(Photo Credit: David Hague)

Prospect Watch: Homer From Alen Hanson, Reese McGuire Keeps Hitting


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 - 0-for-4

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

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

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 2-for-7, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB, SB

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 1-for-3, BB

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton –  2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB

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

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-4

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

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 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, BB

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-4, 2B, RBI

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

20. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP



The 2014 Prospect Guide is now available, and is the perfect resource to follow the minor league system during the 2014 season. You can order your copy on the products page of the site.



Top Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, SS 2-for-7, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, BB, SB

Home Runs: Alen Hanson (5), Chris McGuiness (4),Taylor Lewis (1)



Box Score

Result: Charlotte 3, Indianapolis 1

Starting Pitcher: Jake Brigham, RHP – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top HitterChris McGuiness, 1B – 1-for-4, HR, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 0-for-4

Chris Dickerson, CF – 1-for-3, 2B, HBP

Game Notes: Jake Brigham had a strong outing, but the Indianapolis bats were asleep in a 3-1 loss. A solo homer from Chris McGuiness accounted for the only run for the Indians. They managed just four hits, one walk and went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Gregory Polanco had a poor night, but the way he’s been playing this year, he was due for a few of them. He went hitless and committed his fifth error of the season. Ralph Henriquez played his first game for Indianapolis. He started the season as the back-up for Altoona and after his 0-for-3 tonight, he is 1-for-36 on the season, with no walks and one single, giving him an .056 OPS. Not to be outdone by his offense, he is 1-for-26 in throwing out base runners this year.



Game One Box Score

Result: Altoona 2, Erie 0

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas Jr., CF – 1-for-1, 3 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Gift Ngoepe, 2B – 1-for-1, 2 BB

Alen Hanson, SS – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Joely Rodriguez had his best outing of the season in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader. He threw six shutout innings, only giving up two hits and a walk, as Altoona won 2-0. Rodriguez gave way to Jhonathan Ramos, who threw a scoreless seventh inning for his second save of the season. Prior to this game, Rodriguez had allowed at least six base runners in each start and had not thrown shutout ball before. All of the Altoona offense came off the bat of Alen Hanson, who drove home Keon Broxton and Elias Diaz with a fifth inning double. Mel Rojas Jr. reached base all four times he came to the plate, collecting a single and three walks. Gift Ngoepe came in on defense in the first inning after Jarek Cunningham suffered a groin injury. Ngoepe reached base all three times he batted.


Game Two Box Score

Result: Erie 7, Altoona 6

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Sample, RHP – 5.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Andy Vasquez, RF – 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Gift Ngoepe, 2B – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Alen Hanson, SS – 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, SB

Game Notes: The second game of the doubleheader took eight innings and in the end, Erie wound up winning to split the day. Alen Hanson hit his fifth homer and stole his 11th base. Gift Ngoepe reached base twice in this game and stole his seventh base of the season. He also scored two runs. Keon Broxton drove in two runs and Andy Vasquez had the big game at the plate, collecting three hits, with two doubles and an RBI. Tyler Sample gave up five runs over 5.2 innings, but the outing looked a little better on paper with just three hits and two walks allowed.  Brandon Mann had a tough time in two innings, giving up two runs on five hits, and he allowed an inherited runner to score. Erie’s Steven Moya had four hits, two homers and drove in six runs. We normally don’t mention what the other team’s players do, but that’s an impressive night.


Box Score

Result: Charlotte 9, Bradenton 5

Starting Pitcher: John Kuchno, RHP – 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, DH – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 1-for-1, 2 BB, RBI

Adam Frazier, SS – 2-for-5, 3B

Game Notes: John Kuchno pitched well in each of his first four starts in May, but his fifth one ended that streak. He couldn’t get out of the third inning, giving up five runs totals with three in the first and two in the third inning. Pat Ludwig followed him and didn’t do much better. He allowed four runs over 3.1 innings. Bryton Trepagnier came in and threw two shutout innings, but Charlotte was already well on their way to victory. Trepagnier has thrown 8.2 shutout innings over his last five appearances. Josh Bell and Adam Frazier each collected two hits, while Max Moroff and Eric Wood each walked twice. Five different Marauders players had an RBI, including a solo homer from Taylor Lewis, his first homer of the season.



Box Score

Result: Lakewood 7, West Virginia 0

Starting Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 3.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Erich Weiss, 2B – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, CF – 0-for-4

JaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-3, BB

Reese McGuire, C – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: West Virginia got shutout on Saturday and Dovydas Neverauskas got hit hard. Just like John Kuchno, Neverauskas was having a strong month of May up until this last start and they both had a lot of trouble tonight. Neverauskas went 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits and four walks. Jared LaKind had an impressive outing in relief of Neverauskas, following him with 3.2 scoreless innings. The Power had just five hits, two from Erich Weiss and one from Reese McGuire, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games. He is hitting .354 in 17 games this month and has reached base safely in all 17 games.

Live Report: On a night where the Power only collected five hits, there were still some very impressive pieces of hitting from three of the more intriguing prospects on the club. One in particular was an opposite field double in the 9th from Erich Weiss. Weiss drilled the offering located on the outer half to left, going with the pitch smoking it inside the line at 3rd. This was the second hit of the contest going the other way for Weiss. Tonight was a nice sign for Weiss, who had been struggling during the home stand. The approaches at the plate were very thorough this evening, as he was able to lay off tough pitches to hit from Blueclaw starter Anderson, and hit the few mistakes he did make which can only be a sign of good things to come for Weiss.

The usual suspects again showed up this evening for the Power in JaCoby Jones and Reese McGuire. Jones showed improved plate discipline from yesterday in a game where he chased numerous pitches out of the zone. Jones worked a one out walk in the first, laying off several “pitcher’s pitches”. Jones put up a great at-bat in the 6th, where he laid off a few tough offerings then shot a ball to right in a gaping hole between the first and second basemen. While McGuire’s hitting didn’t exactly jump off the page in a sense, he did increase his hitting streak to a South Atlantic League high 15 games.

The Power were unable to string any hits together, so no run support was given to Dovydas Neverauskas, who left the ball up on several occasions. Lakewood made him pay, scoring all seven of its runs in the first four frames off Neverauskas, including two mammoth longballs. Neverauskas could not build on the momentum from his prior start, one which he had control of his fastball, unlike this evening where he struggled to locate walking four batters. The velocity was down a bit consistently as well from his prior start. – Blain Smith

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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 Highlights: Homers From Gregory Polanco and Mel Rojas Jr.

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First Pitch: Where Should the Pirates Play Josh Harrison When Polanco Arrives?

  • emjayinTN

    John: Alen Hanson had his pedestrian start to the season in April, but has completely turned it around in May. From either leadoff or #2 in the order he posted a .292 batting average (26 for 89) with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 5 HR’s, and 20 RBI’s. For the month his On Base is .337, Slugging .551 and an OPS of .887. Those are better than outstanding numbers, and with the way Mercer and Barmes are playing, this kid needs to be at AAA and have a full time fielding instructor working with him. He has Ian Desmond-type numbers in the field (14 Errors), but last year he had more errors than that in the first 20 games at Hi A. This is his age 21 season, at a level where he is about 3 years younger than the average, and that will only increase more so in AAA. He may get better with the glove and his throws just due to the natural maturation process, but, IMO, he has to play at a level where his defensive game will be viewed as more important to his overall development. He will be in Pittsburgh in 2014, whether as a replacement, or as a September call-up – let’s start the process right now. He and Polanco have progressed through the system together, so it would be beneficial for Hanson to get to Indy now rather than later.

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