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Pirates trending down in the rankings – pirate prospects

Two months of the minor league season are in the books. This week for the Prospect Roundtable, I asked everyone to look at what’s happened so far this year and identify one player who’s moving up their rankings and one player who’s falling.

Here we take a look at the downtrending players.

JOHN DREKER: Carmen Mlodzinski

Carmen Mlodzinski is a player moving down my rankings. I’ve been trying to stay in the top 30 players here and I had him ranked high at the start of the season (ninth in the system). It’s not just that the results haven’t been there in most of his games, it’s also the injury worries as he was lacking time last year and briefly this year which has resulted in him only winning once this season pitched five innings. He has a high effort output, which doesn’t allay any of those concerns, but it also makes me think there might be some relief in his future. He also has a .271 BAA in a year that the Eastern League as a whole averages .236, and does so with his Altoona teammates, who lead the league by 14 points in BAA over the second-place team. There’s no denying that the stuff is there. He has good speed, nice pitch blend, and throws shots even if he has only average control. My concern is that he will make it as a starter where he needs to be to be ranked that high in this strong system.

WILBUR MILLER: Jared Triolo

With a great season last year at Greensboro, Jared Triolo seemed like a breakthrough contender. He had already put up a major-league-caliber defense in third place – he won the minor-league Gold Glove – and is perfectly playable in shorts. Last year his racquet came around strong hitting .304/.369/.480. It wasn’t Greensboro’s ballpark either, as he batted much better on the street, including eight of his 15 home runs. This year, Triolo is mostly the same player he was, but the power is completely gone. His ISO is an anemic 0.039, with no home runs. That won’t work for a third baseman. Triolo’s racquet speed has always been an issue as his power is mostly a product of strength. It’s possible that this won’t work in Double-A. Of course he could flip it; last year he steadily improved after a so-so early season. Hopefully he follows the same path this year.

ANTHONY MURPHY: Carmen Mlodzinski

At the moment it has to be Carmen Mlodzinski for me. Even when he returned to Greensboro last year, it was difficult to get a good idea of ​​what he’s up to at the next level. Whether it was inconsistency on the mound or even staying healthy, Mlodzinski looked like he was heading in the wrong direction. They tried something new with him on Sunday when Altoona used a prelude in front of him and he’s done well in that role so we’ll have to see if that helps him get back to where he was originally placed.

RYAN PALENCER: Canaan Smith-Njigba

There are a couple of high profile candidates in Indianapolis with some holes that have led to some questions. In the end I chose Canaan Smith-Njigba. His left-handed career has seen some ups and downs. In the last week he has increased his average by 20 points against lefties. However, I don’t see his ability to hit left-handers well enough to be much more than a draw outfielder in the long run. His strikeout rate jumps 10 percent over lefties. He’s also only run four times, which for him is a strength against righties. Smith-Njigba plays the game hard and right, but I just don’t see him as an everyday outfielder based on the split struggles mentioned above.

TIM WILLIAMS: Carmen Mlodzinski

I haven’t seen Mlodzinski pitch often, but the numbers don’t match the higher grades he’s gotten this year. He has a 4.82 ERA in 37.1 innings at Altoona so far, with some control issues hurting him. He doesn’t have a plus pitch but has the potential for several average pitches along with an average control. I felt he was ranked higher and personally ranked him higher based on his floor. He has a chance to make it as a back starter in the rotation but likely won’t be one of the top guys in Pittsburgh’s future rotation. He just pitched a long relief on his most recent outing, which might work better for him and his stuff. The higher tier might keep him in the top 30, but it’s hard to imagine Mlodzinski as a 40+ future value guy right now who wouldn’t be just outside the top ten of the system.

THIS WEEK ABOUT PIRATE PERSPECTIVES

Williams: The youth movement is coming, but the future of anyone interested in the pirates is unclear

Prospect Roundtable: Pirates Climbing the Rankings

Prospect Roundtable: Pirates trending down the rankings

Ji-hwan Bae seems to be continuing the trend of the second half

Cody Bolton is a spin rate master

Mason Martin focuses on his defense at first base

Travis MacGregor adapts well to the bullpen role

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