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Pirates' minor league notes

Apart from batting practice and pop fly drills, there's not much happening yet in minor league camp at Pirate City.  Pirates Prospects, though, is reporting on some of the expected season-opening assignments.  There was some question about the destinations of Austin Meadows and Harold Ramirez after injury-plagued seasons, but both are now expected to open at Bradenton.  That would give the Marauders an outfield of Meadows, Ramirez and Barrett Barnes.  West Virginia was supposed to have that same outfield in 2014 before a wave of injuries hit.  Hopefully, it'll work out better the second time around.

JaCoby Jones and Erich Weiss have been working out with the Bradenton players so far.  That isn't necessarily definitive, but the Marauders figure to have Weiss, Jones and Wyatt Mathisen from second to third.  That would leave last year's SS/2B combo of Adam Frazier and Max Moroff, both coming off decent-ish seasons, competing for jobs at Altoona.  The Curve figures also to get some middle infield overflow from Indianapolis, so it could be a crowded picture.

P2 is anticipating that Jose Osuna will play first at Bradenton, but that seems a little unlikely to me.  The Pirates rarely leave a player mired in the same league for three years (at least below the AA level) and Osuna hit well (296/347/458) in his second season in the FSL at an appropriate age (21) for the level.  He's obviously not going to bump Josh Bell off first in AA, but he was originally an outfielder and could see time there.  Unless Willy Garcia and/or Keon Broxton fails to make the AAA roster, the Altoona outfield projects to be a few organizational guys and that's it.

The Bradenton rotation is shaping up to be Luis Heredia, Stephen Brault, Cody Dickson, Tyler Eppler and, eventually, Clay Holmes.

As P2 notes, Meadows and Ramirez moving up would leave Jordan Luplow -- whom I thought would be a good candidate to skip low A -- in the West Virginia outfield.  Most importantly of all, though, P2 is also reporting that Tito Polo! will make the jump to low A.  That doesn't make up for the Pirates' failure to name their Appalachian League team the Vicious Chickens of Bristol, but it helps some.  The remaining outfield spot for the Power will likely go to Michael Suchy.

The mysterious Connor Joe could also see time in the West Virginia outfield, but P2 reported earlier that he's been working out at third.  Or he could play first, especially if Osuna moves up to AA, leaving the high A 1B job to Edwin Espinal.