First Pitch: West Virginia Could Be the Team to Watch

The minor league rosters are far from set at this point in Spring Training. There are two weeks to go in minor league camp, but based on the rosters during the A-ball games, and the natural progression of players throughout the system, it looks like West Virginia will be a team to watch this year.

The highlight will be 2011 second round pick Josh Bell. He’s projected to go to full-season ball this year, making his pro debut with the West Virginia Power.

Stetson Allie is also projected to move up from State College to West Virginia. He was moved to the bullpen last year to work on his fastball command, but is being used as a starter in Spring Training.

Nick Kingham is the third prospect from our 2012 top ten list who projects to make the jump to West Virginia. He should be joined by Ryan Hafner, as both pitchers had a lot of success in State College last year.

The international scene could produce some interesting guys to watch. Jose Osuna looks to be in line to be the everyday first baseman. Willy Garcia, Alen Hanson, and Gregory Polanco could also be in the mix, although Osuna has the best shot of the group, with the other three at-risk of going to State College.

Bell, Allie, Kingham, Hafner, and Osuna would give West Virginia five of the top 30 prospects in the system, including three of the top ten.

Let’s just say I’ll be spending a lot of time in Charleston this summer.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates were off today. They resume their schedule tomorrow, and don’t have another off-day for the duration of camp.

**Here’s the transcript from my weekly chat.

**The weekly rundown of all the Pirates’ draft prospects.

**It’s just a matter of time for Marte to arrive in the majors.

**Here is Wilbur Miller’s recap from Pirate City today.

**Charlie at Bucs Dugout brings up a point I’ve made several times: the Pirates don’t have a logjam in the outfield. Charlie gives a good example of how an outfield logjam can quickly go bad, pointing out the 2002 Reds. And they had four outfielders who were established in the majors. The Pirates only have one outfielder who is established in the majors: Andrew McCutchen. They shouldn’t be making any trades just yet.

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.
  • duckwoes

    Looking forward to seeing the Power opening weekend in Hagerstown!

  • http://twitter.com/BuccoMike Mike

    Starling Marte could be their best player in the outfield in and he’s in AAA. Reminds a lot of a young vladdy minus vladdy cannon arm. Marte has the strongest of the pirates outfield arms and best of the bats. A-cutch has a touch more speed and maybe a little more power.