Pirates lose prospect Jarek Cunningham for year

Pirates infield prospect Jarek Cunningham tore his ACL during a conditioning drill at Pirate City on Saturday and is now going to miss the entire 2009 season. The 19-year-old infielder was considered one of the organization’s more promising prospects, evidenced by the fact that he was ranked the 13th best prospect in the organization by Baseball America heading into the 2009 season.

Cunningham, an 18th-round pick in the 2008 First-Year Player’s Draft, is going to first undergo rehab work on his left knee and will then have surgery to repair the torn ligament. That surgery has not yet been scheduled.

After signing with the Pirates last summer, Cunningham hit .318 with five homers and 22 RBIs in 43 games for the Gulf Coast League Pirates. Initially drafted as a shortstop, Cunningham played 11 games at shortstop and 26 games at third.

However, because the Pirates were so high on his talent, farm director Kyle Stark said earlier this spring that Cunningham was going to get significant time at second base this year so that he could get everyday at-bats. The Pirates have a plethora of shortstops and third baseman in the lower levels of their Minor League system.

Cunningham was already pegged to start the season at the low Single-A affiliate in West Virginia.

4 Comments

this is terrible news! I was looking for a big year from him!
Is there any chance he could play winter ball after the season and be ready to start in low a at the beginning of next season?

Depending on when exactly the surgery takes place, there is a chance that Cunnningham would be able to participate in instructional league or something like that this winter. And yes, he should absolutely be ready to play in the Minors next season.

Sorry to see that for such a young player, but he does have time to recover and get back to playing baseball. Looking through the Minor League system, it does look pretty good as far as Infield depth. It seems like we were only drafting pitchers for so long.

Jen

What are the chances we can get more info on our guys in the Minor Leagues especially below AA? Looking at the rosters it looks like we have some pretty good prospects. Maybe some breakdowns on what the team is expecting, from these guys.

Thanks

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