Kyle McPherson, Pirates Prospect, Takes No-Hitter Into Ninth Inning

Pirates prospect Kyle McPherson took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against Brevard County Tuesday before allowing a one-out homer to Sean McCraw. It was a dominating performance by McPherson, who allowed one walk while striking out six and finishing the complete game.

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McPherson also pitched seven no-hit innings in a start for West Virginia in 2010, but was removed from the game once he had reached his pitch limit.

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McPherson is in the midst of a breakout season that places him among the Pirates' top pitching prospects. He currently has a 2.93 ERA, along with 55 strikeouts and just six walks in 67.2 innings. He's a good bet to be promoted to Altoona at some point this season. In my recent ranking of the Pirates' top 30 prospects, I placed McPherson at No. 9:

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This is a huge leap for McPherson, but he's been the one real breakout performer in the system so far, posting video-game numbers, with 45 strikeouts and three walks. He also appears to be allowing fewer fly balls than he used to, which will help him going forward. Pitchers who have excellent changeups sometimes dominate the low minors and then hit a wall later, but the fact that McPherson has been so outstanding in his first extended stint at Class A+ probably eases that worry somewhat.

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McPherson had spent a few years before 2010 slogging through the low minors, but he appears to be on the fast track now.

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