Prospect Watch: Solid Starts From Kingham, Wilson and Heredia


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 (2-3, 4.71) - DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (5-7, 4.27) - DNP

3. Starling Marte, CF, Indianapolis (.286) - 2-for-4, 2B

4. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia (.318) - 0-for-1

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

6. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (2-1, 1.85) -  5 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 2 SO 1 HR

7. Rudy Owens, LHP, Indianapolis (8-5, 3.14) – DNP (Traded to Astros)

8. Jeff Locke, LHP, Indianapolis (7-5, 3.01) - DNP

9. Robbie Grossman, CF, Altoona (.266) - 2-for-3, RBI, BB (Traded to Astros)

10. Gregory Polanco, CF, West Virginia (.327) - 0-for-2, 3 BB, SB

11. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Altoona (3-4, 4.19) - DNP

12. Nick Kingham, RHP, West Virginia (3-7, 5.26) - 6 IP 4 H 0 R 0 ER 1 BB 5 SO 0 HR

13. Justin Wilson, LHP, Indianapolis (8-4, 4.06) - 5 IP 5 H 0 R 0 ER 3 BB 5 SO 0 HR

14. Tony Sanchez, C, Indianapolis (.233) – 0-for-3, RBI

15. Bryan Morris, RHP, Indianapolis (2-2, 2.59) –  DNP

16. Mel Rojas, CF, Bradenton (.253) - 1-for-5

17. Wyatt Mathisen, C, GCL Pirates (.307) - DNP

18. Barrett Barnes, CF, State College (.284) - 2-for-4, RBI

19. Alex Dickerson, 1B, Bradenton (.289) - 1-for-4

20. Colton Cain, LHP, Bradenton (3-5, 4.20) – DNP (Traded to Astros)



The minor league system combined for 17 homers last week. That’s a savings of $0.50 per home run, which gives you $8.50 off the Pirates Prospects books this week. This code is for one week only! Use the code on the products page of the site to get your discount. Expires Sunday 7/29 at 11:59:59 PM EST.



Top Pitcher: Nick Kingham, RHP (3-7 5.26) 6 IP 4 H 0 R 0 ER 1 BB 5 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, 1B (.276) -3 -for-4, HR, BB

Home Runs:  Jose Osuna (11) Elevys Gonzalez (2) Ashley Ponce (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 3, Pawtucket 1

Starting Pitcher: Justin Wilson, LHP (8-4 4.06) 5 IP 5 H 0 R 0 ER 3 BB 5 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Hague, 1B (.301) – 3-for-4

Other Notable Performers

Starling Marte, LF (.286) – 2-for-4, 2B

Jose Tabata, CF (.267)- 0-for-4

Game Notes: Nancy Zinni’s game recap.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 6, Reading 2

Starting Pitcher: Kris Johnson, LHP (0-0 2.35)  3.2 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 1 BB 2 SO 1 HR

Top Hitter: Robbie Grossman, CF (.266) – 2-for-3, BB, RBI

Other Notable Performers

Quincy Latimore, LF (.244) – 1-for-3, 3B, BB

Adalberto Santos, CF (.398) – 1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI


Game Notes:  Altoona pieced together a pitching staff today with Tim Alderson on the DL. Kris Johnson had started three days ago for Indianapolis, so he was on a low pitch count. Michael Colla followed him up with one run over 2.1 innings, just three days after he made a spot start. Jeff Inman came in and threw three scoreless innings, a high inning total for him that happened due to a low pitch count through two innings. He threw 35 total pitches. Robbie Grossman was pulled in the eighth inning after being traded to the Astros. Santos pinch hit for him and drove in two runs on a double in his only AB.



Box Score

Result: St. Lucie 7, Bradenton 5

Starting Pitcher:  Matt Benedict, RHP (0-5 9.88) 4 IP 6 H 5 R 4 ER 2 BB 2 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Elevys Gonzalez, 3B (.247) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI

Other Notable Performers

Alex Dickerson, 1B (.288) – 1-for-4

Gift Ngoepe, SS (.257) – 2-for-4, BB, RBI

Game Notes:  Benedict has now lost five of his seven starts since moving up from West Virginia, eclipsing the loss total he had in twice as many starts with the Power. Elevys Gonzalez, with his double and home run tonight, now has the exact same extra base hit line as he did with Altoona. In 148 AA at-bats, he hit six doubles, one triple and two homers. He has the same numbers in 75 less AB’s for Bradenton.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 9, Greensboro 6

Starting Pitcher:  Nick Kingham, RHP (3-7 5.26) 6 IP 4 H 0 R 0 ER 1 BB 5 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, 1B (.276) -3 -for-4, HR, BB

Other Notable Performers

Alen Hanson, SS (.318) – 0-for-1

Gregory Polanco, CF (.327)- 0-for-2, 3 BB, SB

Willy Garcia, DH (.255)- 0-for-3, BB, Run

Game Notes:  Kingham has now had two straight appearances in which he has pitched six shutout innings, allowing six hits and striking out 12 over the two games. All six runs scored by Greensboro came off Joan Montero in the bottom of the ninth inning. Alen Hanson left the game after flying out in his first AB. No immediate word on why he was pulled. Dan Gamache and Elias Diaz each drove in two runs, while Ashley Ponce drove in three runs with his first home run in three years.



Box Score

Result: State College 4, Batavia 3

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP (2-1 1.85) 5 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 0 BB 2 SO 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jacob Stallings, C (.283) – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers

Tyler Gaffney, RF (.256) – 2-for-4, 2 2B

Barrett Barnes, DH (.284) – 2-for-4, RBI

Game Notes:  Heredia has now allowed one earned run or less in six of his seven outings.  The only run he allowed came on a fourth inning solo homer and for the third time this year, Luis did not issue a single walk. Jared LaKind drove in two runs with a second inning single to give State College a lead they never relinquished. After going 3-25 to start his career, Tyler Gaffney has gone 9-18 in his last six games.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 7, Blue Jays 6

Starting Pitcher: Jonathan Sandfort, RHP (0-1 13.50)  0.2 IP 2 H 3 R 3 ER 3 BB 0 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Max Moroff (1.000) – 1-for-1, 3 BB, SB, 2 Runs

Other Notable Performers

Elvis Escobar, CF (.265) – 1-for-3, BB, RBI

Stetson Allie, DH (.215) – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Harold Ramirez, LF (.309) – 0-for-4, BB, RBI

Game Notes: Max Moroff, the 16th round pick this season who signed a $300k deal, made his pro debut and reached base all four AB’s. Sandfort was the 3rd round pick this year, making his third appearance since signing. He has failed to make it out of the first in two of his starts. The Pirates scored two runs in the ninth to get the walk-off win and the ball never left the infield. Two errors, a sac bunt and a groundout from Luis Urena scored Stetson Allie with the winning run. Alex Lukashevich, the 18 year old pitcher from Belarus, threw 1.2 scoreless innings for the win. He has now had nine scoreless outings to open the season and his career.



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



Box Score

Result: Mets 3, Pirates 1

Starting Pitcher: Luis Santos, RHP (4-3  1.76) 4 IP 2 H 1 R 1 ER 2 BB 6 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Fredis Padilla, 2B (.304) – 2-for-4, 2B



Box Score

Result: Pirates 5, Cubs 4

Starting Pitcher: Christian Henriquez, LHP (1-4 4.30) 5 IP 3 H 1 R 0 ER 0 BB 4 SO 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edgardo Munoz, 3B (.241) – 2-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI

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John Dreker

John was born in Kearny, NJ, hometown of the 2B for the Pirates 1909 World Championship team, Dots Miller. In fact they have some of the same relatives in common, so it was only natural for him to become a lifelong Pirates fan. Before joining Pirates Prospects in July 2010, John had written numerous articles on the history of baseball while also releasing his own book and co-authoring another on the history of the game. He writes a weekly article on Pirates history for the site, has already interviewed many of the current minor leaguers with many more on the way and follows the foreign minor league teams very closely for the site. John also provides in person game reports of the West Virginia Power and Altoona Curve.

Prospect Watch: McPherson Strikes Out Eight; Polanco, Curry, Santos Bring the Power

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Prospect Watch: Cole and Taillon Struggle, Holmes Continues to Dominate

  • Matt Beam

    Heredia has to be pitching better than even the Pirates FO could have hoped for so far… it’ll be interesting how the Pirates handle his development/progression if he continues to produce along these lines.

    • Ian Rothermund

      I think that at this point, the numbers just have to be a comforting reminder of how good his stuff is. He’s still only 17 though, and I don’t see them even dreaming about being aggressive with his movement until he hits at least Bradenton. Keep in mind, an American kid in high school might pitch 50-70 innings through an entire year, and he’s taking the ball every 5 days. I’d assume he’d spend an entire year in WV next season.

      I’m curious how they handle him going forward as well, since they’ve never had a player of this caliber from this young of an age, but I see them taking a more cautious approach throughout.

      • JohnDreker

        If I had to guess, I’d say he spends the entire 2013 season at West Virginia, building up to a normal inning total, then begins 2014 at Bradenton. How he pitches from there, will dictate how fast he moves, but I don’t see how going any quicker than that even if he is dominant through 2014. Best case would be a 1-2 game trial at the end of next year in Bradenton, especially if they are playoff bound and WV isn’t.

        • Ian Rothermund

          Definitely. Heredia’s case is just so different, even from Taillon’s or any other prep pitcher. I’ve seen pictures of Heredia and he seems every bit of 17. I can’t imagine what he’ll be built like by the time he’s 23 after being groomed as a pro athlete for 6 or 7 years. Like I alluded to above, at this point, his results are really secondary at this point to learning sound mechanics, staying healthy, and building innings. At this point I wouldn’t even stress the development of his secondary pitches as much, and I know that those are already progressing nicely, especially the change up. I really enjoyed that article earlier in the season about the “fastball academy” changing to more of a “fastball/change academy.” Especially considering not only the value of a solid change up in the major leagues, but also the lack of additional strain it places on the arm and body as a whole, there’s no reason it shouldn’t be a primary focus fr

          • Ian Rothermund

            ….from day one. If he stays interested in baseball, that’ll be the first secondary pitch I teach my son.

  • Lee Young

    Well, with Grossman gone (UGH!), perhaps Santos will benefit with more ABs?

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