The Pittsburgh Pirates Josh Bell is having a breakout season at High-A Bradenton. As everyone knows, the Bucs have three mega talented outfielders currently with Starling Marte, Andrew McCutchen, and Gregory Polanco. Bell will soon be testing his skills at the Double-A level and could be playing in Triple-A as soon as next season should he keep up his current pace. There is no need to rush Bell, but should he continue to dominate with his rather short swing from both sides of the plate, the Pirates brass are going to have some very interesting discussions in the near future.
And oh, what a pace it has been this year for the Pirates second-round pick in 2011. The 6’3″ signed the Bucs offer when most everyone believed the letter that he had sent prior to the draft saying thanks, but no thanks to those interested in drafting him.
Bell came back from a torn meniscus in his left knee with a vegenace driving in 76 runs while clubbing 13 bombs and 37 doubles for the West Virigina Power. But that was just scratching the surface for the powerful switch hitter out of Dallas Jesuit High in Texas.
While Bell had only one extra base hit this week, the past ten games have been brutal for Florida State League pitchers as he has posted a .485 average with three homers and a gaudy 1.1368 OPS
But looking at the bigger picture, the outfielder who is going to man a corner outfield position in the big leagues one day if all works well, the 2014 season is really looking like a breakout.
Gets on base against lefties? Yes. Against righties? Yes.
Strikes out a lot? Nope. Can draw walks? Yep.
Hits lefties and right handers for power? Yep.
Bell’s rise through the minors has been fun to watch. Many fans are going the make the trek to Altoona to check him out, but more importantly it will give the Pirates some tough decisions to make if he continues to rake at the higher levels.