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TPOP’s Top 40 Pirates Prospects #30-21

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Willy Garcia made the 40-man roster this offseason, but can he overcome his K rate to make it to Pittsburgh?

Willy Garcia made the 40-man roster this offseason, but can he overcome his K rate to make it to Pittsburgh?

It’s prospect season! That’s the time of year between the end of the winter meetings and when pitchers and catchers report dedicated to organization ranking lists and Top 100’s. It’s down time for everyone but the nerdiest of fans. We at The Point of Pittsburgh decided to join the fun. Where most lists stop at ten or thirty, we’re going all the way up to forty making ours the nerdiest list around.

Each of us completed our individual lists and then aggregated them into a complete list. Today, we’ll look at 21-30. In case you missed it, here is a link to #31-40. Ages in parentheses are as of July 1st, 2015. We projected what level the player will spend the majority of the 2015 season, as well.

#30 Dan Gamache (24), 2B/3B, AA

Steve DiMiceli – Quietly developing into a utility prospect. He ?s a streaky hitter still, but the Pirates thought enough of him to send him to the AFL.

#29 Mel Rojas Jr (25), OF, AAA

Kevin Creagh – Surprised he didn’t make 40 man roster, surprised no one took him in Rule 5 draft, which should mean I need to drop him down. Tools and stats say he’s at least a bench OF

Steve – I can ?t believe Rojas was passed over in the Rule 5 draft as he looks like a solid fourth outfielder who can play any position. Of course, this was the first year he actually hit so I can see other teams reservations.

#28 Andrew Lambo (26), OF, AAA/MLB

Steve – Lambo ?s bad spring BABIP cost him a shot at the left handed platoon role in Pittsburgh, but he hasn ?t done anything to really hurt his prospect status except get blocked by Pedro Alvarez.

Kevin –Last chance for Lambo in 2015. Just don’t think he’s in Pirates’ plans long-term

#27 Clay Holmes (22), RHP, Low A

Michael Bradley – The other TJ pitcher from 2014. Fangraphs likes his upside. I do too.

Steve – I ?m less afraid of his Tommy John surgery than I am those control numbers the year before. I suspect he ?ll repeat in West Virginia or get a piggy backing role in Bradenton. The Pirates won ?t know what they have in Holmes until the middle of 2016.

Kevin – Should be back from TJ surgery early in year. Had control issues prior to blowing out elbow, but could be a #4

#26 Stetson Allie (24), 1B, AAA

Kevin – I just don’t think it’s going to happen for him in the Majors due to high K rate. Also unpicked during Rule 5.

Michael – Another prospect that I ?m much higher on than others. He has a spot in the ML as a platoon 1B. He will be able to play the role that Gaby Sanchez did the last two years. Surprised he wasn ?t picked in Rule 5, but rosters are too tight these days.

Steve – He might get a cup of coffee but I just don ?t see anything beyond that for him.

#25 Chad Kuhl (22), RHP, AA

Steve – He quietly faired better than any other pitcher who got the aggressive push to Bradenton without a stop in Charleston first. I ?m not sleeping on him.

Kevin – Control guy that Pirates skipped over Low A in 2014. Usually means they like a guy (Justin Wilson, Adrian Sampson)

Michael – Kuhl snuck up to AA at a young age and went somewhat unnoticed. He ?ll pitch ?15 as a 22 year old and his innings could exceed 180. Could be a backend starter.

#24 Taylor Gushue (21), C, Low A

Kevin – Pirates quietly have enviable depth at C position all of a sudden. 2014 draftee had solid debut. Probably has to go to Low A due to McGuire going to High A

Michael – Youngest college player in the draft. Potential lottery ticket. He lost a year sitting at UF behind Mariners catcher Mike Zuni o. Add in the fact that he was basically drafted a year early and he ?s got two extra years of potential in him that was unrealized.

Steve – Gushue got off to a very hot start as a pro before fizzling, but switch hitting, defensive catchers with pop don ?t grow on trees. He ?s probably an organizational guy, but there is enough there to dream a little.

#23 Connor Joe (22), C/OF, Low A

Steve – The mystery man probably gets knocked because he didn ?t play last year. Would he have if he were signed at an August 15th deadline? Until he ?s officially moved off catcher, he will intrigue me.

Michael – Could be Ryan Doumit 2.0 which isn ?t a bad thing. If he could play a serviceable catcher as well as a serviceable RF he could have great value. Not playing at all in ?14 doesn ?t give us a great feel for his bat.

Kevin – The mystery man. Never played due to back issue after draft. Here solely on supplemental 1st round pedigree

#22 Willy Garcia (22), OF, AA/AAA

Michael – Clint Hurdle wants Garcia on the 25 man TODAY after hearing him talk about Garcia at Pirate Fest. He is another one who could start today against LHPs (why he was protected in the Rule 5). Giant power and perfect RF in PNC w/ a Roberto arm.

Kevin – He was a surprise add to the 40 man. Tantalizing array of tools, but his K/BB rate is scary and one that I’m not sure he can overcome

Steve – In a battle of Garcia vs Stetson Allie, I take Garcia because he has the chance to play both corner outfield spots as well as 1B.

#21 John Holdzkom (27), RHP, MLB

Steve – Despite his crazy story and age, he still qualifies as a prospect. Not many guys after this are sage bets to become back end of the bullpen type pitchers.

Pro Tip: If you ever need to google Holdzkom, make sure you’re spelling his name correctly. You’re going to find yourself in a world of nasty if you don’t.


Prospects #31-40

Tomorrow — #20 to #11 prospects

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Follow Steve on Twitter @SteveDiMiceli

Steve is a naturalized yinzer hailing originally from just north of Allentown, PA. He came to Pittsburgh to attend Duquesne University and decided to stick around after graduation. Steve is best known for his contributions to Duquesne hoops community as the owner of the Duquesne Dukes forum on Yuku and as the former editor of We Wear the Ring on the Fansided network. He is an avid Pirates fan, home cook and policy nerd. He is the co-founder of the Point of Pittsburgh. Easily irritated by people who misuse the word regress.