Zach Von Rosenberg


The crown jewel of Neal Huntington’s 2009 draft strategy, Von Rosenberg was recruited by LSU and as a Louisiana native, seemed likely to go there. As a result, he was ranked 41st by Baseball America (in the supplemental first round/second round range) and ended up signing a $1.2 million bonus (first round money) despite being picked by the Pirates in the sixth round.

The only reason I don’t have him higher on my list is that it’s really hard to get a feel for a guy that’s only thrown one professional inning. He’s got the pedigree, the frame, and many scouts and prospect-types are high on him (John Sickels ranked him as the best pitcher in the Pirates’ system already) and so if all goes well in 2010, he could easily top this list by next fall.

July 2010 Update: Von Rosenberg’s slipped a bit on this list, but only because of the performances of other pitchers and through no fault of his own. In any case, he’s in State College now but given the way the Pirates handle guys in State College, throwing lots of fastballs until they gain command, his results may not be really worth paying attention to until next year. July 2010 rank: 5

 January 2011 update: Rather than reading Von Rosenberg slipping to eighth on my list as a condemnation of Von Rosenberg, read it as a comment on how far the Pirates’ system has come in terms of pitching depth in the last two years. The seven pitchers ahead of him are pitchers performing at a high level as they raise through the Pirates’ system (Owens, Morris, Locke, Wilson), and wildly talented pitchers acquired by the Pirates in the last six months (Taillon, Allie, Heredia). I actually like Von Rosenberg quite a bit and I think he could be on his way up in this list in the coming season. His strikeout rate with State College in 2010 was a little low (5.9 K/9), but knowing how the Pirates handle pitchers with kid gloves in the low minors, I’m not concerned yet. I think we’ll learn much, much more about Von Rosenberg in the next six months than we have in his first year-plus in the Pirates’ system. January 2011 rank: 8 

Pat Lackey

About Pat Lackey

In 2005, I started a WHYGAVS instead of working on organic chemistry homework. Many years later, I've written about baseball and the Pirates for a number of sites all across the internet, but WHYGAVS is still my home. I still haven't finished that O-Chem homework, though.