The Pittsburgh Pirates may finish 2013 with their 21st consecutive losing season—a feat unrivaled in Major League Baseball history. However, the future appears bright. Led by center fielder Andrew McCutchen, the Pirates have a solid young core playing well in PNC Park. Outfielder Starling Marte will compete as one of the best young players in the game, while the more veteran Neil Walker proves to be one of MLB's better second baseman. The pitching is in flux, though. A.J. Burnett continues to power the rotation as its ace, while Jason Grilli is authenticating his ability in the ninth inning. In between those two are many question marks. Top pitching prospects Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon continue to linger in the farm system. Both prospects rank within the top 11 prospects, according to Baseball Prospectus. While Cole is the likeliest of the two to see extended action in the majors this season, there is plenty to like about Taillon. Unanimously considered the second-best prospect within the Pirates organization, right-handed pitcher Taillon continues to develop at a pace that will leave him with the major league club in 2014. On the other hand, his current absence from the 40-man roster does not imply he won't see MLB action at some point in 2013 either. Taillon dominates with an intimidating four-seamer that is consistently clocked at 93-95 mph. The young righty has shown the ability to hit 99 mph with absent action on the fastball. He is also developing an elite curveball. The action on this curve is incredible. Thus far, it has proven to paralyze even the more equipped left-handed hitters. Taillon's changeup appears improved from 2012 as well. The velocity is still ranging in the mid- to high-80s. Therefore, he must improve on lessening its velocity in order to utilize it more effectively. Command has been an issue for Taillon since he made the jump to Double-A Altoona. More likely than not, his shaky confidence has not boded well for his command. Establishing a greater presence on the hill will improve his temperamental confidence while allowing his growth as a top-of-the-rotation pitcher to continue.
Prospect Jameson Taillon Still Developing
Bleacher Report | May 6