Jameson Taillon sits down, talks 2015 season with MLB.com

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Right-hander Jameson Taillon is the most oft-talked about prospect in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system, and for good reason. Ranked as the 31st-best prospect in all of Major League Baseball, Taillon is expected to be a major piece of the Pirates’ plans moving forward and the right-hander recently sat down with MLB.com to talk about the upcoming season.

After missing out on breaking camp with the team last year, the righty has his sights set high heading into Spring Training – despite not playing in a single game last season.

"“I’m throwing on a mound in the bullpen right now, I’ll start facing hitters in a month. I won’t be in a real live game until probably extended Spring Training, but that’ll be right around the one-year mark. Depending on how things go and how I feel, I don’t think there’s a reason I shouldn’t get into a game by May. I feel strong, I’d like to make my way up to the big club at some point.”"

Taillon entered the 2014 season as the 16th-ranked prospect in Major League Baseball per MLB.com after compiling a 3.68 earned run average in 26 starts spread across three levels in the Pirates’ system in 2013. While his numbers certainly weren’t eye-popping, the tall right-hander showed great consistency – even when promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis in the season’s second half.

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Heading into Spring Training, Pittsburgh has a rotation that looks promising, headlined by left-hander Francisco Liriano, who signed the richest free agent deal in team history this winter. Following the southpaw are Gerrit Cole, A.J. Burnett, Jeff Locke and Vance Worley – all of whom are more than capable of being effective big league contributors for an entire season.

Despite missing the entire season, Taillon was added to the Pirates’ 40-man last November, which he said was another highlight of what he described as a tough year filled with pain as he rehabbed from Tommy John.

"“It was another good step. It’s something I’d been hoping and planning to be on, and the injury was a setback. It’s a reassurance. It definitely lets you know they still like you as a guy and see you in their future. At the same time, they told me, ‘Congrats, but don’t get too caught up in it — let’s remember the ultimate goal isn’t to be on the 40-man but to be on the 25-man for a long time.'”"

With the team’s sights set on their first division title in over two decades, a midseason addition of Taillon could ultimately push the Pittsburgh Pirates over the top. While we won’t get a glimpse of the Pirates’ top pitching talent this spring, don’t worry – if all goes well, we could (and should) see him at PNC Park later this season.

Next: Neal Huntington says Pirates are a destination team

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