Prospect Watch: Home Run From Josh Bell, Reese McGuire Extends Hit Streak

TOP OF THE SYSTEM

A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors (Stolmy Pimentel #13). If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. If a player is out for the season (Jameson Taillon #2, Clay Holmes #12), he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 20 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2014 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Gregory Polanco, CF, Indianapolis - 2-for-7, 2B

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (4/22 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 1-for-3, BB

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 2-for-3, BB, RBI, SB

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 2-for-6, HR, RBI

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power – Disabled List (4/22 Update)

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

10. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – Disabled List (5/7 Update)

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

12. Blake Taylor, LHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

13. Cody Dickson, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (4/14 Update)

15. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-3, SB, HBP

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, Extended Spring Training – DNP

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia – 0-for-4

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton – 1-for-5, 3B

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

20. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

 

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DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Casey Sadler, RHP – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas Jr. – 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Josh Bell (4), Chris McGuiness (3), Jonathan Schwind (2)

 

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Game One Box Score

Result: Gwinnett 4, Indianapolis 3

Starting Pitcher: Jake Brigham, RHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Chris McGuiness, 1B – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Chris Dickerson, CF – 2-for-4, RBI, BB

Gregory Polanco, RF – 0-for-5

Game Notes:  In game one of a doubleheader, the Indianapolis bats could manage just six hits over ten innings and their big bat came up empty. Gregory Polanco was hitless in five trips to the plate, striking out twice. Chris McGuiness and Chris Dickerson each had two hits and drove in a run. McGuiness scored two runs, one coming on his third homer of the season. Jaff Decker had two outfield assists and Dickerson also had one. Chase d’Arnaud swiped his tenth base of the season. Jake Brigham got the start and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks. Andy Oliver took the loss and had his usual control issues, walking four batters and throwing more than half of his pitches outside of the strike zone.

 

Game Two Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 4, Gwinnett 3

Starting Pitcher: Casey Sadler, RHP – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Brent Morel, 3B – 1-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 2-for-3, 2B

Game Notes: Casey Sadler wasn’t at his best early in Monday’s game, but he kept his pitch count low and ended up throwing a seven-inning complete game. Sadler gave up two in the third inning and another run in the fourth, but kept Gwinnett off the board for the final three innings to pick up his fifth win. After a tough first game, Gregory Polanco had two hits in the second game, including his 14th double and he scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error by the catcher, who tried to pick him off third base. Brent Morel drove in two runs in the second inning with his first triple of the year.

 

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Box Score

Result: Altoona 4, Akron 3

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 5.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas Jr. – 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Matt Curry, DH – 3-for-3, RBI

Gift Ngoepe, 2B – 3-for-4, 2 R

Alen Hanson, SS – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: The top of the Altoona batting order had a big game on Monday. Gift Ngoepe collected three hits in the lead-off spot, Alen Hanson had a hit and walk behind him and Mel Rojas Jr. drove in three runs on three hits. Matt Curry in the clean-up spot pitched in three hits and an RBI, his best game since returning from the disabled list. The rest of the lineup went 1-for-17 with seven strikeouts. Joely Rodriguez didn’t have the best control on Monday night, but he was tough to hit. He gave up two runs on three hits and three walks in 5.2 innings. It was the third time this year that Rodriguez has walked three batters in a game, a total he reached just four times all of last year. He threw 94 pitches on the night, 54 for strikes. The three hits allowed is a season-low total. Joan Montero picked up the win with one run over 2.1 innings and Emmanuel De Leon recorded his second save of the season with a scoreless ninth.

 

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Box Score

Result: Bradenton 5, Dunedin 4

Starting Pitcher: Pat Ludwig, RHP –  5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jonathan Schwind, DH – 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jeff Roy, CF – 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, SB

Josh Bell, RF – 2-for-6, HR, RBI

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-5

Game Notes: Pat Ludwig was off his game on Monday, but the combo of Ryan Hafner and Bryton Trepagnier more than made up for it. After Ludwig allowed four runs over five innings, Hafner threw three perfect innings and Trepagnier collected the win with two no-hit frames. The offense was led by Jonathan Schwind for a second straight day. He had three hits and drove in two runs on a first inning homer. Josh Bell hit his fourth homer of the season, a solo shot to lead-off the fourth inning. Jeff Roy, Max Moroff and Taylor Lewis all had two hits apiece. The Marauders stole five bases, with three coming from Taylor Lewis.

 

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER   

Box Score

Result: Delmarva 6, West Virginia 2

Starting Pitcher: Shane Carle, RHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top HitterReese McGuire, C – 2-for-3, BB, RBI, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, RF – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

JaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-3, SB, HBP

Game Notes: Starter Shane Carle was victimized by poor defensive play that spoiled a rather solid outing. Carle worked quickly with sharp command of his stuff, using primarily his fastball, sitting 90-91 MPH while locating it on both sides of the plate. Carle had the Shorebird hitters off-balance, inducing them into hitting the top of the ball and 12 groundouts. However, in the first and second innings, the left side of the infield let Carle down, when errors from third baseman Wyatt Mathisen and shortstop JaCoby Jones doomed the Power to early deficits.

Reese McGuire continued to rake at the plate, extending his 12 game hitting streak in the opening frame, smoking a line drive to right center to score Harold Ramirez. In his next at-ba,t McGuire ripped a ball in the hole that allowed only for the first baseman to snap his head back as the ball rocketed by him.The impressive hitting streak from McGuire has been sparked by his continued show of discipline. The lone plate appearance in which he did not reach was the result of a big 12-6, 3-2 curveball that would have had even an experienced MLB backstop frozen with the bat in his hand. McGuire has shown his prowess all year behind the dish defensively. Tonight was no different as he made a snap throw on a line to pick-off a rather fiery Yastrzemski, who was so frustrated by the play he was ejected.

McGuire was undoubtedly the standout with the stick tonight, but Harold Ramirez was another bright spot in the ballgame. The speedy right fielder showed his skills as a potential ideal lead-off man, walking in the first and working a full-count in the third, before smoking a hotshot to third base that he was eventually retired on. However, this did nothing to shake Ramirez’s confidence as he showed his gap power in the fifth with a screaming soaring liner, which allowed him to easily coast into second, despite stumbling out of the box. – Blain Smith

John Dreker

Author: 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.

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  • mysonisnamedafterRoberto

    Josh Bell is quietly putting together a solid year. .299/.339/.463 with an OPS of .802. He has even cut down on his strikeouts by 10% down to 17.68%. We are talking about a 21 young old playing with 23 year olds with only 521 professional at-bats away from High School. I know that Altoona has a solid OF with Rojas Jr.and Garcia, but it would be nice to see him in Altoona for the last month of the season, if he continues this pace.

    • Y2JGQ2

      With all due respect, most of the 23 year olds he is playing against have half the talent he supposedely does. I’m tired about hearing the age thing. Bell still can’t hit right handed

      • mysonisnamedafterRoberto

        So I guess the real question is what is the value of professional experience? Forget the age and focus on the fact that he had one full season of professional at-bats. Take Polanco at 588 AB, which is close to where Bell was, he was batting .234 with 17 2B, 11 3B and 6 HR and had a OPS around .650. Bell’s numbers are much better through the same period against stiffer competition. Bell is in High A and Polanco hadn’t made it a pass Short Season ball. You’re right he struggles against lefties with only a .629 OPS and he probably wouldn’t be Polanco, but the simple fact is it all context and at the age of 21 his context so far was better than Polanco at 21.
        Now the chance that Bell progresses through the next three level in under two years like Polanco is highly unlikely. But based on his progression so far he is doing well and he is doing it against more experienced players.

  • mysonisnamedafterRoberto

    Is Blake Taylor the PTBNL for Davis. I haven’t heard anything around him outside he is in extended spring training?

    • Y2JGQ2

      Well….if we knew that, it wouldn’t be still be listed as a PTBNL. That wouldn’t be surprising though

  • freddylang

    Reese McGuire is 19-38 throwing out runners for his career. Just a thing I keep my eye on. Impressive for working with pitchers that are still learning to hold runners. 50% is getting into the pudge/Yadier Molina zone…to do it in the low levels is incredible.

    • deacs

      When you consider how little emphasis there is on holding runners on (and I get that) these guys probably get pretty sizable jumps and he’s still nailing them at a 50% clip. Very impressive.

      • freddylang

        I have heard 1.7 pop times for McGuire. Austin Hedges for the Padres is around 1.8 and he is two years further along so McGuire is special. Even if he becomes a brad Ausmus type hitter the Bucs have a nice catcher.