Originally written on Pirates Prospects  |  Last updated 10/9/12

The 2012 Arizona Fall League begins Tuesday, with the Scottsdale Scorpions playing their first game at 12:35 PM MST (3:35 PM EST).  The Pittsburgh Pirates have seven players on the Scorpions this year.  Matt Curry, Gift Ngoepe, and Adalberto Santos will represent the Pirates on the offensive side of the game, while Vic Black, Brandon Cumpton, Kyle Kaminska, and Tyler Waldron will all join the Scottsdale pitching staff.


The AFL is mostly filled with players from the AA and AAA levels, giving some valuable playing time to these prospects.  It will be the first opportunity for Gift Ngoepe to play against upper level talent.  The rest of the players will gain additional experience against the upper level talent. Here is what each player could afford to work on:


Curry - Curry was inconsistent with his hitting this year. He started off with two decent months, posting a .781 OPS in April and a .774 OPS in May. In June he caught fire, hitting for a 1.276 OPS. He carried that over to July with an .868 OPS. Curry faded down the stretch, with a .719 OPS in August, before being promoted to Triple-A at the end of the year. His potential as a prospect lies with his bat and his power. However, he only had three months with an ISO over .150, and only had two months with an OPS over .800. Neither of those results are ideal for a first base prospect.


Ngoepe - Gift is a plus defensive shortstop, and is also a very fast player and a good base stealer. He should make the jump to Double-A next year, so the time against upper level pitching should help. He’s had some plate patience issues, mostly on the strikeout side of the game. That’s a concern right now, but it’s also worth considering his background, which doesn’t include a lot of organized baseball experience. That makes his high strikeout totals different than someone who has been playing for years in high school, college, and the lower levels. It also leaves open the chance that he could improve his numbers.


Santos - He missed some time this year with an injury, but when he was healthy he tore up Double-A pitching. Santos should get the promotion to Triple-A next year, but some added playing time against upper level talent won’t hurt. The AFL is more of a showcase league, and this would be a good opportunity for him to display the hitting talent that led to his strong season in Altoona.


Black - Black has late inning stuff, with a fastball that touches the upper 90s, and a hard slider which gets a ton of strikeouts. He does lack control at times, which led to a high walk rate this past year. If he could cut down on the control issues, he could turn in to a very dominant reliever.


Cumpton - He has put up some good numbers in the rotation the last two years, with a 3.84 ERA in 152.1 innings in Double-A this year. He throws as hard as 97, although he’s mostly in the 89-93 MPH range as a starter. He hasn’t been as dominant as a starter, lacking strong strikeout numbers. He does get a lot of ground balls, and isn’t afraid to pitch inside. If he wants to remain a starter, Cumpton will need to add some strikeouts. Otherwise his upside might be better as a reliever.


Kaminska - The Pirates added Kaminska in the Gorkys Hernandez/Gaby Sanchez trade. The right-hander turned 24 years old last week, which makes him a little on the older side for high-A and Double-A. That’s where he pitched while with the Pirates, getting time in the rotation. Kaminska worked as a starter up until the 2011 season, where he primarily worked as a reliever. He remained a reliever this year with Miami, until coming over in the trade. With the Pirates he eventually moved in to the rotation, and had a few good starts. He’ll need to show more of that before emerging as a legit starting prospect.


Waldron - Waldron is in a similar situation as Cumpton. As a reliever he can throw much harder than he can as a starter. As a starter he doesn’t strike out a lot of hitters. Waldron has less of a chance of sticking as a starter, since he doesn’t have the strong ground ball rates to fall back on. He also has been hit harder, leading to a higher ERA. He’s plagued by the long ball, giving up 14 this year. Most of that is due to a lack of movement on his fastball.


Throughout the AFL season we will be updating the progress of these players, with the first update coming today after the Scottsdale Scorpions game.





GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jason Kidd to be named general manager of Bucks

USWNT romps Japan 5-2 to win third Women's World Cup title

Report: JPP 'severely injured' hand in fireworks mishap

Blatter: European politicians helped Qatar land World Cup

Report: Cavs considering trading for Joe Johnson

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Andrew Quarless found hiding in plant after firing gun

Odell Beckham: I don't want to be known only for 'the catch'

Borland on retirement: Health 'more important' than money

Three NBA teams that improved most early in offseason

Adam Eaton gets 4th of July surprise from brother

Clippers in talks with JaVale McGee, Amar’e Stoudemire

2015 All-Star starters announced, featuring four Royals

WATCH: Jake Marisnick makes fantastic running catch

WATCH: Carlos Gomez leaves gum, note for Billy Hamilton

Kansas to wear new USA jerseys after request from FIBA

What can the Saints expect from CJ Spiller in 2015?

Isaiah Thomas trolls Kings after Rajon Rondo signing

Kosta Koufos agrees to deal with Kings

Report: Blues in trade talks about Kevin Shattenirk

Report: Gregg Popovich plans to fulfill five-year contract

4-Star LB commits to Kentucky, zings Louisville

Clay Buchholz not worried about trade rumors

All hope isn't completely lost for this year's Milwaukee Brewers

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 All-Star starters announced

JPP injured in fireworks mishap?

Odell Beckham doesn't want to be known for 'the catch'

Russell Wilson 'would definitely consider' playing for Mariners

Solo, Rapinoe among USWNT stars up for World Cup awards

LBS on Sports Jeopardy! Here's how how it went

College football's 35 most patriotic helmets

A brief history of non-star All-Stars

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.