Minor League Opening Day Roster Analysis: Pittsburgh Pirates

1 Gerrit Cole 9/8/1990 rhp Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
2 Jameson Taillon 11/18/1991 rhp Altoona Curve (AA)
3 Gregory Polanco 9/14/1991 of Bradenton Marauders (HiA)
4 Alen Hanson 10/22/1992 ss Bradenton Marauders (HiA)
5 Luis Heredia 8/10/1994 rhp Jamestown Jammers
6 Josh Bell 8/14/1992 of West Virginia Power (LoA)
7 Kyle McPherson 11/11/1987 rhp Indianapolis Indians (AAA)
8 Justin Wilson 8/18/1987 lhp Pittsburgh Pirates
9 Barrett Barnes 7/29/1991 of GCL Pirates
10 Clay Holmes 3/27/1993 rhp West Virginia Power (LoA)

HE’S WHERE? Most of Pittsburgh’s prospects moved up as expected, with a couple of catchers from last year’s draft getting aggressive full-season assignments. Jacob Stallings, who had a strong four-year career at North Carolina, goes to high Class A Bradenton, while Wyatt Mathisen, a second-round pick out of a Texas high school, goes from the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League to low Class A West Virginia. The move is particularly notable for Mathisen, who played more shortstop as an amateur.

WHO’S MISSING: In an effort to manage his workload, Pittsburgh will keep righthander Luis Heredia in extended spring for about a month before sending him to low Class A West Virginia. Outfielder Barrett Barnes had nagging injuries in spring training that kept him from making a full-season club, but he is also expected to join West Virginia by May.

GO SEE: While Bradenton will get the dynamic duo of Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco, it’s West Virginia that has the most intriguing roster in the system. In addition to Mathisen, Heredia and Barnes (when they get there), the Power will also get outfielder Josh Bell, the 2011 second-round pick who signed for $5 million. He was healthy in spring training but generated mixed reports on his bat. From the same draft class, righthander Clay Holmes (who signed for $1.2 million) will be in the West Virginia rotation. And we can’t forget Stetson Allie, the former righthander who signed for $2.25 million out of the 2010 draft but moved off the mound. He’s at first base now and will try to tap into his raw power.