WHYGAVS Top 21 Pitching prospects

Ranking pitching the pitching prospects in this system is an incredibly hard thing to do. Neal Huntington has done an amazing job adding depth to what was previously a ridiculously bad pitching system, but as a result I’ve listed six 2009 draftees, plus three guys who were acquired at some point in 2009, plus two 2008 draftees, two 2008 trade acquisitions, and two guys with almost no experience in the US.

That makes a literal ranking of these pitchers near impossible. I’m positive Dan McCutchen will be a Major League pitcher, even if his upside isn’t very high. So how do you reconcile him on a list of talented 2009 draftees with little to no professional experience? The ceiling for guys like Cain, Van Rosenberg, and Stevenson is very high, but they have miles to go before we really know what we have there. And how do you rank a guy like Bryan Morris, who might be #2 or #3 in terms of talent, but who has so many other issues? Along the same lines, Brad Lincoln might only be #3 or #4 in terms of upside, but at least he’s got an established track record in the minors that lets me say with reasonable confidence that he’ll be an effective big league pitcher, if not in 2010 than sometime in the near future.

The answer is that I don’t really have answers to these questions and so I did the best I could based on stats, my own intuition, and reading a lot of other people’s opinions. Huntington has added a ton of talent to the system’s pitching depth, but it’s mostly abstract talent right now that we know almost nothing concrete. Save Lincoln and McCutchen, both of whom I think we have a good handle on right now, the top 11 guys could turn out to be just about anything. The same goes for Stevenson, Pounders, and Dodson, who we know practically nothing about right now beyond high school pedigrees.

I guess what I’m saying is that at this point, I’d caution against worrying about things like whether or not Trent Stevenson is too low or Tim Alderson is too high. This is more of a starting point; guys are going to start stratifying themselves soon and then ranking them will be a little more meaningful.

One final sidenote before the list (which is below the jump); this list, along with the hitters (who have been updated for Raynor’s Rule 5 selection) will be available at the “Prospects” link in the menubar.

  1. Brad Lincoln
  2. Zach Von Rosenberg
  3. Tim Alderson
  4. Rudy Owens
  5. Dan McCutchen
  6. Quinton Miller
  7. Jeff Locke
  8. Billy Cain
  9. Brett Lorin
  10. Bryan Morris
  11. Ronald Uviedo
  12. Victor Black
  13. Trent Stevenson
  14. Donnie Veal
  15. Diego Moreno
  16. Ramon Aguero
  17. Justin Wilson
  18. Brooks Pounders
  19. Danny Moskos
  20. Zack Dodson
  21. Nate Baker

Other considerations: Jeff Inman, Hunter Strickland Aaron Pribanic, Nathan Adcock

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.