So far, the first 30 days of the MLB have painted a rather compelling scene: the Kansas City Royals have gone off to a good start in its defense as World Series champions, the Chicago Cubs are making headlines and proving to all the naysayers that this could be the year to end its playoff woes, and the Washington Nationals look poised to return to its winning-form from a few years past.
As for my beloved Pirates, the results are a bit mixed: while definitely beginning on the right foot, they seemed to have cooled off a bit and are now fighting its way back to winning-form.
While I remain doubtful that they’ll be as productive and successful as last season’s tremendous run, I’m not concerned about the state of its prospects, who are looking more and more promising each day.
Of these prospects, the most prominent definitely comes in the visage of one Tyler Glasnow.
In the preseason poll, I had Glasnow tagged as the No. 1 prospect in the major leagues, and my stance on that hasn’t changed: through two five-inning outings this season, the right-handed pitcher has struck out 15, walked three and has allowed only two runs and seven hits.
He has the skill to strike Major League hitters out, especially with that wicked high-90s fastball and decent curveball, and finished the 2015 season with a 2.39 ERA.
Though I expect a potential call-up to the main rotation to be made more towards the second-half of the season, one can’t help but feel that a debut with the Pirates may be coming sooner rather than later.
Glasnow isn’t the only pitcher prospect to watch, however; Jameson Taillon is also causing rumbles in Indianapolis.
The Pirates’ No. 4 prospect had a tremendous first outing for its AAA team last Wednesday, striking out six hitters and issuing not a single walk in the effort, whilst striking out four more in his second start of the season.
What’s more impressive, however, is the fact that this was Taillon’s first trip to the mound since 2013, with a slew of injuries keeping him out of play for much of the last two years.
At only 24 years of age, the future for Taillon- and, in turn, the Pirates- looks bright.
I have to give a special shout-out to shortstop Tucker Cole who, after having undergone surgery due to a labrum injury, looks to be ahead of schedule and has the potential to be a promising player this season.
With ample speed and a nice defensive play, Cole could be a solid piece to the Pirates rotation in the years to come.
So, while the Pirates’ winning ways and World Series chances may be a bit uncertain this year, Bucco fans have a lot to look forward to in the years- or, perhaps, even months- to come.
With a great deal of depth and promising up-and-coming players on deck, it’s only a matter of time before the Pirates finally make their overdue return to the Fall Classic.