Looking back at the 2010 draft, you'll be forgiven if the second pick in that draft doesn't come to mind immediately given the players who were picked directly in front of and behind that player.
Those two at #1 and #3 have done alright for themselves, but we have yet to see Jameson Taillon make his major league debut yet. That isn't likely to be the case for all that much longer though.
Taillon has missed the past two seasons as he has recovered from Tommy John surgery, with his last appearance on a mound coming in the Arizona Fall League back in 2013. Finally healthy, he pitched during Spring Training, and has since been assigned to the Pirates' AAA affiliate in Indianapolis. Now that he is pitching in game action, we can take a look at how he's actually looking on the mound, and start to get an idea of whether he may be a buy low opportunity for dynasty league owners still.
Taillon made his first start of the season against Toledo on the road on the 13th, going six innings and earning the win. He struck out six and allowed just five hits and a run while throwing just 85 pitches. His last start came on Monday, at home this time but against a very similar lineup for Toledo. The Mud Hens appeared to have been helped by having seen him so recently, as Taillon was unable to finish the fifth after allowing seven hits and two earned runs.
Watching both starts on MILB.tv really allows you to see some of that potential that made him the #2 overall pick. He's an imposing figure on the mound, standing 6'5" with a solidly filled out frame. He was featuring a three-pitch repertoire in these starts, but used two primarily. His fastball was sitting in the 92-94 range based on the stadium radar gun and the broadcast, but would also touch 95 and 96 a couple times as well. He struggled to command the pitch at times during his second start, which led to some hard base hits. His curveball flashed as a potential strikeout offering, sitting 79-82 with a ton of downward break. There were at least a few hitters who were struggling to stay back on the pitch, and either missed completely or made weak contact. His third offering, a changeup, was used sparingly, and was in the high-80s when thrown. Overall, while he didn't walk any batters in either start, he did seem to have some problems with his command at times. This isn't unexpected for a pitcher returning from Tommy John surgery, but I am not concerned about this long-term given that it's more of him missing his spots than walking a bunch of batters.
Realistically, I anticipate he's going to be on some version of an innings limit, even if there hasn't necessarily been a specific mention of an amount. He has no workload for the two previous seasons, and will need to build up at least somewhat as he goes along. The fact remains that he may still be a better option right now than Jeff Locke for the Pirates, and can potentially be at least an interesting spot starter this year if called up.
Long-term, your opportunity to buy low may very well be over, as he has shown in these two starts that his velocity appears to be back, and the more starts he makes, the closer to his previous value he will be. He still has the raw tools to be a top 25 starting pitcher for fantasy, and could be as soon as the 2017 season.