Pirates Josh Bell Has Some Bills to Pay
By Tom Smith
The Pittsburgh Pirates five million dollar man has some work to do in 2012.
The most genius letter campaign ever imagined failed. [Ahem.]
Josh Bell is now a professional ballplayer.
Some minor league staffers have a nickname for such players like Bell, you know what it is. We heard it this summer from several minor league staffers. The bonus baby.
And this bonus baby has one of the best negotiators in his corner. Josh Bell’s Mom did a tremendous job bringing up the Pirates newest million dollar bonus baby. But Mom Bell, “the main negotiator in letter gate,” won’t be riding the buses with him. Bell is now on his own.
Bell’s money will be deposited in Bank of America, but the private school star has much to prove in order to shake the nickname so often given to such draft picks. We suggest 2012 would be a good time to start. The expectations that come with being the player that the Bucs wanted so desperately will be lofty, especially in a system devoid of anything resembling a power hitter.
Stetson Allie knows the feeling. But his performance was at a relatively new position. He was a slugger with a gift. The gift of a golden arm. Allie struggled mightily learning to pitch at short season State College. It was shrugged off without much fan fare and rightfully so. The huge upside Allie gave the Bucs, made the 2010 Pirates draft, but his failure to throw strikes have many experts looking at the Pirates hard throwing right hander with questions.
Bell won’t have such time nor excuse in his rookie season. He is mature and will be less than a year away from legal drinking age by the time he wraps up his 2012 campaign. Most expected that Allie wouldn’t be an effective pitcher in his first year. But those struggles that Allie experienced can’t possibly be expected from the switch-hitting Bell.
Some experts even think Bell will begin 2012 with the Power in West Virginia. Bell made the 2011 Pirates draft. PERIOD. When we look at the Bucs draft without Bell, it was just another draft.
But Bell put the Bucs into another level. Neal Huntington and the Pirates threw their balls on the table and got it done. Kudos to them. The Bucs sent Bell videos and power points for him to watch so he could understand what it would be like to be in the Minor Leagues.
Now it’s time for the highly coveted Bell to live it. It’s time for Bell to prove 2012 wasn’t just another draft.
Good luck hombre, we will be rooting for you.
Until then…. Bell will keep hitting refresh, as he says, on bankofamerica.com and watching his Top 100 prospects rankings.