Interview With Pittsburgh Pirates Pitching Prospect Nick Kingham

By: Andrew Martin
Twitter: @HistorianAndrew
BaseballHistorian.Blogspot.com

Stockpiling quality young pitching is always a priority for a losing team trying to change their fortunes and culture. The Pittsburgh Pirates, who last had a winning season in 1992, have recently drafted highly touted arms like Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole to jumpstart their rebuilding process. However, the team is also high on Nick Kingham, another recent draftee, who they believe has a bright future in Pittsburgh.
Kingham, a tall right-handed starter, was taken in the fourth round of the 2010 MLB Draft out of high school in Las Vegas. According to Pirates prospect site Buried Treasure, Kingham was planning to attend the University of Oregon, but was convinced to turn pro when Pittsburgh offered him a generous signing bonus.
About to turn 21 later this week, Kingham possesses a low-nineties fastball and promising secondary pitches. He impressed in his first two professional seasons in short-season ball, combining for a 2.07 ERA. This past year he made 27 starts in Class-A, and held his own, posting a 6-8 record and 4.39 ERA, while striking out nearly a batter an inning.
Last year I had a chance to interview Kingham and get to know the up-and-coming Pirates prospect a little better.

How did you first become interested in baseball? My parents; my Dad grew up playing high school ball. He never played college, but he got me my first interest in it. I started playing it and stuck with it.

Did you have a favorite team or player when you were growing up?
Nope. No favorite team and no favorite player. I was just a fan of the game.

Do you model yourself after any current player?
(Josh) Beckett would be the closest now. I mean it is who I like the most now, but it is pretty hard to emulate somebody that great. I try.

How did you know the Pirates were interested in drafting you?
My scout called me when I was at work with my Dad. He called to tell me that they had drafted me and that they would be in touch. I heard from them two weeks later.

After you signed, did you do anything special for yourself or your family?
We had a few people over two nights before I left, but nothing too special.

What type of pitches do you throw?
Just a fastball, curve and change right now. The fastball is definitely the most important pitch. It’s sitting 91, 92, but reaching 94 or 94.

How has minor league life been?
It’s different. It’s a grind, but no complaints at all. You have to love what you do.

Be sure to check out Nick Kingham’s Baseball Cards

2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Top 15 Prospect Rankings

By: J.P. Schwartz
@Jaypers413 on Twitter
JP’s FreedomCardboard Blog

2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Top 15 Prospect Rankings

Every year at this time I like to rank each team’s top prospects. My criteria is based upon both past performance and future potential to his parent team. This is my ranking of the 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates Top Prospects. If you have any questions about my rankings, feel free to shoot me a message on twitter @Jaypers413

To qualify, a prospect must have fewer than 130 at-bats or 50 innings in MLB

#1 Jameson Taillon RHP
Born: 11/18/1991
Highest Level Reached: Low-A West Virginia Power
2011 Combined Stats: 2-3, 3.98ERA, 92.2IP, 22BB, 97K, .249BAA

#2 Gerrit Cole RHP
Born: 9/8/1990
Highest Level Reached: 1st Overall Pick 2011 MLB Draft
2011 Combined Stats: Did Not Play In 2011

#3 Josh Bell OF
Born: 8/8/1992
Highest Level Reached: 2nd Round Pick 2011 MLB Draft
2011 Combined Stats: Did Not Play In 2011

#4 Starling Marte OF
Born: 10/9/1988
Highest Level Reached: Double-A Altoona Curve
2011 Combined Stats: .332, 38(2B), 8(3B), 12HR, 50RBI, 24SB

#5 Luis Heredia RHP
Born: 8/10/1994
Highest Level Reached: Rookie League GCL Pirates
2011 Combined Stats: 1-2, 4.75ERA, 30.1IP, 19BB, 23K, .257BAA

#6 Alex Dickerson 1B
Born: 5/26/1990
Highest Level Reached: Short-A State College Spikes
2011 Combined Stats: .313, 16(2B), 1(3B), 3HR, 19RBI (3rd Round Pick 2011 MLB Draft)

#7 Tony Sanchez C
Born: 5/20/1988
Highest Level Reached: Double-A Altoona Curve
2011 Combined Stats: .241, 14(2B), 1(3B), 5HR, 44RBI

#8 Rudy Owens LHP
Born: 12/18/1987
Highest Level Reached: Triple-A Indianapolis Indians
2011 Combined Stats: 9-7, 5.05ERA, 112.1IP, 32BB, 71K, .289BAA

#9 Bryan Morris RHP
Born: 3/28/1987
Highest Level Reached: Double-A Altoona Curve
2011 Combined Stats: 3-4, 3.35ERA, 3 Saves, 78IP, 33BB, 64K, .252BAA

#10 Kyle McPherson RHP
Born: 11/11/1987
Highest Level Reached: Double-A Altoona Curve
2011 Combined Stats: 12-6, 2.96ERA, 161IP, 27BB, 142K, .226BAA

#11 Clay Holmes RHP
Born: 3/27/1993
Highest Level Reached: 9th Round Pick 2011 MLB Draft
2011 Combined Stats: Did Not Play In 2011

#12 Nick Kingham RHP
Born: 11/8/1991
Highest Level Reached: Short-A State College Spikes
2011 Combined Stats: 6-2, 2.15ERA, 71IP, 15BB, 47K, .238BAA

#13 Stetson Allie RHP
Born: 3/13/1991
Highest Level Reached: Low-A State College Spikes
2011 Combined Stats: 0-2, 6.58ERA, 26IP, 29BB, 28K, .208BAA

#14 Jose Osuna 1B
Born: 12/12/1992
Highest Level Reached: Short-A State College Spikes
2011 Combined Stats: .328, 15(2B), 3(3B), 4HR, 33RBI

#15 Zack Von Rosenberg RHP
Born: 9/24/1990
Highest Level Reached: Low-A West Virginia Power
2011 Combined Stats: 5-9, 5.73ERA, 125.2IP, 23BB, 114K, .290BAA

Disclaimer – I did not attend any minor league games this year, nor do I claim to have any scouting experience. These lists are the product of my own research of statistics and online scouting reports.