I am counting down my personal list of the top 25 Pirate prospects. You can follow the countdown here, or by clicking on the “Top 25 Prospects” link in the site header.
Date of Birth: 1/29/1990
Weight: 215 pounds
Drafted: 16th Round, 2008 (All Saints Academy – Lakeland, FL)
The Pirates selected Wesley Freeman in the 16th round of the 2008 draft. He had a commitment to the University of Central Florida, meaning the Pirates would have to pay him an above-slot bonus to convince him to sign. They did just that on August 7, giving him fifth round money. Freeman is a big, athletic guy with all kinds of tools, projecting as a potential five-tool center fielder. He is also very raw, and has some mechanical issues in his swing that will need ironed out. A few weeks away from his 19th birthday, he is a long way from the major leagues. Watching the progression of players like Freeman will be a good method for assessing whether the organization’s player development has improved under the new regime. He has great upside, but he is unlikely to reach that potential without the help of good coaching along the way. He is the type of player who could jump up on prospect lists in just a year or two.
You can see the power that Freeman possesses in the video below. Keep in mind that he is using an aluminum bat, but those are still some impressive blasts for an 18-year-old kid. You can also see that there is some slight awkwardness in his hands when he swings. Fixing that hitch will be significant in his development process.
Expected arrival in Pittsburgh: 2014