Pirates Prospects » Top Performers http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:15:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.1 Top 10 Pitchers: Sampson, Cumpton, Glasnow, and a Pitcher You Should Learn About http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-pitchers-sampson-cumpton-glasnow-and-a-pitcher-you-should-learn-about.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-pitchers-sampson-cumpton-glasnow-and-a-pitcher-you-should-learn-about.html#comments Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:22:30 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=84218 Below are the pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The top ten scores are highlighted in the write-up below. The rankings include every pitcher who made a start for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

In terms of pitching game scores, anything that scores a 65 or better is considered a “gem”. The Pirates farm system had four “gems” this week. Here are the top performers.

1. Adrian Sampson - Adrian Sampson has been having a breakout season, and added to that with a one hitter on Friday. Sampson gave up his only hit with one out in the ninth inning, but completed the outing with 98 pitches. His game score of 86 is the highest of any Pirates prospect over the last two years, since we’ve been tracking the weekly scores.

2. Brandon Cumpton - In any other week, Cumpton’s outing would have easily been the top score. He threw eight shutout innings, giving up two hits and four walks. You know what you’re getting with Cumpton. He’ll get a lot of ground ball outs, and won’t give up a lot of hits in Triple-A. He’s good enough to be a starter in the majors, but for now is a strong depth option for the Pirates.

3. John Kuchno - And then there’s this one…

4. John Kuchno - It’s pretty amazing to have two gems in the same week. Kuchno is quietly having a nice season in Bradenton, with a 3.68 ERA in 110 innings. He dealt with control problems early in the year, but has done a better job of that, with 18 walks in his last 66.1 innings. There’s nothing flashy here. Kuchno has a low strikeout total, but an extreme ground ball rate, with a 2.55 GO/AO ratio. He’s got a 61.9% ground ball rate, and has gotten a ground out 29% of the time this year in all plate appearances. In over 80% of plate appearances against him, he is getting a groundout, a strikeout, a fly out, a single, or a walk. Basically, opposing hitters are having a difficult time getting more than one base off him. In fact, that has only happened in 5.01% of his plate appearances this year.

5. Tyler Glasnow - Glasnow ran into some trouble early in his start last week, throwing a 26 pitch first inning. He rebounded quick, and went 5.2 innings, giving up one walk in the entire outing. He’s walked just three batters in 18 innings over his last three starts. Eight of his last ten starts have seen two walks or less. He’s still having a bad start with his control every so often, but the results have gotten much better.

6. Cody Dickson - I had Dickson as a sleeper to break out at the start of the year. He’s a lefty with a good fastball that can touch mid-90s, and a good breaking pitch. He needed to work on his control, and needed a changeup. The first half wasn’t kind to Dickson, with a 4.81 ERA in April, and an ERA over 5 in May and June. Including the second half of June, he has been doing much better lately. Dickson has a 1.89 ERA in 33.1 innings over his last six starts. He’s also been cutting down on the walks, with 11 in that span. The strange thing is that Dickson has struggled against lefties this year, while putting up decent results against right-handers. He’s not breaking out yet, but he’s starting to head in the right direction.

7. Omar Basulto - Basulto has been impressive in Bristol, with a 1.59 ERA in 22.2 innings, along with a 19:5 K/BB ratio. He’s a soft tossing lefty with good control, which usually leads to success in the lower levels. Speaking of that type of pitcher…

8. Gerardo Navarro - Navarro has been decent this year, with one horrible outing blowing up his ERA. His start this week saw one run in five innings, with one walk and five strikeouts. However, he’s also a soft tossing lefty. In both cases, I wouldn’t consider these guys legit prospects until they’ve had success at the Double-A level.

9. Montana DuRapau - DuRapau has been a good story this year. He’s a 32nd round pick who was a college senior. He went to Jamestown and pitched in relief, then moved to the rotation and hasn’t looked back. He’s got a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings, with a 21:4 K/BB ratio. That has to be taken with the disclaimer that he’s a college pitcher in a college league. However, the fact that he’s starting must mean the Pirates see him as a guy who is more than just a lower level organizational filler.

10. Jake Burnette - Burnette has been recovering from shoulder surgery, and made his third rehab start this week, going three innings in the GCL. Based on the progression, his next outing could be four innings, as he gets closer to a return to the higher levels. I’d expect Burnette to go to West Virginia, which is where he started last year before the injury.

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Top 10 Hitters: Alen Hanson Continues to Hit, But Defense Could Keep Him in Altoona http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-hitters-alen-hanson-continues-to-hit-but-defense-could-keep-him-in-altoona.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-hitters-alen-hanson-continues-to-hit-but-defense-could-keep-him-in-altoona.html#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 19:01:10 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=83729 Below are the top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The rankings include every hitter who had an at-bat for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the hitter has prospect eligibility. Notes on the top ten players from the last week can be found below the chart.

*Runs Created is a stat created by Bill James used to estimate how many runs an individual contributes to his team. There are many formulas for runs created. For these purposes the basic formula is used. That formula is ((H + BB) * (1B + (2*2B) + (3*3B) + (4*HR))) / (AB + BB).

The Top Ten

1. Alen Hanson, SS - Alen Hanson has been on fire this month, with a .339/.388/.597 line in 62 at-bats, along with four homers. On the season he has a .281/.319/.453 line in 360 at-bats, with ten homers, seven triples, and 18 doubles. Despite the strong offense this year, Hanson might remain in Altoona for the remainder of the season. That’s largely due to his defense. He has the defensive skills to stick at the shortstop position, but has struggled with a lack of consistency. He usually makes difficult plays, only to struggle with a routine play, either with a wild throw to first, or by booting the play. Hanson is reaching the point where he needs to start eliminating these problems, as his bat is close to major league ready. The one flaw with his bat has been a low OBP, due to a low amount of walks. He’s done a better job in that area since the start of June. That will be a focus, but the main thing he has to work on is the defense.

2. Tony Sanchez, C - Last week, Ryan Palencer wrote about how Sanchez had a month-long struggle in June. The catcher rebounded by going 10-for-24 with four doubles, a homer, and five walks this week, taking the number two spot in the system. Sanchez is seeing the offense pick back up in July, but his defense is largely going to determine his role next year with the Pirates. At the moment, it looks like the Pirates need to re-sign Russell Martin, as Sanchez isn’t looking like a good starting candidate defensively.

3. Chase d’Arnaud, CF - D’Arnaud has moved to the outfield this year, getting a lot of time in center field now that Chris Dickerson has been traded. He had a good week offensively, going 16-for-38 with two doubles and two walks. On the season he has a .243 average and a .665 OPS. This month he has a .375 average and an .879 OPS.

4. Keon Broxton, OF - Broxton is having a very back and forth season. He had a .417 OPS in April, followed by a monster month in May, with a 1.108 OPS. In June he struggled once again, with a .370 OPS. He’s back to having a monster month in July, with a 1.109 OPS. If he can continue hitting this way, and avoid the massive slumps, he could become a candidate to be promoted to Triple-A, especially with several outfielders leaving the team lately.

5. Dan Gamache, 3B - Gamache returned to Altoona this week after missing the first three months of the season with a broken foot. He got off to a good start, with a .375 average, a 1.131 OPS, four doubles, and a homer. I saw a lot of Gamache last year when he was playing second base. The defensive results weren’t good at all, which is strange, as he was touted as a strong defensive third baseman in the 2011 draft, and the move to second is supposed to be easier. He’s back at third base now. His bat doesn’t play as well at third, as he mostly relies on doubles power (74 doubles between 2012-13). He’s going to need to hit for average and provide strong defense in order to make it as a starting third baseman in the majors.

6. JaCoby Jones, SS - Jones has been the breakout hitter in the Pirates’ system this year, with a .297/.361/.488 line in 303 at-bats. He’s currently riding a 15 game hitting streak, and has a 1.348 OPS in the month of July. The defensive reports have been mixed on him, with some saying he can stick at the shortstop position over the long-term, but noting that he shows some struggles this year. The struggles are to be expected, since he’s new to the position. If he can stick at shortstop, and not be a defensive liability, then his bat could provide a lot of value in the future.

7. Carlos Munoz, 1B - Munoz is an interesting first base prospect. He’s only 5′ 11″, but is a big guy, listed at 225 pounds. He doesn’t hit for a lot of power, being limited to doubles power so far. He does get on base a lot, with 16 walks in 18 games this year, compared to just six strikeouts. He has a .452 OBP this season, and had a .456 OBP in the DSL last year. He’s also shown a good glove at first, making several good picks on poor throws this year. Despite his size, he moves well. If he can add some power to his game as he gets older, he could be a very interesting first base prospect to follow.

8. Gift Ngoepe, 2B - Ngoepe is the best defensive shortstop in the system, but has been playing second base this year while Alen Hanson plays short. Ngoepe’s bat isn’t good enough to be a starter, with a .236 average and a .699 OPS in Double-A. He also strikes out about a third of the time. He’s doing well this month, with a .293 average and an .843 OPS. Ngoepe could be a strong defensive backup in the majors, but he’s going to have to hit enough to not be a total liability at the plate in the process.

9. Kevin Ross, 1B - The Pirates drafted Ross as a shortstop in 2012, but he quickly moved to first base due to his size. He’s hitting for average this year, and showing some power. He currently has a nine game hitting streak, and doubles in three of his last four games. The downside is that he hasn’t drawn a walk yet in 18 games, which is something he needs to improve to continue having success at the plate.

10. Nick Buckner, OF - Buckner was an over-slot prep outfielder in the middle rounds last year, and has some promise due to his raw power and strong arm in right field. The power hasn’t shown up yet, and Buckner strikes out too much at the moment. He is starting to hit lately, finishing last week with three straight three-hit games. He has 16 strikeouts in 39 at-bats over his last ten games (41%), and that’s something that needs to see drastic improvements if he wants to move beyond short-season ball. Buckner reminds me of Wes Freeman a few years ago. He’s got a lot of raw power and a great arm, but he’s extremely raw at the plate. Freeman never got past that, and barely made it out of short-season ball.

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Top 10 Pitchers: Pirates Are Seeing New Pitching Prospects Emerge This Year http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-pitchers-pirates-are-seeing-new-pitching-prospects-emerge-this-year.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-pitchers-pirates-are-seeing-new-pitching-prospects-emerge-this-year.html#comments Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:21:16 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=83712 Below are the pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The top ten scores are highlighted in the write-up below. The rankings include every pitcher who made a start for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

In terms of pitching game scores, anything that scores a 65 or better is considered a “gem”. The Pirates farm system had seven “gems” this week. Here are the top performers.

1. Buddy Borden - Borden got off to a great start this year, with a 1.37 ERA in 19.2 innings in the month of April. He had a good month of May, then struggled in June, with a 6.63 ERA in 19 innings, along with a 12:12 K/BB ratio. He looks to be back on track in July, and fueled his stats with two strong outings this week. Borden combined for 11.2 shutout innings, giving up three hits, walking three, and striking out eight. Borden’s best start saw him throw 6.2 shutout innings, with one hit, two walks, and four strikeouts. He’s got a great fastball that can hit mid-90s, and a good curve that can be a strikeout pitch. The control has been a problem for him, but he’s doing a better job in that area. Borden could be a candidate to move up to Bradenton by the end of the year, although it’s possible he could remain in West Virginia to continue focusing on his fastball command, with a chance to split the 2015 season between Bradenton and Altoona.

2. Nick Kingham - Kingham has been amazing since being promoted to Indianapolis. He has a 1.62 ERA in 39 innings, with a 30:6 K/BB ratio. He might end up with enough innings to receive a promotion to the majors by the end of the year. Jeff Locke only saw 28 innings in Triple-A before his first promotion. Casey Sadler had 33. Brandon Cumpton had 65. Gerrit Cole had 74 innings. Kingham has 39 innings in one full month at the Triple-A level. He could end up with more innings at the Triple-A level than Cole had after another month. I wrote last night that the Pirates don’t need to trade for an ace. If they need to turn to a starting pitcher, Kingham would be a great option.

3. Jason Creasy - Creasy has been a constant fixture in the weekly top ten, getting here due to some impressive control. He has now gone five straight starts without giving up a walk, spanning 32.2 innings. He has just five walks in 72.2 innings since the start of May. The 2011 draft is known for Gerrit Cole, Josh Bell, Tyler Glasnow, and the currently injured Clay Holmes. Creasy was an over-slot guy in the eighth round that year, and has been emerging as a possible back of the rotation starter in the majors over the last two years.

4. Adrian Sampson - There’s not much question about who the breakout pitcher has been this year. Adrian Sampson is having a great season, with a 2.79 ERA in 113 innings in Altoona. This comes after he had a 5.14 ERA in 140 innings in Bradenton last year. A big reason for the improvements has been his changeup. He worked on developing the pitch last year, and is now comfortable with the pitch, and showing obvious improvements against lefties. Sampson has a .722 OPS against lefties in 229 plate appearances this year, compared to a .908 OPS against lefties last year.

5. Buddy Borden - Borden’s other top start of the week came on Monday, when he threw five shutout innings, with two hits, one walk, and four strikeouts.

6. Tyler Glasnow - Glasnow continued his amazing season by throwing 5.2 shutout innings, and striking out ten in the process. This came against the same Tampa team that Glasnow dominated at the end of May, striking out 12 batters in 5.2 innings. The right-hander is showing better control lately, with two or fewer walks in seven of his last ten starts. He has just two walks allowed in his last two outings combined.

7. Chad Kuhl - Bradenton has had plenty of strong starting pitching. Creasy and Glasnow have been great all year, and Orlando Castro just received a promotion to Altoona. Chad Kuhl is another guy who has been having a lot of success this year. He gave up two runs in seven innings last week, going seven innings for the third time in his last four starts. Kuhl is an extreme ground ball pitcher who has a 1.78 GO/AO ratio in 104.1 innings. That has led to a 3.45 ERA this season, including a 2.18 ERA in 57.2 innings over his last ten starts.

8. Dario Agrazal - Agrazal has been impressive in his GCL debut, with a 2.55 ERA in 17.2 innings, along with a 10:0 K/BB ratio. He went five innings this week, giving up one run on three hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. He’s been hitting 93 MPH with his fastball this year, which is impressive for a 19-year-old pitcher.

9. Dovydas Neverauskas - Neverauskas has a great arm, and has been able to consistently hit 95 MPH for the last few years. The problem is that his command has been inconsistent, leading to inconsistent results. He’s starting to show better control, with zero or one walks in four of his last five starts. This week he threw seven innings, giving up two runs on five hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. His second start of the week didn’t go as well, but he did limit the walks, with one in five innings.

10. Tyler Eppler - Eppler, drafted in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, has been impressive in his pro debut. He has a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings, with a 15:5 K/BB ratio. This week he threw five shutout innings, giving up two hits and two walks. He can reach 92-93 MPH with his fastball, and has been reported to touch 95. He needs to work on improving his secondary stuff, and developing a strikeout pitch.

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Top 10 Pitchers: A Group of Lefties at the Top of the Pitching Ranks Last Week http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-pitchers-a-group-of-lefties-at-the-top-of-the-pitching-ranks-last-week.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-pitchers-a-group-of-lefties-at-the-top-of-the-pitching-ranks-last-week.html#comments Tue, 08 Jul 2014 16:47:38 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=83142 Below are the pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The top ten scores are highlighted in the write-up below. The rankings include every pitcher who made a start for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

In terms of pitching game scores, anything that scores a 65 or better is considered a “gem”. The Pirates farm system had five “gems” this week. Here are the top performers.

1. Adam Wilk – Wilk pitched his first complete game shutout on Sunday, and also took the highest game score of the week. The lefty has a 4.19 ERA in 105.1 innings this year, with a 73:28 K/BB ratio. He’s been strong against lefties, with a .232 BAA. Wilk could provide the Pirates with some depth as a lefty reliever this year, although he would have to wait for September, or an injury to Tony Watson or Justin Wilson for that to happen.

2. Cody Dickson – Dickson came into the year with a lot of promise, but hasn’t shown the results you want to see. He’s starting to turn things around lately, putting up some much better results. He took the number two game score this week after throwing seven shutout innings, with seven strikeouts. In his last four starts he has a 1.99 ERA in 22.2 innings, with a 17:7 K/BB ratio. Dickson has some good stuff for a lefty, but lacks control at times. West Virginia has seen a lot of pitchers over the last few years who have struggled with control in the first half, only to see that control improved in the second half. Dickson is off to a good start to the second half in that regard.

3. Chad Kuhl – Kuhl pitched seven shutout innings for the second time in his last three starts. On the season he has a 3.55 ERA in 96.1 innings, but in his last ten games he has a 2.61 ERA in 62 innings. He’s a ground ball machine, with a 2:1 GO/AO ratio in those last ten starts and a 60% ground ball rate on the season. He could be a candidate to move up to Altoona by the end of the year, and is definitely a candidate to move up for the start of the 2015 season.

4. Orlando Castro – Castro has been posting some strong results this season, outside of two outings at the start of June where he combined for 12 runs in 8.1 innings. In his three starts since then, he has given up one earned run in 19 innings, with a 13:0 K/BB ratio. He’s another candidate to move up to Altoona by the end of the year, and looks like a stronger candidate than Kuhl.

5. Junior Lopez - Lopez didn’t make a start this week, but worked in a piggyback role in Bristol. In his first outing, he threw five shutout innings, with one hit, no walks, and five strikeouts. The second outing saw him giving up two runs on three hits in four innings, with a walk and five strikeouts. Lopez has a 3.77 ERA in 14.1 innings this year, with a 13:1 K/BB ratio.

6. Pat Ludwig – Ludwig has struggled in his move to Altoona, but had a good start this week. He gave up one run on five hits in six innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. He’s got the chance to make the majors as relief pitching depth. He needs to put up better numbers in the Altoona rotation, as Bradenton has several starters who could challenge for a promotion and a rotation spot.

7. Joan Montero - Montero was always an intriguing guy in the lower levels, with a mid-90s fastball. He lacked control, which looked like it could hold him back from the upper levels. Now he’s starting in Altoona, and while the control issues are still there, he’s putting up decent results. He has a 4.18 ERA in 23.2 innings over five starts, including a start this week where he gave up one run in six innings. The fastball gives him a chance at being a reliever in the majors one day, but he’s going to need to fix the control issues.

8t. Adrian Sampson – Sampson has been great all year, and continued his strong season with one run in six innings last week. He has 106 innings in Altoona after his start on Monday. The Pirates usually give starters about a full season of work at the Double-A level, so don’t expect a promotion for Sampson this year, despite the strong numbers.

8t. Adrian Grullon - Grullon made his first start since June 20th, and only threw two innings. The two innings were perfect, with four strikeouts. In his two appearances this year, Grullon has 5.2 shutout innings, with no hits, one walk, and six strikeouts. He’s a tall, projectable pitcher with a fastball that hits low 90s and a good breaking pitch. Now that he’s back to pitching, he’ll be one of the most interesting starters in Bristol.

10t. Jason Creasy - Creasy has put up impressive numbers this year, but the most impressive thing might be his control. He struck out eight and didn’t allow a walk in his start last week. That marks four starts in a row and 25.2 innings where he didn’t allow a walk. He has just five walks allowed in 56 innings over his last ten games, and a 1.3 BB/9 ratio in 91.1 innings this season.

10t. Frank Duncan - Duncan was a 13th round pick in the 2014 draft, and has been working as a starter in Jamestown. He made his first start with five complete innings this week, giving up one run on four hits. Duncan has struggled in his previous outings, so this might be a chance for him to turn his season around.

10t. Jon Sandfort - Sandfort has rotated this season between a good start and a disaster start. He gave up one run in five innings, with no walks and five strikeouts in his first start of the year. His second start saw seven runs in three innings. The third start, which happened last week, saw one run in four innings, with a walk and six strikeouts. He started the current week with six runs in 0.1 innings. Sandfort has some great stuff, but needs to get some consistency.

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Top 10 Hitters: Is JaCoby Jones a Candidate For a Mid-Season Promotion? http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-hitters-is-jacoby-jones-a-candidate-for-a-mid-season-promotion.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/top-10-hitters-is-jacoby-jones-a-candidate-for-a-mid-season-promotion.html#comments Mon, 07 Jul 2014 18:20:05 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=83170 Below are the top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The rankings include every hitter who had an at-bat for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the hitter has prospect eligibility. Notes on the top ten players from the last week can be found below the chart.

*Runs Created is a stat created by Bill James used to estimate how many runs an individual contributes to his team. There are many formulas for runs created. For these purposes the basic formula is used. That formula is ((H + BB) * (1B + (2*2B) + (3*3B) + (4*HR))) / (AB + BB).

The Top Ten

1. JaCoby Jones, SS - Jones had a monster week, hitting five homers and going 12-for-24. He’s hitting for a .284/.354/.482 line with 13 homers in 278 at-bats this season. The power is outstanding, and he’s doing a good job of getting on base. One big red flag is his strikeout rate. He’s striking out 26.4% of the time, which isn’t a good rate for a college hitter in low-A ball. Jones could be a candidate to move up to Bradenton this year based on his hitting, although his defense might keep him back. The Pirates have Adam Frazier at shortstop in Bradenton, and Jones needs everyday time at the position. That need could keep him in West Virginia for a little longer.

2. Keon Broxton, OF - Broxton had a horrible month of June, with a .370 OPS. He’s bounce back so far in the first week of July, hitting for a 1.278 OPS in 18 at-bats, with two homers. Broxton had a huge month of May, but a horrible April. He’d be a candidate to move up to Indianapolis if he could show more of the stats he’s had in May.

3. Elias Diaz, C -  Diaz has been a good defensive catcher during his career, but the offense hasn’t clicked. That hasn’t been the case this year, as he has a .328/.373/.440 line in 232 at-bats. Diaz currently has a seven game hitting streak, and a 1.053 OPS in his last ten games. He’s got the defense to at least be a backup in the majors. His offensive surge this year is putting him in line to be a top 30 prospect in the system, and one of the top catching prospects in the organization. He was just named to the Eastern League All-Star game.

4. Eric Wood, 3B - Wood hasn’t been hitting much this year, with his best month being a .763 OPS in the month of April. He’s off to a good start in July, with a 1.233 OPS. He also had a decent month of June, with a .268 average and a .726 OPS. He’s a long way off from being considered a legit third base prospect, as the offense hasn’t been there yet.

5. Matt Hague, 1B - Ryan Palencer wrote over the weekend about how Hague has seen a power spike this year. He hit two homers in the last week, giving him 13 on the year. That’s two shy of his career best, which came in 509 at-bats. This year he is on pace for 24 homers in 509 at-bats.

6. Alen Hanson, SS -  Alen Hanson has been hitting well since returning from his week-long absence at the end of June. He went 10-for-31 this past week, with a double and two homers. That gives him eight homers on the year, already matching his season total from last year. He was just named to the Eastern League All-Star game.

7. Max Moroff, 2B - Moroff has struggled at the plate, with a .664 OPS in April and May, and a .630 OPS in June. He often can look too selective, waiting for the perfect pitch to swing at. This leads to a good walk rate, but doesn’t allow him to hit for average or power on a consistent basis.

8. Enyel Vallejo, OF - Vallejo looked promising last year in the GCL, after getting a shot as a starter in the second half of the season. He moved up to Jamestown for the first week of the season, but was bumped down to Bristol. So far he has a .317/.333/.512 line in 41 at-bats, with three doubles and one homer. One of the doubles and the homer came this week. Vallejo is a very athletic player, and could be a sleeper to watch in the lower levels if he keeps hitting.

9. Chase Simpson, 3B – He’s an older player, and looks more like future organizational depth, but Simpson is off to a good start at the plate in his pro career. He has a .303/.419/.530 line in 66 at-bats, with three homers. This comes with the disclaimer that he’s a college hitter playing in a college league. The big test for him will be his performance next year in a full season league, and eventually, whether he can hit above A-ball.

10. Chris McGuiness, 1B - McGuiness has had decent numbers, doing what he does best by getting on base. He has a .367 OBP this season, and some decent power with a .141 ISO. He’s hitting right-handers at a .799 OPS, and while he doesn’t have much power against lefties, he does have a .371 OBP.

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Nick Kingham is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month For June http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/nick-kingham-is-the-pirates-prospects-pitcher-of-the-month-for-june.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/nick-kingham-is-the-pirates-prospects-pitcher-of-the-month-for-june.html#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 21:37:30 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=82733 Each week we run our “Top Performers” series, looking at the best pitchers and hitters from the previous week. We also recap each month in order to award the Pitcher and Player of the month. Below are the average pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of June. The rankings include every pitcher who made at least four starts for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility. The Game Score listed is the average of all of their Game Scores for the month.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

Pitcher of the Month

This was about as tough of a decision as we’ve ever had for the pitcher of the month on the site. Nick Kingham and Tyler Glasnow both had amazing months, putting up unreal numbers at their respective levels. Glasnow had an 0.70 ERA and a 29:14 K/BB ratio in 25.2 innings in Bradenton. He would have had better numbers, but rain cancelled a start that saw him give up just one earned run on one hit in four innings, with no walks and seven strikeouts. Kingham also had amazing numbers, with a 1.07 ERA in 33.2 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. The surprising thing was that his one start in Double-A this month actually brought his numbers down. He had an 0.34 ERA in four starts with Indianapolis, along with a 20:5 K/BB ratio in 26.2 innings.

There was some consideration for a tie, but we wanted one winner selected. After probably way too much analysis for a monthly award that doesn’t have any actual reward, Nick Kingham ended up being the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month for the month of June.

There were a few things in Kingham’s favor. The biggest thing was that he had his success at a higher level. His playing time in Triple-A matched the playing time for Glasnow in Bradenton, and the numbers from Kingham were better. If Kingham didn’t have the one start in Altoona to begin the month, this would have been a much easier decision. It also helped that Kingham’s FIP for the month was about a run lower than Glasnow’s FIP, showing that Kingham was relying less on his fielders for help.

Glasnow was absolutely dominant this month, beating Kingham in a lot of categories, including strikeouts (10.2 K/9 vs 7.0), and batting average against (.122 vs .195). What killed Glasnow was the walk rate, especially with his last outing where he walked four batters in 2.2 innings. There was also some debate over his cancelled start. Officially, that doesn’t count in his numbers, yet it was another example of how he was actually a dominant pitcher this month.

The decision could have gone either way, but Kingham’s FIP, higher level, and the strong run during his time in Triple-A all led to him getting the honors this month. Since moving up to Indianapolis, he has given up just one earned run on 15 hits in 26.2 innings. Control was a problem for him earlier in the year, but he seems to have fixed that problem, giving up just five walks in this span. He’s also striking out guys, with 20 strikeouts in Triple-A so far.

If Kingham keeps this up, he could end up in the majors by the end of the season. Glasnow could also be in line for a promotion soon, possibly getting the call to Altoona after a few more starts. With Jameson Taillon out, these are the top two active pitching prospects in the system. It’s encouraging to see both of them having so much success.

Minor League Affiliates

Here were the Pitchers of the Month for each minor league affiliate. The short-season affiliates didn’t have enough playing time this month. We will begin recapping them starting next month.

Indianapolis Indians (AAA) - Nick Kingham, RHP (0.34 ERA, 20:5 K/BB, 26.2 IP)

Altoona Curve (AA) - Joely Rodriguez, LHP (4.22 ERA, 16:8 K/BB, 32 IP)

Bradenton Marauders (A+) - Tyler Glasnow, RHP (0.70 ERA, 29:14 K/BB, 25.2 IP)

West Virginia Power (A) - Yhonathan Barrios, RHP (2.40 ERA, 15:2 K/BB, 15 IP)

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Josh Bell is the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month For June http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/josh-bell-is-the-pirates-prospects-player-of-the-month-for-june.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/07/josh-bell-is-the-pirates-prospects-player-of-the-month-for-june.html#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 18:40:30 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=82734 Each week we run our “Top Performers” series, looking at the best pitchers and hitters from the previous week. We also recap each month in order to award the Pitcher and Player of the month. Below are the top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of June. The rankings include every hitter who had an at-bat for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, not including DSL teams, and with no limitations on whether the hitter has prospect eligibility.

*Runs Created is a stat created by Bill James used to estimate how many runs an individual contributes to his team. There are many formulas for runs created. For these purposes the basic formula is used. That formula is ((H + BB) * (1B + (2*2B) + (3*3B) + (4*HR))) / (AB + BB).

 

Player of the Month

Josh Bell was the hitter of the month for Bradenton during the month of April and May. This month he took it to the next level, exploding for a .383/.433/.628 line in 94 at-bats. That was good enough to be the Player of the Month in the entire system.

A big part of Bell’s month came during a 14-game hitting streak, where he hit for a .472 average and a 1.263 OPS in 60 plate appearances. He added three home runs during that span. Bell had hits in 19 of 24 games this month, and reached base safely in 21 of 24 games. He ranked first in the system in hits, home runs, average, OBP, and slugging, and ranked second in doubles.

One impressive thing about Bell’s month is that he has been hitting the ball well against lefties. Bell has been crushing right-handers all year, but struggled early in the season against left-handers. He had an OPS in the low .600′s at the end of May. By the end of June, his OPS against lefties was up to .838. It’s a small sample size of 89 at-bats during the entire season, but he hit well this month to make up that much ground in such a short amount of time.

Bell has a .328/.375/.505 line in 293 at-bats this season, along with nine homers. Now that he’s hitting lefties well, he’s not giving many reasons to remain in Bradenton. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him promoted to Altoona during the month of July, and possibly early in the month. He was the lone Pirates prospect selected to the MLB Future’s Game, and will participate in the game during the MLB All-Star break in the coming month.

Minor League Affiliates

Here were the Players of the Month for each minor league affiliate. The short-season affiliates didn’t have enough playing time this month. We will begin recapping them starting next month.

Indianapolis Indians (AAA) - Chris Dickerson, OF (.309/.415/.456, 2 HR, 82 PA)

Altoona Curve (AA) - Willy Garcia, RF (.313/.333/.578, 5 HR, 87 PA)

Bradenton Marauders (A+) - Josh Bell, OF (.385/.434/.625, 5 HR, 107 PA)

West Virginia Power (A) - Harold Ramirez, CF (.333/.374/.435, 1 HR, 116 PA)

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Top 10 Hitters: A First Baseman Starting to Show His Power http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/top-10-hitters-a-first-baseman-starting-to-show-his-power.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/top-10-hitters-a-first-baseman-starting-to-show-his-power.html#comments Tue, 01 Jul 2014 01:01:31 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=82135 Below are the top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The rankings include every hitter who had an at-bat for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the hitter has prospect eligibility. Notes on the top ten players from the last week can be found below the chart.

*Runs Created is a stat created by Bill James used to estimate how many runs an individual contributes to his team. There are many formulas for runs created. For these purposes the basic formula is used. That formula is ((H + BB) * (1B + (2*2B) + (3*3B) + (4*HR))) / (AB + BB).

The Top Ten

1. Edwin Espinal, 1B - Espinal had the best week for any Pirates hitter, well above second place Chris Dickerson. He had 12 hits, including three doubles and two homers. Espinal came into this season as a sleeper prospect. He has been moved fairly quickly in the system, going up a level each year, starting as a 17-year-old in the DSL three years ago. He is huge, listed at 6’3″, 210 pounds, Espinal no doubt weighs in much more than that. He doesn’t have the ideal baseball body, which limits him to first base, but he makes solid contact now and it wouldn’t be surprising to see him add power to his game soon. Not only did he have the best week last week, he’s also having his best month, posting an .841 OPS.

2. Chris Dickerson, OF - Dickerson hit .500 this week, continuing his solid season, which could make him a depth option for the Pirates, especially when rosters expand in September. He is hitting .323/.412/.493, with 23 extra-base hits and 12 stolen bases in 60 games.

3. Willy Garcia, RF -  Garcia has shown the ability to hit for power this year, adding four doubles and a homer last week. On the season, he has 17 doubles, four triples and ten homers. He also has decent speed and a good glove, which makes him a strong defensive right fielder, who has a cannon for an arm. His problem, which could really limit his upside, is his 12/85 BB/K ratio, which is typical of his career. Luckily for Garcia, he is still young, so he has time to turn that around. Due to his age, tools and horrible plate patience, he has a huge difference between his floor and his ceiling. With better patience, he is a five tool outfielder. If it keeps regressing at he goes up, you’re looking at someone who may never see the Majors.

4. Taylor Gushue, C - It’s strange for a team to have two catchers listed among the top ten hitters for the week, but Jamestown did just that. Gushue was the fourth round draft pick this year and he got off to a great start, homering four times in his first five games. He hasn’t homered in his last nine games, but he has become a walking machine recently. Gushue walked ten times this week, giving him 13 walks and 16 hits, plus 15 RBIs, in his first 14 games.

5. Kevin Krause, C - The second Jamestown catcher is Krause, who was taken in the ninth round this year. He made the list this week because six of his seven hits went for extra-bases. Krause and Gushue are basically splitting the catching duties(with Deybi Garcia also seeing time) and they are also taking turns in the DH spot. That rotation will probably continue, as the two draft picks ease themselves into a baseball season that is longer than they are used to.

6. Matt Hague, 1B -  The Hit Collector earned  his nickname this week, but he may have to change that name to the RBI Collector. Hague leads the International League and all Pirates minor league players in RBIs this season. Just like Dickerson, he could find himself on the Pirates bench in September if they are in a pennant race.

7. Jordan Steranka, 1B -  Steranka was hitting well until he got injured at the end of April, which caused him to miss a month. He seems to be back on track now, homering in three straight games this week. Due to his age(turns 25 in November) and the fact he is limited to first base, Steranka at this time doesn’t profile more than an organizational filler, who will likely top out at AA.

8. Adam Frazier, SS - It looks like Frazier has finally found his stroke this season after a horrible start, both offensively and on defense. He has hit in 12 straight games and 20 of his last 21 games. He will never hit for power, still looking for his first homer after exactly 500 at-bats as a pro. What he will do is get on base, while displaying above average speed that hasn’t translated into stolen bases yet. He should be able to handle shortstop at the higher levels despite committing 22 errors there already. The move straight to High-A from Jamestown last year, may have been a little too quick for Frazier, who is finally starting to look like the solid player he was in college.

9. Carl Anderson, OF – Anderson has looked like a strong late-round draft pick early on, getting on base at a nice clip and stealing six bases already. He is also playing center field everyday in Jamestown, which is a good sign. We will need to see more from him at a higher level, but the early results are great for the 21-year-old from Bryant College.

10. Harold Ramirez, OF - Ramirez currently has a 21-game hit streak, collecting 12 hits this past week. As one of the top hitting prospects in the Pirates system, Ramirez is showing why he was also named the top prospect in the NYPL last year. He has his average up to .301 through 47 games, with 12 stolen bases, doing all that while playing center field as a 19-year-old in full-season ball. He missed a month due to hamstring injury and hasn’t stopped hitting since he returned in early May. Ramirez has picked up at least one hit in 37 of his 43 games played since returning. He hasn’t hit for power yet and may never be more than a 10-15 homer guy, but he will hit for average, play solid defense and makes things happen on the bases.

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Top 10 Pitchers: Tyler Glasnow and Nick Kingham Continue to Dominate http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/top-10-pitchers-tyler-glasnow-and-nick-kingham-continue-to-dominate.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/top-10-pitchers-tyler-glasnow-and-nick-kingham-continue-to-dominate.html#comments Mon, 30 Jun 2014 17:10:12 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=82179 Below are the pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The top ten scores are highlighted in the write-up below. The rankings include every pitcher who made a start for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

In terms of pitching game scores, anything that scores a 65 or better is considered a “gem”. The Pirates farm system had ten “gems” this week. Here are the top performers.

1t. Tyler Glasnow – Glasnow has been amazing lately, posting an 0.39 ERA in the month of June, with a 24:10 K/BB ratio in 23 innings. The run he gave up in this start was the first run he had allowed since May 22nd. That spans over a month without an earned run, not counting the one run he allowed in a cancelled game in the middle of June. I wrote about Glasnow’s start this week, and noted that he’s probably not too far off from a promotion to Double-A. A few more starts like this, and he could see that promotion.

1t. Orlando Castro – Castro’s start was one night after Glasnow, and might have been more impressive, despite the same game score. What made this impressive is that Castro only needed 65 pitches to get through seven shutout innings. He was pounding the strike zone, getting quick outs, and wasn’t giving up hits. I took a video of his performance here. Castro is another candidate to make the jump to Altoona soon.

3. Joely Rodriguez – Rodriguez seems to alternate back and forth between a good start and a bad start. This time he had a good outing, giving up one run on one hit in seven innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. Rodriguez is showing good control in the upper levels, but isn’t striking out a lot of guys. He’s getting a good ground ball rate, but not as good as previous seasons. He’s looking more like a potential back of the rotation starter or bullpen candidate without the strikeouts and with the lower ground ball ratio.

4. Nick Kingham – Kingham is on the list twice this week, and is off to an amazing start in Triple-A. In his first 26.2 innings, he has given up just one earned run, with a 20:5 K/BB ratio. His best start this week saw 6.2 innings where he gave up an unearned run on two hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. Kingham could end up being an option for the majors at some point in the second half.

5. Omar Basulto - Basulto is off to a good start in Bristol, especially when you consider that he made the jump straight from the DSL. He threw five shutout innings this week, giving up one hit and no walks. That followed five innings with one run last week. He does come with the usual left-handed pitcher disclaimer in the lower levels, since most lefties with good control are going to have success in short-season ball. I’d expect him to continue having success this year, and he might get another aggressive push to West Virginia next year.

6. Jay Jackson – Jackson has done a great job filling in for the Indianapolis rotation. He has a 3.73 ERA in 41 innings as a starter, with a 44:20 K/BB ratio. He could emerge as a bullpen option for the Pirates by the end of the season, but it’s more likely that he remains in Triple-A to take innings in place of the depth options who get called up to Pittsburgh.

7. Nick Kingham – The second start for Kingham came on Sunday, when he threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits, two walks, and striking out five.

8. Luis Heredia – Heredia had his best start of the year this week, throwing six shutout innings, with four hits and just one walk. The one walk was encouraging, as control has been an issue for him. John Dreker wrote an article on Heredia last week, noting that Heredia’s stuff seems to be going in the wrong direction. He’s still very young, and younger than most of the players the Pirates selected in the 2014 draft — all of which are at least one level below Heredia. It’s way too early to write him off, but any dreams of him being a top of the rotation starter have to be seen as unlikely at this point.

9t. Casey Sadler - Sadler has been great since coming back down to Indianapolis and getting regular playing time. He wasn’t on a very good schedule in Pittsburgh, being used as the last guy out of the bullpen. Since returning to a five day schedule, he has a 0.50 ERA in 18 innings. This week he threw seven shutout innings, giving up seven hits, one walk, and striking out three. He will remain a depth option for the Pirates this year, but seems more likely to be used as a reliever, since he’s behind several other people in the starting pitching depth charts.

9t. Jason Creasy - Creasy had two good starts this week, which combined would make him one of the top pitchers in the system for the week. His best start saw six innings with one run on four hits, no walks, and five strikeouts. He had a start earlier in the week where he gave up one run on eight hits in seven innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. That start was tied for the 12th best in the system.

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Top 10 Pitchers: Do A.J. Morris and Nick Kingham Have a Shot at Pittsburgh This Year? http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/top-10-pitchers-do-a-j-morris-and-nick-kingham-have-a-shot-at-pittsburgh-this-year.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/06/top-10-pitchers-do-a-j-morris-and-nick-kingham-have-a-shot-at-pittsburgh-this-year.html#comments Mon, 16 Jun 2014 16:04:57 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=81726 Below are the pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The top ten scores are highlighted in the write-up below. The rankings include every pitcher who made a start for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

In terms of pitching game scores, anything that scores a 65 or better is considered a “gem”. The Pirates farm system had three “gems” this week. Nine of the top ten starters all had game scores of 60 or higher. Here are the top performers.

1. A.J. Morris – Morris had great numbers in Altoona this year, although they came with the disclaimer that he was 27 and had been at the level before. This is his first run through Triple-A, and so far he’s doing great. He tops the list this week after a complete game shutout, which was the first of his career, and is rare to see in the minors. He has a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings over two starts, along with a 12:4 K/BB ratio. I still wouldn’t call him a prospect or speculate on any specific MLB future, but he could have a shot at the majors by the end of the year if he keeps this up. His start this past week was enough to earn him the International League Pitcher of the Week award.

2. Nick Kingham – Kingham was promoted to Indianapolis this week, and made a strong debut. He went seven shutout innings, giving up five hits, one walk, and striking out eight. His issue earlier in the year with Altoona was that his control was struggling. In his final starts with Altoona, he fixed those control problems. This start with Indianapolis showed Kingham’s potential. If he can string together some more starts like this, he could have a shot at the majors by the end of the season, especially if the Pirates are in a playoff race and still having rotation issues.

3. Tyler Glasnow – He missed the first month of the season, and started slow in Bradenton his first few starts. Since then, Glasnow has been dominant, with an 0.70 ERA in 25.2 innings, along with a 33:13 K/BB ratio. In his last three starts, he has combined for 15.2 shutout innings, with six hits allowed, and a 23:8 K/BB ratio. The walks are still an issue, but Glasnow is starting to look like the dominant pitcher he was last year, only this time at a higher level. Because of the missed time, I’d expect him to get at least another month in Bradenton.

4. Jay Jackson – Jackson had one of the best starts and one of the worst starts this week. He gave up one run in six innings to get on the top ten list. He followed that up with five runs, two earned, in less than an inning. With all of the promotions to Pittsburgh, Jackson should have a rotation spot locked down in Triple-A.

5t. Adam Wilk - The Pirates had removed Wilk from the Triple-A rotation near the end of May, but put him back in after the promotions of Jeff Locke and Casey Sadler. Sadler is back, but with Vance Worley going up to Pittsburgh, Wilk should remain in the rotation.

5t. Joely Rodriguez – Rodriguez has had mixed results in Altoona this year. He has a 4.22 ERA in 70.1 innings, with some great starts, but some disaster starts mixed in.  He had two starts this week, one of each variety. The first one saw him giving up five earned runs on ten hits in six innings. The start that got him on this list saw two earned runs on four hits in seven innings. He isn’t striking out a lot of hitters, but also has been limiting the walks this year, which is a good sign.

7. John Kuchno – Kuchno has been on fire lately, and continued his hot streak this week. He gave up one earned run on six hits in seven innings. In his last three starts, he has given up four earned runs in 21 innings, throwing seven innings each outing. He doesn’t strike out a lot of guys, but has one of the best ground ball ratios in the system. He looks like a future power reliever, but will remain in the rotation to get innings for as long as possible. As a college guy drafted in 2012, he could be looking at a promotion to Altoona later this season.

8t. Tyler Waldron – Waldron has had some impressive numbers in Triple-A this year, with a 3.64 ERA in 29.2 innings, along with a 26:9 K/BB ratio. As a starter, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings, with a 17:5 K/BB ratio. With a depleted rotation, he was asked to fill in as a starter again this week. He gave up one run in six innings, with a 4:2 K/BB ratio.

8t. Marek Minarik - The Pirates added Minarik as a minor league free agent this off-season. He’s a tall pitcher from the Czech Republic who sits 91-94 MPH with his fastball, but lacks control. In his first start with Jamestown, he threw four shutout innings, giving up one hit, walking three, and striking out three. The walks are going to be an issue for him, but the frame and the velocity are interesting, and should make him a guy to watch in the lower levels this year.

10. Tyler Eppler - Eppler was taken in the sixth round of the 2014 draft, and will be pitching out of the Jamestown rotation. His first start was impressive, with three perfect innings and two strikeouts. He should get more innings per start going forward, but will probably be built back up slowly, since his last start for Sam Houston State was at the end of May.

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