First Pitch: First Impressions

Baseball is a funny game, especially when it comes to prospects. You wait all winter for baseball to come back. Then you wait through six weeks of Spring Training for the season to begin. Finally the season begins and it feels like you’ve been waiting forever. So forget waiting a few months to get a good idea on how a player is performing. Let’s just look at how he did in his first few games.

If a player comes out and hits well in his first game of the season, people take notice. If he does it in his 20th game of the season, it’s just a good game. If a player bombs in his first game of the season, people start to worry. If he has a bad start in his tenth outing, it’s chalked up to a bad start.

I don’t put much stock in to small sample sizes, so the performances of players during the first two games of the season mean very little to me. Here’s a list of the good and the bad from the first two days of the minor league season. Don’t read anything in to it. It means nothing (unless it continues over a larger sample of time). Look at it as an “I’m just sayin'” way.

The Good

**Alen Hanson has a .556 average with two doubles and a homer.

**Josh Bell is batting .300.

**Gift Ngoepe is batting .444 with a triple.

**Tony Sanchez is batting .429 with a double and a triple.

**Bryan Morris struckout four in one inning during his AAA debut. The bad would be the two wild pitches, one of which allowed this to happen.

**Robbie Grossman is batting .300 in his jump to Double-A, with a home run.

**Nathan Baker gave up one earned run in five innings, allowing two hits, two walks, and striking out five in his debut for Altoona.

**Jarek Cunningham has no strikeouts in his jump to Double-A, with a .444 average.

The Bad

**Justin Wilson walked six in five innings in his first start of the year for Indianapolis.

**Colton Cain walked four in 3.2 innings in his first start for Bradenton.

**Stetson Allie walked four, hit a batter, and threw three wild pitches in 0.1 innings in his debut with West Virginia.

**Ramon Cabrera is batting .143 in his Double-A debut.

**Nick Kingham gave up five runs in 1.2 innings in his West Virginia debut.

**Alex Dickerson is 0-for-8.

**Wes Freeman is 0-for-7 with a walk and two strikeouts.

**Josh Bell has six strikeouts in ten at-bats.

Links and Notes

**The Pirates were off. They resume their schedule on Saturday.

**Prospect Watch: Poor Control From Allie and Wilson

**A.J. Burnett threw 67 pitches in a rehab start with Bradenton. Here is my recap from the start.

**Kristy Robinson was covering the Altoona game tonight, and has a recap on Nathan Baker’s strong outing.

**Wilbur Miller was in Hagerstown, covering the West Virginia game. Here is his recap.

**Nancy Zinni’s game story on the Indianapolis Indians loss.

**Prospect Notebook: New addition Robby Rowland dropped his arm slot over the off-season.

**The Pirates’ 2012 Opening Day Payroll.

**If you’re in the Indianapolis area, here’s six things to watch for in early April.

Analysis

  • The reason the first few days of baseball season are so magical is that you can get over-excited about a prospect’s good performance, but you can also disregard poor performances as small sample sizes. It’s a glorious double standard.

    •  hell-to-the-yeah on that one.  Even in a small sample size though, I think you can see how a player is performing and determine whether what they’re doing is a fluke or not. 

      Nick Kingham walking as many as he did is not something I think we should come to expect.  Josh Bell, I’m not really sure what his approach is all about, but for a 19 yr old in low-A, it’s really nice to hear about him hitting it to the opposite field like he’s done.  At this point though, I don’t know if the K’s are as big a deal for the short term.  As far as Stetson Allie is concerned, he really seems like an emotionally fueled kind of guy, so I’m just interested to see how he does once he starts to relax.  He might be one that if he does make it to the show, he’ll be “effectively wild,”  so for him I think it’s just a matter of him getting down being “effective.”

      Just curious to see how Taillon does tonight.  I’m very interested how differently he utilizes his pitches this year compared to last; as far as % of fastballs v. off-speed pitches.

  • The reason the first few days of baseball season are so magical is that you can get over-excited about a prospect’s good performance, but you can also disregard poor performances as small sample sizes. It’s a glorious double standard.

    •  hell-to-the-yeah on that one.  Even in a small sample size though, I think you can see how a player is performing and determine whether what they’re doing is a fluke or not. 

      Nick Kingham walking as many as he did is not something I think we should come to expect.  Josh Bell, I’m not really sure what his approach is all about, but for a 19 yr old in low-A, it’s really nice to hear about him hitting it to the opposite field like he’s done.  At this point though, I don’t know if the K’s are as big a deal for the short term.  As far as Stetson Allie is concerned, he really seems like an emotionally fueled kind of guy, so I’m just interested to see how he does once he starts to relax.  He might be one that if he does make it to the show, he’ll be “effectively wild,”  so for him I think it’s just a matter of him getting down being “effective.”

      Just curious to see how Taillon does tonight.  I’m very interested how differently he utilizes his pitches this year compared to last; as far as % of fastballs v. off-speed pitches.

  • We’re Bucco fans. We have a license to over-react. 🙂

  • We’re Bucco fans. We have a license to over-react. 🙂

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