Taillon & Kingham Top Baseball America’s Top 10

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Baseball America has named Tribe right-handers Jameson Taillon (No. 2) and Nick Kingham (No. 6) as “Top 10 Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects” for the 2015 season. Both of the highly-touted hurlers concluded their most recent campaigns as a part of the Indians’ starting rotation, with Taillon pitching during the 2013 IL playoffs and Kingham appearing in the final homestand of 2014.

In a departure from last season’s hitting showcase through phenom Gregory Polanco, the 2015 class of prospects is headlined by righty Taillon and his return from Tommy John surgery. Taillon, who was selected second overall in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, debuted as Pittsburgh’s top-rated farmhand in 2011 before ranking as the club’s No. 2 talent and among the top-25 prospects in all of Minor League Baseball during each of the last four seasons. The 23 year old has continually drawn rave reviews during his impressive career for a pitching arsenal featuring”the Best Fastball in the Pirates system” in 2011 and “Best Curveball in the Pirates system” from 2011-14.

Taillon was promoted from Lo-A West Virginia to Triple-A Indianapolis in a span of less than three seasons before missing all of 2014 with rehab from his April surgery. Prior to his season-ending setback, Taillon had compiled a 16-21 record with a 3.72 ERA through 75 career appearances (74 starts) in the minors, including six starts with the Tribe. He made his Triple-A debut at Victory Field on Aug. 5, 2013, capped that regular season with quality starts in each of his final four assignments and tossed four scoreless innings in the IL playoffs against the eventual league-champion Durham Bulls.

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Fellow righty prospect Kingham has skyrocketed to the top of the organizational ratings after previously going unranked through his first two seasons in the minor leagues. Selected just three rounds after Taillon in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, Kingham followed his own pro debut in 2010 by leading all Pirates farmhands in ERA during his first full season of action in 2011. His performance garnered honors as Pittsburgh’s No. 14 prospect entering 2012, and along with a Florida State League Midseason All-Star selection in 2013, helped propel his rise to the No. 5 overall talent in the Pirates organization prior to his most recent season.

Last year, Kingham anchored Double-A Altoona’s pitching staff through the first half of a “not-if-but-when-will-he-be-promoted” campaign. The 22 year old earned his call to join the Indians in early June and promptly responded with eight strikeouts over seven scoreless frames in his Triple-A debut on June 13 vs. Durham. Beginning with that start, Kingham starred in the Tribe’s rotation to lead the IL in average against (.213) and rank fifth in strikeouts (65) since his first Triple-A outing.

Below is a comparison between the top 10 prospects from 2014-15:
**(Bold indicates played with Indians prior to that season)

BA’s Top 10 — 2015
1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP
2. Jameson Taillon, RHP
3. Austin Meadows, OF
4. Josh Bell, OF/1B
5. Reese McGuire, C
6. Nick Kingham, RHP
7. Alen Hanson, SS/2B
8. Cole Tucker, SS
9. Mitch Keller, RHP
10. Harold Ramirez, OF
BA’s Top 10 — 2014
1. Gregory Polanco, OF

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP
3. Tyler Glasnow, RHP
4. Austin Meadows, OF
5. Nick Kingham, RHP
6. Alen Hanson, SS
7. Josh Bell, OF
8. Reese McGuire, C
9. Harold Ramirez, OF
10. Luis Heredia, RHP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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