Results tagged ‘ prospects ’
After struggling with his mechanics last season, left-hand pitcher Nick Hagadone is having a great start to the 2011 season. In five games with the Double-A Akron Aeros, Hagadone has not allowed an earned run, walked just one with 14 strikeouts over 10.2 innings in relief. Although it’s a small sample size, Hagadone worked hard during the offseason to make the adjustments and so far, it’s paying off.
“I think basically all the hard work that I put in on the offseason, fixing what was wrong last year,” Hagadone said on what contributes to his success this season. “I started out in instructs making a lot of mechanical adjustments and then just repetition, just doing what was right.”
“As far as weights and running, I didn’t do anything different. I basically did the same thing that I’ve done ever since I was drafted. But as far as mechanically, I just did a lot more drills to try to get muscle memory on the right mechanics.”
Hagadone was ranked by Baseball America as the Cleveland Indians 10th best prospect this year. Drafted in the 1st round (55th overall) supplemental by the Boston Red Sox in 2007, he was referred to as having “electric stuff.” After missing almost the entire 2008 season with Tommy John Surgery, Hagadone was traded midseason to the Cleveland Indians in the Victor Martinez deal in 2009.
In his first full season with the Indians, Hagadone spent 2010 with both High-A Kinston and Double-A Akron were he had a combined 3.37 ERA in 29 appearances (17 starts). He logged a career high 85.2 innings but struggled with his command –averaging 6.6 walks per nine innings.
“I think the hitters are more selective and when you make mistakes they punish you more,” Hagadone said on the biggest challenging between the levels. “In High-A you can get away with making bad pitches sometimes but in Double-A, they usually take advantage of you right away.”
The 25-year-old throws a fastball, slider and a changeup, “Mostly fastball and slider and then I mix in changeups whenever I feel it’s really necessary to do. But mostly I stick to fastball and slider.”
His fastball sits in the low to mid 90′s and although it’s dropped a few mph since surgery, he still has pretty good arm.
The Aeros currently lead the Eastern League Western Division by one game (over the Bowie Baysox) and have a lot of talented arms this season. Hagadone is one of five prospects in the Indians organization’s Top 25 (by Baseball America) in Double-A to start the year.
Hagadone has started the season from the ‘bullpen, a role that many scouts believe is the best fit for him. The lefty said he feels really good and is healthy this season.
“Just to improve the whole year,” Hagadone said on his goals for 2011. “To keep on getting better basically and just to be consistent.”
*Photo credit: minor.mlblogs.com, ESPN Go.
- General Manager Neal Huntington on whether they have approached Andrew McCutchen on a multi-year deal:
“We won’t negotiate publicly with anybody. Whether we approach somebody or not, we’re not going to acknowledge. We hope the first time it’s heard about is when it happens.”
- On whether some Pirates prospects will be called up and play a large roll this season:
“Tampa is the model organization for a lot of reasons. They’re a successful, small-market team that develops its own players. They do a tremendous job of letting their pitchers develop over time. They don’t rush a pitcher to the big leagues because they have a need. They let a guy spend a full year in A ball, then a full year in Double-A, then maybe a full year in Triple-A and bring him to the big leagues when he’s ready. That’s what we’ll try to do. We brought some guys up last year who didn’t hit the ground running and had some early struggles. We’re going to figure out why they weren’t ready and help them get better. We want to learn a lesson to help the next guy come through. As hard as that is, we can’t bring a player to the big leagues because we have a need.”
On who is the closer; Joel Hanrahan or Evan Meek:
“We explored the (free agent) market, like we did a year ago when we brought in Octavio Dotel. It’s a nice feeling to have Evan and Joel to mix and match in the seventh and eighth innings. We explored the market, but nothing came to fruition. We continue to look if there’s a veteran we can add to the bullpen. We’ve got some great arms internally. It’s not something that Clint and I have sat down and talked about just yet. But I’d expect we’ll have that decision soon, whether we’re going to go with both guys (as closers) and let them battle it out during the season or if we’re going to set a guy at the beginning of spring training.”
After watching the Steelers defeat the Ravens Saturday night, Pirates Josh Fields (@OkieFields) had this to say:
What a game! Steelers just grinded and found a way to win! We are going to transfer some of that mentality to the diamond this year!
Baseball America ranked the Pirates Top 10 Prospects of 2011:
1. Jameson Taillon, rhp
2. Tony Sanchez, c
3. Stetson Allie, rhp
4. Starling Marte, of
5. Luis Heredia, rhp
6. Bryan Morris, rhp
7. Rudy Owens, lhp
8. Jeff Locke, lhp
9. Zack Von Rosenberg, rhp
10. Chase d’Arnaud, ss/2b
I asked Tony Sanchez how it feels to be the #2 ranked prospect in the Pirates system. He said, “pretty damn good. still lots of work to be done tho.”
Minor league baseball.com ranked the top 20 Pirates prospects for 2011. Although most of the players received C’s, John Sickle’s says, “I like the trends here and I think they are on the right track.”
1) Jameson Taillon, Right hand pitcher, B+
2) Stetson Allie, Right hand pitcher, B
3) Tony Sanchez, Catcher, B
4) Rudy Ownes, Left hand pitcher, B
5) Luis Heredia, Right hand pitcher, B-
6) Jeff Locke, Left hand pitcher, B-
7) Diego Moreno, Right hand pitcher, B-
8) Zach Von Rosenberg, right hand pitcher, B-
9) Justin Wilson, Left hand pitcher, B-
10) Starling Marte, Outfielder, C+
11) Bryan Morris, Right hand pitcher, C+
12) Colton Cain, Left hand pitcher, C+
13) Brock Holt, Infielder, C+
14) Nick Kingham, Right hand pitcher, C+
15) Tony Watson, Left hand pitcher, C+
16) Evan Chambers, Outfielder, C
17) Zach Dodson, Left hand pitcher, C
18) Gorkys Hernandez, Outfielder, C
19) Mel Rojas, Jr., Outfielder, C
20) Chase d’Arnaud, Shortstop, C
Some other honorable mentions: Tim Alderson, RHP; Eric Avila, 3B; Nate Baker, LHP; Jorge Bishop, 2B; Victor Black, RHP; Exicardo Cayonez, OF; Jarek Cunningham, 2B; Matt Curry, 1B;Brian Friday, INF; Robbie Grossman, OF; Josh Harrison, INF; Phil Irwin, RHP; Andrew Lambo, OF; Qunicy Latimore, OF; Kyle McPherson, RHP; Jordy Mercer, INF; Quinton Miller, RHP; Daniel Moskos, LHP; Alex Presley, OF; Trent Stevenson, RHP.To find out why the received the grades they did, read here.
After all the huge contracts that have surfaced over the past few days, General Manager Neal Huntington discusses why the Pirates will not overpay for free-agents.
“It’s not a sound business practice,” general manager Neal Huntington said. “(Overpaying) doesn’t make sense for us. We’re looking to get players here who are excited about their opportunity, about what we’re trying to accomplish and who will make us better for the right reasons.”
“Any team that hasn’t had recent success is going to have to overpay for guys like (Jayson) Werth and (Carl) Crawford — and in some cases, grossly overpay,” former New York Mets GM Jim Duquette said. “That’s the unfortunate thing for Pittsburgh. Championship-caliber players want to win now. They don’t want to have to wait. If you ask them to wait, you’re going to have to pay for that.”
While the Pirates will sign upgrades to compliment the young core of Bucs, the main focus will be on second-tier players rather than big name players. But with young players like Jose Tabata, Pedro Alvarez, Andrew McCutchen, Neil Walker, James McDonald and several others currently at the majors and many more talented prospects not far from debuting, the Bucs have a bright future ahead.