Prospect Watch: Cole, Taillon, and Wilson Struggle; Marte and Sanchez Homer


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. Rankings are from the mid-season update.

1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (2-2, 5.17) - 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (5-7, 4.43) - 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

3. Starling Marte, CF, Indianapolis (.286) - 1-for-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI

4. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia (.332) - 1-for-5

5. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (.274) - Low-A DL

6. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (1-1, 1.13) - DNP

7. Rudy Owens, LHP, Indianapolis (7-4, 2.89) - DNP

8. Jeff Locke, LHP, Indianapolis (7-5, 2.95) - DNP

9. Robbie Grossman, CF, Altoona (.254) - 2-for-4, BB

10. Gregory Polanco, CF, West Virginia (.316) - 1-for-2, BB, 2 SB

11. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Altoona (1-4, 4.40) - DNP

12. Nick Kingham, RHP, West Virginia (1-7, 6.06) - DNP

13. Justin Wilson, LHP, Indianapolis (7-4, 4.06) - 3.0 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

14. Tony Sanchez, C, Indianapolis (.245) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

15. Bryan Morris, RHP, Indianapolis (1-2, 2.58) - DNP

16. Mel Rojas, CF, Bradenton (.261) - 1-for-6

17. Wyatt Mathisen, C, GCL Pirates (.322) - 0-for-1

18. Barrett Barnes, CF, State College (.280) - 0-for-1, 2 BB

19. Alex Dickerson, 1B, Bradenton (.296) - 3-for-8, 3 RBI

20. Colton Cain, LHP, Bradenton (3-5, 4.19) – DNP



The minor league system combined for 35 homers last week. That’s a savings of $0.50 per home run, which gives you $17.50 off the Pirates Prospects books this week. That makes the book $2.50! This code is for one week only! Use the code on the products page of the site to get your discount. Expires Sunday 7/15 at 11:59:59 PM EST.



Top Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (1.14) – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C (.245) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Starling Marte (10), Brandon Boggs (7), Tony Sanchez (4), Jose Osuna (9), Dilson Herrera (5), Jesus Vasquez (2)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 12, Columbus 9

Starting Pitcher: Justin Wilson, LHP (4.06) – 3.0 IP, 5 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C (.245) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers

Starling Marte, CF (.286) – 1-for-4, HR, BB, 3 RBI

Brandon Boggs, DH (.276) – 1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 3 RBI

Game Notes: Justin Wilson had a rough start, breaking a streak of six straight starts where he went five or more innings with three or fewer runs. This was his worst start since June 5th, when he gave up six earned runs in four innings. Tony Sanchez hit his fourth homer of the year for Indianapolis in 98 at-bats. He’s got a .184 ISO in Triple-A so far, which is his highest since 2009 in the South Atlantic League. Starling Marte hit his tenth homer of the year, while Brandon Boggs hit his seventh. Boggs is on a hot streak lately, with a 1.034 OPS in 77 at-bats in June, and a .981 OPS in 21 at-bats in July heading in to tonight’s game.



Box Score

Result: Akron 4, Altoona 3

Starting Pitcher: Gerrit Cole, RHP (2-2, 5.17) – 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Robbie Grossman, CF (.254) – 2-for-4, BB

Other Notable Performers

Brock Holt, SS (.316) – 2-for-5, 3B

Hunter Strickland, RHP (6.60) – 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Kevin Creagh’s live game report.



Game One Box Score

Result: Brevard County 7, Bradenton 5

Starting Pitcher: Jameson Taillon, RHP (5-7, 4.43) – 4.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Kirk Singer, 3B (.267) – 1-for-3, 3B

Other Notable Performers

Alex Dickerson, 1B (.296) – 1-for-4

Game Notes: On June 13th, Taillon gave up eight runs on ten hits in 4.2 innings. In his next three starts he combined to give up five earned runs on nine hits in 19 innings. Tonight he fell back to getting hit, giving up six runs on four walks and six hits in 4.2 innings.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Brevard County 11, Bradenton 10

Starting Pitcher: Matt Benedict, RHP (0-4, 11.78) – 2.0 IP, 9 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Dan Grovatt, LF-CF (.260) – 3-for-5

Other Notable Performers

Alex Dickerson, 1B (.296) – 2-for-4, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Alex Dickerson has put up an OPS over .900 since the start of June. He combined to go 3-for-8 tonight. Dan Grovatt is hitting well this month, with an .832 OPS prior to game two. Gift Ngoepe is also having a good month, with a .959 OPS in 45 at-bats before game two. In game one he stole his 17th base of the year.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Augusta 6

Starting Pitcher: Robby Rowland, RHP (3.06) – 3.2 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, 1B (.274) – 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers

Rinku Singh, LHP (3-1, 2.65) – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Gregory Polanco, CF (.316) – 1-for-2, BB, 2 SB

Taylor Lewis, LF (.316) – 2-for-5, SB

Game Notes: Gregory Polanco stole two bases, giving him 34 on the year. That ties the system best in 2011, set by Raul Fortunato. In his last ten games, Polanco has stolen nine bases in 11 attempts, including going 5-for-6 in the last three games. Jose Osuna homered for the second night in a row, and now has nine on the year. Rinku Singh has a 2.65 ERA in 51 innings, with a 42:11 K/BB ratio.



Box Score

Result: Brooklyn 6, State College 3

Starting Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (1.14) – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: D.J. Crumlich, 3B (.321) – 1-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers

Barrett Barnes, CF (.280) – 0-for-1, 2 BB

Game Notes: Clay Holmes has now put up a 1.14 ERA in 23.2 innings, with a 15:11 K/BB ratio. This was the third time this year (out of five starts) that he’s pitched five innings while allowing just one hit. All three of his earned runs came in one start.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 8, Tigers 7

Starting Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP (3.38) – 3.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jesus Vasquez, 1B (.255) – 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, SB

Other Notable Performers

Dilson Herrera, 2B (.274) – 1-for-4, HR, BB

Game Notes: Dilson Herrera hit his fifth homer of the year. That matches Willy Garcia’s season total last year, which was the best on the team. Eric Avila hit seven in 2010 in 195 at-bats. Herrera has five in 84 at-bats. Jesus Vasquez hit his second homer of the year, giving the Pirates the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th inning.



For a primer on the 2012 DSL Pirates, along with information on the players to watch, check out the 2012 DSL Preview.



The Pirates were off today.



The Pirates were off today.

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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, 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.

Prospect Watch: A Lot of Good Performances in West Virginia’s Double Header

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Prospect Watch: Altoona is No Hit, Barnes Homers, Good Pitching From Irwin, Sadler

  • James Vargo

    Gerrit Cole and Jameson Taillon are alarming the heck out of me. Can you really build a strong pitching staff from the draft? Maybe, as in Tampa’s case, but teams like the Royals and Pirates have been drafting high pitchers for years — with very little to show for it. (except Zac Grienke) Am I being too pessimistic? After reading this sites breakdown of Tallion vs baseballs better pitchers when they were in High-A, I have been on pins and needles.

    • Kevin_Creagh

      Relax on both pitchers. Cole has all the right tools, he just needs how to make them work consistently. Taillon is still so young that refinement is part of the game.

      Cole will be in Pittsburgh in July 2013, pitching in the rotation.

      • Lee Young

        While I agree with Kevin overall, remember that NO pitcher, no matter HOW talented, is a sure thing. If JT, Cole and Heredia ALL make it big, it will have to be from ‘good karma’ for all the bad years.

      • Ian Rothermund

        I’d be interested to have seen how Cole would have done in high-A rather than in his sophomore year at UCLA, because that’s what we’re looking at. From what I’ve read, Cole’s change up didn’t really emerge as a plus pitch until his junior season (last year), and now it’s arguably his best off speed offering. Not that I’m saying that will be the same for Taillon, but just consider the timeline.

  • John DiVito

    Is it concerning that they are getting hit so easily? Both guys seem to be giving up 6-8 hits per start and only going 4-5 innings. I could see if they were having trouble with control, but getting hit tells us something else, doesn’t it?

  • Lee Young

    The good news is that Sanchez may be turning his season (and career?) around.
    Another good start from Holmes.
    Matt Benedict made EVERY pitcher in the org look good. lol

  • piratemike

    I didn’t like the Cole pick when it was made and I still don’t.
    I will really,really be happy if I’m wrong, which I usually am.

  • Ian Rothermund

    Have there been any Josh Bell sightings? He should be very close to being back now, right? It was just a meniscus and he’s been out 2 1/2 months.

    • buccotime57

      it depends on the surgical procedure..if he had it partially removed he would be back by now but if he had it repaired( which is better longterm)..he will be out a longer period of time because there are more restrictions placed on the rehab process..which may take up to five months

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