Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 8/22/09

Today’s Prospect Feature: Aside from the usual daily rundown of all of the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league teams, I decided to add something extra to the prospect watch, starting tonight. Each night I’ll start out with a short feature on a prospect in the Pirates’ system. Usually this will be a guy who has been hot lately, and who I feel that Pirates fans should keep an eye on.

Tonight I’m looking at Tom Boleska. Boleska was drafted by the Pirates in the 35th round of the 2007 draft. He pitched just 8.2 innings between Bradenton and State College that season, allowing one run and three walks. Last year he pitched 42 innings in relief in Hickory, with a 2.36 ERA and 11 walks. He moved up to Lynchburg, but only made one appearance, pitching three perfect innings.

This year Boleska started the season in Lynchburg, but was injured early in the season, missing three months. He returned on July 21st, and has since been lights out. Boleska has made nine appearances, pitching 23.1 shutout innings. In that time he has allowed 22 hits, and just one walk, with 13 strikeouts. On the year, Boleska has pitched 29.1 innings for a 0.31 ERA. The most impressive thing is that he has allowed just two walks.

Boleska played mostly as a closer in his two seasons at High Point University before being selected by the Pirates. Boleska has pitched exclusively as a reliever so far in his minor league career. Despite pitching 2-3 innings per appearance, he will probably remain in the bullpen next season, however he should definitely be headed to AA with the numbers he’s put up.

The Prospect Tracker is updated with tonight’s games.


The Result: Indianapolis lost 4-2 to Louisville

-Jose Tabata went 1 for 3 with a homer and a walk.

-Argenis Diaz went 0 for 2.

Other Game Notes: Jeff Clement went 0 for 4. He is now hitting .247 in Indianapolis. Jonathan Meloan pitched a perfect inning in relief, striking out one. Virgil Vasquez pitched seven innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on six hits, with a walk and two strikeouts.


Altoona was postponed.


The Result: Lynchburg lost 3-1 to Winston-Salem.

-Chase d’Arnaud did not play.

Other Game Notes: Justin Wilson pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. Wilson has been doing great lately. More on him tonight in the notebook. Tom Boleska pitched three shutout innings, allowing two hits, no walks, and striking out two. Jordy Mercer and Matt Hague each went 2 for 5.


The Result: West Virginia lost both games of a double header to Greenville.

-Robbie Grossman went 0 for 4 with four walks combined in both games.

-Tony Sanchez went 1 for 3 in the first game.

-Starling Marte went 3 for 7, getting at least one hit in each game.

Other Game Notes: Diego Moreno pitched three shutout innings in the first game, allowing two hits, no walks, and six strikeouts. Quincy Latimore went 1 for 4 in the second game with his 11th homer of the year.


The Result: State College won 9-2 against Batavia.

Game Notes: Evan Chambers went 3 for 3 with a double and two walks. Justin Byler and Aaron Baker each went 2 for 5. Ricardo Paulino pitched six one-hit innings, allowing no runs, no walks, and striking out three.


The Result: Bradenton won 3-0 against the GCL Phillies.

-Wes Freeman did not play.

-Gift Ngoepe went 0 for 3 with an RBI.

-Ramon Cabrera did not play.

Other Game Notes: Joey Schoenfeld made his debut, going 0 for 3 with a strikeout. Trent Stevenson pitched four shutout innings, allowing three hits, no walks, and striking out three. Stevenson has started his professional career with ten shutout innings, seven hits allowed, no walks, and five strikeouts.

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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