A few minutes ago, Triple-A Indianapolis sent out a general press release touting the players who likely will be on its roster this season.
Among the players who are “projected to begin their 2011 campaigns” at Indy are eight top prospects: Bryan Morris, Rudy Owens, Andrew Lambo, Alex Presley, Daniel Moskos, Pedro Ciriaco, Matt Hague and Josh Harrison. All of them are ranked among the top 30 prospects in the Pirates’ farm system, according to Baseball America.
Ciriaco, Moskos and Presley are on the 40-man roster and will begin spring training in big league camp. Also, Ciriaco and Presley were late-season callups last year. All three are considered long-shots to make the Pirates roster for the season opener, with Ciriaco having the best chance.
If Ciriaco truly is “projected” to go to Indy, that would seem to give Rule 5 pickup Josh Rodriguez a better chance of sticking with the Pirates.
Morris, 23, also is on the 40-man, but his ETA for Pittsburgh is later this summer at the earliest. Still, he seems to be a fast-riser after starting last season at High-A Bradenton and moving on to Double-A Altoona.
Owens, 23, will be a non-roster invitee in big league camp. He was the Bucs’ minor league pitcher of the year in 2009 and ’10.