A Look At The Minors: Pitchers (A+)

Top 3 Prospects

1. Nathan Baker

2. Quinton Miller

3. Diego Moreno

Notable: Jeff Inman, Brett Lorin

Nathan Baker

Baker was drafted in 2009 out of the 5th round. He was not really an overslot signing as he was drafted as a college junior. Baker has a good arsenal of pitches including a fastball, slider and changeup. His stuff doesn’t grade out great but it is average and is good enough where he could be a useful major league pitcher one day. He has put up good results since being drafted but doesn’t profiles as much more than a back of a rotation starter. It is surprising Baker hasn’t been promoted to AA yet but since Locke has just recently been promoted it is possible that it could not be far away.

April: 5.57 ERA, 1.762 WHIP, 1.86 SO/BB

May: 3.81 ERA, 1.624 WHIP, 2.20 SO/BB

June: 3.21 ERA, 1.214 WHIP, 2.50 SO/BB

July: 3.07 ERA, 1.364 WHIP, 0.92 SO/BB

Quinton Miller

Miller was drafted in 2008 in the 20th round and is one of the many overslot high school pitchers. He signed for 900K and started pro ball the following season. He was considered one of the better high school arms that the Pirates drafted. However Miller has performed poorly in his 2+ seasons and has been injured fairly often. This year has been no exception as he has battled injuries and played poorly. He does have plus stuff with a fastball sitting in the mid 90s and his breaking stuff is considered to have the potential of being plus pitches some day. Quinton Miller’s prospect status has taken a hit over the last few seasons but he remains a very high upside arm and at 21 years old he still has time to develop.

April: 8.84 ERA, 1.914 WHIP, 1.33 SO/BB

May: 6.91 ERA, 1.537 WHIP, 4.67 SO/BB

June: 3.66 ERA, 1.220 WHIP, 1.67 SO/BB

July: 7.36 ERA, 1.636 WHIP, 3.00 SO/BB

Diego Moreno

Baseball America named Moreno the best minor league pitcher in 2010. He was considered by some 1 top 10 prospect in the Pirates organization and it was believed he could potentially be a late season callup to the majors this season and that he could be a back of the bullpen option as early as next year. Man can 4 months change a lot. Moreno inexplicably started back in A+ where he performed decently but not up to his level he was promoted to AA where he did poorly and was eventually demoted back to A+ (he has done well since his demotion). He has went from looking like one of the Pirates surest things to a guy the Pirates might not even protect from the Rule V draft. Moreno was signed out of Venezuela in 2006 for a whopping $7,000. With the exception of his cup of coffee in AA last season Moreno has been excellent at every level he has played. Moreno has an upper 90s fastball and uses that to set up everything else.

April: 4.00 ERA, 1.222 WHIP, 3.50 SO/BB

May: 6.14 ERA, 1.636 WHIP, 1.83 SO/BB

June: 5.63 ERA, 1.375 WHIP, 4.00 O/BB (AA stats)

July: 2.16 ERA, 1.080 WHIP, 2.00 SO/BB

Jeff Inman

Inman was taken by the Pirates in the 12th round of the 2009 draft and was viewed as one of the better pitchers the Pirates selected that season. Going into the 2009 season he was considered a potential 1st round pick and one of the best college pitchers in the game but he fell to the 12th because of injuries. Inman is a great talent possessing a mid 90s fastball and a good curve and change. He would probably be one of the Pirates top prospects if he could just manage to stay healthy. Inman pitched  just 4 inning in 2009 (late signing) and missed the entire 2010 season due to an elbow injury. Things have not been much better this season as he has pitched only 28 innings. He has been great when healthy; in the 32 innings he has pitched he has allowed only 7 runs. However Inman has to stay healthy to have any prospect value.

Season: 2.25 ERA, 1.000 WHIP, 3.00 SO/BB

Brett Lorin

Lorin was acquired in the Jack Wilson trade and was at the time considered the best of the 3 pitching prospects the Pirates received. He has a low 90s fastball and a very good changeup. Lorin has enough talent where he could one day develop into a back of the rotation starter or bullpen arm. He should have started this season in AA but missed most of last season due to a hip injury. Lorin is eligible for the Rule V draft this offseason and looks like he could be this season’s Nathan Adcock. Unlike Adcock it appears the Pirates will have a very difficult time protecting Lorin so it is very possible he could be lost just like Adcock. Lorin is a very deserving candidate to move up to AA and considering he is Rule V eligible it would make sense to move him up and see what the Pirates have in him.

April: 4.29 ERA, 1.571 WHIP, 2.57 SO/BB

May: 2.31 ERA, 0.857 WHIP, 27.00 SO/BB

June: 1.71 ERA, 0.9048 WHIP, 5.00 SO/BB

July: 2.25 ERA, 0.813 WHIP, 5.75 SO/BB


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