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Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Josh Bell Getting Promoted to Altoona

Josh Bell, who is having a breakout season in Bradenton this year, will be promoted to Altoona. This is according to his teammate, Barrett Barnes.


Bell just participated in the Future’s Game yesterday, then returned to play with the Marauders tonight. He went 2-for-4 with a triple, and drive in the eventual winning run tonight, prior to the promotion. Bell had a .333/.380/.495 line in 327 at-bats in high-A, before tonight’s game. He struggled early in the year against lefties, but has turned that around, and now has an .859 OPS against left-handers on the season.

The jump to Altoona will be a good challenge for Bell’s bat. It could also propel him up the prospect ranks. He was rated a top 50 prospect by both Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. The jump to Double-A is the most difficult for a hitter, and if he continues this hitting at the higher level, it will lower the risk involved with projecting him to the majors, and raise his stock.

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Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.


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At long last!! Been waiting for this promotion for 2 or 3 weeks. Anxious to see how does in AA


Great for bell, sucks for me as I was looking forward to seeing him play later this month in lakeland fl. Oh well, best of luck to him.


It sucks for you,but not for me ! I have been waiting for a month to see if he was going to AA.

Lee Young

I just missed him on a swing through Harrisburg…they just played this weekend!


Right you are Lee… We just missed him, although Saturday he wouldn’t have been there anyway because of the Futures game

Chris M

Only struck out eight times in June. Woohoo!


That’s gold. The stat points to the maturation of his hit tool.


I know Bell has a good arm for RF, but is there any chance the Pirates try to teach him to play first due to our OF logjam?

Lukas Sutton

That’ll happen only when it needs to, which usually means when he is at or close to AAA. They wont lower his trade value by moving him until they have to. His future is likely at 1B, but that spot is easy enough to learn that he could move to 1st when he goes to AAA and get plenty of reps at that point. Doesnt take 2 years to become a decent 1Bmen, particularly if his bat keeps playing.


He needs at least a full fall/winter season, spring training, and a full minor league season before he could be a passable first baseman, and i’d like him to be more than just “not a liability” over there. If they wait until AAA (which could be next spring) its already too late. It needs to start this offseason if that’s where they want him to go

Lee Young

Myth: First base is easy enough to learn.

As a former (good fielding) first baseman, it is not!! If it were so, Adam Dunn, Dick Stuart and others would’ve been gold glovers there.

A bad fielding first baseman hurts you in more ways than is advertised.


Sorry, but I disagree. I guess the best way to put it is outfield requires more athleticism and instincts, infield requires maybe a higher level of concentration, because things happen faster in the infield. As for first base, over 90% of your plays are catching throws from other infielders. Sure you have to learn proper footwork. You have to learn to make the throw to 2nd for a force play, and you need to learn to play the bunt. I’m not saying first is easy to learn. i’ll just say the % of outfielders who you can convert to 1B is much higher than the % of 1Bs you can convert to outfield.


No- when you are moving from outfield to infield, everything is
different. Moving from third to first, yes that is easy. moving from the
outfield to first base is like telling someone who knows Chinese and
Russian, that learning Spanish is easy. Its not. It takes time to learn
to be an infielder, because of the additional responsibilies, angles,
throws, and fielding ground balls, its NOT easy- Learning to play
outfield is JUST as hard, because you have to learn to track fly balls,
slicing, hooking….. but its a SIMPLER position to learn that is based
on athleticism and insticts. Those two traits are actually not helpful
at all at first base. Soft hands, intense concentration,fantastic
reaction time, and pinpoint throwing accuracy are.

Frank Brank

Sorry, all but anyone who says moving to first from the outfield is easy is absolutely insane or has little idea about playing infield.

I’ve played on high level teams from little league through a damn good college program. I played shortstop growing up, moved to outfield for ONE year before jumping back to the infield at first base due to our surplus of outfielders and preserving my arm to pitch. Almost any ball player can get a jump and judge a flyball.

I had very little skill left in fielding ground balls, getting good hops (long/short bounces), etc. There is way more footwork involved at first. On top of that, you have to hold runners, pick balls in the dirt, learn how to be a cutoff man, communicate in balls in-play situations. At second, you may field the ball on a steal or turn a double play but those plays are much easier to learn and react on, trust me. When we moved guys around in college to get them ABs, the first place they went was the outfield and they were typically fine.

Go watch that Saturday game with Jay Bruce at first and he was quickly exposed at first base on two separate plays and we’re talking about a pretty athletic defensive outfielder. Sure, another infielder wouldn’t have much of problem. If you want someone to play first, you should start looking at the worst ranged infielder in Neil Walker who would seemingly have no issue moving over. Neil or Pedro would have little issue over there. Hell, even Clint Barmes looked okay. If you moved Marte, their best defender in the outfield, over to first, he’d have a terrible time. Promise.


As an outfielder you need speed, at 1B you don’t, so as players age and lose their legs they can convert from outfield to 1B. Hard to go the other direction because you can’t fake speed if you don’t have it. But some outfielders can’t handle a hard hit ground ball, or dig low throws out of the dirt. So each position has it’s nuances.

Frank Brank

Agreed, Lee. It’s not even close to being easy. Everyone just assumes all you do is catch the ball over there and nothing else is expected of you. Second base, for example, along with every outfield spot is way easier of a position to field than first.


Second base is harder than first, and that’s coming from someone who played first for 15 years. Turning a double play quickly and the footwork required, plus the cutoff throws, make it a lot harder than people give it credit for


chances are, they will keep him in the OF for the remainder of the season before converting him to another position during fall instructionals. This keeps his trade value up for this season. However, it probably depends how he fairs at AA before they decide transitioning him to anything

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