Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch 8/26/09

Today’s Prospect Feature: Wes Freeman hit two homers in the span of four games at the start of this month. From August 11th, the day after he hit the second homer, to tonight’s game he went 6 for 33 (.182) with 20 of his 27 outs coming via strikeout. This includes a six game stretch where he went 0 for 18 with 13 strikeouts.

Freeman, taken in the 16th round last year, is a five tool prospect, although his abilities are very raw. He’s also young, and it’s possible this is just him making rookie mistakes.

Freeman has had problems with strikeouts all year. However, take a look at this trend. Freeman started the year striking out 29.2 percent of the time. He hit two homers in the span of a few games. immediately after that second home run game, his strikeout rate spiked to 44.8 percent over the next eight games. From that point his strikeouts went back down to 27.3 percent, that is up until he hit two homers in the span of four games at the start of this month. Since that point, he’s struck out 60.6 percent of the time.

This is just an observation based on the numbers, but it seems that Freeman hits a few homers, then gets a little power happy immediately afterwards. This could lead to bigger swings, which leads to more strikeouts. It would certainly explain his strikeout rates spiking after every multi-homer week.

The Prospect Tracker is updated with tonight’s games.

AAA

The Result: Indianapolis won 4-1 against Columbus.

-Jose Tabata did not play.

-Argenis Diaz went 2 for 4 with a run.

Other Game Notes: Jeff Clement went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. Neil Walker went 0 for 3 with a walk and a strikeout. Jeff Sues pitched 1.2 shutout innings, with two hits, no walks, and three strikeouts.

AA

The Result: Altoona won 4-3 against Trenton.

-Gorkys Hernandez went 2 for 5 with a double.

-Pedro Alvarez went 1 for 3 with two walks.

-Daniel Moskos pitched six innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, with two walks and two strikeouts.

Other Game Notes: Shelby Ford went 1 for 3. Brian Friday went 2 for 4 with a run.

A+

The Result: Lynchburg lost 5-3 to Wilmington.

-Chase d’Arnaud went 1 for 5 with a triple. He now has a nine game hitting streak, and has a hit in 18 of his last 19 games.

-Jeff Locke pitched six innings, allowing one run on six hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Check out my interview with Locke.

Other Game Notes: Josh Harrison and Jordy Mercer each had a hit. Matt Hague went 2 for 5. Tom Boleska actually gave up some runs, allowing two runs on five hits with two strikeouts in two innings of work. The runs came in his second inning, skyrocketing his ERA to 0.86.

A

The Result: West Virginia lost 13-3 to Bowling Green.

-Robbie Grossman went 0 for 4.

-Tony Sanchez went 1 for 4 with a double.

-Starling Marte went 2 for 3 with a stolen base.

Other Game Notes: Hunter Strickland allowed eight runs on 11 hits in four innings. Diego Moreno pitched three perfect innings, with five strikeouts, lowering his ERA to 1.42 on the season.

A-

State College was postponed today.

GCL

The Result: Bradenton won 6-3 against the GCL Braves.

-Wes Freeman went 3 for 4 with a double.

-Gift Ngoepe went 0 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, his 13th of the season.

-Ramon Cabrera went 0 for 4.

Other Game Notes: Benji Gonzalez went 2 for 3 with two runs.

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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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