|Original Published Date: April 18, 2014|
|Updated: June 10, 2014|
The Pirates were the big surprise of the league in 2013 and decided to hold tight in the off-season and let their kids fill in the hole. Jameson Taillon was one of those kids that was suppose to add punch to the rotation in the second half but underwent Tommy John Surgery in April and will not be a factor. However, there’s still Gregory Polanco and the uber prospect finally got promoted on June 10th. He has a chance to be special but with most rookies, he’s also likely to struggle and have his share of highs and lows.
1. Next in Line Infield Prospects
- Chris McGuiness (1B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Brent Morel (3B, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
Notes: Chris McGuiness and Brent Morel are backup players but will provide depth if a 15-day DL stint is required on the big league club. After that, it’s very thin. Alen Hanson is struggling in Double-A and it’s unlikely he’ll show enough to see Pittsburgh in 2014.
2. Next in Line Outfield Prospects
- Chris Dickerson (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Jaff Decker (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Gregory Polanco (OF, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: High – PROMOTED: 6/10/14
Notes: While we listed Chris Dickerson and Jaff Decker, it’s all about Gregory Polanco. Now that he’s up, what should fantasy owners expect? It’s conceivable that he could put up 8-10 home runs, 20 SB while batting a respectable .280 in 350 at-bats. Those aren’t monster totals but if the power starts to show up in-game…watch out.
3. Next in Line Pitching Prospects
- Jeff Locke (LHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low – Promoted: 5/5/14
- Vin Mazzaro (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low
- Nick Kingham (RHP, Double-A) – Fantasy relevance: Medium
Notes: Lightening is not likely to strike twice with Jeff Locke and that in a nutshell is the problem with the Pittsburgh strategy. Loosing Taillon is going to hurt and while Nick Kingham is a nice pitcher, the Pirates have taken a slow-and-grow approach with their staff over the years so expecting him to be promoted is not realistic. If the Pirates are in the hunt around the trade deadline, expect them to bring in a veteran to help push them over-the-top.
4. Next in Line Relief Prospects
- Duke Welker (RHP, Triple-A) – Fantasy relevance: Low