Friday, August 2, 2013

Taillon header to AAA

By Jeff

The Pittsburgh Pirates organization has promoted its top prospect, starting pitcher Jameson Taillon, from AA to AAA.

The move was expected. The 2010 No. 2 pick posted a 3.67 ERA across 19 starts. What was more impressive was his 106/36 K/BB ratio.

If Taillon continues on his current path, he will probably get called up next June.

It is exciting to hear about Taillon's success in the minors and see Gerrit Cole's at the major league level. This is the first time in a long time that the Buccos have had multiple young starters with such high ceilings. Hell, when was the last time they had one? People were excited for Brad Lincoln, but that was more out of desperation. Maybe I never read about it, but it seemed that he was never touted by baseball minds outside of Pittsburgh the way Taillon is and Cole was.

We may not see Taillon this year, but fans have to be pleased that he continues to grow, improve and advance through the system. He and Cole could be one of the best 1-2 combinations in the majors for a long time to come. They both still have a ways to go, but it's definitely possible and has Pirates fans pumped.


  1. That K/BB ratio isn't as dominant as you'd want from a top prospect, especially since it's over about 110 innings. He's walked more guys than last year and WHIP is higher.

    That said, some of the arguments around some of his blah numbers were that he's been hour by some awful defense and his style would play better with a better team behind him. In A, he didn't have much D, especially with Hanson still learning how to play SS. Altoona has a reputation of being one of the worst defensive teams in AA, and only improved somewhat when Polanco was promoted there.

    I absolutely agree that he was hurt by some bad play behind him. It'll be interesting to see how his numbers look after 2 months in AAA. If that goes well, I agree he's got a pretty good chance to come up June-ish, like you speculate.

    And no about Lincoln being a top prospect. He suddenly got better after being a failed started, so he never really had time to show up high on lists, nor do those types get much hype.

  2. Let's compare Taillon 2013 stats to Matt Harvey's combined AA and AAA stats from 2012.

    Harvey: 20 starts, 3.68 ERA, 1.318 WHIP, 9.2 K/9, 3.9 BB/9, 112/48 K/BB ratio.
    Taillon: 19 starts, 3.67 ERA, 1.341 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 106/36 K/BB Ratio

    Now we'll have to see if Taillon falls off at all at the AAA level, but when you see what Harvey is doing in the majors this year and that his minor league stats are similar to Taillon's, I think Taillon is doing just fine.

    As for Lincoln, he had plenty of time as a prospect to get recognition if he showed any potential to be an ace that you expect. He did get better as a reliever, but a mid to late reliever who was drafted fourth overall should not get much hype. Basically, his production as a reliever in 2012 was a step or two above Daniel Moskos in 2011.

  3. Right, and Matt Moore and Strasburg had K/9 over 11. My point wasn't that those weren't fantastic numbers, but that he didn't overly dominate. I'm not saying he's bad at all; heck he's got a great shot to be better than Cole. Harvey didn't have outstanding minors numbers either, but he played on horrid teams in the minors too. That's exactly my point, odds are Jameson is much better than his numbers indicate, and he's already a top 15 prospect.

  4. I hear what you're saying and made the Harvey comparison to show that minor league stats don't always paint an accurate picture of what these prospects will do in the majors. You're making the same point but pointing to lack of defense.

  5. Oh sure we're making the same point, it's just an excuse to argue. This is just practice for when we start our First Take spinoff on Fox Sports 1