Nate Baker gets the call here as #21 on the strength of a good junior season at Ole Miss followed up by a nice stint at State College after being drafted in the fifth round. Using Justin Wilson as a comp, we should be able to learn a lot more about him in 2010.
July 2010 update: The Pirates have moved Baker considerably slower than Wilson, as he’s still at West Virginia more than halfway through his first full season in the system. He’s got a great ERA there right now (2.99), but his strikeouts are awfully low (6.5 K/9), so it’s possible the team simply doesn’t rate him as highly as Wilson. As a college guy, he should be pitching well in the Sally League the year after he was drafted. You can tell I’m kind of wishy-washy on him as a prospect and to be honest, there’s a good chance he won’t still be here in the fall when the new draftees get added to the list. July 2010 rank: 18
January 2011 update: Baker actually got called up to Bradenton shortly after I wrote that piece up above and he mostly maintained the same performance there as he did in Bradenton. His strikeout rate is still a bit low for my liking, but I’m keeping him on the list for now over guys like Danny Moskos and Tony Watson because he’s still starting and those guys likely have ceilings as LOOGYs. January 2011 rank: 21