Catcher Tony Sanchez is system's number two prospect, according to the magazine. The 2009 No. 4 overall draft pick played in 59 games for Bradenton last season, batting .314 with four home runs and 35 RBI. He was injured for the season in June when he broke his jaw after being struck in the face by a pitch while batting. Drafted out of Boston College, Sanchez is noted for his defensive abilities and took part in the Arizona Fall League this winter. Sanchez is also listed as the Pirates' best defensive catcher in the minors up one spot after being ranked third last year.
Outfielder Starling Marte, sixth last year, is rated as the Pirates' fourth best prospect. Widely considered a five-tool talent, Marte batted .315 and stole a team high 22 bases in 2010. The Dominican native only appeared in 60 games because of injury but excelled late in the year hitting .358 in August with 19 RBI. Marte also made the grade on Baseball America's "Best Tools" chart, listed for being the system's best athlete and best outfield arm.
After going 3-0 with a 0.60 ERA in eight starts in Bradenton, pitcher Bryan Morris earned a promotion to Double-A Altoona where he contributed to an Eastern League championship run. Morris is listed as the sixth best prospect for Pittsburgh. He was Bradenton's opening day starter in 2010. He was slotted last year at No. 15.
Jeff Locke was one of only four left-handers to throw for the Marauders last year. After being picked 13th last year he has moved up to eighth on the chart. Locke led the Florida State League with a 9-3 record at the time of his Double-A promotion. He allowed no more than three runs in any of his final six starts in Florida and struck out a season high ten batters against Jupiter on April 21st. Locke's changeup is considered the best in the system by the magazine.
The remainder of the list: No. 1 Jameson Taillon, RHP; No. 3 Stetson Allie, RHP; No. 5 Luis Heredia, RHP; No. 7 Rudy Owens, RHP; No. 9 Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP and No. 10 Chase d'Arnaud, SS/2B.
The 2011 home season begins April 8th at McKechnie Field.
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