Canada wasn't able to pull off the upset in Sunday's World Baseball Classic matchup against the United States, but the Pittsburgh Pirates' top prospect Jameson Taillon acquitted himself well against Team USA's star-studded lineup.
Taillon, who has not yet pitched above Double-A in his baseball career, allowed two runs (one earned) while striking out three batters and walking one against an American team that included the likes of Ryan Braun and David Wright.
The Pirate pitcher was sharp throughout most of the outing, displaying strong command of his upper-90s fastball and showcasing his signature curveball, which he used to strike out Ryan Braun in the third inning.
Pirates' management also had to be pleased with how Taillon overcame adversity in the second inning, brushing off a Taylor Green error on a pop-up to get out of a jam.
For Taillon to handle not only that difficult situation, but the overall pressure of pitching in a decisive game against such an advanced level of competition, with the calm that he did is a very good sign from a young player.
Taillon didn't appear to succumb to any tendencies to "overthrow," instead trusting his very good arsenal against several of the world's best players.
Indeed, his performance did not go unnoticed:
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
Adam Jones on Jameson Taillon: "He's got a bright future." @MLBONFOX3/11/2013, 12:07:37 AM
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Note to Pittsburgh: Your losing streak is going to end soon. Between Jameson Taillon and Gerrit Cole, Pirates relevancy is imminent.3/10/2013, 8:50:31 PM
While Gerrit Cole justifiably receives most of the attention devoted to the Pirates' farm system, Taillon is a very solid No. 1a in the Bucs' organization. The two power pitchers are a big part of the Bucs' future, and it was good to see Taillon get some of the recognition he deserves.