• joined Jan 23, 2010
  • last login Aug 21, 2014
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  • comments 2551

Professional Bunter. Los Angeles.

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User Blog

The Case for A Walker Extension

I've always held the opinion--shared by the majority on this site--that Neil Walker is not a good candidate for an extension. Particularly since the Pirates obviously have to choose which of their...


Pirates Extend Starling Marte

Since news of Marte's extension hasn't been posted elsewhere just yet I thought I'd throw up a fan post so folks could discuss in the meantime. Terms are--from what I gather--6 years at $ 31...


The Divisive Clint Barmes Question

The play of Clint Barmes has become a somewhat heated point of contention over the last month--more so than at any point in his Pirates tenure it seems--largely I assume because Jordy Mercer has...


Props to Travis Sawchik

Here at Bucs Dugout we've spilled a fair amount of ink criticizing the writing of beat reporters and columnist employed by the Post-Gazette and Tribune-Review--rightly so in many cases. Thus it...


Ranking the GMs (Again)

Back in November I posted a ranking of GMs, certainly not as a definitive statement, but mostly to prompt conversation. It's been approximately six months so I thought I'd revisit the topic,...


Gregory Polanco, The Cobra 2.0?

An admittedly hyperbolic title. But I wanted to direct everyone's attention to Travis Sawchik's recent blog post over at the Trib's Bucco Blog. Sawchik is a new addition the Trib's Pirate coverage....


John Sickels Ranks the Pirates' Farm System 5th

The Cardinals and Mariners top the list and the Rangers rate 4th, as I believe all did in Jim Callis's personal rankings. He describes the system as 'rapidly improving' and points to the emergence...


Baseball Prospectus on Travis Snider, Alex Dickerson, Jose Tabata, etc

I don't want to give away BP's free content but a couple of interesting evaluations in the comment section (which is free to read): Q: Is Alex Dickerson a prospect? A: Dickerson's big issue...


Come on Feel the Buzz (On Generating "Clicks" vs. Productive Discussion)

This link has absolutely nothing to do with baseball, rather it's a piece written by The Baffler about the business model of Politico. In short their strategy is to present 'stories' that generate...



We've spent the last few months discussing Neal Huntington's tenure as GM of the Pirates. Opinions of his performance have varied so I thought it would be interesting to quantify where he...


Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, etc to Toronto

Per MLB Trade Rumors. The trade isn't yet official but there doesn't appear to be any reason why it wouldn't go through. It's not entirely clear who every player going to Miami will be. But here's...

The System Huntington Inherited: A WAR Comparison

There's been some discussion about the quality of system Huntington inherited from Dave Littlefield. Prompted predominantly by DK's recent assertion that it wasn't actually as bad most remember. He...

Offseason Acquisition Targets - David Ross

The 2012 regular season is in the books. With many months bereft of baseball in front of us we are now left to speculate and discuss the 2013 Pirates. How can they improve upon the 79 wins they...

Erik Bedard & Neal Huntington's Free Agency Signings


With Bedard out the door DK revisits a portion of NH's track record with respect to free agent signings, or at least the unsuccessful portion in his most recent column: "Of the 16 free agents Neal Huntington has signed for $750,000 or more, an astounding 10 — Byung-Hyun Kim, Ramon Vazquez, Eric Hinske, Craig Monroe, Ryan Church, Bobby Crosby, Lyle Overbay, Matt Diaz, Nate McLouth and now Bedard — were released or dumped in negligible midseason trades." Obviously all of the above underperformed or performed about to pre-established low expectations. However what's missing here I think is context. All of Huntington's free agent signings have been for 5.5 million or less. How does the total WAR and average WAR of these players compare to the 5.5 million and below signings of the other 29 clubs? I literally have no idea and would be curious if someone else has info on the subject. Generally at that price you're getting a marginal or pretty flawed player so I can't imagine the success rate is especially high across the board.

"No, he's not a lazy player. But there are times when the ball is coming down and drops in front of...


"No, he's not a lazy player. But there are times when the ball is coming down and drops in front of him. He wants to catch it, but he didn't get a good first step and he backs off. That's not lazy. That's being unsure of yourself. We just need him to go play, get away from the noise."

Clint Hurdle on Jose Tabata as reported by DK

Just spoke with high-ranking #Pirates official, and I can tell you this: It will NOT be long before...


Just spoke with high-ranking #Pirates official, and I can tell you this: It will NOT be long before Starling Marte is in Pittsburgh. "It's time," the official said without specifics. In the same convo, it came about that Jose Tabata had better get his act together immediately or he's headed for the minors. The team is -- and should be -- livid with his lackluster effort. Sounds to me like an easy one-for-one switch.

DK on Twitter

KG on Alen Hanson


"At some point it's a hot start, and at some point it's talent, and in Hanson's case it's both. Just 19 years old, Hanson was expected to play in the short season leagues this year after a good showing in the Gulf Coast League earned him the No. 17 ranking in the system, but he earned a full-season assignment and hit .410/.441/.695 during the season's first month. Hansen's raw hitting ability is impressive, but he also shows surprising pop for his size, profiling as a future doubles machine, and he's a 60-65 runner as evidenced by his ten stolen bases. He doesn't have the instincts or arm to stay on the left side of the infield, but even as a second baseman, he's a intriguing player with top-of-the-order potential." Also check out where Hanson rates on the Prospecte Leaderboard: http://www.baseballprospectus.com/prospect_tracker/leaderboard.php


Opening Day Minor League Thread

Lots of exciting prospects begin their season tonight. I thought I'd throw up a thread in case anyone wants to post info or observations. As I type the Curve appear to have opened the game with...

The Long Toss Fallacy


There was a lot of discussion circa last years draft that the Pirates don't allow long tossing beyond 120 feet. Dylan Bundy allegedly cited this as a reason why he'd prefer they didn't draft him. I've seen this repeated since as evidence of the Pirates being inept, inflexible you name it. But let's put this one to to rest for good. The Pirates DO NOT prohibit long tossing beyond a 120 feet. From Tim's post about Tim Alderson's reemergence as a prospect: The Pirates have never been against long toss. Plenty of players in the system go beyond 120 feet, including top prospects Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole. Over the off-season, Alderson got back on a long toss program that he used in high school. He would throw from 300-350 feet every day, trying to build arm strength and arm speed. The right-hander decided he wanted to bring the program in to camp. "I just decided, I’ve been through the loop four or five years now," Alderson said. "I had to take my career in to my own hands and wanted to do what was comfortable. And thankfully Mitch [Scott Mitchell], our pitching coordinator, has been really supportive, and every pitching coach is supportive. They want to do what’s going to help me. I decided this off-season to stick with it, and not just do it when I was home, bring it in to camp." "We have our guidelines of 120 feet," Mitchell explained. "We can go past 120 feet once a pitcher’s proven health, and that he’s maintaining proper mechanics throughout. He’s hit all of those checkpoints, and says he feels good, so we’ll continue to do it."

Heredia Still Growing, Literally


Per DK's Wednesday column about the Pirates pitching prospects: "Heredia is the wild card. He's still a baby at 17, but a growth spurt this offseason has him up to 6-7, 220 pounds."

Jim Callis Identifies Rising 2012 Draft Prospects + Top Power/Speed/Hitting Prospects in the Minors


We're very much still at the stage where things are in flux with college and high school prospects. There will of course be ahandful of guys who were considered Top 10 Prospects who will fall and just as many who will 'come out of nowhere' to take their place. In this post Callis mentions a conversation with a scout who identified Byron Buxton as the #1 talent in the draft and Kyle Zimmer as the top pitching prospect. He also notes his Top Power/Speed/Hitting Prospects in the minors. Josh Bell gets an Honorable Mention for Power (he's one of his 'Youngsters To Watch') Finally he offers his list of 11 pitchers who could be #1 starters. The Pirates, along with the Dbacks and Mariners are the only team with two.

International Signees Ascending


Tim has a good round up on some of the promising Latin American guys the Pirates have signed (Willy Garcia, Gregory Polanco, Jose Osuna, etc).


The Pirates' Supposed Inability To Develop A Shortstop

There's been some ongoing discussion about the Pirates inability develop an above average homegrown shortstop, or to acquire one via trade/free agency. This is a point Dejan Kovacevic has hit...


Kevin Goldstein's Top 101 Prospects (Taking ?'s on Twitter Now)

Luis Heredia not only makes Kevin's list but does so by a healthy margin. The entire Top 101 is available to view here (whether you're a subscriber or a nonsubscriber): h...


Keith Law's Top 100 Prospects

The bulk of information is behind a pay wall but the highlights, including the Pirates 10, Pittsburgh's prospects who made the Top 100, and the Pirates prospect who just missed the Top 100 are...


The Value of 'Contending'

Dave Cameron wrote a post over on USS Mariner which was critical of Seattle's inaction this off-season. It seems to me that if you substitute some of the particulars you have a fairly apt critique...

Robbie Grossman Goes Deep


Hits his 3rd Arizona Fall League home run. Now batting 356.


Do the Pirates Have A Top Ten Minor League System?

When it comes to baseball in general and prospects specifically I spend a disproportionate amount of my time reading about the Pirates. While I've probably ingested a novellas worth of writing...

No Room for Alex Presley


From the Game Notes section in the recap of the game this afternoon: "Pirates INF Chase d'Arnaud (broken right pinkie finger) and OF Alex Presley (bruised left hand) have been deemed ready to return from their rehab assignments at Triple-A Indianapolis but will remain in the minor leagues for now because Pittsburgh does not have room on its roster for either player. . " I know there's a pitching crunch with all the injuries and roster machinations they necessitate but really no room for Alex Presley?

Starling Marte, Superstar?


Let's not get ahead of ourselves. While Marte did hit his tenth homer of the season and go 2-4 tonight he's far from a perfect prospect. But none the less in the latest installment of his 'Prospects Will Break Your Heart' series for BP Jason ranks the top centerfield prospects and there Marte is. I'd say it's the the most positive independent assessment of Starling I've read. If you're a subscriber check it out. It's certainly heartening given the dearth of position prospects in the system. The money quote which references Marte's ceiling as discussed by folks in the industry and about which Jason tweeted in earlier in the week: "If Marte even scratches the surface of that praise, he’s a first-division starter. If he reaches his ceiling, he’s a superstar."

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