Unlike the other high school draftees from the class of 2009, we can definitively say one thing about the Pirates’ second round pick; he has an awesome name. He’s a big (6’5″ 240 lbs) righty that got 23 2/3 innings in the GCL after signing with the Bucs and fared pretty well there, being named Baseball America’s 15th best prospect in the league. He doesn’t throw hard, but he does have four pitches, which is unusual for a guy his age.
July 2010 update: Pounders signed relatively quickly last year, so he’s got a little bit more experience to his name than Cain or Stevenson or the Zachs. Still, he wasn’t as well-regarded prior to the draft, so I’m keeping him ranked lower for now. He pitched very well in the GCL last year and though his ERA is a bit high with State College as of this writing, his ratios look pretty good. Since he’s supposed to be exceptionally polished in terms of number of pitches for a high school draftee, he may be suffering more than others with the restrictive pitch calling that the Pirates employ in the low minors. Which means to take his stats with a grain of salt and keep an eye on him as he rises. July 2010 rank: 13
January 2011 rank: I’ve moved Pounders up a bit here since he more or less duplicated the numbers that Von Rosenberg and Stevenson had in State College. He’s a bit harder for me to peg; he seemed like more of a signability pick since the Pirates obviously planned to go big after Von Rosenberg and Stevenson and Cain later in the draft, but he’s done pretty well so far in his minor league career. As with the other guys around him on the list from the same draft, he’s awfully hard to peg with such little professional experience. January 2011 rank: 10