Prospect Watch

Prospect Watch: Nick Kingham Throws Five Shutout Innings in Debut with Bradenton

Nick Kingham makes his season debut tonight. Photo Credit: Tim Williams
Prospect Watch: Nick Kingham Throws Five Shutout Innings in Debut with Bradenton
John Dreker

P2 Top 30

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time (Trevor Williams, Alen Hanson, Jose Osuna), or loses his prospect eligibility, he will be removed from this list. 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, 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 more active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2017 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis –DNP

2. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

3. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – DNP

4. Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – 2 for 5, 2B

5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton –0 for 2, SB

6. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton –  0 for 4

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

8. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton  – DNP

9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Bradenton – 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

13. Max Kranick, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

14. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 2 for 4

15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

16. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

17. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

18. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Altoona –DNP

19. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona –1 for 4

20. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis –DNP

21. Stephen Alemais, SS, West Virginia –  2 for 4, 2B

22. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

23. Travis MacGregor, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Extended Spring Training –DNP

25. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates –DNP

26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – 1 for 5

27. J.T. Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – DNP

28. Chris Bostick, INF/OF, Pirates –  DNP

29. Connor Joe, 3B, Altoona – 1 for 4

30. Pat Light, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

P2 Top Performers

Hits

Logan Hill
3 for 4
Stephen Alemais
2 for 4
Elias Diaz
2 for 4
Clark Eagan
2 for 3
Edwin Espinal
2 for 3

HR’s

Edwin Espinal
1

K’s

Oddy Nunez
6
Steven Brault
4
Taylor Hearn
4
Blake Cederlind
3
Seth McGarry
3

Game Score

Steven Brault
69
Nick Kingham
68
Austin Coley
61
Oddy Nunez
60

Prospect-Watch-Indy

Box Score

Final
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NOR 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 2
IND 5 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 x 7 12 3


Name Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG
Frazier LF 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .400 .538 .500
Gosselin 2B 5 2 2 2 0 0 1 0 1 .182 .250 .364
Wood 3B 5 1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 .206 .274 .402
Díaz, E C 4 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 .324 .333 .437
Rogers, J DH 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 .253 .321 .424
Perez, E CF 4 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 1 .292 .333 .375
Terdoslavich 1B 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .288 .339 .346
Feliz SS 4 0 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 .159 .224 .318
Maffei RF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .286 .444 .286
Brault P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Runzler P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Santana P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

BATTING
2B: Gosselin 2 (2, Johnson, S, Rodriguez, Ri).
TB: Frazier; Wood; Feliz 2; Rogers, J 2; Gosselin 4; Díaz, E 2; Perez, E 2.
RBI: Wood (13); Perez, E (4); Feliz 3 (10); Gosselin (1); Rogers, J (11).
2-out RBI: Perez, E; Feliz 3; Rogers, J.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Frazier; Gosselin; Terdoslavich 2; Wood.
Team RISP: 6-for-12.
Team LOB: 8.

BASERUNNING
SB: Perez, E (2, 2nd base off Johnson, S/Sisco); Feliz (2, 2nd base off Johnson, S/Sisco).

FIELDING
E: Feliz 2 (3, throw, throw); Terdoslavich (2, fielding).
DP: (Feliz-Gosselin-Terdoslavich).

Name IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA K/9 BB/9
Brault (W, 1-3) 6 3 1 1 1 4 0 3.19 8.75 4
Runzler 2 2 0 0 1 2 0 5.25 9 6
Santana 1 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.49 8.5 1.5


Game Scores: Johnson, S 34; Brault 69.
HBP: Maffei (by Johnson, S).
Pitches-strikes: Johnson, S 59-42; Fry 22-17; Rodriguez, Ri 38-26; Yacabonis 17-10; Brault 95-57; Runzler 33-21; Santana 17-13.
Groundouts-flyouts: Johnson, S 3-3; Fry 2-0; Rodriguez, Ri 1-2; Yacabonis 2-1; Brault 11-1; Runzler 3-0; Santana 1-0.
Batters faced: Johnson, S 16; Fry 7; Rodriguez, Ri 11; Yacabonis 5; Brault 23; Runzler 9; Santana 4.
Umpires: HP: James Rackley. 1B: Charlie Ramos. 3B: Jansen Visconti.
Weather: 57 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 9 mph, In from CF.
First pitch: 7:05 PM.
T: 2:32.
Att: 4,511.
Venue: Victory Field.
May 11, 2017

INDIANAPOLIS — Steven Brault didn’t have too many complaints about his day, but will be hard pressed to duplicate it anytime soon.

At least not without the help of race car driver Marco Andretti.

Brault threw his best game of the season on Thursday, allowing one run on three hits over six efficient innings against Norfolk. He struck out four and walked just one, inducing 11 groundouts.

That part can be duplicated again. Brault has shown the ability in the past to put together multiple impressive outings in a row.

Now, for the Andretti part? Well, that won’t be very easy to recreate. A handful of players visited the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during the morning to take a tour of the facility and get a ride around the road course in a two-seat car.

The cars had some well-known drivers in the cockpit: Marco and Mario Andretti. The cars reached speeds of 160-170 MPH.

“Oh my gosh, I might have to do something to get the adrenaline shot up for a little while,” Brault said. “We did the road track with the turns. You start and it’s a straight-away. We don’t even see the turns, then it’s like a turn.”

Brault’s adrenaline was high after the ride from Andretti, but it was a new approach on the mound that led to his most efficient outing of the season. Indianapolis catcher Elias Diaz and Brault met prior to the game to devise some adjustments.

“The idea was we need to make an adjustment and we need to be more efficient,” Brault said. “A lot of sinkers tonight, more sinkers than four-seamers. It was just let’s get after them, let’s attack. The idea is if we can get through the first few innings quickly that leaves you with more leeway later in the game.”

Brault took that adjustment to heart. He worked around a lead-off single by Michael Bourn to induce a 6-4-3 double play, and groundout to end the first inning in nine pitches.

One of the biggest improvements in Braut’s outing was how he maneuvered through the third and fourth innings. He needed 20 pitches to get out of the third inning, but that was largely due to a pair of throwing errors by shortstop Anderson Feliz. Brault got out of the fourth inning in 16 pitches but had to work around an error by first baseman Joey Terdoslavich.

Those two errors forced Brault to throw another ten pitches. In his previous six starts this season, Brault had thrown at least 20 pitches in more than half of the third and fourth innings of those starts — essentially the second time through the lineup.

“We talked with (Indianapolis pitching coach Stan Kyles) about how we can approach lineups differently each time through,” Brault said. “The first time through tonight we tried to attack, be on the attack and let them do what they’re going to do with the fastball. And then the second time start mixing in more off-speed. That was the plan going in, and Diaz and I worked really well together, executed well. Those innings where we can get groundballs instead of eight-pitch popouts, that’s what we want.”

Brault threw 57 of his 95 pitches for a strike and would have likely gone out for the seventh inning if he didn’t have to throw those extra ten pitches due to three errors.

His success comes from not trying to dot the corners of the zone like Tom Glavine, but instead attack hitters with his pitches and showing better fastball command, Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett said.

“The slider was in the zone, but he was able to keep the ball down and his misses weren’t up,” Barkett said. “He was in the strike zone all night. When you’re in the strike zone, good things can happen, especially if you have good, late life on your fastball. We’ve been telling him that all year, and I think he trusted it tonight.”

Brault ran into some trouble in the sixth inning, allowing one run to score on a walk and two singles. After the lead-off single to open the game, the only Norfolk batters to reach base through the first five innings were the three that did so via an error.

Putting together more efficient performances doesn’t necessarily mean Brault has to have better command, Barkett said.

“He can get outs on a lot less pitches, he’s got good enough stuff,” Barkett said. “Just pitching with his hair on fire, kind of like Marco Andretti driving him around the track today. He can pitch like that, with some reckless abandon. He’s much better when he does that. It’s a misconception that he’s got to have better command. Yes he does, but if he tries to be a command pitcher, that takes away from his strengths, which is to pitch with his hair on fire like he did tonight. When he does that, he’s got better life on the ball. He doesn’t have to be as fine, he’s just got to get ground ball outs.”

Barkett wouldn’t say if Brault is the best starting pitching option to help the major league team, but did say he put together a major league-caliber performance.

“He showed tonight that he can pitch there,” Barkett said. “He showed tonight that he can improve on things he needs to improve on. We got a good lead early. They’ve had some good leads early in the season and weren’t able to pitch through them. Tonight, to see him take that and run with it was really fun to watch, especially getting 11 balls on the ground like that. And then we didn’t catch the ball for him or didn’t make some plays. He took a step in the right direction towards the front of the line for that next start in the big leagues. It will be up to the powers that be to decide on that.”

Indianapolis scored five runs in the first inning to take control of the game early. Feliz had a three-run single, while Eric Wood and Eury Perez each had an RBI single.

Phil Gosselin had an RBI double in the seventh inning, and Jason Rogers added an RBI single.

Gosselin was 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles and he scored twice. Diaz, Rogers, Perez and Feliz each had two hits.

Edgar Santana pitched around a lead-off single in the ninth inning to retire the next three batters — two via a strikeout — to finish the game.

Norfolk rightfielder Pedro Alvarez — a former Pirates player — was 1-for-4 with a single and a strikeout. – Brian Peloza

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

Box Score

Final
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NHM 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 10 3
ALT 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 4 9 3


Name Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG
Reyes, Pab SS 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 .242 .333 .341
Kramer 2B 4 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 .371 .464 .600
Joe 1B 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .295 .380 .420
Espinal, E DH 3 1 2 0 0 1 2 1 0 .361 .423 .515
Luplow LF 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 2 .265 .327 .539
Simpson 3B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .234 .300 .391
Suiter RF 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .083 .154 .083
Williams, J C 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 2 .357 .500 .357
Escobar, El CF 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 .250 .300 .292
Coley P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Keselica P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .250 .250 .500
Rosario, M P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

BATTING
2B: Luplow (10, Shafer).
HR: Espinal, E (2, 8th inning off Shafer, 0 on, 1 out).
TB: Williams, J; Luplow 2; Kramer; Reyes, Pab; Suiter; Escobar, El; Joe; Espinal, E 5.
RBI: Kramer 2 (14); Espinal, E 2 (19).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Joe; Kramer; Suiter 2.
SAC: Reyes, Pab.
SF: Kramer.
GIDP: Suiter.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 11.

BASERUNNING
PO: Suiter (1st base by Greene).

FIELDING
E: Reyes, Pab 2 (3, throw, fielding); Kramer (2, throw).
DP: 3 (Reyes, Pab-Kramer-Joe; Kramer-Reyes, Pab-Joe; Joe-Reyes, Pab-Keselica).

Name IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA K/9 BB/9
Coley 6 6 0 0 2 1 0 2.76 6.21 2.48
Keselica (BS, 1) 1.2 3 3 1 2 1 0 0.90 9.9 3.15
Rosario, M (W, 1-1) 1.1 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.47 6.5 3.5


Game Scores: Greene 60; Coley 61.
IBB: Joe (by Mayza).
HBP: Lopes (by Coley); Espinal, E (by Mayza).
Pitches-strikes: Greene 89-49; Shafer 28-19; Mayza 25-14; Coley 79-50; Keselica 39-21; Rosario, M 21-16.
Groundouts-flyouts: Greene 6-4; Shafer 1-1; Mayza 0-0; Coley 6-5; Keselica 4-1; Rosario, M 0-2.
Batters faced: Greene 25; Shafer 9; Mayza 6; Coley 25; Keselica 11; Rosario, M 5.
Inherited runners-scored: Rosario, M 3-0.
Umpires: HP: Mike Savakinas. 1B: Jacob Metz. 3B: Ryan Benson.
Weather: 55 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 1 mph, L to R.
First pitch: 6:03 PM.
T: 2:47.
Att: 2,452.
Venue: Peoples Natural Gas Field.
May 11, 2017

ALTOONA, Pa. – It took seven, almost uneventful innings before the game really got interesting. Nevertheless, the Curve were able to win it with the good ole’ bases loaded, hit-by-pitch walk-off on Thursday night against New Hampshire.

In the ninth inning with the Curve down 3-2, Elvis Escobar hit a one out single to get things started. Pablo Reyes walked before Kevin Kramer came to the plate. To this point, Kramer was 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly on the night, and his on-base streak was nearing an end. Fortunately, Kramer hit a single through the right side to score Escobar and tie the game at three apiece.

After a Connor Joe intentional walk, Edwin Espinal was hit by a pitch on the foot to force the game-winning run home, giving Altoona a 4-3 win.

On to tonight’s starter Austin Coley, who has become the jack-of-all-trades pitcher for the Altoona Curve, adding a six scoreless inning outing to his repertoire tonight in his fifth start of the season. It was Coley’s eighth overall appearance of the year, and he worked two scoreless innings during each of his last two outings.

Coley had been a regular starter up until this season, where the plan was for him to work out of the bullpen. Those plans have often changed this season, as he has been the one making spots starts for Brandon Waddell and, most recently, J.T. Brubaker.

Tonight, the two-seamer played big as he benefited from two big inning ending double plays, and he should’ve had a third if not for a throwing error on Pablo Reyes. He worked mostly around the zone and pitched to contact, as he only got one strikeout in the game (looking to a righty on an 81 MPH breaking ball).

“He was down in the zone and got the ball on the ground when we need,” Manager Michael Ryan said. “He mixed in the breaking ball enough to open up the inside of the plate and keep them off-balanced.”

Ryan was very impressed with Coley’s ability to change his game plan as a starter to attack the zone in a different way than he was while working out of the bullpen.

“It’s amazing how he has a different approach as a starter,” Ryan said. “He’s not going to throw like that out of the pen. He just threw out of the pen in Akron and went first pitch breaking ball a lot. It’s a great guy to have on your club.”

Sean Keselica took over in the seventh inning and allowed a lead-off line drive single, but first baseman Connor Joe began a very nice double play during the next at-bat to erase the runner. Joe made a strong throw to second to begin the double play, and Keselica did a great job covering the base to complete it.

In the eighth inning, Keselica allowed two singles and a walk to begin the inning. After a swinging strikeout on Harold Ramirez, Keselica induced a hard hit ground ball to Kevin Kramer, but his throw to the second base bag (while trying to turn two) went wide, allowing two runs to score on the error. Consequently, three runs scored in the inning – one of them earned – and Keselica was chased before Miguel Rosario got the last out.

Rosario pitched a scoreless ninth to set the Curve up for the win.

Offensively, the Curve’s two hardest hit balls came off of the bats of Edwin Espinal and Jordan Luplow in the eighth inning. With one out and a 1-1 count, Espinal hit a line drive shot over the left field fence for his second home run of the season. Luplow then doubled on a liner to the right center gap; however, he was not able to come around to score.

“I saw him throw three sliders in a row to Connor Joe,” Espinal said of his home run. “He started me with a fastball then a slider with the second pitch. After that, I knew he was coming back with a slider, because that’s his best pitch. He was getting everyone with the slider, so I was prepared for the pitch and hit it.”

It was Espinal’s second hit of the game, and it lifted his average to .361 on the season, the third best average in the Eastern League. He owns an impressive .933 OPS this year, and he is first in the league with a strikeout rate of 10.60 TPA/SO.

Cherry-picking stats a little, but Jordan Luplow has a .333 AVG and 1.111 OPS since April 25th, which includes six doubles and four home runs.

In the field, Elvis Escobar played a very nice center field tonight, covering a lot of ground to make multiple grabs. Most impressively, Escobar had to go straight back on a line to make a few catches, something that has not been easy for him so far in his time with Altoona. In the first, second, and sixth, Escobar made above average plays on fly balls. In the ninth inning, he made a strong running grab to his left on a hard hit fly ball. In the past, I’ve noted that Escobar’s outfield work has been sketchy, even with his speed. Tonight, he showed promise with the glove and reading the ball off of the bat. Overall, he had seven putouts in the game.

“He played an unbelievable game in center field,” Ryan said. “We are trying to work with him on not drifting – not getting to the spot where the ball is going to be and getting behind it – and that helped him tonight. Three of the seven plays he made, he wouldn’t have made if he was drifting. We’re not in any situation to be able to walk them off in the ninth if it wasn’t for those plays made by Escobar.”

*After being hit by a pitch in the face on Wednesday afternoon in Richmond, Kevin Newman was cleared, and he will play tomorrow night in Altoona. He was hit on the forehead above his eye, and he said that he feels extremely fortunate that it wasn’t worse.

“Thankfully, we’re good to go, and I’ll be back out there tomorrow,” Newman said. “I knew it wasn’t as bad as the first time.”

*Kevin Kramer extended his on-base streak to 28 games with his ninth inning single. He has now reached base in every game played so far this season. – Sean McCool

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

Box Score

Final
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
PBC 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 3 0
BRA 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 x 5 8 1


Name Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG
Tucker SS 5 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 .267 .358 .344
Hayes 3B 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 .252 .331 .308
Craig 1B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .267 .364 .375
George DH 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 .278 .409 .389
Hill LF 4 2 3 2 0 0 0 0 1 .289 .352 .578
Tolman 2B 3 1 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 .217 .364 .330
Hughston CF 4 2 2 0 1 0 1 0 1 .286 .341 .455
Arribas RF 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 1 .211 .329 .268
Bormann C 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 .156 .237 .250
Kingham P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hearn P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
McGarry P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

BATTING
2B: Tucker (6, Gonzalez, D); Hill 2 (9, Gonzalez, D, Vance); Tolman (4, Gonzalez, D).
3B: Hughston (4, Gonzalez, D).
TB: Tucker 3; Hill 5; Hughston 4; Tolman 2.
RBI: Tolman (13); Hughston (15); Arribas (7); Bormann (4).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Tolman 2; Craig; Tucker.
SF: Bormann.
Team RISP: 2-for-10.
Team LOB: 8.

BASERUNNING
SB: Hayes (13, 2nd base off Gonzalez, D/Martinez, Je).
PO: Arribas (1st base by Martinez, D); Tucker (1st base by Martinez, D).

FIELDING
E: Tolman (7, fielding).
DP: (Tucker-Tolman-Craig).

Name IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA K/9 BB/9
Kingham (W, 1-0) 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0 0
Hearn 2 2 1 1 1 4 0 3.67 11.12 2.91
McGarry (S, 3) 2 0 0 0 1 3 0 0.00 9.6 1.8


Game Scores: Gonzalez, D 31; Kingham 68.
WP: Gonzalez, D 2.
Pitches-strikes: Gonzalez, D 70-37; Martinez, D 42-23; Vance 29-18; Perez, J 13-7; Kingham 67-45; Hearn 37-25; McGarry 28-16.
Groundouts-flyouts: Gonzalez, D 4-2; Martinez, D 3-2; Vance 2-0; Perez, J 1-1; Kingham 8-4; Hearn 1-0; McGarry 3-0.
Batters faced: Gonzalez, D 18; Martinez, D 10; Vance 6; Perez, J 3; Kingham 16; Hearn 9; McGarry 7.
Inherited runners-scored: Perez, J 2-1.
Umpires: HP: Derek Thomas. 1B: Brandon Mooney.
Weather: 85 degrees, partly cloudy.
Wind: 12 mph, L to R.
First pitch: 6:32 PM.
T: 2:25.
Att: 810.
Venue: LECOM Park.
May 11, 2017

Nick Kingham made his first start of the 2017 season on Thursday night. He suffered a minor ankle injury near the end of Spring Training and was shutdown briefly, which meant he had to restart his throwing to build up to five innings for this game. He’s been on a regular throwing schedule for the last month, but this is his first start outside of Extended Spring Training. Kingham retired the side in order in the first inning, with a fly out to center field, a grounder to second base and an infield pop up. He threw 15 pitches (nine strikes) and hit 95 MPH, throwing 14 fastballs and one curve.

In the second inning, Kingham retired the side on 11 pitches, with nine going for strikes. He got two routine grounders and a liner to center field right to Casey Hughston. The third inning was even quicker, although he had to deal with his first runner. Kingham got three soft grounders in this inning. The first one was right up the middle, where Mitchell Tolman and Cole Tucker had a mini collision. It was ruled an error on Tolman, likely because he was the one who got a glove on it as he ran into Tucker. A grounder to first base resulted in an out at second base, then the Marauders turned a tailor-made 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. This inning was just ten pitches, with seven for strikes.

In the fourth inning, Kingham worked a little harder and he mixed his pitches better. He was having trouble throwing his curve for strikes, but the changeup was doing well. He got two fly balls to center field and a pop up to third base. He had the same pitch count as the first inning, 15 pitches, nine for strikes.

The fifth inning started with a soft liner to center field for a single. The next batter grounded into a 5-4-3 out at first base because Tolman didn’t touch second base on the play. That was followed by a diving catch from Will Craig on a liner to first base. Another odd scoring play ended the inning, as a hard grounder ate up Ke’Bryan Hayes, but went to Cole Tucker, who made a strong throw for a 5-6-3 out.

That was it for Kingham, who didn’t walk or strike out a batter. He allowed just the one hit, though a few others balls were squared up well. His fastball velocity was strong early, but the announcer didn’t give any velocities after the first inning. The changeup was on, the curveball wasn’t at all. He threw 68 total pitches, 46 for strikes, and he had an 8:4 GO/AO ratio.

Taylor Hearn followed Kingham and was scheduled to go two innings. No word why just yet, but it could be to limit his innings. He already has 34.1 this season after going 51.2 total last year, missing time due to a broken foot. He’s going to be limited at some points during the year so he can remain in the starting role all season. Hearn served up a triple to the first batter he faced and that runner scored on a questionable infield single. He then struck out four batters in a row, before ending his day with a walk and a soft liner to shortstop.

Seth McGarry retired six of the seven batters he faced, three by strikeout. His only blemish was a two-out walk in the ninth. He was throwing 95-96 MPH. In 15.1 innings this season, he has allowed four hits, three walks and no runs.

On offense, the last four batters in the lineup each drove in a run. Logan Hill went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs scored. Mitchell Tolman had a double, a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Casey Hughston had a single, triple, run scored and an RBI.

Cole Tucker had a day controlled by the baseball gods. He doubled on a bloop to center field that dropped between three fielders and was nearly caught, reaching second on the play only because no one covered the bag. He also singled off the glove of the first baseman, which could have been an error. Tucker also hit a liner into the right-center gap that was caught on a great diving play, and he was picked-off first base on a questionable call. Everything evened out for him.

Ke’Bryan Hayes was 0-for-2 with two walks and his 13th stolen base in 14 tries. Will Craig went 0-for-4 and did not look good at the plate, but he had a terrific defensive game with two highlight reel plays and a tough scoop on a throw in the dirt from Tolman.

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

Box Score

Final
TEAM 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
WVA 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 6 1
ASH 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 1


Name Pos AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K AVG OBP SLG
Alemais SS 4 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 .255 .295 .434
Moore LF 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .318 .379 .427
Baur 1B 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 .190 .292 .238
Munoz, C DH 3 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 .273 .411 .444
Arbet 2B 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .294 .353 .532
Pabst C 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 2 .253 .314 .392
Eagan RF 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 1 1 .302 .364 .438
Mahala 3B 4 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 .245 .325 .302
Bastardo CF 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 .265 .324 .426
Nunez, O P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Frawley P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Cederlind P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
Hartlieb P 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000

BATTING
2B: Alemais (6, Pint); Mahala (6, Pint).
3B: Munoz, C (1, Culbreth).
TB: Mahala 2; Munoz, C 3; Eagan 2; Alemais 3.
RBI: Mahala (8); Eagan (13).
2-out RBI: Mahala; Eagan.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Bastardo 2; Arbet.
Team RISP: 2-for-9.
Team LOB: 6.

BASERUNNING
CS: Alemais (3, 2nd base by Pint/Perkins); Eagan (4, 2nd base by Culbreth/Perkins).
PO: Eagan (1st base by Culbreth).

FIELDING
E: Pabst (3, throw).
Pickoffs: Nunez, O (Fernandez at 1st base).

Name IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA K/9 BB/9
Nunez, O 3.2 3 0 0 1 6 0 3.65 8.63 1.88
Frawley (W, 2-0) 2.1 3 1 1 0 2 0 2.00 7.5 1.5
Cederlind (H, 1) 2 0 0 0 1 3 0 4.50 9 4.5
Hartlieb (S, 2) 1 0 0 0 1 2 0 0.61 7.07 3.21


Game Scores: Nunez, O 60; Pint 48.
WP: Frawley; Fernandez, J 2.
HBP: George (by Nunez, O).
Pitches-strikes: Nunez, O 61-43; Frawley 34-27; Cederlind 29-22; Hartlieb 18-10; Pint 69-39; Oakley 11-7; Culbreth 29-18; Fernandez, J 24-17.
Groundouts-flyouts: Nunez, O 2-2; Frawley 4-0; Cederlind 1-1; Hartlieb 1-0; Pint 8-2; Oakley 1-1; Culbreth 1-1; Fernandez, J 2-0.
Batters faced: Nunez, O 15; Frawley 10; Cederlind 7; Hartlieb 4; Pint 18; Oakley 3; Culbreth 7; Fernandez, J 7.
Inherited runners-scored: Frawley 2-0.
Umpires: HP: John Budka. 1B: Dillon Wilson.
Weather: 77 degrees, clear.
Wind: 7 mph, R to L.
First pitch: 7:05 PM.
T: 2:38.
Att: 3,090.
Venue: McCormick Field.
May 11, 2017

West Virginia won 2-1, as Oddy Nunez and three relievers combined to strike out 13 batters. Nunez went 3.2 scoreless innings in this game, giving up three hits and a walk, while striking out six batters. He was coming off an outing in which he retired all 12 batters he faced. Nunez is limited to four innings or 60 pitches, and he reached that pitch count on the last batter he faced. He’s being limited because he’s a 20-year-old, who was a reliever in short-season ball last year and they want him to be able to build up his innings as a starter this season. If all goes well with that plan, then he could work all of 2018 as a starter without restrictions.

Matt Frawley followed Nunez and allowed one run over 2.1 innings. He was followed by two scoreless frames from Blake Cederlind, and Geoff Hartlieb finished the game out for the save.

The opposing starter was Riley Pint, who was drafted fourth overall out of high school last year, where he routinely hit 100 MPH. He allowed just one unearned run in his four innings, but he was in trouble in this game, allowing four hits and three walks. Stephen Alemais had two hits off of him, including his sixth double. That snapped a mini-slump of 1-for-15 over his last three games. Carlos Munoz somehow hit a triple. Clark Eagan had two hits, a walk, a run scored and an RBI. Kevin Mahala had an RBI double.

Prospect Watch
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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