Found November 06, 2011 on isportsweb.com:

Happy offseason.  Every now and then, I find something written about the Pirates by one of my friends that’s so good that a shout-out here is in order.  I have a buddy from California named Brett who, despite having the former World Champion San Francisco Giants in his backyard, is loyal to the black-and-gold to the point that he once made a cross-country pilgrimage to PNC Park just to catch a game.

Below is an interesting comparison he wrote in early September, comparing current OF Alex Presley’s success in 2011 to 3 former semi-prospects that dazzled early on, only to attain flash-in-the-pan status in the seasons that followed.  Will Presley follow this unfortunate course, or can he chart a promising path in PNC’s expansive left field?  Enjoy.

“I haven’t been right in just about all of my player evaluations over the years, nor am I able to evaluate a catcher’s footwork while watching a game from the stands.  As a result, I honestly don’t know what to think of Alex Presley.  To further muddy the situation, I’m completely jaded by our previous experience of having marginal minor league outfielders come up and produce for a short period of time, only to eventually crash and burn.  Of course I’m talking about Adrian Brown, Tike Redman and Chris Duffy.  I thought we could look at each player and compare.

- In 2000, Adrian Brown had posted a minor league OPS of .718.  Hardly impressive. He then would post a OPS of .805 in 308 at bats for the Pirates in 2000, giving some- myself included- hope that the Pirates had their CF and leadoff hitter for years to come.  He would only get 266 plate appearances over the next two years for the Pirates while posting an OPS+ of 51.

- In 2003, Tike Redman had posted a minor league OPS of .705.  He then would post an OPS of .857 in 308 at bats for the

Image credit baseball-almanac

Pirates in 2003.  Much like with Brown, there was hope the Pirates once again found their future CF and leadoff hitter (or 3rd place hitter depending upon with data base was being used).  Redman would go on to post an OPS+ of 73 in over 900 plate appearances for the Pirates over the next two years.

- In 2005, Chris Duffy had posted a minor league OPS of .747.  He then came to Pittsburgh and posted an OPS of .814 in 126 at bats. Whether it wasn’t sustainable or Jim Tracy forced him to hit like Alex Cora and Cesar Izturis, he posted an OPS+ of 73 in 618 plate appearances over the next two years.

- Alex Presely has a minor league OPS of .781.  He currently has an OPS of .845 for the Pirates  (EDIT:  Presley finished September down to an .804 OPS). Clearly his minor league career has been better than the other three, but is it truly impressive enough to think he can maintain an OPS of .800 in the bigs?  I seriously doubt it, but I honestly don’t know.”

Thanks to Brett for a great comparison.  Personally, I believe Presley WILL have a more successful career than the 3 failed OF before him.  And to substantiate that, I turn to another of my colleagues, Ed from Pittsburgh.  (Ed is also the Pittsburgh Steelers’ writer here on isportsweb, so make sure you check him out.)  BAck in July, Ed pointed out that Presley just may be a rare “late bloomer” that actually gets better with age:

“Alex Presley started with the Pirates’ organization in 2006…his OPS figures his first four seasons in organized baseball:

2006 – Williamsport – .716
2007 – Hickory – .784
2008 – Lynchburg – .705
2009 – Lynchburg – .684

Thus, at the end of the 2009 season, Alex Presley was a 24-year-old OF who’d OPS’ed .684 in a repeat season in A-ball.  No human being could have predicted this guy would ever hit AAA, let alone be a productive major leaguer. Starting in 2010, the guy has been a completely changed:

2010 – Altoona – .932
2010 – Indy – .809
2011 – Indy – .889
2011 – Pittsburgh – 1.028 (as of 8:45 on July 15)”

Time will tell, but it would be nice for the Pirates to benefit from one of these out-of-nowhere stories for a change.  Thanks for reading, and props to Brett and Ed for some thought-provocing research.

Follow me on Twitter @jim_krug

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES
HYPE TRAIN

Cuban prospect a YouTube sensation

Really bizarre stuff swept the baseball sector of the internet yesterday. There’s this Cuban phenom named Yoenis Cespedes. He’s a 26 year old outfielder that is ready to become an MLB free agent and take his talents to the U.S. Cespedes is “arguably the best all-around player to come out of Cuba in a generation,” according to Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus. He...

Winter Leagues 11/8– RBI Single For Hague

Pirates’ players and friends in Tuesday’s winter league action: PUERTO RICAN LEAGUE Indios de Mayaguez  2,  Criollos de Caguas  1 A walk and two singles gave Mayaguez their first run in the 3rd inning.  Both teams scored in the 5th — Los Indios on a single, a bunt, and a double, then a solo homer by Los Criollos.  3B Jeremy Farrell went 0-for-4 with 3 strikeouts.   DOMINICAN...

Poll: Your Ideal Off-Season

The Pittsburgh Pirates enter the 2011-2012 off-season with four big needs for the 2012 season.  With Derrek Lee, Paul Maholm, Ronny Cedeno, Ryan Doumit, and Chris Snyder all departing, the Pirates have needs at catcher, first base, shortstop, and the rotation.  I’ve discussed each position individually, along with some free agent options at catcher, shortstop, first base, and...

Winter Leagues 11/5 — RBI Double For Noris, 2 Hits For Hague

Winter league action for the Pirates’ players and friends on Saturday night (or Sunday, for the Aussies) MEXICAN PACIFIC LEAGUE Mayos de Navojoa  2,  Venados de Mazatlan  1 Rogelio Noris got back into a game for Los Venados after a few days off.   Los Mayos scored 2 runs in the 7th inning, aided by a throwing error Mazatlan.  Los Venados scored their only run with two outs...

This Date in Pirates History: November 6

John threw 1873 innings with the Pirates Born on this date in 1953 was a longtime pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates, John Candelaria. He was a big 6″7 lefty taken in the 2nd round of the 1972 amateur draft by the Pirates. He shot through the minors quickly for his age, going 28-11 before getting called on June 8,1975 at just 21 years old. Four starts into his career he struck...

Pirates Are Suitors for Yoenis Cespedes

Earlier today a scouting video was released of top Cuban prospect Yoenis Cespedes, who is expected to be declared a free agent in the next few weeks.  The video has since been removed, but was a pretty impressive display of Cespedes’ abilities.  On top of that, the video was somewhat entertaining, with some odd footage, including a Star Wars styled intro, and Cespedes roasting...

Making the Pirates better: First base

You know what? I'm tired of being negative about this off-season. I still don't think that things are going to play out terribly well for the Pirates this winter, but I also don't think I've done a good job of making it clear that I don't think the Pirates are breaking up the 1927 Yankees again. Ronny Cedeno and Ryan Doumit and Paul Maholm and Garrett Jones (should...

This Date in Pirates History: November 7

Born on this date in 1932 was Pittsburgh Pirates firstbaseman Dick Stuart, who played for the team from 1958-62. He was signed by the Pirates as an amateur free agent in 1951 and as a 19 year old in 1952 he hit .313 with 31 homers for Billings, a class C team. He spent the next two years serving in the military. He returned to Billings when he rejoined the Pirates in 1955 and hit...

Inbox: What are Pirates' plans for Marte?

What are the Pirates' plans for outfield prospect Starling Marte? Could Joel Hanrahan possibly be dealt? Beat reporter Jenifer Langosch answers these questions and more in the latest Inbox.

Pirates remove Correia from 60-day DL

The Pirates have taken starter Kevin Correia off the 60-day disabled list, thereby adding the veteran right-hander back onto the team's 40-man roster.

This Date in Pirates History: November 8

On this date in 1920, Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Wally Westlake was born. He played for the Pirates from 1947-51. He was signed as an amateur free agent by the Dodgers in 1940 and spent his first three seasons in the minors. He missed the 1943-45 seasons due to military service, returning in 1946 when he played AAA ball in Oakland and hit .315 in 136 games. The Pirates traded...

News and notes

Some Bucs news and notes as you recover from a rough football weekend in Pittsburgh… We have our first Clint Barmes rumor. As I kind of implied in the post investigating shortstop options, he would be my prediction if I had to make one. The Bucs added Rick Sofield – an old acquaintance of Clint Hurdle – to their minor league staff.  A few days ago there was a report of Jamie...

The Ideal Off-Season

Yesterday I ran a poll asking for you to vote on your ideal off-season at the four big areas of need: catcher, first base, shortstop, and starting pitcher.  The vote was meant to look at realistic options that are available to the Pittsburgh Pirates, rather than some of the options they have no shot at landing, such as Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes. My ideal additions for each position...

John Barbero Memorial Auction

This thing was amazing last year, and it's happening again.   Sunday, November 6th -- 1:00-4:00p.m. Mon Valley YMCA in Monongahela $5 gets you in the door   Prizes: 1:30 p.m. - $500 cash 2 p.m. - four Pittsburgh Pirates Lexus Club tickets 2:30 p.m. - $500 cash 3 p.m. - a Mon Valley YMCA family membership 3:30 p.m. - a 50-inch flat panel plasma...
Pirates 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!

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.