Results tagged ‘ shortstop ’
For some pitchers the offseason flies by, for others, like Pirates prospect Logan Pevny, it can’t get here fast enough.
After pitching three games for the Bucs Gulf Coast League, Pevny’s season ended early due to an injury. Now healthy, he is anxious and ready to head down to Bradenton, FL. For spring training.
“I feel great now,” Logan Pevny said during a phone interview on Saturday. “I wish I could have left months ago. I’m leaving on Friday. I’m really excited to go. I can’t wait.”
Pevny was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 49th round of the 2010 draft out of West Milford high school. A day, that he and his family won’t ever forget.
“[I was] Ecstatic. Shocked, really. I had only been pitching, at the time I was drafted, for about a year. Everything happened so quick. It just all blew up right in our faces –in a good way. It was really amazing to tell you the truth. “
What’s also shocking is the reason he became a pitcher. After playing shortstop for years, Pevny found his future on the mound, by an accident.
“My coach had the radar gun out for practice and we were kind of just messing around. All the pitchers were throwing their stuff. I just kind of hopped on the mound and threw a ball. It read 88 I believe. We were like, ‘that’s pretty good for someone who doesn’t pitch. Maybe I should switch positions.’ I never really was a fielder. I was meant to be there as a wall and have a good arm that’s all.”
The decision wasn’t hard for him and his father to make.
The right-hander average’s a fastball is in the high 80′s –and has even reached 92 according to several reports from last season.
This offseason, Pevny has been working hard training at several different facilities to get ready for the 2011 season.
“I’ve been working out at Cannonball gym in Pompton Lakes. It’s some really high intense cardio. My trainers name is Austin Wall. He was a former wrestler at Indian Hills High School. He’s a great guy. He really pushes my body to the limit and he gets the most out of me. I’ve been working out there since November.”
Pevny has also been working out at PBI (Professional Baseball Instruction) as well as training instructor.
“[Teaching] Mostly younger kids. Probably the oldest, 13. Just giving a lot of pitching lessons, running camps and clinics. PBI have been great to me there. I’m always down there everyday using their facilities. Throwing with another professional, Steve Fox. He’s in the Red Sox farm system.”
At just 19, he is already a good example to young kids and fans. When I asked him who his favorite player was, it was no surprise that he said ‘the captain’.
“Derek Jeter. Just the way he carries himself on and off the field. He’s a great guy. He looks to play for the people, put on a good show. He has the right attitude. He goes out there everyday and works hard.”
Pevny didn’t tell me his favorite artist, but from the sound of his ring back tune (Bruno Mars’ “Grenade”) I’d say, he’s a big fan. “A little bit,” he joked.
With less than a week until the Bucs minor league players report to Pirate city for camp. Pevny already has his goals made for the season.
“One of my big goals I’ve set for myself was to start off at State College in Pennsylvania, Short season A this year. I’m really pushing myself hard so hopefully everything works out.”
Here are several pictures of Pevny throwing at PBI.
*(Special thanks to Logan Pevny for the interview and Jim Monagham at PBI)
The Pirates selected infielder Josh Rodriguez with the first overall pick in the Rule 5 draft on Thursday from the Cleveland Indians.
Rodriquez, who can play shortstop, second base, third base and outfield, has the opportunity to make the Pirates opening day roster for 2011.
It cost the Bucs $50,000 to acquire Rodriguez and must remain on the 25-man roster the entire season or he will be offered back to the Indians.
If the Pirates do not sign an upgrade for shortstop, he could be used as a utility guy.
“It’s an intriguing combination,” Huntington said. “He does a lot of different things well. He just fills a nice need for us right now. We like him as a guy to compete to make our club as a middle-[infield] utility player with upside to potentially become an everyday player.”
Rodriguez batted .293 with 12 homers and 46 RBIs in 86 games with Triple-A Columbus during the 2010 season.
The Pirates did lose right-hander Nathan Adcock by the Kansas City Royals (5th overall).
Adcock was acquired by the Seattle Mariners in the Jack Wilson trade in 2009. He went 11-7 with a 3.38 ERA in 27 games (26 starts) with high Class A in Bradenton, Florida.
“He has an average fastball with the ability to get groundballs, and there is a chance that he’ll stick,” Huntington said. “We knew by not protecting him that there was a pretty good chance of him being selected. We’re disappointed to lose him, but we couldn’t protect them all.”
The Pirates also selected two players in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 draft: center fielder Brad Chalk from the Padres’ and Catcher Travis Scott from the Angels.
Chalk spent 2010 with three levels: Class A where he went .191 in 26 games, Double-A where he went 214 in 65 games and Triple-A where he finished the season with a 313 average in 27 games.
“He’s a former high pick that still showed some tools,” Huntington said of Chalk, a second-round choice in the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. “We figured he was worth the acquisition cost.”
Scott was with High A and Double-A for an injury plagued 2010 season where he hit a combined 254 in 37 games.
The Bucs did not select any players in the other levels of the Rule 5 draft.
General Manager Neal Huntington discusses day two of the winter meetings with Pittsburgh media.
- On what the Pirates are looking for in a starter: “At this point, we’d like to find some stability in the rotation. We need a guy who we feel comfortable with, who is going to take the ball every fifth day. You never know with pitchers. But we’ve looked at track records. And maybe there is a guy out there that’s got some upside that is coming back from injury in the last couple of years that may be a fit or maybe we have two stabilizers. We need to eat some innings. We need to lighten the load on our bullpen. We need to get deeper into the games as a rotation. We need to give ourselves some options.”
- On how Huntington wants to build his bullpen: “A little bit of everything. We’re exploring the free agent market. We’re exploring the trade market. We’re looking at the 4-A free agent market. We’ve got a lot of internal options as well. If we add more starters than we need, we’ve got some additional bullpen options. Maybe then that pushes a guy who has had some success as a starter, maybe it pushes him back in the bullpen again and we deepen our bullpen. Maybe it pushes some of our internal options to come into camp in a little bit better shape. Too many options is never a bad thing, and that’s where we’re trying to go. We’re trying to add depth. We’re trying to give ourselves choices to make. We love power with strikeouts, but short of that, sometimes a variety of looks and a variety of stuff can help give a manager options.”
- On whether he expects to have an upgrade at shortstop after the winter meetings: “Maybe not out of the Winter Meetings. We have laid some groundwork on some things that we can improve upon defensively.”
- Ronny Cedeno’s future with the ball club: “Ronny is still the guy, but at some point you have to stop talking about potential and you have to talk about performance. We’re getting to that point with Ronny. The consistency was there for a good portion of the year. He struggled at the end, no question.”
- On the status of Jeff Clement, Steve Pearce and Kevin Hart: “Everybody is on schedule. Nobody has had any significant setback. Everyone is on schedule for where we thought they would be. As we sit here today, yes, [all will be ready for Spring Training].”
- On possible internal bullpen options: “I think a lot of people are beating up our bullpen because of the unknown. There is some power there. There is also some risk. It makes us feel like we don’t have to go seek an upgrade. But if there is one there that makes sense for us, we’ll certainly look.”
- On Kevin Hart and his best fit in the Bucs bullpen: “Given Kevin coming off the injury, it looks that way. It would be awfully hard to stretch him back out and expect him to eat 200 innings. We want to see where he is physically. We want to see where he is as his rehab continues to progress. Sitting here today, it’s a lot harder to envision him as a 200-inning starter next year. Maybe somewhere back down the road, but his quickest path back may be as a reliever. He’s also out of options, and that’s going to be the other challenge.”
According to sources, the Pirates could land an upgrade over Ronny Cedeno at shortstop.
The Pirates reportably have interest in Tampa Bay’s Jason Bartlett and Minnesota’s J.J. Hardy.
Bartlett batted .254 with four home runs and 47 RBI with the Rays during the 2010 season.
Hardy hit six home runs with 38 RBI while batting .268 with the Twins.