The Reds can even ruin something as pure as the Rising Stars Game for me. Can you remember the last solid leadoff hitter the Pittsburgh Pirates had? Guess one could say that Andrew McCutchen was pretty solid, but it seems like its’ been a weakness for some time now.
Of course all of this came to us as we watched the replay of the Rising Stars Game with the Arizona Fall Leagues cream of the crop talent. It was a showcase for two future prospects that look rock solid at the top of the lineup. Unfortunately, they both play for National League teams–Billy Hamilton, the Red speedster and Brian Goodwin of the Nats who we wrote about last week.
Facing Hamilton is going to be a nightmare for opposing teams in the NL. But Goodwin is the player who could move Bryce Harper out of center for the Nats and open up the opportunity to move a couple players that the Pirates should have their eye on this offseason.
But something to make note of was Hamilton never hit ball out of the infield. Yet somehow, he was still a force in the game. The speedster led off the game with a walk, and then acted like he was playing the Buccos as he stole second and third. It might be a stretch to think Hamilton can make it in the majors unless he can hit, but just the thought of it made my belly hurt a bit. Or maybe it was the winter lager from last night though?
In the fifth, Hamilton put down a perfect bunt and Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton airmailed his throw as Hamilton raced to third base.
Meanwhile, Goodwin didn’t have a problem getting a ball out of the infield as he crushed a bomb in his first at-bat and then doubled later in the game.
It all makes me wonder if the Pirates have any players like Hamilton and Goodwin, that make the stomachs of Reds and Nats fans hurt?
Here is a shot of Hamilton from the summer, I hate the smile already:
July 8, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; USA player Billy Hamilton (right) is congratulated by coach Tony Franklin (left) after hitting a two-run double during the third inning of the 2012 All Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
Pirates reliever Vic Black threw a four-pitch walk and recorded a groundout in his appearance in the game. Black has some serious heat and a wicked delivery. The more we think about the right hander, the more we like him.
It’s also interesting to look at just how many players the Pirates have placed in the AFL and then how those players moved up to the bigs in recent years. Perhaps Black is closer than we think?
In other Buccos news:
Tim Williams reports that Charlie Morton was activated a few days ago from the 60-day disabled list.
The Bucs are attempting to build some catching depth in the system as it was reported yesterday that they have outrighted Ali Solis to Triple-A Indianapolis. The Pirates grabbed Solis off the Padres waiver wire last week.