Arizona Fall League

Pirates Send Five to the Arizona Fall League

Pirates Send Five to the Arizona Fall League

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be sending five players to the Arizona Fall League this off-season. The five players selected this year are Adalberto Santos, Gift Ngoepe, Matt Curry, Brandon Cumpton and Tyler Waldron.

Santos has put up an impressive season, hitting for a .344/.433/.439 line in 212 at-bats with Altoona. The 2010 22nd round pick missed some time with an injury this year, but was hitting before the injury and didn’t stop after the injury. Most of his numbers have been him hitting for average, with very little power, so despite the impressive stat line he still profiles as a utility guy for now. But the fact that he’s been selected for the AFL shows that the Pirates think of him as a legit prospect.

Ngoepe has been a great story. The expectations were low after he was signed out of South Africa in October 2008. But Ngoepe has turned in to a real prospect. Offensively he hasn’t done much. He showed some power this year, hitting nine homers in 438 at-bats in high-A. He also put up a good walk rate, leading to an OBP almost 100 points higher than his average. But he didn’t hit for average (.235) and struck out 28% of the time. He’s still got some work to do offensively, but the added power is nice. What makes Gift a prospect is his defense. He’s probably the best defensive infielder in the entire system, and can easily stick at shortstop. Add in the increased power this year, and he could be a big sleeper if he polishes up his hitting and starts hitting for average down the line.

Matt Curry got off to a decent start this year, hitting for a .781 OPS in April and a .778 OPS in May. He went on a tear in June, hitting for a 1.275 OPS in an injury-limited 39 at-bats. He carried that over in to July, hitting for an .868 OPS in 81 at-bats. Since the Eastern League All-Star break he has struggled, hitting for a .247/.318/.398 line in 93 at-bats. I’ve heard him compared to Mike Carp, which doesn’t speak well for his chances of being the starting first baseman in Pittsburgh one day. The extra plate appearances in the AFL should help him out, as he needs to move up to Triple-A next year with Alex Dickerson moving to Altoona.

Brandon Cumpton had a great start to the year, with a 3.40 ERA in 100.2 innings prior to the All-Star break. In that time he had a 63:29 K/BB ratio, a 2.28 GO/AO ratio, and a .234 BAA. After the break he had a 5.82 ERA in 38.2 innings, with a 19:14 K/BB ratio, a 1.54 GO/AO ratio, and a .317 BAA. Most of the damage came in August. Cumpton throws 89-93, and lives on the inside half of the plate. He also has a curveball, which has been inconsistent in the past. Long term he profiles as a back of the rotation starter, or a late inning reliever, as he’s gotten his fastball up to 96 in shorter outings in the past.

Waldron moved up to Altoona in August, after posting an unimpressive 5.09 ERA in 115 innings in high-A. In his first two starts with Altoona, the right-hander combined to give up eight earned runs in seven innings, with a 3:2 K/BB ratio. Since then he has given up three earned runs in 17.2 innings, with an 11:7 K/BB ratio. He has a 1.95 GO/AO ratio, which has always been a strong point in his game. However, he’s dealt with home run issues the past two years, leaving his low 90s fastball up in the zone. He profiles better as a reliever, getting his fastball up to 95 MPH in shorter outings in the past.

Pirates Prospects is FREE today in honor of the Wild Card game. You get special access to all of our content, which is typically reserved only for subscribers. We cover the Pirates 365 days a year, with live coverage all throughout the playoffs, and off-season coverage of the minor league players in the Arizona Fall League and Winter Leagues. During the season we average well over 6 articles per day on the Pirates. This is the best stop if you're a hardcore Pirates fan, and the subscription prices are very low.

Our lowest rates are $2.22 per month under our Top Prospect Plan, which also gets you a FREE copy of the 2016 Prospect Guide -- a book that features profiles on every prospect in the system. We also have a promotion with DraftKings where you can get a FREE one-year subscription to the site by signing up as a new DraftKings customer and making a $5 minimum deposit. Subscribe today for our full playoff coverage, and all of our daily coverage of the Pirates' system.
  • john.alcorn

    Kind of disappointing to see 5 fringe guys going instead of any top prospects. Don’t they usually have 6 or 7 slots?

    • Tim Williams

      There should be a few more eventually announced.

    • Kevin_Creagh

      I’ll be surprised if one of Cole or Taillon is not going.

  • Lee Young

    Like Ngoepe and ‘Bert’. otherwise, meh!

  • buccotime57

    Still going to Mesa?

Arizona Fall League

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.

More in Arizona Fall League

Austin Meadows 0817

Pirates Sending Seven to Arizona Fall League, Including McGuire and Meadows

John DrekerSeptember 1, 2015
Joely Rodriguez looks to get on track tonight in his third start

AFL Names Joely Rodriguez to 2014 Prospect Team

John DrekerDecember 10, 2014

Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell Named Among Top AFL Prospects

John DrekerNovember 21, 2014
Tyler Glasnow 14

Tyler Glasnow Named Fifth Best Prospect In AFL

John DrekerNovember 18, 2014

Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell Didn’t Perform Like Top Prospects in the AFL, But Should That Matter?

John DrekerNovember 15, 2014
(Photo credit: David Hague)

AFL: Joely Rodriguez Finishes on a Sour Note, Elias Diaz Reaches Base Three Times

John DrekerNovember 13, 2014

Pirates Prospects is an independent media outlet, and is in no way affiliated with the Pittsburgh Pirates, their minor league affiliates, Major League Baseball, or Minor League Baseball.

Copyright © 2015 Pirates Prospects