First Pitch: Mega Pitching Prospect Day

Today is probably the best possible lineup of pitchers in the minor league system you could possibly see in one day. Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Luis Heredia are all expected to start, with other top prospects like Rudy Owens and Zack Dodson scheduled to throw.

Cole, Taillon, and Heredia are the top three pitching prospects currently in the system. The only one not confirmed for today is Taillon. He was scheduled for yesterday, and Casey Sadler was originally scheduled for today. Since Sadler pitched last night, it would be expected that Taillon was moved to today.

Cole will be making his second start in Altoona. Taillon will hope to continue his strong performance from the last time out, which broke a streak of six poor starts. Heredia will be making his second start of the season for the Spikes after pitching four shutout innings in his debut.

Owens is currently the fourth best pitching prospect in the system. He’s got a 2.38 ERA in 90.2 innings this year for Indianapolis, with a 62:14 K/BB ratio. This year he’s been showing the command that led him to become the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year in 2009 and 2010. He would probably be in the majors by now if he was playing for a team with more openings in the big league rotation.

Dodson has struggled this year, with a 5.97 ERA in 63.1 innings. He’s still a talented young left hander, but has dealt with some command issues. The GCL Pirates have a double header, and Tyler Glasnow could make a start down there, after having his start today rained out.

For start times and more information on the above pitchers, check out the daily schedule. Pirates Prospects will have live reports on Indianapolis (Owens), West Virginia (Dodson), and State College (Heredia).

Links and Notes

**The Pirates lost 8-3 to the Phillies.

**Pirates Notebook: Not a Good Return For Karstens.

**Prospect Watch: Colton Cain With Another Good Start.

**A lot of live minor league reports: Indianapolis, West Virginia, State College.

**Jake Fox Released by the Pirates.

**Surveying the National League – Part 1 of 2.

**Prospect Trends — First Half Review, Part Two.

About Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He is a credentialed media member with every team in the Pirates’ system, including the Pirates themselves. He’s a regular guest on Extra Innings on 104.7, and makes regular appearances on ESPN 970, 93.7 The Fan, and TribLIVE Radio in Pittsburgh, as well as ESPN 1430 in Altoona and ESPN 1450 in State College.
  • Lee Young

    If Owens hasn’t regained that FB speed he once had, he is basically Zach Duke, no?

    • Tim Williams

      No. Not every left hander that doesn’t throw 90-93 is Zach Duke.

  • Lee Young

    Correction! “Cole will be making his second start in Altoona.” It will be in Harrisburg at Metro Bank Park.

    I will be there!

  • Greatone1210

    I think Owens is blocked wrongly. I would personally like to see him get a start over KC or Karstens. Yes, I know Karstens had a good year last year. But I also think he was getting lucky and playing way over his head. I just think Owens should get a shot.

  • Dave Parker’s Unfiltered Camel

    I like Karstens. Heck it’s hard not to like most of the guys on this team, especially a guy who seems to be such a high effort player. My concern is that he has struggled since the second half of last season.