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PG Minor League Review

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Here's Dejan Kovacevic's minor league year in review. Most of it is very good. It's quite detailed and mentions most of the players I would have mentioned.

One thing that I wish there had been more of, and that I would like to see more of in articles by the local press about the Pirates' minor leaguers, is context. What do people outside the organization think of the Pirates' minor leaguers? How do the Pirates' minor leaguers compare to those above other teams? Kovacevic tries to address this last question by referring to the fact that only one of the Pirates' minor league affiliates went to the playoffs this year, but, as he suggests, that doesn't necessarily mean anything, since minor league rosters are full of guys who help their teams but aren't prospects. Including something about the Pirates' performance on top prospect lists would help, I think.

My view, as most of you know, is that the Pirates' minor league system is not at all impressive. However, I'm maybe a little bit more optimistic than I was, say, after the draft in June. Shortstop Brent Lillibridge has emerged as a very good prospect, Andrew McCutchen and Neil Walker finished the year well, Dave Davidson looks like a guy who can help in the bullpen, and starter Todd Redmond had a strong season. (Redmond was never promoted despite a consistently good year, though, which seems strange.) The 2006 draft class mostly looks very bad so far, but there's plenty of time for that to change.

One strange quote from the article:

"We like the group, and we like where it's headed," general manager Dave Littlefield said. "And the thing to keep in mind is there probably will be very little attrition at the major-league level for the next three to five years, so we're going to be able to pick and choose who we keep at the upper levels of the minors."

What do you think this means? It's ambiguous, but it worries me. Could it mean something like this?

Yeah, we've got a shortstop in the big leagues, so don't be surprised if we lose Lillibridge in the Rule 5 draft.

Or this?

Did you like that Leo Nunez for Benito Santiago deal? Yeah, there are more of those coming.