The Pirates have always been thought of as a pretty mediocre team, but they are investing in some significant prospects and a few lucky breaks with trades and contracts and it appears as though the Pirates are starting to round out their rostor.
Jose Tabata (Outfield)
Jose Tabata is going to the pirates pride and joy come the regular season. Tabata is just a baby at 20 years old but his game has really developed. Even before he hit the tender age of 20 Tabata was making big moves and a 22 game trial in AA had Tabata hitting .348/402/.562. The only thing that is a problem for Tabata is the jitters that might effect him worse in the majors as such a young guy, but he has future star written all over him. Tabata is the most promising player to come to the Pirates in a long time!
Pedro Alvarez (3rd Base)
Alvarez had an amazing high school and college career before signing on with the Pirates. As his high school’s player of the year and Louisville Slugger’s NY player of the year Pedro was drafted by the Red Sox but turned down the offer to head to college to play ball. He did well and holds the school’s single-season home run record. Alvarez signed a contract with the Pirates and will be playing with the Major League team this year. How well he will do remains to be seen but Alvarez adjusts quickly, has a great offensive game and overall appears to be a true leader. Things look good for this kid.
Evan Meek (Pitcher)
Meek had a trial run in the majors and while he didn’t do all that well he is showing signs of significant improvement. He has a couple power pitches but he has a problem with control. It might all work itself out in time and Meek has a good deal of room to grow. Meek will likely get another shot at the majors this year with improved control so obvious in triple A.
Andrew McCutchen (Outfield)
McCutchen is a pretty highly toted prospect and while he’s extremely young for AAA it is very possible he’ll see a 2009 Call up to the majors. His AAA average of .283 makes him appear pretty mediocre but his defense is coming along well and his speed is going to be a great asset to the organization once they call him up. He’ll probably be around in the latter part of the 2009 season so no need to be concerned with him at the moment.
Neil Walker(3rd Base)
Neil Walker could have been a great pick, if Alvarez wasn’t nipping at his heals. If Alvarez proves to be completely unready Walker might get his shot but his game is weaker than Alvarez’s although he looks like he could be a real power hitter if he is allowed to develop a bit more. Walker is also a Pittsburgh Native