New Kid on the Block
Hello, I am Nathan Bowen the newest member of the Altoona Curve front office. I am very excited to make my blogging debut with the Altoona Curve. The Curve will be my fourth minor league team in the past four years (Princeton Rays, Durham Bulls, Northwest Arkansas Naturals). Although, I am very happy to be closer to my home state of Ohio, my first few weeks back have been a reminder that winter is not always as fun in the north as it is in the south.
The harsher northern winters of make me look forward to the summer and the new baseball season even more. It makes me miss the smell of fresh cut grass, the crack of the bat, seeing all of the fans filing through the gates to the field, and of course the sun.
Originally, from a small town in Northwestern Ohio, I have enjoyed my time in Altoona thus far, and have gotten out to several of the smaller surrounding towns in my first three weeks as a Pennsylvania resident.
In the offseason, I spend my time cheering on teams that have fallen on hard times in recent years. The Buffalo Bills, who I hope will be ending the longest running playoff drought in the NFL this upcoming season, along with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and the Buffalo Sabres.
One of the things I am most looking forward to seeing this season, is the young talent that is filling the Pirates organization from top to bottom. I have had the privilege of seeing some of the best talent in minor league baseball throughout my first three years working in the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals organizations. Some of these players include, Desmond Jennings and Matt Moore of the Rays, and last season’s minor-league player of the year, Wil Myers, who was traded from the Royals organization to the Rays during the off season.
The Pirates system has some true standouts that I have kept my eye on the past few seasons, including Starling Marte, who is now with the big league club, and Gerrit Cole. MILB.com recently released their top 100 prospect list, which included four players from the Pirates system.
Cole is the highest rated Pirates prospect coming in at number nine on the MILB.com list, and is the fifth highest rated pitcher. Jameson Taillon is the next Pirate on the list ranked 15th. Curve fans had the opportunity to see Taillon, briefly at the end of the 2012 season, when he made three brilliant starts going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
Infielder, Alen Hanson, comes next on the list at number 54. Hanson spent last season with the West Virginia Power, and led the South Atlantic League in total bases. The middle-infielder also hit .309 and stole 35 bases in his first year in full season ball.
A teammate of Hanson’s with the Power, Gregory Polanco rounds out the list of Pirates at number 65. The center-fielder led the system in stolen bases, and finished second in the South Atlantic League with a .325 average in 116 games.
To check out the full MLB Top-100 list for 2013, click the link below:
Bobblehead Contest Continuing
The first round of the 15th season bobblehead contest is coming to a close. If you did not get a chance to cast your vote, or the player you wanted was not the winner; have no fear there are still two more rounds of voting to come.
The next round will feature players from the 2004-2008 seasons and the last round features those who played for the Curve from 2009-present. The candidates from the 2004-2008 seasons include Josh Bonifay, Chris Duffy, Brad Eldred, Steve Pearce, Zach Duke, Jose Bautista, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker.
We will announce the seeding for the 2004-2008 bracket on Monday, February 4 with the second set of voting set to begin on our facebook page starting Wednesday, February 6.
To visit the Curve on facebook, click here