Pirates Make Great Strides

Tue, Aug 17, 2010

Pittsburgh Sports

Pirates Make Great Strides

It’s 2010, and you of course figure the Pirates are still fumbling everything around that they can possibly fumble….well, their 2010 MLB draft is considered largely as a success with the two signings of prospect power arms Jameson Taillon and second-rounder Stetson Allie – on Monday to wrap up a signing period in which the organization inked a total of 27 players.

This is absolutely good news for the Pirates and fans alike.  In 3 years, they’ve spent upwards of 30 million on the draft, with Alvarez, Sanchez, and now Taillon and Allie.  I couldn’t be happier as a fan, because if all of this pans out, then finally the Pirates have an above average team in a few years.

Here’s the reports on Both Taillon and Allie, starting with Taillon first, who will receive a $6.5 million signing bonus from the Pirates:

These reports are directly from MLB.com:

Fastball: Taillon threw his fastball in the 94-99 mph range.

Fastball movement: It has explosive movement.

Curve: It’s a plus pitch and he threw it 81-85 mph.

Slider: Also a plus breaking ball, he throws it 84-88 mph.

Jameson Taillon

Jameson Taillon

Changeup: He has a changeup and it’s a solid pitch. He doesn’t always use it, but he knows it’s a pitch he’ll need at the next level.

Control: He does need to improve his command, though it’s not a real concern. He has a tendency to throw away from hitters too much and must learn to come in more, something that likely will come when he’s pitching to wood bats consistently.

Poise: He has plus poise and his makeup is off the charts.

Physical Description: Taillon is an absolute beast. He’s tall and lean with extra-long levers and a slim waist.

Medical Update: Healthy.

Strengths: Three plus pitches with the changeup giving him the potential to have a four-pitch mix.

Weaknesses: Like with many high school pitchers, his command can improve.

Summary: Taillon is the complete package in a high school pitcher, with tremendous size, stuff and a feel for pitching. He’s got three plus pitches in his fastball, slider and curve. Even his changeup, while not used that much, is solid. He uses his size to his advantage and has tremendous mound presence. As impressive as his stuff is, his makeup might be even better. A commitment to Rice might sound intriguing, but if he goes at the top of the first round, and everything points to that happening, it likely won’t be an issue.

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Now what do they have to say about Stetson Allie?  Let’s check it out:

Fastball: Allie has one of the strongest arms in the class and can throw his fastball up to 98 mph. He throws a four-seamer and an occasional two-seamer.

Fastball movement: The two-seamer has good movement; the four-seamer is pretty straight.

Slider: He has an above-average slider that he throws 87-91 mph.

Changeup: He could develop an above-average changeup. He doesn’t throw it as much as he should, but when he does, it’s 85-87 mph with very good sink.

Stetson Allie

Stetson Allie

Control: His command is okay at times; other times, he lapses and loses his feel for his pitches.

Poise: He seems to want to get in and go as hard as he can and get off the mound. He’ll sometimes lose focus after a couple of innings, making some think he’s best suited as a short reliever.

Physical Description: Allie is big and strong. He’s slimmed down from last year and is in very good shape.

Medical Update: Healthy.

Strengths: Power arm with a plus fastball, above-average slider and changeup as well.

Weaknesses: He doesn’t maintain his stuff and command deep into games. Focus seems to be an issue at times.

Summary: Allie has one of the best pure arms in the Draft, especially among the high school set. He can get his fastball into the upper 90s with good movement. He has good secondary stuff as well but tends not to maintain it deep into starts. As a result, he could eventually wind up in the bullpen. High school relievers don’t typically do all that well, but this kind of arm strength doesn’t grow on trees. There are bound to be teams who will work with him as a starter and see what happens.

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Honestly, that’s just great, and to get one of the strongest power arms in the class in the second round is even better.  I’m excited for the future…finally.  Think these signings are great?  Need a place to talk about them?  Head over to www.yinzpitt.com/forums and let your voice be heard!

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