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P-G on Pirates Prospects

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I was going to let this go, but after reading it for a second time I just can't. This reads a little like Paul Meyer's offseason stories on the minor leagues - everyone who ever tried on a uniform for a Pirates affiliate is a prospect. To wit:

[Rajai Davis] could join Nate McLouth and Ray Sadler for an all-prospect outfield in Indianapolis.

Ray Sadler is not a prospect. He'll be 25 this year, he has never hit particularly well in the high minors and he was designated for assignment in September.

Shane Youman, a promising left-hander, will be converted into a full-time starter at Altoona.

One wonders what Youman had to "promise" Dejan Kovacevic in exchange for being described so favorably. Actually, he's 26, didn't even pitch especially well in the bullpen at Class AA last year, got lit up by younger hitters in the Arizona Fall League, and has mediocre stuff. He doesn't "promise" to do much more than take the ball every fifth day for the Curve.

The affiliate Graham singled out as being of particular interest is Hickory, mostly because it will be built almost entirely on recent draft picks. In addition to McCutchen, those include outfielder Brad Corley, the second-round pick last summer, and shortstop Brian Bixler, their second-rounder the previous year.

"There are some nice prospects," Graham said. "I'd say that team has a pretty high ceiling."

What? Who on that team, besides McCutchen, has a high ceiling? Joe Bauserman, maybe?

Kovacevic, to his credit, does point out that the Pirates have few power hitting prospects. But overall, the article has a congratulatory tone that's at odds with the actual state of the Pirates' farm system.

More to the point, a list of one-sentence blurbs about prospects without accompanying contextual information about them is pointless. How do the Pirates' prospects rate compared to those of other teams? That story would be considerably less congratulatory, since the Pirates' performance in prospect evaluations by reliable sources have ranged from mediocre to embarrassing over the past few years, despite the Pirates' always having favorable drafting positions.