I don't have time right now to do an update on the whole minor league system (but here's the top three levels in short form: Brian Bixler, Neil Walker, Steve Pearce, Jamie Romak and Jason Delaney yay, everyone else blah). But I do want to point out that the State College Spikes and the Gulf Coast Pirates have begun their seasons. A few notes from early on:
-P- At State College, 2007 ninth rounder Anthony Watson, who looked like one of the Pirates' most interesting picks from the day he was signed, struck out nine Williamsport batters and allowed no hits and one walk in five innings in his first start. He also struck out five of the six lefties he faced. That's a pretty good first impression.
-P- Does anyone have any idea why Austin McClune, 2006's 7th round pick and one of the few guys in the rookie leagues last year who looked like he might become a prospect, isn't starting every day? Or why he's losing playing time to guys like 24 year-old non-prospect Miles Durham?
-P- The New York-Penn League does tend to be dominated by pitchers, but still - the Spikes have a .589 OPS, last in the league. Obviously, it's early. Here's hoping the Pirates' NY-Penn League entry isn't a complete joke on offense like it was last year.
-P- There isn't anything too interesting to report from the GCL; most of the guys who are performing really well are too old to be prospects. Again, it's very early.