Getting Classical….

We've got a fresh batch of snow on the ground after the flurries earlier this week
We’ve got a fresh batch of snow on the ground after the flurries earlier this week

Happy Friday to those Curve fans out in the blogosphere.  Yes we are still here but have been on a bit of a hiatus since the calendar turned to 2013 so firstly, Happy New Year!  Ok, with that out of the way we’ve got a few news items for the blog this week in case you missed them:

Cole/Taillon Heading to MLB Spring Training: 

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced on Thursday that 2012 Curve hurlers Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon have been invited to MLB Spring Training, meaning they’ll have to report by February 11th.  This will be the second go-around in big league camp for Cole, who also was an invite last year before being reassigned to the minors.  For Taillon, the second-overall pick in the 2010 draft, this will be his first big league camp invite.  Both will gain some invaluable experience while participating in big league camp as they prepare for 2013.

Baseball America Releases Pirates Top-10 Prospects for 2013 and Best Tools:

On Wednesday the collective brain trust at Baseball America released their Top-10 prospects in the Pirates organization as well as who had the best tools in the Bucs minor league system heading into the season.  You can read the full write-up here:

Or if you’d just like the breakdown, here ya go:

Top-10 Prospects (as ranked by Baseball America)
1. Gerrit Cole (RHP)
2. Jameson Taillon (RHP)
3. Luis Heredia (RHP)
4. Gregory Polanco (OF)
5. Alen Hanson (SS)
6. Josh Bell (OF)
7. Kyle McPherson (RHP)
8. Justin Wilson (LHP)
9. Barrett Barnes (OF)
10. Clay Holmes (RHP)

Best Tools (as ranked by Baseball America)

Best Hitter for Average: Gregory Polanco
Best Power Hitter: Josh Bell
Best Strike Zone Discipline: Clint Robinson
Fastest Baserunner: Harold Ramirez
Best Athlete: Gregory Polanco
Best Fastball: Gerrit Cole
Best Curveball: Jameson Taillon
Best Changeup: Nathan Baker
Best Control: Kyle McPherson
Best Defensive Catcher: Tony Sanchez
Best Defensive Infielder: Gift Ngoepe
Best Infield Arm: Kirk Singer
Best Defensive OF: Gregory Polanco
Best Outfield Arm: Willy Garcia

World Baseball Classic Preliminary Rosters Announced: 

Also coming out of the newsfeed on Thursday afternoon was the announcement of the preliminary rosters for the 2013 World Baseball Classic, which begins March 2nd in both Fukuoka, Japan and Taichung, Taiwan.  We’ve saved you the trouble of searching through the rosters to find all the former Curve players involved (your welcome!) and compiled a nice list below.  Congrats to all the former Curve players who have the privilege of representing their countries:

The list compiled below is by country with the number inside the parentheses indicating the years they played in Altoona.

Stefan Welch (2012)

Chris Leroux (2011)
Dustin Molleken (2009-10)
Jameson Taillon (2012)
Tim Leiper – Coach (2006-08)

Ray Chang (2008-09)

Yung-Chi Chen (2010)

Kingdom of the Netherlands: 
Shairon Martis (2012)
Yurendell de Caster (2004)

Luis Cruz (2008)

Puerto Rico: 
Carlos Rivera (2001-02)

Ronald Belisario (2007-08)

Yunesky Sanchez (2011)

Ryan Vogelsong (2002)

On that note, we’ll wrap up the blog for this week.  We would be remiss if we didn’t mention two of our newest staff members, Tim Lozinak and Nathan Bowen, who will both have dual roles with the club for 2013.  Tim will be helping out in tickets as well as operations while Nathan will also help out in tickets and grace the broadcast booth in 2013.  We’ll have more on these two later.

Have a nice weekend and try and stay warm (it’s really really really really cold outside)



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