Cervelli (hand) does catching drills, runs bases

Pirates catcher underwent surgery 2 weeks ago

Cervelli (hand) does catching drills, runs bases

PITTSBURGH -- A day after having stitches removed from his surgically repaired left hand, Francisco Cervelli was back behind the plate at PNC Park.

Cervelli, recovering from surgery to remove a fractured hook of his hamate bone, went through a set of catching drills and ran the bases in the Saturday afternoon heat.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kuhl ready for Major League debut vs. Dodgers

Kuhl ready for Major League debut vs. Dodgers

PITTSBURGH -- Chad Kuhl can definitely count to five.

It's how he found out he'd be making his Major League debut against five-time All-Star and three-time National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw on Sunday.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates host local Pitch, Hit & Run contest

PITTSBURGH -- Rylee Kalocay's glittery headband miraculously stayed in place as she sprinted from first base to third, placed five pitches in the strike zone and whacked softballs off a tee and into the outfield of PNC Park.

Kalocay won first place in the youngest division of competitors during Scotts Major League Baseball Pitch, Hit & Run program on Saturday. Twelve softball and baseball players ages 7-14 gathered to demonstrate their skills in pitching, hitting and running. Players placed first, second or third in their age division based on how many pitches they correctly placed, how far they hit balls off a tee and how fast they could sprint from first base to third.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs outlast Dodgers in battle of bullpens

Bucs outlast Dodgers in battle of bullpens

PITTSBURGH -- Asked to protect the Pirates' most productive offensive performance in nearly three weeks, the back end of the Bucs' bullpen delivered in an 8-6 win over the Dodgers on Friday night at PNC Park. Setup men Neftali Feliz and Tony Watson and closer Mark Melancon put the game away in the final 3 2/3 innings as Pittsburgh won for just the second time in 10 games.

"Those guys are awesome. Those guys are going to be huge for us the rest of the year," said Pirates outfielder Matt Joyce, who went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBIs. "We have to find a way to get the lead and keep the lead going into the late part of the game so those guys can slam the door shut."

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Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Hurdle records 1,000th managerial win

'Proud' Pirates skipper celebrates milestone with parents, teammates

Hurdle records 1,000th managerial win

PITTSBURGH -- Clint Hurdle was getting ready for a family picture Thursday afternoon at PNC Park, part of the club's annual Family Day festivities, when a surprise walked in the room.

Hurdle hadn't thought about inviting his parents until that morning, right as he was walking out the door. But his wife, Karla, quickly got them on a last-minute flight from Orlando, Fla., to Pittsburgh. The Hurdles arrived in time to celebrate Family Day and, a day later, a milestone achievement for their son.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Frazier promoted, nets first hit in first at-bat

Stallings optioned to Triple-A, Figueroa designated in corresponding moves

Frazier promoted, nets first hit in first at-bat

PITTSBURGH -- Looking for another hitter to round out their bench, the Pirates turned to the Triple-A Indianapolis roster. One player stood out as outperforming the rest of the pack, and on Friday the Pirates called up versatile prospect Adam Frazier to make his Major League debut.

The Pirates' No. 27 prospect according to MLBPipeline.com, Frazier was thrown right into the action. He entered Friday's 8-6 win over the Dodgers at PNC Park as part of a sixth-inning double switch, playing second base. He lined a single to center field off J.P. Howell in his first Major League at-bat, and the ball was sent bouncing back toward the Pirates dugout for safekeeping.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Nicasio reinstated, will pitch from bullpen

Rondon designated; No. 16 prospect Kuhl poised for callup

Nicasio reinstated, will pitch from bullpen

PITTSBURGH -- Juan Nicasio is back with the Pirates but out of their rotation.

Pittsburgh reinstated Nicasio from the restricted list Friday afternoon, designating reliever Jorge Rondon to make room for him. Nicasio returned home to the Dominican Republic last weekend to tend to a personal issue.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates hoping to overcome slow start

'The storms don't always last,' Harrison says after Bucs lose 20th of past 26 games

Pirates hoping to overcome slow start

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates haven't endured a stretch this miserable since their resurgence in 2013, not since they fell from contending for a playoff spot to their 20th straight losing season in September 2012.

The Pirates lost again Thursday, a 5-3 defeat at PNC Park to a red-hot Giants team that has won 30 of its past 39 games. Pittsburgh, meanwhile, has lost eight of nine, 13 of 15 and 20 of 26.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J-Hay's hustle not enough as Bucs fall

J-Hay's hustle not enough as Bucs fall

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants strolled into PNC Park on Monday afternoon as the National League's hottest team. They left Pittsburgh's North Shore on Thursday afternoon with a 5-3 win over the Pirates, a four-game series victory and a trail of smoke still flowing behind them.

San Francisco rolled past Pittsburgh for its 11th win in 12 games. The Giants are a season-high 20 games over .500, six games ahead of the second-place Dodgers. They've won 30 of their past 39 games, the best record in baseball since May 11.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bucs, Cutch searching for solutions to slump

Pirates considering options as swollen thumb contributes to CF's uncharacteristic struggles

Bucs, Cutch searching for solutions to slump

PITTSBURGH -- Andrew McCutchen's sluggish start at the plate has stretched for nearly half of the season, and the Pirates are still looking for solutions.

McCutchen got the day off in the Pirates' Thursday afternoon game against the Giants at PNC Park, a 12:35 p.m. ET start after a long game Wednesday night. McCutchen's swollen right thumb has occasionally bothered him since late May, and he entered Thursday batting .238/.315/.401. Considering his thumb and his performance, might it be time to give McCutchen a more extended break?

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Glasnow fires 7 no-hit innings for Indianapolis

Top Pirates prospect takes no-hitter through 5 innings for 3rd time this month

Glasnow fires 7 no-hit innings for Indianapolis

PITTSBURGH -- Tyler Glasnow flirted with a no-hitter again, but high walk totals and rising pitch counts continue to get in the way.

The No. 8 overall prospect threw seven no-hit innings for Triple-A Indianapolis on Wednesday, but he walked five and was lifted after 102 pitches (59 strikes). Glasnow's high number of walks is concerning to Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, but overall, he thinks Glasnow has made progress.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.

Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates' three homers don't hold up vs. Giants

Pirates' three homers don't hold up vs. Giants

PITTSBURGH -- The Giants followed a different path to a familiar destination Wednesday night at PNC Park. Overcoming a rare ineffective starting pitching performance, San Francisco rode its bullpen and a middle-innings comeback to a 7-6 win over Pittsburgh.

The Giants are 29-9 since May 11, a successful stretch built firmly on the foundation of their rotation. But Jeff Samardzija exited after allowing six runs in three innings, tied for the shortest start of his career. That left the Giants bullpen to hold the line, which it did for six scoreless innings.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pitching lets down Pirates in losing big lead

Pitching lets down Pirates in losing big lead

PITTSBURGH -- A five-run lead entering the fourth inning couldn't save the Pirates from their own bullpen in a 7-6 loss to the Giants on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh's offense wasted no time in establishing a lead -- a team that's gone 5-16 in June was encouraged to see Giants starter Jeff Samardzija pulled after three innings. But as starter Francisco Liriano began to dwindle, so did the Pirates' fragile lead.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pierogi Race turns into full-blown wrestling match

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Pierogi Race turns into full-blown wrestling match

The Pirates' Pierogi Race is usually a fun event for the whole family. A time to watch a bunch of life-sized pierogies race against one another, during a baseball game, to see who is the greatest pierogi of them all. But on Wednesday at PNC Park, it was "Legends of Wrestling NIght," and that meant BODY SLAMS AND RKO'S BROTHER!

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Cole won't come off disabled list Sunday

Pirates right-hander throws on flat ground but needs more time

Cole won't come off disabled list Sunday

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates ace Gerrit Cole is making progress in his recovery from a right tricep strain, but he will not be available Sunday, the first day he is eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list, according to head athletic trainer Todd Tomczyk.

Cole has resumed playing catch on flat ground, but still needs more time to recover before throwing off a mound.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates stunned by Giants' huge 4th inning

Pirates stunned by Giants' huge 4th inning

PITTSBURGH -- Backed by the Giants' biggest offensive performance of the year, Johnny Cueto continued his dominant stretch against an opponent that's too often seen him at his best. San Francisco tallied a season-high 22 hits, Cueto fired 6 2/3 strong innings and the Giants beat the Pirates, 15-4, on Tuesday night at PNC Park.

A night after being shut out by Jeff Locke and three Pirates relievers, the Giants gave Cueto plenty of breathing room. San Francisco broke out against Pittsburgh spot starter Wilfredo Boscan in the fourth, putting up seven runs and batting around before recording an out. Angel Pagan delivered the biggest hit, a first-pitch grand slam to center field, and Conor Gillaspie followed with a two-run homer deep into the right-field seats.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Marte leaves game vs. Giants with foot injury

Marte leaves game vs. Giants with foot injury

PITTSBURGH -- Pirates outfielder Starling Marte left Tuesday's 15-4 loss to the Giants at PNC Park in the eighth inning due to left foot discomfort.

Marte ran gingerly out of the box when he grounded out in the seventh inning. After trying to run down Ramiro Pena's triple to the center-field wall in the eighth, Marte clearly came up limping and reached down to grab his lower left leg.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates need support in final days of ASG voting

Four Bucs appeared on latest balloting update, but have ground to make up

Pirates need support in final days of ASG voting

PITTSBURGH -- With a little more than a week remaining in the online voting process, the Pirates will need a lot of help to send an All-Star Game starter to San Diego.

Four Pirates were represented on the latest All-Star balloting update, released Wednesday, but none gained any significant traction toward a starting bid in the annual Midsummer Classic, which will be played July 12 at Petco Park. All three outfielders rank among the National League's top 15 vote-getters, and Josh Harrison is holding his ground at second base.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Emrick to join Costas in MLB Network Showcase booth

Voice of NBC's hockey coverage is a lifelong Pirates fan

Emrick to join Costas in MLB Network Showcase booth

One of them grew up listening to Bob Prince call Pirates games on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh, went on to call more than 3,000 hockey games, became the first broadcaster to be inducted into the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, played second base for Team Clemente at the Pirates' 2012 fantasy camp, and then joined the Pirates' broadcast booth as a guest announcer this past Spring Training.

The other carried a 1958 Mickey Mantle baseball card in his wallet, began his sportscasting career covering Minor League hockey while still a student at Syracuse University, and then the St. Louis Spirits of the American Basketball Association, delivered a philosophic signoff after each World Series clincher he covered, became NBC's longtime Olympics studio host (even once with pinkeye) and has won a record 27 Emmys.

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Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell, McGuire among top prospect performers Tuesday

Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect flirts with no-hitter, Yankees' No. 2 notches first pro multi-homer game

Bell, McGuire among top prospect performers Tuesday

Once the calendar switched to June, Conner Greene became dominant. The Blue Jays' No. 2 prospect twirled seven scoreless frames Tuesday for Class A Advanced Dunedin in a 6-0 shutout of Brevard County and is 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA through three starts in the month.

Greene gave up three hits, walked a pair and struck out seven in his longest start of the year. The seven strikeouts were also a season-high for the right-hander, who recently added a slider to his repertoire.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kratz pitches in with mound appearance in rout

Kratz pitches in with mound appearance in rout

PITTSBURGH -- Erik Kratz did what no other Pirates pitcher -- you read that right -- did all night Tuesday. He was the only one to record more than one out and not allow a run. None of the runs in the Pirates' 15-4 loss to the Giants rest on the recently acquired catcher's shoulders.

Starter Wilfredo Boscan surrendered seven runs in the fourth inning and was pulled early, and the Pirates lost two outfielders over the course of the game. Manager Clint Hurdle didn't just let Kratz pitch the ninth inning for fun. But when Kratz took the mound, he saw a pretty simple task in front of him.

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Sarah K. Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Pittsburgh. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Locked in: Pirates snap Giants' win streak

Locked in: Pirates snap Giants' win streak

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates skidded into PNC Park early Monday morning after a tough road trip through New York and Chicago. Having lost five straight and 17 of its last 22 games, Pittsburgh was in desperate need of a complete game -- not the type Jeff Locke threw in Miami three weeks ago, but the kind of all-around performance he led in the Bucs' 1-0 win over Madison Bumgarner and the Giants.

After a loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Sunday night, the Pirates fell three games below .500 and 15 behind in the National League Central. Manager Clint Hurdle said the best thing Pittsburgh could do to "shake things up" amid the rough stretch was to put together a game like Monday's -- and it would have to start on the mound. Locke took care of that, firing 6 2/3 innings without allowing a walk, an increasingly rare quality start in a struggling Pirates rotation.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kratz's key homer touched by an Angel

Catcher's game-winning shot nearly pulled back by Giants' Pagan

Kratz's key homer touched by an Angel

PITTSBURGH -- Jeff Locke thought the ball was foul, then catchable, then caught. Then he didn't know what to think. Erik Kratz thought it was a deep flyout. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle thought seeing Angel Pagan's empty glove was enough.

Kratz delivered the game-winning homer off Giants ace Madison Bumgarner in the fifth inning Monday, a solo shot that barely cleared the left-field wall -- and was very nearly taken away by Pagan -- and led the Pirates to a 1-0 win at PNC Park.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Stewart taking time to let ailments heal

Stewart taking time to let ailments heal

PITTSBURGH -- Chris Stewart walked into the Pirates clubhouse Monday afternoon with an elastic bandage wrapped around his left knee, the end result of, of all things, an ankle injury.

Stewart has been sidelined since Saturday by a stiff left knee that came about as he tried to play through a sore left ankle. Stewart's ankle forced him out of a game June 11, and he had a rough Tuesday night in New York, where he was swatted in the jaw on a backswing and hit in the left hip by a pitch.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bell, Tarpley among top prospect performers Monday

Indians' 2015 first-round pick, Dodgers' big international signing shine in pro debuts

Bell, Tarpley among top prospect performers Monday

The professional debut of 2015 first-rounder Brady Aiken highlighted an Opening Day in the Rookie-level Arizona League on Monday.

The Indians' No. 4 prospect fired two scoreless innings without allowing a hit for the AZL Indians in a 7-4 loss against the Reds. Aiken walked the first batter he faced but offset the free pass with a pick off en route to facing the minimum six hitters in the outing.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pirates ballgirl effortlessly barehanded a foul ball

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Pirates ballgirl effortlessly barehanded a foul ball

Bad hops happen in baseball. Some fielders can't handle them, others make their living doing it all day, every day. During the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Giants on Monday at PNC Park, a ballgirl down the left-field line channeled her inner Ozzie -- playing a tough hop perfectly off the side wall with her bare hand:

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Pirates sign lefty Ogle, two other Draft picks

Pirates sign lefty Ogle, two other Draft picks

PITTSBURGH -- The Pirates signed three more Draft picks Monday, including fourth-rounder Braeden Ogle, a high school left-hander who received a bonus well over slot.

Ogle, selected 135th overall out of Jensen Beach (Fla.) High School, had been committed to attend the University of Florida. But the Pirates inked him to a deal with an $800,000 signing bonus, according to MLBPipeline.com's Jim Callis, using some of their surplus bonus-pool savings and spending $374,300 above the pick's assigned value.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Young Pirates fan makes a mess with his ice cream

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Young Pirates fan makes a mess with his ice cream

Monday brought with it the official start of summer. Some locales experienced scorching, can't-really-go-outside weather as the sun began its season of reminding us all who's the real boss.

As anybody who's tried eating ice cream knows, it doesn't agree with warm weather. In fact, the two are so diametrically opposed that the sugary delight can melt and make a total mess at any time.

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Bucs can't keep up with Cubs, fall in sweep

Bucs can't keep up with Cubs, fall in sweep

CHICAGO -- Behind Kyle Hendricks' 12-strikeout performance and five homers, the Cubs cruised to a 10-5 win over the Pirates on Sunday night at Wrigley Field, capping off a convincing sweep and further distancing themselves from the rest of the National League Central.

Hendricks fanned a career-high 12 batters without a walk over six innings. He allowed only one run, a solo homer by Josh Harrison in the fourth inning. Hendricks had plenty of margin for error, as the Cubs pounded out 10 runs on 14 hits, including back-to-back solo shots by Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo and Willson Contreras' first Major League homer.

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Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.

Cody Stavenhagen is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Meadows on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

Meadows on MLB Pipeline's Prospect Team of the Week

MLBPipeline.com's Prospect Team of the Week honors the best performances from the previous seven days. Any player currently on an organization Top 30 Prospects list on our Prospect Watch is eligible, including big leaguers.

This is an exciting time of year in prospect land. Short-season ball is underway, so we might start seeing some 2016 draftees making their way onto the Prospect Team of the Week. Players in full-season ball are getting named to All-Star teams and some are earning promotions, and excelling once they get there.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.