Pirates Prospects Daily: Evergreen Player Coverage

ALTOONA, PA – I was in Altoona earlier this year, which happened to be the first games that Henry Davis played in right field this year. Looking back on my notes, I had this to say about the 2021 first overall pick:

“Quick reactions, both sides of game, routes in RF a bit rough.”

Davis went on the 10-day injured list on Tuesday. He’s continued looking rough in the field, and hopefully can use the downtime positively toward improving.


I was in Altoona this time last year, doing my season-ending coverage at the level. My articles from that week of coverage are still looking accurate today. They either showed where the player was heading, and how to get there — or there’s still an unresolved issue.

Endy Rodriguez was looking like the best prospect in the Pirates system. He was looking like the catcher of the future at that point, with an ability to provide a spark on both sides of the game.

Liover Peguero is doing a better job controlling his talent, and that led to a call to the majors, where he continues progressing.

Nick Gonzales is still struggling to make contact at the highest level, one year later. I’m interested in seeing how he finishes this year, after some experience in the majors, and now continued work in Triple-A.

Blake Sabol is no longer in the organization, continuing his prospect development story as a Rule 5 pick with San Francisco.


I’m in Altoona this week. My goal, as always, is to generate “evergreen player coverage”. That comes from focusing on the individual player, rather than trying to factor in variables from the system which could impact the player.

Last year, I took a new approach after 14 seasons. I went into the series confident in my abilities to scout who the best players were on the field. I also went in with the approach that I could write some of the best stories of my reporting career.

That’s a bit of a split focus. Scouting versus reporting. I can do both, and I can blend them together. My approach this year is going to be slightly changed toward the reporting side. The goal here is to give you a little bit more insight into the human being behind the numbers and prospect rankings.

After all, I haven’t been scouting players all of these years based on the home runs players hit or the strikeouts they toss. As usual, my goal is to give you more insight into what I’m seeing, who these players are, and who they could become.

I’m in Altoona this week, but the site will have a lot of Greensboro player features from last week, starting with a feature on Bubba Chandler later today.


PIRATES (55-68) VS Cardinals

Score: Pirates 6, Cardinals 3
Pittsburgh Starter: Johan Oviedo, RHP (4.46)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
Player of the Game: Andrew McCutchen, DH (1-for-4, HR [12], 2 RBI)
Attendance: 11,823

Notable Performers

  • Colin Holderman, RHP (1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K)
  • David Bednar, RHP (1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
  • Bryan Reynolds, LF (1-for-3, BB, 2B, 2 RBI)
  • Connor Joe, RF (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)

One Sentence Recap: Andrew McCutchen hit his 299th home run in the deciding five run fifth inning.


Number 299.



  • Cal Mitchell started his Indianapolis rehab assignment in Bradenton.
  • Hudson Head started his Greensboro rehab assignment in the FCL.
  • The Pirates called Luis Ortiz up to the taxi squad. He will make the start today at 12:35 PM EST.


My first game in Altoona was a 9-2 win, with five player reports in the nightly Prospect Watch.

Pirates Prospect Watch: Bubba Chandler’s Shutout, Nick Dombkowski’s Slider


Jared Triolo homered for Indianapolis, but Jared Jones had a rough start.


Nick Dombkowski showed his best slider of the year, striking out six in five innings of work on Tuesday.


Bubba Chandler was the player of the day, after throwing seven shutout innings. I’ve got a feature on Chandler hitting the site Wednesday afternoon.


Rodolfo Nolasco hit two doubles on Tuesday, and now has a .250/.413/.518 line with four homers in 56 at-bats this month.


Hudson Head went 3-for-4 in his return to game action in the FCL. For the full daily results, check out the Pirates Prospect Watch.


I was very happy to learn at the start of my long drive from North Carolina to Pennsylvania that the Black Pumas released new music.

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Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.

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Regarding Nick Gonzalez – there any precedent for someone who struggles that much with breaking stuff to just flip a switch and turn it around?

The only guy that comes to mind is Javier Baez. When he came up he was striking out at a staggering clip, I remember thinking at the time – finally one stupid Cub prospect who is flaming out. Then he was a different guy a year later. But Baez is much more of a gifted prospect than Gonzalez. I’m not writing him off yet, but Gonzalez is really starting to feel like a lost cause. If so, its really disappointing how many Pirates first rounders have failed to make an impact. I’ll reserve my judgement for at least another season, but its not looking great at the moment.


Mostly all pirate first rounders have failed.


Great research question, no examples come to mind.

Players obviously make adjustments, but those seem to be more about how to work around their major flaws than wholesale improvements to them.


Hudson Head sighting, thx Tim….Everytime i want to bury this prospect I check out his age and say relax tedwins, there is plenty of time for him to develop, so go HH, make us proud👏👍

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