Neal Huntington’s Vision Will Be Seen This Weekend
This weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates will start Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Jameson Taillon against the Philadelphia Phillies. Making Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington’s vision become clear.
Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington has had a vision since 2011. This vision involved the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation being anchored by three right-handed pitchers. These three pitchers are Gerrit Cole, Tyler Glasnow, and Jameson Taillon.
This weekend, Neal Huntington’s vision will come full circle and be seen. Those are the three starting pitcher the Pittsburgh Pirates will be using this weekend against the Philadelphia Phillies. Even though all three have pitched in the Majors before, this will be the first time each of the big three have been in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation at the same time.
The wheels were set in motion on Neal Huntington’s grand vision when the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Jameson Taillon with the second overall pick in the 2010 Major League Baseball Draft. Then, the following year the Bucs had the number one overall pick and took right-handed UCLA pitcher Gerrit Cole. Also in that 2011 draft the Pirates got what could prove to be one of the biggest draft steals in team history in right-handed high school pitcher Tyler Glasnow. The Pirates drafted Glasnow in the fifth round of the draft, and he quickly became one of the top prospects in all of baseball.
With Taillon, Cole, and Glasnow in the system the future of the Pirate rotation was known. The Pirates now had three of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball in their farm system. Neal Huntington, along with Pirate fans, dreamed of the day these three would anchor the Pirates’ starting rotation. Well, that day is finally here.
More from Rum Bunter
- Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Stockwatch: Outfielder Tres Gonzalez
- Pittsburgh Pirates Podcast: Rum Bunter Radio Talks Winter Meetings Fallout
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Leadoff Hitters in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: The Rotation is not being Improved
- Pittsburgh Pirates Make Vince Velasquez Signing Official
Gerrit Cole has, of course, been a mainstay in the Pittsburgh Pirates starting rotation since June of 2013. In the last three plus years Pirate fans have watched Gerrit Cole evolve into a staff ace, even if some think he is not, and Cole now anchors the rotation. In fact, since joining the Pirate rotation Gerrit Cole has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball.
In 535 2/3 career innings pitched Cole has a 3.07 ERA, 2.91 FIP, and a 3.29 xFIP. Cole also averages 8.40 K/9, 2.25 BB/9, and 0.54 HR/9 for his career. To top all of this goodness off, Cole has a lifetime WHIP of 1.18.
The best part about Gerrit Cole is that he just progressively keeps getting better. Cole’s pitches continue to improve, and in turn he becomes more difficult to hit. There are very few starting pitchers in the National League better than Gerrit Cole.
Gerrit Cole is no longer the only young right-handed stud in the Pittsburgh Pirates rotation, however. In recent weeks he has been joined by Jameson Taillon, who was drafted second overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2010 draft. So far Jameson Taillon has made six Major League starts, and he has looked every bit the pitcher he was hyped to be.
In those six starts Jameson Taillon has pitched 34 innings. He has gone at least six innings in four of his six starts, including an eight inning gem against the New York Mets in his second career start. In those 34 innings pitched Taillon has a 3.44 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 3.40 xFIP, and has already accumulated a 0.5 WAR for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In the Minor Leagues Jameson Taillon was known for pinpoint control and not allowing many base runners. So far, those traits have transitioned to the Major League level. Through his first six starts Jameson Taillon is averaging just 1.32 BB/9, he has allowed just 35 base hits, and he has a 1.17 WHIP. Also, Taillon has allowed just four home runs so far.
Next: Pirates vs Phillies Series Preview
Even though it is not official yet, Tyler Glasnow will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday afternoon. This will be Glasnow second Major League start after getting a spot start against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 7th. Odds are, Tyler Glasnow, barring poor performance, will now remain in the Major Leagues for good after this start.
Tyler Glasnow’s first start on July 7th went better than his final line indicated. In the end, Glasnow was charged with four runs in 5 1/3 innings pitched. However, two of those runs scored on a ho,e run allowed by Arquimedes Caminero and the first run he allowed scored due to a passed ball.
In the end Glasnow allowed just three hits, he walked just two batters, and he struck out five. This included Glasnow retiring nine straight Cardinal batters after issuing a walk to Aledmys Diaz to lead off the bottom of the first inning. The most encouraging thing from Glasnow in this start was him issuing just two walks, as anyone who has followed his Minor League careers know control issues are the one thing that has held him back.
Tyler Glasnow is one of the top ten prospects in all of baseball for a reason. Honestly, of the three starting pitchers being discussed in this writing he has the highest ceiling. While Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon undoubtedly have the makeup to be horses that anchor the rotation, their stuff does not have the potential to be as dominant as Glasnow’s.
Now, I am not trying to compare the two pitchers when I say this. Because no one is in the same stratosphere as Clayton Kershaw right now, but Tyler Glasnow the stuff to be Clayton Kershaw type dominant. If Glasnow can perfect his control, his stuff is good enough that he can be that good.
The future of the Pittsburgh Pirates is extremely bright. Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, and Tyler Glasnow could very possibly become the best 1-2-3 in all of Major League Baseball. Plus, do not forget about pitchers such as Chad Kuhl, Mitch Keller, Nick Kingham, Steven Brault, and Trevor Williams. Neal Huntington has done a phenomenal job of loading up the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system with young, talented arms. And for that reason, the Pirates will be contenders for a long time.