For a 105 loss team, the easy joke would be to leave this post blank. But that would do a disservice to the players who put forth the efforts and achieved positive results this year. I won’t do a What Went Wrong post; it would be too long and too depressing. So in the interest of positive thinking here is my list of What Went Right:
Pedro Alvarez – Debuted on June 16. Hit .256/.326/.461 over 95 games and 386 PA. Streaky, but made good adjustments and showed all of the potential he has to be a dominant hitter.
Neil Walker – After being written off as a prospect over the last year, finally showed the promise he had as a first round draft pick. Called up in May and held down second base admirably despite having little experience at the position. Hit .296/.349/.462 in 469 PA.
Jose Tabata – Debuted June 9. Hit .299/.346/.400 in 441 PA with a solid glove in left field. Only 21 years old so the power may still develop. If not, he’d remain a very good top of the order hitter.
Andrew McCutchen – Followed up breakout 2009 (.286/.365/.471) with an almost identical 2010 (.286/.365/.449). Still only 23 this season with plenty of upside.
James McDonald – Was the Pirates’ ace after being acquired at the trade deadline. 11 starts, 64 IP, 3.52 ERA (116 ERA+), 1.297 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.54 K/BB. Has better than league average swing-and-miss percentages on all three of his pitches. I look forward to seeing what he can do with a full year in the rotation.
The Draft – The organization added lots of top level talent again this year. Most notably Jameson Taillon and Stetson Allie, rated as the top two high school pitchers available in the draft. They also signed 16 year old international free agent, Luis Heredia, rated by some to be as as good a prospect as Allie.
That’s my list. There were some other nice things that happened but I tried to hit the biggest and brightest points. Piratesprospects.com has details on all of the minor leaguers who made strides this year as well.