One of the things I wanted to do this year while I’m on the road is to have Pirates Prospects gatherings in each city I travel to. It’s something that has been requested in the past, and honestly it pretty much happens informally, as I always get a few messages from people at every game telling me that they are in the park that night, and wanting to say hello. So why not have an official gathering?
The best place for the first one would be down here in Bradenton for Spring Training. I realize that not everyone makes it down during this time, and that the group might be limited. At the same time, I see some of you guys almost everyday at Pirate City. So I know some people will be available for this.
The best date looks to be March 22nd, and while I don’t want to make it official yet, that will most likely be the day I’m going with. The MLB team is off that day, which means I don’t have to go to McKechnie in the morning, and don’t have to leave Pirate City at a certain time in the afternoon (certain time = right before the MLB game ends so I can catch Clint Hurdle’s post-game press conference). This means that I can spend the entire day at Pirate City.
Looking at the schedule, the Triple-A and Double-A teams are home that day, so we would get a chance to see some of the talent in the upper levels. That’s also late enough that the top prospects will be down in minor league camp, giving us an almost guaranteed chance to see guys like Josh Bell, Harold Ramirez, Reese McGuire, Max Moroff, and maybe one or two of the Indianapolis pitching group. We’d also most likely get to see Austin Meadows and all of the other top prospects who aren’t currently in MLB camp. Overall, it would be a great day for watching prospects.
We might work in something else beyond just watching the action at Pirate City. Perhaps a quick stop at Mixon’s for lunch and baseball talk, or a drive over to Darwin Brewing Company after the games for a beer and a Q&A session.
I’ll have more concrete announcements on this on Friday, but for now I wanted to throw this out there and get some feedback from you guys. I want to see who might be available for the gathering, and also your thoughts on the planned event (basically just an old fashioned approach of a few people watching and talking about baseball). And like I said, I’d want to do this in every Pirates’ minor league city, and plan on being at every city once again this year.
Leave your thoughts in the comments below, or if commenting isn’t your thing, send me an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ve got nothing else for tonight. A lot of interviews to transcribe and a lot of features coming up for the rest of the week, starting tomorrow afternoon. But here are the articles from the last two days, if you missed any of them.
**Why We Could Start to See Power From Josh Bell in 2016. I wanted to highlight this one first, in case you missed it from Tuesday. I don’t want to say this was as good as my Jameson Taillon article from last year, as that was one of my favorite articles I’ve written on this site in the seven years it’s been around. But this article had all of the elements of my favorite articles to write, most importantly a long history of following one key goal (developing Josh Bell’s power) with years of video, analysis, and background on the player to work off of. This is analysis you can’t get anywhere else, and that’s not just a promotional line. No one else covers the system to the point where we do, where they know the specific details of Bell’s development and the right questions to ask to get more information on those details. These are the types of articles that this site was made for.
**Nutting: Access to Talent is the Most Important Thing For the Pirates in the CBA. Nutting talked about a lot of things, but managed to evade a lot of the big questions. He did have some interesting comments on the draft and international changes, and the importance of access to talent. Since that is minor league related, I felt this would be the best place to focus the article, for obvious reasons.
**No Restrictions For Cole, Kang Swings in Cages, Hamstring Strain For Luebke. The latest injury updates, with continued good news on Cole and Kang, but a downgrade for Cory Luebke.
**MLB Network to Show 15 Pirates Spring Training Games. No shortage of Pirates Spring Training games to watch this year.
**Pirates Notes: Kang Watches Pitches, Prospect Battles, Figueroa Gets a Look. Thoughts and notes from yesterday on Jung-ho Kang, Cole Figueroa, and some prospect battle videos.