Found January 15, 2013 on
The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on the products page of the site.
To recap the countdown so far:
20. Jin-De Jhang, C
19. Andrew Oliver, LHP
18. Vic Black, RHP
17. Adrian Sampson, RHP
16. Wyatt Mathisen, C
15. Bryan Morris, RHP
We continue the countdown with the number 14 prospect, Justin Wilson.
14. Justin Wilson, LHP
Wilson’s first jump to the Triple-A level led to some struggles, and an eventual move to the bullpen to work on his control issues. The lefty finished the 2011 season in the bullpen, although the move wasn’t permanent. The Pirates moved Wilson back to the rotation to start the 2012 season, and sent him back to Triple-A.
After starting off with some poor control numbers in April, Wilson switched to more of an overhead delivery, aimed at keeping his body under control and making it easier to repeat his delivery. The new approach worked for a while, cutting down on his walks. The first start with the delivery led to a combined no-hitter, with Wilson throwing 7.1 no-hit innings with two walks and nine strikeouts. As the season progressed, the control issues started to re-appear.
Wilson has some of the best stuff in the system, but his control issues limit his upside. He throws a 92-96 MPH fastball as a starter, and has hit 99 as a reliever in the past. He also throws a curveball, slider, and changeup, with his curve being his best off-speed pitch.
The Pirates moved him back to the bullpen at the end of the 2012 season so that they could use him as an additional lefty out of the major league bullpen in September. His control problems limit his upside, but they exist as a starter and as a reliever, so there’s no benefit to moving him to the bullpen full time.
If Wilson could ever gain control, he’d be a strong number two starter. That’s a huge “if”, and almost impossible at this point. Even with the poor control, his stuff could make him a solid number four starter or a power left-handed reliever. He could get a crack at the majors during Spring Training. If he doesn’t make the Opening Day roster, the best approach would be to keep him in the rotation, where he’d provide more value.
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The Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide is now on sale. The book features over 250 prospect reports, the 2013 top 50 prospects, and the most comprehensive coverage of the Pirates’ farm system that you can find. While the top 50 prospects are exclusive to the book, we will be releasing the top 20 prospects over the next few weeks. Be sure to purchase your copy of the book on...
MiLB.com held a Q&A with two Pirates prospects, Gregory Polanco and Josh Bell. To read the Q&A, click here. Some of the highlights:
**Polanco mentioned that he’s trying to get stronger, and up to 225 pounds. He says he’s at 220 pounds. He mentioned his goal was to add the “right weight”, which would allow him to add bat speed, arm strength, and velocity...
I am a sucker for guys like Jeff Karstens. And there is no rhyme or reason for the fact. It just is. Perhaps it is because he is a former Yankee and it is a personal habit to follow such creatures once they leave the New York nest. But he left a long time ago. Perhaps it is because he was not drafted until the nineteenth round of the 2003 draft. It is not hard to root for guys who...
Throughout most of the off-season, it seemed inevitable that the Pittsburgh Pirates would trade Joel Hanrahan. There also seemed to be a strong possibility that Garrett Jones could be traded. In both cases we heard plenty of rumors about each player. Both players were due for a raise in arbitration. There was a good reason behind the idea of a trade for each player. But that didn’t...
Today the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates ZiPS projections were released on FanGraphs. The projections included WAR estimates for every player. It’s difficult to get a season projection out of these results. The playing time for each player isn’t exactly accurate. For example, Clint Barmes, Chase d’Arnaud, Josh Harrison, and Jordy Mercer are all projected for 475+ plate appearances...
Pitcher Jeff Karstens is returning to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The right handed pitcher was non-tended by the Pirates in late Novemeber but is back on a one-year deal.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Karstens will make $2.5 million under terms of the new contract.
Last season Karstens was 5-4 with a 3.97 ERA in 90 2/3 innings of work. Karstens missed time with shoulder, groin...
This is nice to see.
Source: #Pirates, RHP Jeff Karstens agree to terms on one-year contract, pending physical
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) January 14, 2013
In an off season that has pretty much been the definition of “meh,” this is a move that makes some sense. Jeff Karstens, when healthy has been a very solid pitcher of the previous seasons and the Pirates are in need of some...
Earlier this evening, Jon Morosi reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates were still talking with Francisco Liriano. Morosi followed up with a tweet noting that the Pirates were one of the teams interested in free agent Shaun Marcum.
Shaun Marcum, free agent starter, is drawing interest from Padres, Pirates and Rangers, sources say. @mlbonfox
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 14, 2013...
The Pirates Prospects 2013 Annual, which will be released in early February, is now available for pre-sales. The Annual takes a detailed look at every player on the major league roster, along with every player who will be invited to Major League Spring Training. Each player profile features a 2013 outlook on the player, the player’s career stats, contract information, option years...
Despite having covered the headliner arms of Pirates instructs — Gerrit Cole (covered last week) and Jameson Taillon (looking basically the same as when I covered him midseason) — there were still some interesting high ceiling arms on display.
First up is righty Nick Kingham, whom the Pirates signed for an over-slot bonus just under $500,000 in the 4th round of the 2010 draft...
After back-to-back solid seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Jeff Karstens will return for another year. He hit free agency at the end of last season, but the Pirates have agreed to bring him back on a one-year contract.
According to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazzette, the Pirates and Karstens agreed yesterday to a one-year deal. Since the terms of the contract...
Almost immediately after I pushed "publish" on that last post, news came across the interwebs that the Pirates had agreed to a one-year deal with Jeff Karstens. Bill Brink at the PG is reporting that it's a one-year deal worth $2.5 million, which you may note is actually $600,000 less than he made with the Pirates last year. A big reason the Pirates non-tendered him...
In general, the arc of winter for a Pirate fan goes like this:
Depression bought about by the end of the season.
Talking yourself into the coming season's team as the front office makes trades and signings.
Release of the ZiPS projections, followed by the crushing realization that upcoming Year Y will be no better than the prior Year X.
Jared Hughes put up solid numbers coming out of the Pirates bullpen in 2012. The right-hander was 2-2 with a 2.85 ERA. Hughes told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he is looking to evolve into a bigger role this season.
The Phillies added some depth to their spring roster by signing veteran right-handed reliever Juan Cruz to a minor-league contract, per Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Cruz, 34, had a 2.78 ERA last year but was wild and when he refused to accept a demotion to Triple-A, the Pirates released him.
He’s pitched for seven teams in 12 years. He has a 4.05 career ERA, a 1.41...