Mel Rojas, Jr. was the Pirates’ 2nd round selection in the 2010 draft, and as I tweeted during the game I saw of him, it is very easy to tell that he is the most talented of all the Power position players. He is a 5-tool guy who obviously has a lot of development to do, but you can definitely see those tools in these videos.
Rojas had an excellent night at the plate going 3 for 4 with a single in his first at-bat, a double in his 2nd at-bat, a strikeout in his 3rd at-bat, and a triple in his 4th at-bat. Check them out:
Rojas was definitely drafted as a project and looks like he could be slow to develop. But as I mentioned before, it is easy to tell he has the talent, it is just a matter of him putting it all together.
Drew Maggi was the Pirates’ 15th round pick in the 2010 draft out of Arizona State as a draft-eligible sophomore. He signed for an above-slot $468,000 bonus. This is his first full year of pro ball and he got off to a horrendous start, however he is starting to heat up thanks to a June that saw him put up a .933 OPS.
He was in the starting lineup batting lead off in the game I saw and finished 1 for 4 with 2 strikeouts. He struck out in his first 2 AB, grounded out to 2nd in his 3rd AB, and singled to right center field in his 4th at-bat. Here are those at-bats for you:
Due to the lack of middle infield prospects the Pirates possess, it would be nice if Maggi could develop into a solid prospect. His defense definitely needs some work as he made his 17th error of the season this year, that allowed the game winning run to score.
Victor Black was chosen by the Pirates 49th overall in the 2009 draft in the supplemental portion of the 1st round. He had some injury issues last season that limited him to just 2 outings in 2010. Black is projected to be a late inning reliever due to his stuff. He pitched the 7th inning on July 4th and I have every at bat from that outing.
Black has put up very good numbers this season, but he was kind of knocked around a bit in the inning I saw from him. He started off good with a groundout back to the mound. But then he gave up a single, then a stolen base (which the runner ended up getting to 3rd due to a throwing error), then another single, and then threw a wild pitch. He would then get a second out with a fly out to center field and would finally get out of the inning when the next batter singled to left field, but Rogelios Noris would gun the runner from 2nd trying to score at home. Here’s every at-bat:
I’m not sure if Black is still being affected by his arm issues from last year, but his velocity was no where near where I expected it to be from scouting reports. His fastball sat 88-89 all inning. He threw low to mid-90’s when he was drafted back in 2009.
Zack Von Rosenberg entered this season in some people’s Top 10 prospect lists. He was drafted in the 6th round of the 2009 draft and was pried away from his commitment to LSU with a $1.2 million bonus. ZVR’s run into a road block this year, though, and his prospect status has temporarily taken a hit. When I saw him warm up, though, to make his first ever bullpen appearance of his career, I can’t say I wasn’t excited to see him. Here’s a breakdown of Von Rosenberg’s 2 1/3 innings of relief:
Von Rosenberg entered the game in the 4th inning in a pretty tough spot. Jameson Taillon had just come out of the game with 2 outs and the bases loaded. He would face off against last season’s 8th overall pick in Delino DeShields, Jr and as you will see in this video, Von Rosenberg struck out DeShields to strand the bases loaded.
Monday night, I made the hour drive to Lexington, KY to see the West Virginia Power and 2010 1st round draft pick Jameson Taillon. It was the first time seeing Taillon in person and I was also able to get every pitch of his start on video, so I can share it with all of you. Here is an inning-by-inning recap of Taillon’s start.
Taillon started off the game very sharp with a quick 1-2-3 inning. Delino DeShields Jr hit a soft liner to 2nd baseman Andy Vasquez in the first AB and Enrique Hernandez was retired quickly with a ground ball to 3rd for out number 2. Taillon then picked up his first of five strikeouts when he got Adam Bailey to chase a ball in the dirt for strike 3. Taillon’s breaking stuff was overpowering when he threw it as I really don’t recall anyone putting a breaking ball in play all night. If it was, it was a very weak grounder. But here’s all three first inning at-bats, pitch-by-pitch: