Reportedly threw 94 mph in batting practice while showing off his arm. 13 HR's, 101 RBI's, .402 OBP in 2004 in A ball. 36 2B', 12 HR's, 83 RBI's in 2006 in AA ball. 16 HR's, 78 RBI's, .282/.363/.471 in AAA in 2007. Played with Sox in both 2007 and 2008. In 101 at bats, posted 2 HR's, 12 RBI's, .298/.348/.456. Good not great defender, but would be more than adequate in RF at PNC given his acceptable range and cannon arm. Problem has been high K rate, including 148 K's in AAA in 2007. K rate in the minors at about 23%.

Jeff Karstens - see, Josh Fogg. Right-handed control guy, featuring 88 mph 2-seam. Too tired to do more on him. Sorry,

My review of the newest Pirates.


Last edited by Bucfan on Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:20 pm 
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Geez Bucfan, that McCutchen is one tall dude!!! :P

And I don't blame you on not finishing Karstens. I'm really excited to at least partially excited to see all the other players acquired. I believe he will be a big fat bust. Josh Fogg was a perfect analogy.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:25 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
Geez Bucfan, that McCutchen is one tall dude!!! :P


Lotta typing. Real lot. I am pleased at the relative low level of typos in my lengthy post.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:29 pm 
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Nice job bucfan!


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:31 pm 
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It was a good analysis. I love the fact that all these guys have pretty high ceilings. Now it is the Pirates and with their luck maybe I shouldn't say it, but you have to think some of these guys will reach that ceiling and thus make these deals very successful. Hated to see Bay go, as he was my favorite player, but can't argue with the return.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:42 pm 
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PirateParrot wrote:
It was a good analysis. I love the fact that all these guys have pretty high ceilings.


The common factors for the players received:

(1) For the pitchers, all right-handers. 4 of the 5 deliver at 95 mph+. Power arms to join Lincoln, Scheppers (I hope), Capps. That would give the Pirates more pure power arms than anybody else in the NL.

(2) Hitters are combination power/OBP guys. Basically, all of them potential .280/.360/.480 guys.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:50 pm 
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Good job bucfan -- thanks, it gives me a much better picture of what we aquired. In toto it sure looks like we have brought quite a few good players into the system. I think, NH deserves credit for doing a good job.

If most of these guys achieve their potential we will be a respectable team in a few years.

Power arms is clearly the Pirate way now. Not only from the new guys but look at the acquired guys this year-- Yates and Batista are also power guys.

All of us will miss Bay and Nady but it appears that we have improved our chances in the future. And as others have pointed out, we haven't won any championships with those guys leading us.

Some are cussing but I really feel much better about the Pirate team.

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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2008 11:57 pm 
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I assume the pirates are though using moss as an outfielder though

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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:05 am 
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Ryann wrote:
I assume the pirates are though using moss as an outfielder though


Yes, clearly, since he has been an OF'er since he was drafted. His minor league pitching was minimal.

I think that comparisons of players are usually bogus ("so and so is a Josh Beckett type ... other than the fact that he has never pitched like him"), but - Moss' body type and minor league performance are pretty similar to McLouth. Not big guys, left-handed hitters with pop, lots of doubles in the minors, decent walk rate. Moss fans a lot more, so the comparison is clearly not spot-on.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:06 am 
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So moss is going to start in left field right away? And is cutch going to play on the big league club for september?

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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:24 am 
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Well, I hope you guys are right...that they all do pan out real well. Maybe this time. But, history isn't on that side.

However, I still don't like it. No matter how you slice it, in the last several days we've lost two of the league's leading hitters, and in return we've gotten several minor league players. That is the facts.

I hope I'm wrong....and if I am I will gladly eat crow....but .......


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:08 am 
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Steve1118 wrote:
However, I still don't like it. No matter how you slice it, in the last several days we've lost two of the league's leading hitters, and in return we've gotten several minor league players. That is the facts.


These are also the facts:

(1) Pirates were not going to win more than 75 games with Nady, Bay and Marte on the team. Look at 2006, 2007, and 2008.

(2) The goal is not to win 75 or 80 games. The goal is to win 95 games and the World Series.

You are right about the track record of minor league players. Lots of them fail. Fewer blue-chip players fall short than non-premium prospects.

So what is the solution? What most posters here have been saying for years - get a bunch of top prospects. 8 new players, 5 pitchers, 4 power arms, 3 position players who feature high OBP and power potential.

How long have I and others been preaching that the team should be built on the formula for winning: power pitchers, good K rates by pitching, high OBP, and power. Those are the traits of the players obtained via trade, and the other pitchers (Yates, Bautista) previously obtained.

And Huntinton so far has done a good job in evaluating talent. Yates and Bautista have pitched well. Alvarez and Scheppers are big-time prospects. He and his staff liked CJ Wilson, who goes on to pitch 8 dominant innings in the CWS series while throwing 93 mph in the last inning.

Given this data, I have to give NH and the present Pirates management the benefit of the doubt.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:54 am 
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I hope you are right.....I am rooting for me to be wrong.

However, like most Bucco fans since the 60s I've seen this scenario play itself out too many times before......lose top notch players and wind up with a bunch of Brad Eldreds. They've got to prove me wrong....I hope they do.


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:13 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Steve1118 wrote:
And Huntinton so far has done a good job in evaluating talent. Yates and Bautista have pitched well. Alvarez and Scheppers are big-time prospects. He and his staff liked CJ Wilson, who goes on to pitch 8 dominant innings in the CWS series while throwing 93 mph in the last inning.



Hate to disagree with you on this buuuuuut...I was one of three people in the entire College World Series stadium that had access to a radar gun. Our seats were directly behind home plate...front row. The radar gun that is used for the scoreboard was on but wasn't registering on the scoreboards due to NCAA rules. We could see how fast each pitcher was throwing. Wilson was consistently 87-89 with the occasional 90 MPH fastball. I know you don't have to throw gas to be successful but that is one reason why I'm not sold on Wilson. He is just leveraging that one game for a bigger contract. Believe me, he'll wish he took advantage of the lighting in a bottle game he had because I don't see him any higher than a 5th rounder.

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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:19 am 
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Bucfan, I agree with you. You said it better then I would of but I share your feelings here.

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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:07 pm 
Steve1118 wrote:
I hope you are right.....I am rooting for me to be wrong.

However, like most Bucco fans since the 60s I've seen this scenario play itself out too many times before......lose top notch players and wind up with a bunch of Brad Eldreds. They've got to prove me wrong....I hope they do.


Steve1118, I normally don't like the Pirates trading established players for prospects as a rule, because the majority of the time that hasn't worked out.

This trade is a little different, my friend. The players they got back are actually regrded as top-flight guys by objective baseball experts (not just the Pirates).


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:09 pm 
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I guess I missed the part where Bay and Nady started pitching as well as hitting.

:roll:


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 Post subject: Re: New guys ...
PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2008 12:17 pm 
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Steve1118 wrote:
I hope you are right.....I am rooting for me to be wrong.


Me too, Steve, me too. We had 60 people on a Pirate message board yesterday right at the deadline, talking about a team that has not had a winning season since before gas reached $1.50/gallon.

Give the new management a chance. I wondered about the Nady/Marte trade (I don't like putting multiple players in a deal as it seems the return never justifies the players traded), but will give it time since Tabata is a high-risk, high-return guy and since Ohlendord and McCutch-pitcher are candidates to enter the starting rotation later this year, and no later than next.


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