Top 3 Prospects
1. Exicardo Cayonez
2. Quincy Latimore
3. Rogelios Noris
Notable: David Rubinstein, Jose Osuna
Note: I am basing OF position purely on this season’s playing time. Also Presley isn’t eligible and Adalberto Santos has already been covered at 2B.
At the time of Cayonez’s signing he received the largest bonus ever given out by the Pirates to an international player. He signed in 2008 out of Venezuela and received a $400K signing bonus. Cayonez has seen his stock drop this season but still has a lot of upside which is why he tops my rankings. So far in his pro career he hasn’t displayed much power but he has handled the bat well hitting for a high average and showing good plate discipline. He is also a very good defender. He is currently in his 2nd season in the US but has struggled in limited time in the GCL.
Season: .179/.258/.286 (.544 OPS)
Latimore may very well have the most raw power of any player currently in the Pirates minor leagues. With the exception of his power the only other thing Latimore has shown is some decent speed (he isn’t a burner but is probably slightly better than average). On the downside Latimore rarely walks, strikes out about 25% of the time, is a poor base runner and is a terrible defender. The way it appears now his one and only chance of making the majors is his power continue to increase. He is eligible for the Rule V draft this upcoming season but would be a project for any team so he is unlikely to be selected.
April: .257/.305/.432 (.737 OPS)
May: .200/.275/.276 (.551 OPS)
June: .186/.231/.349 (.580 OPS)
July: .261/.342/.507 (.849 OPS)
The Pirates signed Noris in 2007 out of Mexico for $110K. If Latimore does not have the most raw power in the system then Noris does. Unlike Latimore though Noris has a few other good tools. Noris is a good defender, with a good arm and good speed. As a 18 year old Noris put up great numbers in the VSL and was promoted after just two seasons to the states. At this point I’m sure many of you are wondering why given all this talent Noris doesn’t rate higher, well he has a slight problem. Essentially Noris will swing at anything and everything. Last season he walked just 3.4% of the time and struck out an astronomical 35.4% of the time. Needless to say Noris (who is an A ball) needs to find some plate discipline if he ever wants to become a legit prospect.
April: .227/.244/.318 (.563 OPS)
May: .230/.273/.459 (.732 OPS)
June: .200/.264/.415 (.679 OPS)
July: .225/.247/.380 (.627 OPS)
Rubinstein was drafted in the 11th round of the 2008 draft. He really does not stand out as he doesn’t really have any exceptional tools but on the upside for him he also doesn’t have any glaring weaknesses. He does stike out a little more than you would like but he is a good defender and is all around a decent ball player. Chances are Rubinstein will not amount to anything more than minor league filler but he had a good stretch at the beginning of the season and at least put himself on the fringe of the OF conversation. He has since cooled which was predictable. Rubinstein is currently in A+.
April: .348/.443/.515 (.958 OPS)
May: .283/.313/.370 (.682 OPS)
June: .229/.326/.325 (.652 OPS)
July: .177/.224/.194 (.417 OPS)
Osuna has taken advantage of the poor start by Cayones and is now receiving the majority of the playing time in LF for the GCL team. He is a good prospect in his own right so the Pirates aren’t really giving away playing time. This is Ozuna’s first year in the US but last season in his first year of pro ball he displayed good power, hitting 10 home runs in the VSL. He was signed by the Pirates in 2009 out of Venezuela. Osuna is a project at this point but considering he is only 18 years old and is already showing a good amount of power he is definately worth keeping an eye on. Did I mention he is off to a great start this season.
Season: .365/.446/.577 (1.023 OPS)