Found January 25, 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
14. Justin Wilson, LHP
13. Tony Sanchez, C
12. Dilson Herrera, 2B
11. Clay Holmes, RHP
10. Nick Kingham, RHP
9. Kyle McPherson, RHP
8. Tyler Glasnow, RHP
7. Barrett Barnes, OF
We continue the countdown with the number 6 prospect, Josh Bell.
6. Josh Bell, OF
Even if he never makes the majors, Bell might be remembered as one of the key reasons for Major League Baseball changing their draft. The outfielder, represented by Scott Boras, sent a letter to every team telling them not to draft him. Because of the letter, he fell to the Pirates in the second round, past several very interested teams. The Pirates took the risk and threw $5 M his way, shattering the record for the biggest bonus outside of the first round, not just in team history, but in draft history. That was a big factor in MLB cracking down on over-slot deals starting in 2012.
Bell received the bonus for good reason. He’s a switch hitter who has the potential to be a plus hitter from each side of the plate, with plus power from each side. He’s got the offensive upside that you can dream on. He showed a lot of that upside with some great hitting during Spring Training, heading into the 2012 season.
The outfielder made his pro debut in 2012, starting off in West Virginia. The debut was short lived, with Bell going down at the end of April with a knee injury. He required surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and missed the rest of the season due to swelling in the knee during the rehab process. The Pirates played it safe, shutting him down in September for the off-season so that he could return healthy for Spring Training in 2013.
Before his injury, Bell struggled in limited at-bats in West Virginia. He started off slow the first few weeks, with a lot of strikeouts. The Texas-native noted that this was his first experience playing in cold weather. He also faced a heavy diet of changeups in the first few games, which is something he wouldn’t have seen in high school. His injury resulted in a lost year of development, preventing him from adjusting to either issue as the season went on.
Bell has the speed to play center field, but he profiles more as a corner outfielder in the pros. His best position will be right field. He’s a smart kid, coming from a family where his mom is a college professor. He’s also very mature for his age, a trend that is common with a lot of young prospects in the system. He could go back to West Virginia in 2013 due to the lost season and the strikeout issues when he was healthy. He’s got a huge upside, and it’s not out of the question to think he could be a .300 hitter with 30 homer a year power one day. The lost season doesn’t totally hurt him since he was aggressively pushed in 2012. He should get another chance to show his potential in 2013.
Click Here to Purchase the Pirates Prospects 2013 Prospect Guide
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
A.J. Burnett is coming off a pretty good season on the mound. The pitcher started 31 games for the Pittsburgh Pirates, going 16-10 in a campaign that saw him pitch over 200 innings and finishing with a more-than-respectable 3.51 ERA. It appears that Burnett must have been initiating the early stages of loosening up his arm in anticipation of spring training recently, perhaps by tossing...
Yesterday I was going over the traffic reports on the site, and noticed something interesting about the recent top 20 prospects countdown. The top three prospects, according to traffic, were Jin-De Jhang, Wyatt Mathisen, and Tony Sanchez, all in that order. I don’t know why the only catchers in the top 20 received the most traffic. Perhaps it was because catcher has...
I was checking the MLB.com transactions page tonight, and noticed that Carlos Paulino was assigned to the Pittsburgh Pirates, which is the wording used when a player receives a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Paulino is a catcher who has never caught above high-A, but has some strong defense highlighted by a cannon for an arm. With all of the pitchers in Spring Training, teams...
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...
(Opening image Josh Bell; image credit bellsandwhistles)
Here are the previous draft reviews in this 6-part series: 2010, 2009, 2008
After an excellent 2008 draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates and GM Neal Huntington had sub-standard drafts in 2009 and 2010 that netted them SP Jameson Taillon and little else. Could the organization turn the tide in 2011? Due to the club’s continued...
At one point last season, the Pirates were 63-47, right in the thick of the National League playoff race. They were in excellent position to finish at .500 or above for the first time since 1992; they just needed to win 18 of their remaining 52 games. They won 16 of their remaining 52 games and really Pirates’d everything up. What happened to the Pirates? Well, you can’t blame...
In Australian Baseball League action from today, Stefan Welch belted two home runs, leading Adelaide to a 4-3 victory during the last week of the ABL regular season. Welch homered to lead off the bottom of the second inning, giving Adelaide an early 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the eighth inning, he came up with the score tied 2-2 and Quincy Latimore on first base. Welch hit the second...
In minor news today, the Pirates lost Zach Stewart through waivers to the Chicago White Sox. It was the second time this off-season that the Pirates completed a string of moves where they traded down from a prospect and eventually arrived at next to nothing in value. In this series of moves they dealt Kyle Kaminska for Stewart, then lost Stewart for nothing, essentially giving Kaminska...
In Australian League Baseball action from today, Stefan Welch went 1-for-3, with a walk, as Adelaide took a one-sided 12-2 loss. The defeat came just one day after they were eliminated from playoffs. On Friday night, Adelaide lost 8-7 to Canberra. In that contest, Welch went 1-for-4, with a run scored.
Welch went 2-for-7 over the last two games
Also from today’s Adelaide game,...
The Pittsburgh Pirates have revised their two-year agreement with left-hander Francisco Liriano.
Francisco Liriano actually had a contract in hand fairly quickly, considering how long it took for so many former Twins to find work. Kyle Lohse and Matt Capps remain unemployed, while Kevin Slowey and Delmon Young signed only this week.
Liriano’s contract with the Pirates, however, was shelved briefly, when Liriano developed a new injury. The contract was agreed upon again after some...
A Bible signed by 30 players from the 1953 Pittsburgh Pirates, and manager Fred Haney, was recently discovered in California.The historic book was among the many items donated to the Friends of the Sacramento Public Library last year. However, it took until one week ago for Joanne Murphy, a book repairer, to open it up and peek inside.The first page of the Bible included 31 different...
Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen had an outstanding year in 2012, batting .327 with 31 home runs and 96 RBI. Never one to be satisfied McCutchen told PiratesDugout.com's George Von Benko that he is looking for more production in 2013.