Pirates Promote Nate Baker To Bradenton

-P- 2009 fifth-rounder Nate Baker has been promoted from West Virginia to Bradenton. It will be interesting to see how he fares there - despite the eight no-hit innings he threw on July 6, Baker didn't strike out many batters in the South Atlantic League. He does have 19 strikeouts against two walks in his last three starts, though, so maybe he learned what the Pirates wanted him to learn. 

By the way, if you click through to the second page of that story, there's an eyebrow-raising quote from West Virginia manager Gary Green:

"You know I'm not sure if it's a close-knit group off the field, but they all get along on the field. Chemistry is a great thing to have, but the reality is I am not sure if it's a necessity to have it. If you look at the great Yankee and Oakland A's teams of the 1970s, those guys seemed to hate each other on and off the field and still won together."

Sounds like there haven't been many fun nights in downtown Charleston after games.

-P- Also, Pirates 29th-round pick Garret Levsen, a California high school pitcher, was surprised to be selected:

"I was pretty shocked," Levsen said. "They might have seen me once that I know of. I was watching the draft and I turned it off a round before (I was selected). I was driving when they called me and told me `we just drafted you'"...

As for his future plans, Levsen is evaluating his choices.

"It all depends what the Pirates offer us," Levsen said. "I plan to meet them sometime in the summer."

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