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Saturday, August 08 2020 @ 06:24 am UTC
Okay, I’m Hooked, How About You?  View Printable Version 
By Richard A. Mathews

Tell me this doesn’t sound too good to be true. Our beloved Bucco’s have a winning record after Memorial Day vs. all comers except the Chicago Cubs. The pitching star of the rotation is a castoff, a guy cut by the Reds, a guy who has had Tommy John surgery and he now owns a 3.44 era. The bench hero is another guy pickup on waivers but already owning 14 rbi over just 47 abs. The “bum” lone off season pickup utility infielder is hitting .308 and the “bum” lefty relieve pitcher from last year is 4-2 with a 1.71 era after one of his only blown hold efforts of the year.
Frank and Neal's Excellent Adventure  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

Scout.com said it: “This is the year that Pittsburgh Pirates’ fans have been waiting for.” The Pirates, under new CEO Frank Coonelly and GM Neal Huntington, finally took advantage of the opportunity to select, in MLB’s amateur draft, higher-ceiling players who’d fallen to lower rounds, mainly due to bonus demands. Their selections offer the Pirates the chance to reinvigorate, almost instantaneously, a farm system that’s largely bereft of high-ceiling talent. So what did we learn from this draft?
Prospect Grades  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

With the minor league season about one-quarter over, it's a good time to grade the performances of the Pirates' top prospects. This list follows Baseball America's list of the team's top 30 prospects, but I've also added a few notable players at the end.
It's Deja Vu All Over Again  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

Now that it’s the first weekend in May, the Pirates are well into their annual ritual of seeing their season go down the tubes before spring turns into summer. What’s ironic this year, given the decision by the team’s new management to stand pat, is the similarity to last year’s bad start.
The Minors: Who's Hot and Who's Not  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

With the calendar shortly to turn to May, it’s been a mixed bag for the Pirates’ farm system so far. Here are the players who’ve been doing especially well or poorly. I’m just looking at performances here, rather than at who’s a prospect and who’s not.
Remembering 1989  View Printable Version 
By Richard A. Mathews
Originally published 5/22/2001

It is funny how time and different priorities effect memories.

Today - in the Post-Gazette - Bucco skipper Lloyd McClendon tried to make a comparison between the 2001 Pirates and the 1989 club he played on.

McClendon brought out that injuries to the 1989 Pirates turned promise into a disappointing season. What he left out was the fact, the 1988 team had gone 85-75 under Jim Leyland in the third year of Syd Thrift's rebuilding plan.

It is funny how differently McClendon remembers the 1989 Pirate team than I do.
Kevin is the Villain   View Printable Version 
By Gary Conti
Originally published 5/19/2001

In 1995, a young man rode into town promising fans to return the Pittsburgh Pirates to their former level of World Champion status.

During and after his first year as owner, the team dumped higher priced veterans slashing the payroll claiming to restock the depleted farm system. By the spring of 1997 the Pirate were predicted to be the worst team in baseball but the future looked bright as the Farm System was labeled the best!
Minor League Preview, Part 4 -- Hickory  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

Hickory is not likely to have a good team in 2008. The offense could be very weak. They figure to get very little hitting from the infield. Two of the Crawdads’ outfielders—Austin McClune and Marcus Davis— have a lot of potential, but both are very raw yet and may not develop. The rotation will have a few pitchers with some upside, but they’re far from sure things. Finally, the bullpen just doesn’t look very good.
Minor League Preview, Part Three -- Lynchburg  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

Lynchburg, like the rest of the lower levels of the farm system, will be thin on prospects in 2008. The team shouldn’t be bad, but the upside is very limited. The only real, unqualified prospects on the team will be SS Brian Friday, LHP Dan Moskos, RHP Olivo Astacio, and arguably LHP Tony Watson. There will be some capable hitters, but very little power. The rotation won’t have much upside and the bullpen will be thin until Astacio returns from the disabled list.
Minor League Preview, Part Two -- Altoona  View Printable Version 
By Wilbur Miller

The Pirates are trying something new with their Altoona affiliate this year. Instead of overloading the roster with minor league free agents, they’re going to rely mainly on products of their own system. No more Brett Ronebergs and Jason Roaches brought in to bolster the W/L . . . well, at least not as many of them as before. This isn’t to say, though, that the Curve will be either young or all that talented. Most of the “prospects” will be marginal and at least a little old for the level. What major league potential the team has will be mainly in the outfield and bullpen. The offense may struggle, as the Curve may get little or no offense from several positions, especially catcher, shortstop and thirdbase.