Results tagged ‘ Jameson Taillon ’
Well, unfortunately we were unable to play the final game of our road trip in Akron due to some extremely wet weather but it did mean we got to jump on the bus back home to Curve, Pa. and get home earlier. We ended up leaving Canal Park a little before 8 last night and got back to the ballpark at roughly 11:20 p.m. It was a lightning-filled bus ride home as we drove through the storm to make it back to Altoona.
Altoona finishes its first roadie 3-3 and as one of the better hitting teams in the league through its first six games of the 2013 season. It’s also been a homer-happy Curve team early on in 2013 with the club mashing seven home runs through six contests. When did the Curve hit their seventh home run in 2012? It came on May 2, 2012 in Erie when Brock Holt connected for a homer at Jerry Uht Park.
One thing that did result from our rainout in Akron is that Casey Sadler will now start tonight’s home opener instead of Jameson Taillon. Taillon is now scheduled to pitch Friday night when three-time Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey visits Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Another fun thing about coming back from a long seven-game trip (other than sleeping in your own bed of course) is that all the cool stuff you ordered while you were on the road is waiting for you at the ballpark when you get back. For the players, it’s always a quick trip up from Spring Training to Altoona and not all of their gear and/or housing furnishings have arrived by the time we kick off the season. So we were greeted by boxes and boxes of cool stuff.
Our manager Carlos Garcia looked like he was greeted by a new driver for his golf game while others had shipments of bats, new mitts, cleats and other game-ready stuff. What did I have waiting for me? A few linen shirts for the summer months plus a new insurance card and a savings bond from 1997. #SliceofLife
Tonight’s home opener begins has an official first pitch of 6:30 p.m. but the pregame festivities will get started a bit earlier as we here at the Curve pay tribute to Robert “Bo” Forney. Forney had been a bat boy with the team since the 2008 season and developed many close relationships with past Curve players as well as the front office staff at the ballpark. There will be a limited number of Bo Forney patches available for sale at tonight’s opener with the Senators. All proceeds from the sale of the patches will benefit the American Heart Association.
Also taking place will be an in-game silent auction of signed, game-used memorabilia from the March 30th Pirates-Curve Exhibition. Bo’s father Ron will throw out the first pitch at tonight’s game while his sister Shannon will be tonight’s Kunzler Honorary Team Captain. A framed bat boy jersey with the Bo patch on the sleeve will also be presented to the Forney family pregame.
New at the Ballpark
If you’re coming on down to tonight’s home opener be sure to check out some of the new things at the ballpark like our new habanero Curve burger, the new MoJo Speed Pitch Machine down near the wall of fame and Sandy Candy Land near the Galliker’s Fun Zone. That’s not all that’s new but just a sliver of new things to try in your visits to Curve, Pa.
It’s nearly 6:30 a.m. and it’s time to finish up the morning news with WTAJ-TV. How about Glenn McComas getting some TV love early this morning with that habanero Curve burger?!!
On Wednesday, Baseball America released both a free and paid version of their updated organizational rankings, perhaps a look into the future of how the Majors will shape up?
Here are the rankings:
1. Kansas City Royals
2. Tampa Bay Rays
3. Atlanta Braves
4. Toronto Blue Jays
5. New York Yankees
6. Cincinnati Reds
7. Cleveland Indians
8. San Diego Padres
9. Colorado Rockies
10. Philadelphia Phillies
11. Los Angeles Dodgers
12. Minnesota Twins
13. Washington Nationals
14. Texas Rangers
15. Los Angeles Angels
16. Chicago Cubs
17. Boston Red Sox
18. Seattle Mariners
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
20. New York Mets
21. Baltimore Orioles
22. Arizona Diamondbacks
23. San Francisco Giants
24. St. Louis Cardinals
25. Detroit Tigers
26. Houston Astros
27. Chicago White Sox
28. Oakland Athletics
29. Florida Marlins
30. Milwaukee Brewers
Not surprisingly at all, the Kansas City Royals top the list. Two people I worked with in 2009 with the Lakewood BlueClaws now work for the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, the 2010 Texas League Champions, and they were able to see this massive amount of talent up close.
The Naturals had hitters like Mike Moustakas, who hit .347 with 21 bombs in 61 games, and Clint Robinson, who hit .339 with 29 homers. The Naturals had six players hit greater than .300 who played 50 games or more, and they hit a combined 132 home runs. Compare that to the Altoona Curve, the 2010 Eastern League Champions, they had three players who hit .300 or better and on smacked 80 home runs. Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers may be the best of the bunch and they’re not even mentioned here.
From a pitching standpoint, five of the Royals top ten prospects are pitchers and that includes first rounder Mike Montgomery, who was tremendous for Team USA in the Pan Am qualifiers and John Lamb, who at only 20 years old, has made it to the AA level.
The Royals have not had a season above .500 since 2003 and have not made the playoffs since they won the 1985 World Series, but don’t look now…they could be the team of the future.
The Pirates, I think a bit harshly are at 19 in these rankings and that’s probably because most of their prospects are young and on the pitching side of things. In a few years, I fully expect the Pirates to break into the top ten because the ceiling is so high for many of the players in the Pirates system, they just have to answer some of the question marks.
The Pirates have spent more money than any other team in the MLB draft over the past three years. Guys like Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie could turn out to be top-of-the-line players and Luis Heredia, a 16-year old, six-foot-five, Mexican pitcher could have a long and great career ahead of him.
Potential 2011 Curve catcher Tony Sanchez and outfielder Starling Marte are beginning to prove themselves as future big leaguers and there’s really a host of other talent, Curve fans should know that from seeing the pitching staff the team had last year and the fact that the Bradenton Marauders made the playoffs last season and Lynchburg Hillcats took home a title two years ago. The Pirates also own the top pick in the 2011 draft and will likely select a player with a tremendous hitting potential.
The Pirates ranking may be 19, but I think that’s with a higher ceiling than most teams, it’s similar to a NCAA Bracket competition. Another team may have more points than you right now, but they took Duke to win it all and you have more potential points sitting out there. That other person will be ranked higher now, but in a short period of time, you’ll be looking down at them on the leaderboard when everything pans out.
Every year as the anticipation
towards Spring Training increases, the folks at Baseball America begin to put
out their organizational top ten players as a tease for their prospect
handbook. Baseball America is the top publication service in scouting and reporting
on amateur and Minor League Baseball players and their stuff, more often than
others, is pretty accurate.
Baseball America announces the top 10 for free, but rightfully so,
makes you pay for the scouting reports and the rest of the top 30 players.
Since, here at CurveBall Blog, we appreciate what Baseball America does, I’ll
give you the top 10 prospects in the Pirates system, some personal analysis and
a recommendation that if you like baseball and ever attend a Minor League
Baseball game, to buy the full Prospect Handbook.
2011 Pirates Organization Top 10:
Bold=Former Curve Players
Italic=Potential 2011 Curve
1. RHP Jameson Taillon
2. C Tony Sanchez
3. RHP Stetson Allie
4. OF Starling Marte
5. RHP Luis Heredia
6. RHP Bryan Morris
7. LHP Rudy Owens
8. LHP Jeff Locke
9. RHP Zack Von Rosenberg
10. INF Chase d’Arnaud
Right off the bat you’ll notice that pitching dominates the top 10 (7 of 10)
and this has been due to a recent draft philosophy by the Pirates organization and as a result of trades.
Last season, the Pirates took Taillon as the No. 2 player and top pitcher and
scouts absolutely love his stuff and his ceiling. He isn’t ticketed to play in
Altoona for a few years. Additionally, last year Stetson Allie was surprisingly
still available at No. 52 so they went back-to-back high school pitchers. This
season, with the top selection, expect an experienced bat to come off the board
for the Pirates (Anthony Rendon).
Tony Sanchez was taken fourth overall in 2009 and
all he has done is hit since he has been selected. A catcher out of Boston
College, Sanchez should be the Curve Opening Day backstop and he will hope to
improve upon his defensive play which comes highly touted as well. Catchers are
never really expected to contribute offensively, but Sanchez could be a rare
breed of both an offensively and defensively minded catcher.
Starling Marte is a raw athlete who, despite
playing four seasons professionally, has played in only 235 games. Health is the key
for Marte, who will be expected to be in center field for Altoona on Opening
day. He is coming off a hand injury which limited time in 2010 and had a sub-par
performance in the Dominican Winter League after the season concluded. If Marte
can play in 110+ games this season, improve defensively and hit in the vicinity
of his .294 career average, then 2011 will be a success.
Heredia is a young arm from Mexico, who the Pirates took a chance on signing
for a record $2.6 million. He may serve as a test product for the international
market because if he pans out, the Pirates may begin to put more money into
international players. Another young arm, Zack Von Rosenberg had a decent debut last season and was an
above-slot guy taken in the 2009 6th round. He will start the season with West
Virginia, a team that figures to have some pretty exciting pitching.
Bryan Morris and Jeff Locke are similar in that they both pitched
in Bradenton and Altoona last season, both were 2006 draftees by teams other
than the Pirates and they both saw success in 2011. Morris is considered
the slightly more advanced of the two and there may only be a spot for one of
them in the Indianapolis rotation leaving the other to begin the season in
Altoona. Both could see the majors in 2012 though.
Rudy Owens, the back-to-back Pirates Minor League
Pitcher of the Year is in a similar mold, for me as the Atlanta Braves Brandon
Beachy. For both, when you look at the numbers, all they do is pitch well, but
both are seen with a lower ceiling than many other prospects. Owens took a few
years to mature but his numbers speak for themselves. He has been tremendous
the past two seasons and 2011 is going to be his big year. If Owens has the
same success in AAA as he has had the past two years, his stock will sky-rocket.
An interesting prospect, Chase d’Arnaud has a big year ahead of him. In a
full season with Altoona last year, d’Arnaud under-performed, but don’t get me
wrong, I like this kid a lot. d’Arnaud is a solid hitter who I expect to really
rebound this season. It is unknown if he will begin back in Altoona or advance
to Indianapolis, but I think he starts in AA, begins the season extremely well
and earns a mid-year call up. A huge year for d’Arnaud as he looks to catch up
to the prospect level of his brother Travis, a catcher in the Toronto
That’s a look into the top 10 with the rest of the top 30 littered with former
and future Altoona Curve players. With two of the top five players playing in
Altoona in 2011, it’ll be exciting to see some of the top stars for the Pirates
try and establish themselves.