Pirates prospect Taillon working his way up
ALTOONA — It could be tempting for Jameson Taillon to watch Gerrit Cole and Brandon Cumpton make their major league debuts and wonder when his day will come.
Even more tempting would be to watch Stolmy Pimentel earn a promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis and guess whether he could be next. But Taillon said watching his former teammates and fellow pitching prospects move up the Pirates' ladder doesn't give him extra motivation.
“It's kind of weird. I love to see them move up and do well, but at the same time I really don't put that much stake into what they're doing versus what I'm doing,” said Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 MLB Draft out of The Woodlands High School in Texas. “I'm here for a reason. So I can't really think about it too much.”
The 21-year-old right-hander is 3-5 in 15 starts in his first full season with Double-A Altoona. His ERA of 2.90 is sixth lowest in the Eastern League. Taillon last week was named the No. 10 overall prospect by Baseball Prospectus in its midseason update, but the publication noted his trajectory was down because of issues with his changeup and fastball command at the upper levels.
Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said Taillon needs to continue to refine the total pitch package and that they've been targeting the development of the changeup.
“He's got a good one. It's a matter of picking when to use it, which hitters to use it against and which situations to use it, but ultimately using it and trusting it and believing in it,” Huntington said. “We've had some guys that have had changeups that didn't trust it. We're working awfully hard with Jameson to get him to trust that changeup because once he does, that becomes a pretty strong package for him to go along with the two-seamer and the four-seamer, the hard breaking ball and the changeup.”
Taillon admits it has been a challenge. It was even more challenging at the beginning of the year, he said, because once at Double-A, it is more about getting outs and showing what you're capable of versus developing. When the season began, he knew he could go out and throw his fastballs — which are routinely in the upper 90s and occasionally hit triple-digits — and curveballs, but his pitch count would be at 100 after five innings.
The more he's thrown the changeup, however, the more it's become a go-to pitch.
“I'll throw it in 1-0, 2-1 counts, hitters' counts where they're trying to jump my fastball, and I've found if I can show I can do that, later in the game in those similar counts, I can throw fastballs and don't have to be as perfect,” Taillon said.
“They're not going to be just sitting dead right on it and whatnot. It takes a little pressure off my other pitches.”
Karen Price is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at email@example.com or via Twitter @KarenPrice_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pirates will implement price increase for 2015 tickets
- Pirates organization to continue pursuing value free agents in offseason
- Pirates weighing options with Martin
- Pirates are solid at shortstop with the durable Mercer in play
- Pirates bench coach Jeff Banister named Rangers manager
- Pirates face mound of decisions in offseason
- Offensive production, filling out rotation key for Pirates next season
- Pirates’ Martin calls crowd chant ‘pretty special’
- Pirates acquire Orioles reliever, designate Tabata for assignment