Wyatt Mathisen Hits First Homer in GCL Pirates Win

The GCL Pirates scored a run in the bottom of the 8th to break a 2-2 tie and went on to defeat the GCL Braves, 3-2.  Edwin Espinal singled to drive in Harold Ramirez — who had reached on a two-out infield hit and stolen second — with the winning run.  Espinal’s hit backed strong pitching from starter Axel Diaz and reliever Isaac Sanchez, who got the win.

Longballs Leave Game Tied

Mathisen hit his first pro HR.

The Bucs took the lead in the 3rd when catcher Wyatt Mathisen, this year’s second round draft pick, connected for his first professional HR, a wind-aided, opposite-field shot.  The HR earned Mathisen the silent treatment from his teammates when he first returned to the bench.

Starter Axel Diaz threw four shutout innings, but the Braves took the lead in the 6th against lefty Andy Otamendi, with the help of some shaky defense.  After a two-out single, the next hitter lined a ball to second baseman Dilson Herrera.  Herrera blocked the ball on the short hop, but didn’t keep it in front of him and it went for a single to put runners on first and second.  The next hitter lined a routine single to left, but left fielder Ramirez overran the ball, then picked it up and dropped it.  This allowed both runners to score, although the play was inexplicably ruled a double.

Third baseman Eric Wood tied the game for the Bucs with his 4th HR, a drive over the 410 foot sign just to the right of the batter’s eye.  Wood’s shot also was aided by a stiff breeze that blew toward right throughout the game.  Isaac Sanchez came on in the 7th and threw three scoreless innings, getting the Bucs the win with the help of Espinal’s hit.

Other Player Notes

— Despite throwing from opposite sides, Diaz and Otamendi have very similar repertoires, except that the righty Diaz throws a little harder.  His fastball was 89-91 in the 1st inning, mostly 87-90 afterward.  He threw a mid-70s curve to right-handed batters and a low-80s change to left-handed batters.  The curve appeared to be the better pitch.  Otamendi threw 86-89, with a similar curve and change, except of course he threw the curve to lefties and the change to righties.  Both pitchers worked inside and out effectively, keeping the ball away from the middle of the plate.  They were helped (as were the Braves’ pitchers) by a generous strike zone.

— Sanchez threw harder than the other pitchers, with his fastball ranging from 90-95, hitting 97 once.  His control was shakier and he got some pitches up and over the plate.  He also threw a mid-70s curve that he didn’t control well.

— Moroff and Mathisen both worked the count effectively and each drew a walk.  Moroff especially got into deep counts consistently and also hit two line drive singles.  Mathisen, apart from the HR, hit two balls well that were caught.  Both played well defensively, with Moroff making three good plays on balls in the air.  One was a diving catch of a soft liner in the hole.  Mathisen had no problems behind the plate, although none of the Bucs’ pitchers was especially challenging, as none had particularly sharp breaking stuff.

Wood belted HR #4.

— Wood showed a good arm in making a throw from foul territory behind third for the out at first.  Herrera made a good play on a grounder up the middle and also hit a couple of balls hard that were caught.

— DH Stetson Allie and right fielder Luis Urena mostly struggled to make contact at the plate.  Allie takes a big swing and simply misses a lot.  Urena struggled with breaking balls.  Urena made a diving catch in right, although the dive was necessitated by him getting a late break on the ball.

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article


Wilbur Miller joined the site in July 2010. He has long been known for his excellent Player Profiles, which he brought to the site in February 2011, combining them with the existing Pirates Prospects Player Pages. Wilbur maintains the player pages section of the site, and provides regular articles to the main portion of the site, including a weekly Prospects Trend piece, featuring the best and worst prospects from the previous week.

Locke Pitches Well, McPherson Homers, But Indians Fall To Chiefs

Next Story »

Jeff Clement Homers, Brock Holt Extends Hitting Streak in Indians Win

  • Lee Young

    Sounds like Allie should’ve stayed a pitcher? Maybe he gets this out of his system and goes back to pitching? Or maybe he just washes out?

  • st1300b

    You don’t wash out when you have an electric slider and a upper 90’s fastball. He will be pitching somewhere in about 9 months max. Mark it down.

Latest Analysis

  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    12 hours ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    1 day ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    3 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    5 days ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    6 days ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    6 days ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Tyler Glasnow 2

    What the Stats Don’t Tell You About Tyler Glasnow

    1 week ago

    The stat line for Tyler Glasnow’s start at Pirate City yesterday looked great: 3 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. The lone run ...

    Read More
  • JaCoby Jones Josh Bell

    JaCoby Jones Did Fine in the Move to Shortstop, But Needs to Cut Down on Strikeouts

    1 week ago

    The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted JaCoby Jones as an outfielder in the third round of the 2013 draft, then surprised everyone the following year when they moved him ...

    Read More
  • Cody Dickson is a lefty with the upside of a middle of the rotation starter. (Photo Credit: Mark Olson)

    The Mental Adjustment that Led to Cody Dickson’s Dominant 2014 Second Half

    1 week ago

    Trusting his stuff and not trying to do too much — that has been the key for left-handed pitcher Cody Dickson so far in his professional baseball ...

    Read More
  • Third Base Mathisen Luplow Joe

    Who’s on Third? In the Pirates’ Farm System, It Could Be Anyone

    2 weeks ago

    If you have ever played third base in your life — professional, college, high school, slow pitch softball — then the Pittsburgh Pirates might be contacting you ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles