Hidden Vigorish

Detailed Analysis of The Pittsburgh Pirates

West Virginia Power First Half Review

It has been a very tough season for the Pirates’ prospects down in West Virginia. The WV Power pull into the all-star break riding a 14 game losing streak. They are dead last in the South Atlantic League Northern Division with a record of just 20-48. Not much has gone right for the Power this season. Injuries have played a big factor. Much of the best talent that was expected to see time at West Virginia this season is on the DL. OF Austin Meadows injured his hamstring in Spring Training and has yet to play a game. OF Barrett Barnes also injured his hamstring just 4 games into the season. He hasn’t played since. Luis Heredia, the top pitching prospect with the Power at the start of the season, missed much of the first half with a shoulder injury. Heredia did return in early June and has shown some progress. In his latest outing on June 15th he pitched 5 innings and allowed just 1 ER, 4 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 4. It was Heredia’s best outing of the season.
Not only have injuries been an issue for the Power, but they also have not had many break out performers. Prior to the season Cody Dickson was considered to be one of top 3 or 4 left-handed pitchers in the Pirates’ system. Dickson had an impressive debut outing for Power, but has struggled ever since. His ERA stands at 5.58 in 59.2 innings of work. In recent outings Dickson’s command has been a real problem. He has walked 3 batters or more in 6 of his last 9 starts.
Buddy Borden has been perhaps the brightest spot on the Power pitching staff. Borden is a 22 year old right-hander selected in the 7th round of the 2013 MLB draft. He has a 3.67 ERA in 61.1 innings this season. Borden is the only starting pitcher for the Power to allow less hits than innings pitched. For the season he has surrendered 52 hits, walked 28 batters, and struck out 48.
There hasn’t been many noteworthy offensive performers for the Power either. 2B Erich Weiss is the only player with a batting average over .300. Weiss and Catcher Reese McGuire represented the Power in the Sally League all-star game earlier this week. SS JaCoby Jones leads the team with 8 home runs. A potential power hitting SS like Jones is an intriguing prospect, but he comes with some significant flaws. Jones leads the team with 74 whiffs in just 66 games. On the season he is hitting .260 with a .747 OPS.
The youngest player on the Power has also been their best player. That would be Reese McGuire. McGuire is noted for his advanced defensive skills. He has not disappointed. In 38 games behind the dish he has thrown out and impressive 23 base runners. Offensively McGuire put together a hitting streak from May 7th to May 30th that covered 19 games. Although he didn’t show much power early on (only 7 extra base hits thus far) he has stung ball a little harder as of late. He hit his first career minor league home run last Saturday. He then ripped a triple in the SAL all-star game on Tuesday night.

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