Pirates prospect interview: Jameson Taillon

Right-hander Jameson Taillon, the Bucs' No. 1 choice in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and their No. 2 pitching prospect behind Gerrit Cole. He will pitch for Team Canada for the World Baseball Classic. The 21-year old Taillon, was 6-8 in Bradenton, posted a 1.59 ERA and won all three of his starts at Double-A Altoona last season. He talked with PiratesDugout.com about spring training.

PD – Your first big league camp, is it sinking in that you are closing in on your dream of playing in the Major Leagues?

JT – It's definitely something that's within reach now. This first camp it's more about learning and soaking it up, I don't think I'm going to have a shot a breaking camp with the team, more so just learn, but hopefully later on in the year it will be within reach and definitely I'm climbing towards it.

PD – What has been your approach in camp?

JT – Lets say the biggest thing is ups or downs, tomorrow is a new day so I'm not going to get too caught up in the ups and don't brought down on the lows. Just try to stay on an even keel and don't have the dips and the valleys in performance, just kind of have an even keel throughout the whole year.

PD – What was the adjustment moving up to Double A Altoona last season?

JT – I heard from a lot of people when I got moved up that High A to Double A is the biggest jump as far as minor league ball. I loved it, I mean you go up there and it's a little more freedom and you're up against older guys and some guys that really know what they're doing. So it's a little more freedom to do your own weight lifting program, you become your own best pitching coach as far as knowing yourself and your mechanics and you kind of get to not have to worry about everyone trying to mess with you and you're used to the program. That was nice for me to just be able to do my thing up there.

PD – You made a spring training start against Boston, probably your only Grapefruit League exposure because you are headed to the World Baseball Classic. Did you enjoy the Grapefruit League outing?

JT – I was a little amped up at the beginning, like any normal person would be, since it was my first big league camp start. But once I threw that first pitch and settled in, I had a really great time out there.

PD – You will pitch for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, are you excited about that opportunity?

JT – I'm excited, I think it's going to be a great experience. The World Baseball Classic is something that I've watched since it started, so whenever I got the opportunity I was real honored to get to play for Team Canada and I'm excited to meet the guys. I already know a couple of guys here that are playing on the team and I think it will be a good experience for my career.

PD – You have seen so of the great arms in the Pirates system, your thoughts on the wave of pitching that is coming up through the system?

JT – In big league camp you obviously see a bunch of good arms, but down in minor league camp the past couple years it's a running joke with other organizations because you look around whenever we're in the stretch and every pitcher has to be outside for the games and it's like every pitcher is like 6-5 or taller if your a righty, Clay Holmes, Tyler Glasnow, Luis Heredia, huge guys with big fastballs and a big future and we got a couple of good lefties down there. I think things are looking up.