By Steve Samek
The forth team and last to begin play on April 6,2017 from the Pittsburgh Pirates organization is the West Virginia Power. The announced their opening roster recently in this article. https://www.milb.com/power/news/play-ball-2017-roster-announced/c-222470256/t-196097280 Tie to break down the roster.
Upon first glance none of the pitchers stand out. Though after a second look the Power will be with the services of 14th ranked prospect in the Pirates system Luis Escobar. Escobar is making the jump to full season ball after playing in the New York Penn League last year with good results. http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=t525&player_id=650813#/career/R/pitching/2017/ALL
He could be this year’s Mitch Keller as far as breakout potential.
Behind the plate also brings system newcomers and unknowns.
The infield is led by 18th ranked Pirates prospect Stephen Alemais. Alemais is returning to the Power after a short stint with them last year. While he struggled a bit in his first looks with the Power Alemais is another talented infielder in a deep Pirates system. Listed as a shortstop it should be interesting to see if he stays at the position.
The rest of the infield and outfield are very limited in the talent pool. The only other name I recognize on the roster is Trae Arbet. Arbet is a second basemen that hit well for Bristol in 2015, but saw no time last year. This could be a shape up or ship out kind of deal. http://www.milb.com/player/index.jsp?sid=t525&player_id=641315#/career/R/hitting/2017/ALL
This roster does seem to be the forgotten child of the organization. With just two top 20 Pirates prospects to start the season, the initial look is skewed to the negative. Though on the positive side it won’t surprise me if one of these unknowns has a break out year. Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte and Mitch Keller are some of the names in the recent trend of turning unknowns into potential studs starting in West Virginia. Another potential thing would be to see this squad boosted with promotions and draft picks later on in the year. For right now though hold off on watching the Power too closely if you’re looking for big time prospect updates.