Prospect Watch: A Good Night For Pitchers With Locke and Kingham Leading the Way


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 post trade deadline update.

1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Altoona (2-4, 3.94) - DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Bradenton (5-7, 4.09) - DNP

3. Luis Heredia, RHP, State College (2-1, 1.88) - DNP

4. Alen Hanson, SS, West Virginia (.317) - 2-for-4

5. Gregory Polanco, CF, West Virginia (.327) - 1-for-4

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

7. Clay Holmes, RHP, State College (4-1, 0.94) - DNP

8. Jeff Locke, LHP, Indianapolis (9-5, 2.66) - 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 0 HR

9. Justin Wilson, LHP, Indianapolis (8-5, 4.04) - DNP

10. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Altoona (3-5, 4.07) - 6.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

11. Barrett Barnes, CF, State College (.288) - State College DL

12. Tony Sanchez, C, Indianapolis (.209) - 0-for-3

13. Alex Dickerson, 1B, Bradenton (.295) - 2-for-5, 2 RBI

14. Matt Curry, 1B, Altoona (.291) - DNP

15. Bryan Morris, RHP, Indianapolis (2-2, 2.52) – DNP

16. Wyatt Mathisen, C, GCL Pirates (.292) - 1-for-6

17. Nick Kingham, RHP, West Virginia (4-7, 4.83) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

18. Jose Osuna, 1B, West Virginia (.276) - 0-for-4

19. Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP, West Virginia (3-4, 4.39) - DNP

20. Victor Black, RHP, Altoona (2-2, 1.74) - 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR



The minor league system combined for 31 homers last week. That’s a savings of $0.50 per home run, which gives you $15.50 off the Pirates Prospects books this week. That makes each book $4.50! This code is for one week only! Use the code on the products page of the site to get your discount. Expires Sunday 8/5 at 11:59:59 PM EST.



Top Pitcher: Jeff Locke, LHP (9-5, 2.66) – 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Elevys Gonzalez, DH (.224) – 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB

Home Runs: Carlos Mesa (4), Elevys Gonzalez (3)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 2, Scranton/WB 0

Starting Pitcher: Jeff Locke, LHP (9-5, 2.66) – 7.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Tabata, CF (.314) – 1-for-2, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers

Chase d’Arnaud, SS (.241) – 1-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Jeff Locke had one of his best starts of the year, and has been on a roll lately. On the season he has a 2.66 ERA in 125 innings, with a 113:38 K/BB ratio. In his last ten games he has a 1.98 ERA in 59 innings, with a 53:24 K/BB ratio. Jose Tabata has been hitting well lately. He’s got a six game hitting streak, and was 13-for-34 in the nine games leading up to tonight. Chase d’Arnaud hit his 22nd double of the year.



Box Score

Result: New Britain 5, Altoona 4

Starting Pitcher: Kyle McPherson, RHP (4.07) – 6.0 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Ramon Cabrera, C (.254) – 2-for-4, 2 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers

Adalberto Santos, DH (.393) – 2-for-4, 2B

Oscar Tejeda, LF (.258) – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Kyle McPherson has a 3.82 ERA in 37.2 innings over his last seven starts, with a 38:3 K/BB ratio. He hasn’t issued a walk in his last four starts, spanning 20 innings. He’s dealt with some home run problems, giving up his fifth tonight. He gave up seven in 89.1 innings last year in Altoona. Victor Black gave up a walk off three run homer in the ninth inning. It was his first earned run since July 14th, and only the second time he’s given up an earned run since the start of June. Ramon Cabrera had a good month of July, hitting for a .301 average and a .791 OPS.



Box Score

Result: Palm Beach 7, Bradenton 6

Starting Pitcher: Kenn Kasparek, RHP (0-4, 5.30) – 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Elevys Gonzalez, DH (.224) – 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers

Carlos Mesa, RF (.212) – 1-for-5, HR

Alex Dickerson, 1B (.295) – 2-for-5, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Bradenton has been short a starting pitcher since the Colton Cain trade, which is why Ksparek was starting tonight. Carlos Mesa hit his fourth homer with Bradenton. Elevys Gonzalez hit his third homer of the year. Alex Dickerson is now 14-for-39 in his last ten games.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 2, Lakewood 0

Starting Pitcher: Nick Kingham, RHP (4-7, 4.83) – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, SS (.317) – 2-for-4

Other Notable Performers

Ryan Hafner, RHP (7.61) – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: In his last four starts, Nick Kingham has given up one earned run in 22 innings, with a 21:3 K/BB ratio. He’s given up 12 hits in that span. That’s a good bounce back from a poor three game stretch where he gave up 16 earned runs in 15 innings. Since moving to the bullpen, Ryan Hafner has a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings, although his control has still been poor, with a 3:13 K/BB ratio. Kristy Robinson wrote about Hafner’s control issues.



Box Score

Result: State College 1, Hudson Valley, 0

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP (2.72) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Derek Trent, DH (.500) – 2-for-3, 2B

Other Notable Performers

Orlando Castro, LHP (1-0, 0.00) – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Jacob Stallings, C (.273) – 2-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Joely Rodriguez had three pickoffs tonight. The left-hander has a great pickoff move, one of those “close to a balk” moves that you see from left-handers. On the season he has a 2.72 ERA in 43 innings, with a 16:10 K/BB ratio. Jacob Stallings had his fourth multi-hit game in his last ten games.



Box Score

Result: Blue Jays 7, Pirates 3

Starting Pitcher: Axel Diaz, RHP (0-1, 7.01) – 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Kevin Ross, 3B (.219) – 2-for-2, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers

Dilson Herrera, 2B (.272) – 1-for-3, 2B

Alex Lukashevich, RHP (0.00) – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Lukashevich has pitched 13 innings without an earned run. His unearned run today was the first of the season. In his 13 innings he has given up 10 hits, with a 10:3 K/BB ratio. Kevin Ross is 5-for-8 in his last three games.



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: Pirates 8, Mets 5

Starting Pitcher: Dan Urbina, RHP (3.91) – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Yunelky Adames, RF (.258) – 2-for-5, 2 2B, 4 RBI



Box Score

Result: Pirates 3, Diamondbacks/Reds 1

Starting Pitcher: Eduardo Vera, RHP (1-0, 4.91) – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Rodney Polonia, 2B (.221) – 2-for-4, 3B

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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: Tabata Has Four Hits; Nick Evans, Andrew Lambo Start Rehab

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Prospect Watch: Taillon Has Another Good Start; Dickerson and Hanson Homer

  • northsidenotch

    Never seen him live, but any worries to Joely Rodriguez and his complete lack of strike outs? Or just chalk it up to the whole “fastball command” thing at the low levels.

    • Lee Young

      I was wondering the same thing. Soft tosser who does well in the lower minors but gets eaten alive as he moves up?

      • Tim Williams

        He’s not a soft tosser. Throws 88-92, touching 94. Usually the LHP you’re referring to throw mid-80s with great breaking stuff, which gives them success in A-ball.

        • Lee Young



    • Tim Williams

      He’s made some big strides this year with his command, which is good to see. He’s a young left-hander with good stuff (88-92 fastball, touching 94, low 80s change and slider, which are his better pitches). In the past his issue has been that his fastball has been wild, especially at the top end of his velocity range. When I saw him this year, his slider was off. That could be because the pitch is rusty, focusing on the fastball/changeup so much. That’s a strikeout pitch, and if it’s not working, it would explain the strikeouts. Of course I’ve only seen him the first two starts of the year.

  • John DiVito

    Nick Kingham continues to pitch well, which is great! His early season struggles had me worried.

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