Farmville – The Return

With the Pirates off today while waiting for the Brewers to come to town, it seems like a perfect opportunity to take a look around the minors.  Let’s accept those neighbor and gift requests and do some farming!

AAA Indianapolis (4-8)

– Things have taken a turn for the worse for the Indians, but there is some interesting news as former top prospects-turned-stalled-prospects, Steve Pearce and Neil Walker, have been raking lately.  Steve Pearce, in particular, is mashing to the tune of a 1.219 OPS. Neil Walker has put up a nice 7/4 walk to strikeout ratio while showing a lot of positional versatility.  Expect to see one, or both, in Pittsburgh in the near future since hitting left handed pitching has been a major weakness for the PBC.

– Pedro Alvarez and Jose Tabata still continue to look good but not quite ready.  Alvarez has a robust .535 slugging percentage, but 13Ks in 43 ABs isn’t cutting it.  Tabata is hitting .333, but it’s also an empty .333 with only a pair of doubles and no homers so far…there’s a lot to like there. Unfortunately, they aren’t major league ready yet.

AA Altoona (7-3)

– The Curve has been fairing much better than their AAA counterparts with the infield trifecta of Jordy Mercer, Jim Negrych, and Josh Harrison doing most of the damage.  Negrych isn’t much of a prospect at this point, but Mercer and Harrison, acquired in the Grabow trade, still have some upside to them if they can hit like this and play middle infield.

– It’s not all roses and sunshine though as Chase D’Arnaud has cratered and is now posting a .152/.282/.242 line.  In fact, he has been hitless since our last Farmville.  It’s all eerily Shelby Ford-like.  Gorkys Hernandez hasn’t bothered to hit at all since coming from Atlanta…how this guy was a top 100 prospect is completely beyond me.

– Tim Alderson has had two pretty solid starts now, but his velocity reports are still troubling…it might be worth taking a drive to Altoona to get a firsthand report.

A+ Bradenton (7-3)

– No Pirate news is more exciting than the High-A Bradenton Marauders who are quite literally marauding their way through the Florida State League.  Just look at some of these numbers:

Tony Sanchez .375/.500/.719
Quincy Lattimore .378/.415/.649
Starling Marte .361/.477/.472
Brock Holt .385/.467/.462
Robbie Grossman .294/.432/.441
Jeremy Farrell .324/.405/.649

Those are video game numbers (Sanchez is on base 50% of the time!), and they coming from all parts of the order.  Just a lot to love there.

– Bryan Morris, Nathan Adcock, Jeff Locke and Aaron Pribanic, a quartet of young pitchers acquired in trades, have all been sharp with Morris and Adcock being  particularly strong.  Morris has been a nice story after his struggles with injury and discipline ruined him last season.  It’s quite possible that he is tapping into the potential that made him a first round draft pick.

A West Virginia (5-6)

– The Power have righted the ship since their 0-3 start mostly on the bats of Jarek Cunningham and Jesus Brito (who I still can’t believe that we got for BRIAN BIXLER!); Cunnigham’s .349/.356/.488 line is awfully tasty for a 20 year old shortstop.