With Pirates' No. 2 prospect Jameson Taillon out for the year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in April, two other pitchers in the organization are showing that the second overall pick in the 2010 Draft isn't the only arm to watch on the farm.
Right-handers Tyler Glasnow and Nick Kingham, ranked Nos. 23 and 85 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, have lived up to their status as elite prospects. Glasnow missed most of the first month of the season due to a back injury, but has posted a 1.70 ERA since returning. Kingham earned a midseason promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis, where he has allowed just two runs in his first four starts.
Saturday, both Glasnow and Kingham are scheduled to start. Glasnow will lead Class A Advanced Bradenton at Palm Beach at 6:35 p.m. ET, and Kingham will take the ball for Triple-A Indianapolis against Louisville at 7:05 p.m. Fans can watch Kingham pitch on MiLB.TV.
Glasnow led all Pirates Minor Leaguers with 164 strikeouts in 111 1/3 innings last year at Class A West Virginia. His strikeout rate has decreased slightly this season, as he has whiffed 66 batters in 58 1/3 innings. But Florida State League hitters have found it tough to hit against the 20-year-old. He is holding opposing hitters to a .151 batting average.
Kingham began the season with Double-A Altoona. He pitched well there, posting a 3.04 ERA in 12 starts, and he has been even better since his promotion to Indianapolis last month. In four starts with the Indians, he is 2-0 with a 0.34 ERA and a 20-to-5 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 26 2/3 innings.
Kingham faced Louisville in his last outing. He threw six scoreless innings against the Bats, though he settled for a no-decision. He will look for a better result against them Saturday.
In addition to Glasnow and Kingham, several other pitchers ranked in the Top 100 are scheduled to start Saturday, including Aaron Sanchez (No. 19), Kohl Stewart (No. 32), Zach Lee (No. 52), Hunter Harvey (No. 89) and Luke Jackson (No. 100). Fans can watch Sanchez, Lee and Jackson on MiLB.TV.
Sanchez, the Blue Jays' No. 1 prospect, and Jackson, the Rangers' No. 5 prospect, were both recently promoted to Triple-A and are looking for their first victories at their new level. Sanchez will take the mound for Buffalo at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at 7:05 p.m., while Jackson is slated to start an hour later when Round Rock hosts Nashville.
Top prospect probables:
Alec Asher (Rangers' No. 8), Frisco at Northwest Arkansas
Christian Binford (Royals' No. 11), Northwest Arkansas vs. Frisco
Ty Blach (Giants' No. 6), Richmond vs. Reading
Edwin Diaz (Mariners' No. 4), Clinton vs. Kane County
Cody Dickson (Pirates' No. 17), West Virginia at Greensboro
Kendry Flores (Giants' No. 20), San Jose vs. Stockton
Glasnow (Pirates' No. 3), Bradenton at Palm Beach
Alec Grosser (Braves' No. 18), Danville at Burlington
Harvey (Orioles' No. 3), Delmarva vs. Lakewood
Jackson (Rangers' No. 5), Round Rock vs. Nashville
Tyrell Jenkins (Cardinals' No. 15), Palm Beach vs. Bradenton
Felix Jorge (Twins' No. 9), Elizabethton vs. Bluefield
Dace Kime (Indians' No. 13), Lake County at South Bend
Kingham (Pirates' No. 8), Indianapolis vs. Louisville
Branden Kline (Orioles' No. 14), Frederick at Lynchburg
Lee (Dodgers' No. 4), Albuquerque vs. Las Vegas
Cody Martin (Braves' No. 9), Gwinnett vs. Durham
Wes Parsons (Braves' No. 19), Lynchburg vs. Frederick
Sal Romano (Reds' No. 14), Dayton at Bowling Green
Enny Romero (Rays' No. 4), Durham at Gwinnett
Sanchez (Blue Jays' No. 1), Buffalo at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
Antonio Senzatela (Rockies' No. 20), Asheville vs. Lexington
Teddy Stankiewicz (Red Sox No. 17), Greenville at Augusta
Stewart (Twins' No. 4), Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit
Blake Treinen (Nationals' No. 17), Syracuse vs. Pawtucket