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Pirates minor league notebook: Former 5th-round pick Glasnow shining in rotation


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Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Ryan Pritt
Saturday, May 18, 2013, 4:24 p.m.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — As the temperature slowly has risen, the ERAs among many West Virginia Power pitchers have fallen. One starter in particular has flashed A-plus stuff while posting gaudy numbers.

Tyler Glasnow, a fifth-round pick in the 2011 draft by the Pirates, has been dominant, using his 6-foot-7 frame, 95-plus mph fastball and biting breaking ball to rise toward the top of most South Atlantic League pitching categories.

Entering his scheduled start Saturday night, Glasnow was 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP, and 42 strikeouts in just 30 innings. He has allowed just 13 hits in those 30 innings.

In a 10-strikeout effort against Greenville on May 7, he became the first Power pitcher to ring up double-digit hitters in a game since Kyle McPherson had 10 on May 19, 2010, against Delmarva.

In fact, his lone problem seems to be control, as he has walked 19.

The 19-year-old said he's just now settling into this level of pitching.

“I feel like the first few (starts) are always the most jittery,” Glasnow said. “Especially being the first full season (in Class A), everyone wants to come out and do well. Once you know it's a long season and know you're playing six months of baseball and not a two-month deal, you really settle down and be yourself.”

Bell picks up game

Not many minor leaguers have faced the type of adversity Power outfielder Josh Bell has.

The Pirates' second-round selection in 2011, Bell received a mammoth $5 million signing bonus and was beginning to find his way with West Virginia last season before a torn meniscus ended his season after 15 games.

After a slow start in 2013, Bell is starting to live up to lofty expectations. Entering Saturday, he had piled up a league-leading 35 RBI while lifting his average to .289 and belting six home runs. He is hitting .314 with three homers in May.

“He's a true professional. He's a great young man — he's even a better young man than he is a baseball player, so that shows you the type of character he has,” manager Mike Ryan said. “The scary thing about him is that he's not back to full timing, 100 percent. His knee is great, but just timing, baseball-wise, he's not there yet. That usually takes half of a season, especially after missing so much time last year.

“The best is yet to come, and that's pretty amazing and shocking to say.”

Ryan Pritt is a freelance writer.

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