Pirates Prospects http://www.piratesprospects.com Your best source for news on the Pittsburgh Pirates and their minor league system. Mon, 21 Apr 2014 03:45:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.3 Minor League Schedule: Jeff Locke Makes Second Indianapolis Start http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/minor-league-schedule-jeff-locke-makes-second-indianapolis-start.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/minor-league-schedule-jeff-locke-makes-second-indianapolis-start.html#comments Mon, 21 Apr 2014 03:45:26 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76935 Indianapolis was the only team on the schedule yesterday. All four Pirates affiliates are at home today. No starter has been named yet for Bradenton. Check out the Prospect Watch from last night. For a look at possible starters down the line, check out our Probable Starter Chart. All minor league transactions over the last month can be found at the bottom of the page.

Locke got hit hard in his first AAA start this year

Locke got hit hard in his first AAA start this year

AAA: Indianapolis (11-5) vs Louisville (9-7) 7:05pm 
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (0-1, 9.00)
Yesterday’s Result:  Louisville 5, Indianapolis 1

Jeff Locke will make his second start for Indianapolis tonight. In his first outing, he went five innings, allowing five runs on five hits, two homers, two walks and he struck out four batters. Locke injured an oblique during Spring Training and missed the start of the season. He made one rehab start for Bradenton before being sent to Indianapolis. In that start, he went six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and a walk, while striking out ten batters.

AA: Altoona (5-9) vs Harrisburg (4-10) 6:30pm
Probable starter: Zack Dodson (0-1, 2.53)
Yesterday’s Result: Altoona was off

Zack Dodson will make his third start of the season tonight. He has also pitched once in relief. In his last start, which was against Harrisburg, Dodson went 5.2 scoreless innings, giving up six hits and three walks, while striking out five batters. He went four innings in his previous outing, allowing five runs(three earned) on seven hits and two walks. In his lone relief outing, he pitched one scoreless inning.

High-A: Bradenton (11-5) vs Charlotte (5-11) 6:30pm
Probable starter: TBD
Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton was off

No starter has been named yet for today’s game. The Marauders are in first place in their division, two games ahead of the pack. They have won six straight games. Bradenton is 6-2 at home and they are 3-1 at home.

Low-A: West Virginia (7-8) vs Kannapolis (6-9) 7:05pm  
Probable starterShane Carle (0-0, 3.09)
Yesterday’s Result: West Virginia was off

Shane Carle is the scheduled starter for West Virginia tonight. He has made three starts, pitching a total of 11.2 innings, with 14 hits, two homers and one walk. He has 12 strikeouts, a 2.43 GO/AO ratio and a .280 BAA. In his last start, Carle gave up one run on four hits and a walk over 4.2 innings. Dovydas Neverauskas was the next pitcher in line to pitch before West Virginia was rained out two days in a row, so he may see action tonight as well.

Recent Transactions

4/20: Carlos Paulino assigned from Indianapolis to Altoona roster.

4/19: Chris Stewart activated from disabled list. Tony Sanchez sent to Indianapolis.

4/18: Quinton Miller added to Altoona roster. Kelson Brown placed on disabled list.

4/17: Jovany Lopez loaned to Rojos del Aguila of the Veracruz League(Mexico)

4/17: Eric Wood activated from disabled list and added to Bradenton roster. D.J. Crumlich reassigned to minor league camp.

4/16: Collin Balester activated from disabled list and assigned to Bradenton.

4/16: Adalberto Santos assigned to Indianapolis. Jay Jackson transferred to Jamestown roster.

4/14: Luis Heredia placed on disabled list. Brett McKinney added to West Virginia roster.

4/13: Adalberto Santos transferred from Indianapolis to Jamestown roster.

4/12: Vin Mazzaro assigned to Indianapolis. Josh Kinney transferred to Jamestown roster.

4/11: Chris Stewart transferred from Bradenton to Indianapolis.

4/11: Jeff Locke activated from disabled list. Assigned to Indianapolis.

4/7: Barrett Barnes and Harold Ramirez placed on disabled list. Adam Landecker and Justin Maffei added to West Virginia roster.

4/6: Chris Stewart assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

4/5: Robert Andino placed on disabled list. Blake Davis added to Indianapolis roster.

4/4: Stetson Allie added to Altoona roster. Junior Sosa transferred to Jamestown roster.

4:4 Kenn Kasparek and Quinton Miller placed on disabled list. Brandon Mann added to Altoona roster.

3/29: Quincy Latimore and Erick Fernandez released.

3/27: Traded a player to be named later in exchange for Keon Broxton.

3/25: Acquired Vance Worley in exchange for cash.

3/22: Six minor league players released. Carlos Mesa, Cesar Lopez, Axel Diaz, Elvin Ramirez, Kirk Singer and Eliecer Navarro.

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Draft Prospect Watch: Four Prep Players That Could Be Interesting Picks For Pirates http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/draft-prospect-watch-four-prep-players-that-could-be-interesting-picks-for-pirates.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/draft-prospect-watch-four-prep-players-that-could-be-interesting-picks-for-pirates.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 22:04:37 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76923 Wrapping up the weekend with some notes on a few high school players that are getting mentioned in the second half of the first round. Most college teams started their schedule on Thursday this week due to Easter, so there are only a few college notes to recap below. On Friday we took a look at the top college pitchers in this draft class, then checked out the best college bats on Saturday. On Thursday, we posted an article on what the Pirates could expect with their first round pick this year. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th, just under seven weeks away. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 24th pick in the first round this year. They also picked 65th overall in the second round and 74th, which is their competitive balance pick. For more information on the top players in this draft class, check out our four-part draft preview.  2014-Draft

Baseball America posted a brand new Draft Tracker on Thursday with some interesting names to watch after the first round. One name that they mentioned could actually sneak into the first round. That is Jack Flaherty, a prep pitcher out of California. He is a solid two-way player, who is now picking up more attention as a pitcher. Scouts are down on his bat, but his pitching has helped him move up the draft charts. You can find a video and scouting report for Flaherty here.

Dan Kirby reports that Michael Chavis hit a walk-off grand slam on Saturday night. He is hitting .546/.643/1.090 through 22 games, with ten homers and 15 stolen bases. Chavis is a prep shortstop, who many feel won’t be able to handle the position in the pros. Scouts have suggested that he could be moved to catcher due to his strong arm, but if the Pirates were interested in Chavis, he would probably be kept at shortstop for at least the short-term, or moved to third base. He has been mentioned often in the 20-25 range, so there is a chance they are considering him.

Another prep shortstop that could move to third base is Jacob Gatewood. There seems to be a real split on him among scouts, with many seeing him as a top 10-15 pick, while others don’t think he will hit enough to warrant a first round pick. So you will see some real splits in his rankings. If the Pirates believe he is a legit top 15 player, then they will consider it a steal if he drops to them with the 24th pick. Gatewood helped his team to a tournament win earlier this week with a two-run double and a sacrifice fly in an 8-2 victory.

Prep outfielder Michael Gettys made some noise with his arm yesterday. He threw a complete game in his team’s 11-1 win that was called after five innings. Gettys carried a no-hitter into the fifth and ended up with nine strikeouts and the one run was unearned. His bat will carry him in the draft and he is a legit option for the Pirates, but his performance on the mound obviously shows that he has a good arm. His hitting has been off the charts recently, with a recent stretch that saw him hit .500 with nine extra-base hits in eight games.

Sunday College Roundup

Just some Sunday stats for a few of the top college bats and one pitcher. Check out yesterday’s link for updates on where these hitters are being mentioned in draft rankings recently.

Shortstop Trea Turner from NC State went 1-for-5 with a walk, stolen base and run scored against Boston College on Sunday.

Wichita State first baseman Casey Gillaspie went 3-for-4 with a run, stolen base and two RBIs on Sunday against Southern Illinois.

Sam Travis from Indiana went 1-for-4 with a double and two RBIs against Michigan State. Catcher Kyle Schwarber went 0-for-3 with a walk and run scored.

Virginia’s Mike Papi was 0-for-3 with a walk on Sunday. He also went 0-for-3 with a walk on Friday and Saturday. His recent climb towards the first round might have stalled out with this weekend’s performance. If he doesn’t sneak into the first round, he shouldn’t last too much longer.

Louisville’s Nick Burdi is the only reliever that looks like he will go in the first round. He made things interesting in Friday’s game by allowing two hits and another batter reached via throwing error. All three base runners came with two outs in a 3-2 game, but Burdi struck out the last batter for his eighth save. On Thursday, he picked up the loss in 11 innings, though the only run he allowed was unearned. On the season, Burdi hasn’t allowed an earned run in 19.2 innings. He has 34 strikeouts and a .125 BAA. He hits triple digits on the radar gun consistently.

Your Weekly Connor Goedert Update

When the Pirates took Connor Goedert in the 34th round of the draft last year, it seemed like a good late-round pick, but he didn’t sign. His brother was playing third base for Indianapolis at the time, which obviously didn’t convince him he was ready to go pro. Well, following Goedert this year, he apparently can hit. This past week he went 1-for-4 on Tuesday, 2-for-5 with two walks on Thursday and 3-for-5 with four RBIs on Sunday. Goedert plays for Neosho County Community College, where he has a .478/.571/.950 line through 51 games. He has driven in 85 runs and scored 70 times.

Vanderbilt’s Walker Buehler, the Pirates 14th round selection in 2012, allowed one run over 5.1 innings this week against Middle Tennessee State. On the year, he has a 1.66 ERA over 54.1 innings, with a .207 BAA and 64 strikeouts.

Bryan Baker, the Pirates 40th round selection from last year, is having a tough Freshman season at North Florida. He has started five games and pitched three times in relief. In 25.1 innings, he has a 7.71 ERA, .310 BAA and 17 walks. He looked like a strong draft choice late. He’s a big righty, highly projectable and he was hitting mid-90s over the Summer, so some considered him the one that got away from the Pirates.

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Prospect Watch: One Big Inning Sinks Indianapolis http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-one-big-inning-sinks-indianapolis.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-one-big-inning-sinks-indianapolis.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 20:58:48 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76925 TOP OF THE SYSTEM

A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors (Tony Sanchez #11, 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 - 1-for-4, 2B

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton - Disabled List (4/14 Update)

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia - Disabled List (4/2 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona - DNP

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona - DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia - DNP

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton - DNP

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power - Disabled List (4/14 Update)

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia - Disabled List (4/14 Update)

10. Andrew Lambo, 1B, Indianapolis - 0-for-2, BB

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona - DNP

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 - DNP

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

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia - DNP

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton - DNP

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis - DNP

20. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis -  DNP

 

2014FrontCoverORDER YOUR 2014 PROSPECT GUIDE

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.

 

DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Josh Kinney, RHP – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Chris McGuiness, 1B – 1-for-3, 2B, R

Home Runs: None

 

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Box Score

Result: Louisville 5, Indianapolis 1

Starting Pitcher: Jake Brigham, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter:  Chris McGuiness, 1B - 1-for-3, 2B, R

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 1-for-4, 2B

Andrew Lambo, LF – 0-for-2, BB

Game Notes: If starter Jake Brigham could only forget about the second inning, he would be in good shape. In the frame, Brigham allowed four of his five runs and four of his five hits. The Louisville rally was made entirely with two outs.

Andy Oliver put together another strong performance out of the bullpen with three strikeouts in two scoreless innings. However, Oliver was forced to pitch around some trouble, as he allowed three hits and walked a hitter.

Indianapolis was only able to tally two hits – doubles to right field by Gregory Polanco and Chris McGuiness. – Ryan Palencer

*Tony Sanchez played his first game for Indianapolis since being sent down to AAA following the return of Chris Stewart to the Pirates.

*Andrew Lambo played left field, the first time he has played outfield all season. It is an interesting move following the acquisition of Ike Davis.

 

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Altoona was off on Sunday.

 

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Bradenton was off on Sunday.

 

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER   

West Virginia was off on Sunday.

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What the future holds for Andrew Lambo http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/what-the-future-holds-for-andrew-lambo.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/what-the-future-holds-for-andrew-lambo.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:40:52 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76916 On Sunday, Andrew Lambo started in left field in Indianapolis. Though it is his natural position over first base, unfortunately it shows what we already knew – how the Ike Davis trade would impact his future with the club.

Lambo, who was given every chance out of Spring Training to take over the platoon job against right-handed pitchers at first base, had a dreadful Spring Training and was demoted to Triple-A.

However, a hot start to the season had some hopeful that Lambo would reclaim what could have been his. It was fairly obvious that Travis Ishikawa was a band-aid, but it was not Lambo who was the cure. It was the trade market and Davis.

With this decision, Lambo has a couple of hopes to end up in the Major Leagues this season. The first hope would be to provide depth in the event that an unfortunate injury would occur. The second option, which seems far more likely, is that he would become trade bait at the deadline if the Pirates are buyers again.

While Lambo could provide organizational depth at first base, the move Sunday to play him in left starts to clear up that the Pirates feel that his future is not at the position.

The key to any of these options are for Lambo to continue his success at Triple-A and to not get discouraged by the roadblock that has been placed in front of him.

Lambo is 13-for-35 in his last 10 games, but is only 2-for-13 in his last three. He has yet to hit a home run in this early season, but does have four doubles. Lambo has gone well over 200 plate appearances since his last home run, including Winter Leagues and Spring Training. Davis provides some pop that Lambo has not shown this year, but Lambo is coming off his 33-homer campaign last season that earned him Pirates Minor League Player of the Year.

Another key is Lambo’s lack of success against right-handed pitching early this season with Indianapolis. He is 4-for-20 facing righties, against 9-for-23 against lefties. If you are looking to a platoon job for Lambo, success against righties is obviously the key and it has been a weakness with the early small sample size. Lambo also has 11 strikeouts in 43 at bats this season.

Davis is also a huge defensive upgrade over Lambo at first. Though Lambo has not looked terrible at the position in Indianapolis, Davis is an above average fielder.

While the decision was made based on the upside of Ike Davis, Lambo did not do a lot this season to prove that he has to be the guy in the platoon.

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Prospect Highlights: Doubles From Polanco and Rojas http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-highlights-doubles-from-polanco-and-rojas.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-highlights-doubles-from-polanco-and-rojas.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 16:24:37 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76912 A couple Pittsburgh Pirates prospect highlights from the last two days. The first one is from baseball’s version of the human highlight reel(sorry Dominique Wilkins). Gregory Polanco hits a ball that looks like an easy chopper to first base and he ends up on second base with a double. Watch the highlight for yourself to see him pull that off.

The second one is from Mel Rojas Jr., who reaches down for a ball and puts it down the right field line for a stand-up double. He is hitting .303 with an .833 OPS from the left side, but he is just 3-for-16 with three singles as a righty.

And finally, just for the heck of it, we go back to Polanco from the other night. He rips an opposite field single off Chien-Ming Wang, the two-time 19 game winner in the majors with the Yankees, who now pitches for Louisville.

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After tough start, Phil Irwin is sent to the bullpen http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/after-tough-start-phil-irwin-is-sent-to-the-bullpen.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/after-tough-start-phil-irwin-is-sent-to-the-bullpen.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 13:00:13 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76862 The season has gotten off to a rough start for Phil Irwin, resulting in the right-hander being designated to the bullpen in Indianapolis. The move coincides with the addition of Jeff Locke to the squad.

After dealing with some setbacks from tendonitis in his elbow in the spring, Irwin saw only three innings in two games in Florida. Following his assignment to Indianapolis, Irwin allowed 11 earned runs in just six innings over a pair of starts. During this stretch, he allowed ten hits and walked five.

In addition, opposing hitters are hitting .370 off Irwin coming into Saturday. Irwin has also given up three home runs.

His average fastball was between 87 and 88 MPH last Sunday, an outing in which he allowed 7 earned runs in just 1.1 innings. After not giving up a run on just one hit in the first inning, Irwin got just one out in the second inning and he walked three in the frame.

With the lack of work in spring training, Indianapolis pitching coach Tom Filer said that Irwin is still looking to find his groove and get some work in at Triple-A.

“It is (like spring training) for Phil,” Filer said. “He is way behind the other guys. We have been trying to push him to get ready for the season.”

With the demotion, Filer said that there is also an organizational change of view on Irwin’s future.

“The organization sees him as bullpen help down the road,” Filer said. “With that curveball and when Phil gets the command of the fastball where it should be, he’s going to have some really good success.”

With the depth of the relievers in Pittsburgh, the demotion to the bullpen is a large hit to Irwin and his timeframe in Pittsburgh. With his lack of velocity and control issues early, it likely means that Irwin’s only short-term future with the Pirates is in long relief.

Irwin was adequate in his first relief appearance on Saturday night. Despite the success, the velocity and the command seemed very similar as it was in the rotation. He walked a pair of hitters in his two innings of work, with one of them intentional. Only 19 of his 36 pitches were strikes.

While the run that Irwin allowed was earned, it was aided by a two-base throwing error from the catcher. Irwin did load the bases in the ninth, but was able to get out of the jam, which was uplifting to see. One positive is that Irwin did strike out two hitters during the outing.

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First Pitch: How Good Could the Ike Davis/Gaby Sanchez Platoon Be? http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-how-good-could-the-ike-davisgaby-sanchez-platoon-be.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/first-pitch-how-good-could-the-ike-davisgaby-sanchez-platoon-be.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 04:30:47 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76887 Now that Ike Davis is in the mix for the Pittsburgh Pirates, it looks like the first base position is settled, at least for the next few years. There is the possibility that Davis won’t work out. His career numbers against right-handers are strong, but he hasn’t always played up to those numbers, in part due to injuries. If he can play up to those numbers, and stay healthy, then he could pair nicely with Gaby Sanchez, giving the Pirates some solid production from the first base position.

I wanted to get an idea of what the Ike Davis/Gaby Sanchez platoon was capable of, so I looked at a season projection from each player, using the numbers detailed below.

Gaby Sanchez

In his career, Sanchez has an .898 OPS against left-handers over 575 plate appearances.  He has a .701 OPS against right-handers in 1439 career plate appearances. Last year, Sanchez got 194 plate appearances against right-handers, and 126 against left-handers. A big reason for the increase against right-handers was that Garrett Jones was playing some right field during the season, making Sanchez an everyday first baseman at times. That won’t be the case this year now that Davis is in the mix.

It’s not very scientific, but I cut the plate appearances in half for Sanchez against right-handers, giving him a projected 126 plate appearances against lefties, and 97 against right-handers this year. I then applied his career ratios to those numbers, getting his overall production from the platoon, which I will summarize below.

Ike Davis

Davis has an .828 OPS against right-handers in his career in 1296 plate appearances. He struggles against lefties, with a .598 plate appearance. For this purpose, I gave him the plate appearances that Jones had last year, which was 417 against right-handers and 23 against lefties. Overall, when you consider the plate appearances from Sanchez above, combined with these from Davis, you come up with 663 plate appearances, which is three more than the first base position had last year.

Just like with Sanchez, I applied the career ratios for Davis to these plate appearance numbers. Then I combined the results from each player to get the totals below.

The Platoon

When you combined the above plate appearances and production for each player, you ended up with a .260/.355/.460 line over a full season from the first base platoon of Ike Davis and Gaby Sanchez. That is based on their career platoon splits, and the playing time breakdown at first base last year.

Putting this in perspective, that .815 OPS would have ranked 12th in baseball last year among 25 qualified first basemen.

Where Could They Improve?

I’m not going to point out where these two could fail to reach these projections, because the analysis is as simple as “playing below their career numbers”. In the case with Davis, he is injury prone, so you could add the fact that his injury risk could prevent him from reaching these numbers.

But where could these two improve on the above line, which is based on their career numbers?

In Sanchez’s case, he had a .987 OPS against left-handers last year. So far this year he has an OPS over 1.000, in a limited sample size. Just using his 2013 splits against lefties, rather than his career splits, you get a pretty nice bump. That increased production from Sanchez (going from an .898 OPS to a .987 OPS) takes the overall platoon to an .831 OPS. That would have been good enough for tenth best among the 25 qualified first basemen last year. Or, to put it in perspective, that’s what Allen Craig did for the Cardinals.

Davis had a down year last year against right-handers, with a .727 OPS. He was also dealing with an oblique injury, which could have led to the slump. So far this year he has an .850 OPS against right-handers, not counting tonight’s game. In 2012, he had an .868 OPS, which is similar to what we’ve seen so far. Using those 2012 numbers, rather than his career ratios, gives another big boost to the platoon. That version of Davis would take the overall platoon from an .815 OPS to an .841 OPS. That would tie for ninth among first baseman last year, tied with Brandon Belt, and one point behind Mike Napoli.

If you factor in both adjustments at the same time (using the 2013 numbers for Sanchez and the 2012 numbers for Davis), then you get an overall .857 OPS. That would have been good enough for sixth among first basemen last year, just ahead of Adam Lind.

The one thing to consider about this scenario is that, so far, it is playing out. In a limited sample size, Sanchez is playing better than his 2013 numbers against lefties, and considerably better than his career numbers. Likewise, Davis is playing closer to his 2012 numbers than his career numbers, also in a limited sample size. If both of these trends continue, then the Pirates could end up with top ten production from the first base position, bordering on top five production.

Links and Notes

**Ike Davis Looks Forward to Fresh Start With the Pirates

**Travis Ishikawa Designated For Assignment to Make Room for Ike Davis

**Chris Stewart Activated From the Disabled List, Tony Sanchez Optioned

**Prospect Watch: Chad Kuhl Throws Six Shutout Innings

**Minor League Schedule: Brigham Goes For Indianapolis on Light Sunday

**Draft Prospect Watch: Trea Turner Homers Twice

**Prospect Highlights: Willy Garcia Shows Off Arm, Hanson Legs Out Triple, Allie Homer

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Minor League Schedule: Brigham Goes For Indianapolis on Light Sunday http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/minor-league-schedule-brigham-goes-for-indianapolis-on-light-sunday.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/minor-league-schedule-brigham-goes-for-indianapolis-on-light-sunday.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 03:45:46 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76840 West Virginia was rained out of a doubleheader on Saturday. They will play back-to-back doubleheaders on April 29th and 30th. Indianapolis is the only Pirates affiliate on the schedule today. All the other three teams have Sunday off and they will resume play on Monday. All four Pirates affiliates will play at home on Monday. Check out the Prospect Watch from last night. For a look at possible starters down the line, check out our Probable Starter Chart. All minor league transactions over the last month can be found at the bottom of the page.

Jake Brigham will make his third start of the season today

Jake Brigham will make his third start of the season today

AAA: Indianapolis (11-4) @ Louisville (8-7) 1:35pm 
Probable starter: Jake Brigham (1-0, 3.48)
Yesterday’s Result:  Louisville 4, Indianapolis 2

Jake Brigham will make his third start of the season today. In his first outing, he went six innings, giving up one run on five hits and no walks. Brigham picked up nine strikeouts. In his second game, he went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs(three earned) on four hits and four walks, with seven strikeouts. Brigham has a 1.43 GO/AO ratio and a .214 BAA.

AA: Altoona (5-9) vs Harrisburg (4-10) 6:30pm 4/21
Probable starter: Zack Dodson (0-1, 2.53)
Yesterday’s Result: Richmond 7, Altoona 3

Altoona is off today. They are currently in fifth place in their division, four games out of first place. The Curve are 3-5 at home this year and 1-1 against Harrisburg. When Altoona returns to action on Monday, Zack Dodson will take the mound, making his third start. In his last game, he threw 5.2 shutout innings against Harrisburg.

High-A: Bradenton (11-5) vs Charlotte (5-11) 6:30pm 4/21
Probable starter: TBD
Yesterday’s Result: Bradenton 4, Jupiter 0

Bradenton is off today. The Marauders are in first place in their division, two games ahead of the pack. They have won six straight games. Bradenton is 6-2 at home and they are 3-1 at home. No starter has been named yet for Monday’s game.

Low-A: West Virginia (7-8) vs Kannapolis (6-9) 7:05pm  4/21
Probable starterDovydas Neverauskas (2-0, 1.80) or Shane Carle (0-0, 3.09)
Yesterday’s Result: West Virginia was rained out.

West Virginia is off today. The Power are in fifth place in their division, 4.5 games out of first place. They are 4-3 at home and they have won two straight. West Virginia only got in one out of three games against Kannapolis this week. The two teams play seven more times this month.

Recent Transactions

4/19: Chris Stewart activated from disabled list. Tony Sanchez sent to Indianapolis.

4/18: Quinton Miller added to Altoona roster. Kelson Brown placed on disabled list.

4/17: Jovany Lopez loaned to Rojos del Aguila of the Veracruz League(Mexico)

4/17: Eric Wood activated from disabled list and added to Bradenton roster. D.J. Crumlich reassigned to minor league camp.

4/16: Collin Balester activated from disabled list and assigned to Bradenton.

4/16: Adalberto Santos assigned to Indianapolis. Jay Jackson transferred to Jamestown roster.

4/14: Luis Heredia placed on disabled list. Brett McKinney added to West Virginia roster.

4/13: Adalberto Santos transferred from Indianapolis to Jamestown roster.

4/12: Vin Mazzaro assigned to Indianapolis. Josh Kinney transferred to Jamestown roster.

4/11: Chris Stewart transferred from Bradenton to Indianapolis.

4/11: Jeff Locke activated from disabled list. Assigned to Indianapolis.

4/7: Barrett Barnes and Harold Ramirez placed on disabled list. Adam Landecker and Justin Maffei added to West Virginia roster.

4/6: Chris Stewart assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

4/5: Robert Andino placed on disabled list. Blake Davis added to Indianapolis roster.

4/4: Stetson Allie added to Altoona roster. Junior Sosa transferred to Jamestown roster.

4:4 Kenn Kasparek and Quinton Miller placed on disabled list. Brandon Mann added to Altoona roster.

3/29: Quincy Latimore and Erick Fernandez released.

3/27: Traded a player to be named later in exchange for Keon Broxton.

3/25: Acquired Vance Worley in exchange for cash.

3/22: Six minor league players released. Carlos Mesa, Cesar Lopez, Axel Diaz, Elvin Ramirez, Kirk Singer and Eliecer Navarro.

3/20 Zac Fuesser, Ethan Hollingsworth, Kevin Kleis and Dalton Friend released.

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Draft Prospect Watch: Trea Turner Homers Twice http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/draft-prospect-watch-trea-turner-homers-twice.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/draft-prospect-watch-trea-turner-homers-twice.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:45:57 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76843 Yesterday, we took a look at the top college pitchers in this draft class, along with some notes on a few of the better prep players. Today we look at the best college hitters available. If you missed it from Thursday, we posted an article on what the Pirates could expect with their first round pick this year. The 2014 draft begins on June 5th, just under seven weeks away. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the 24th pick in the first round this year. They also picked 65th overall in the second round and 74th, which is their competitive balance pick. For more information on the top players in this draft class, check out our four-part draft preview2014-Draft

Outfielder Bradley Zimmer from San Francisco is the top rated college bat for many. Despite that ranking, there is a chance he may not be picked until after the top ten picks because overall, this draft class is weak for college hitters. Zimmer took on Pepperdine this weekend, a team that features two former Pirates picks in their rotation. Zimmer had a rough game on Thursday, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout. On Friday, he went 0-for-2 with three walks and a stolen base. Zimmer ended up without a hit this weekend, finishing on a real down note by going 0-for-5 with three strikeouts on Saturday.

Aaron Brown from Pepperdine was drafted by the Pirates in 2011 and now he is one of the best two-way players in college. He homered on Friday night and had three hits and three RBIs on Thursday. On Saturday, he went 2-for-4 with a double and run scored at the plate and picked up his eighth win of the season on the mound. He went six innings, allowing two earned runs on nine hits and two walks, with ten strikeouts. Jackson McClelland, a 2012 draft pick of the Pirates, made his start on Tuesday this week. He gave up two earned runs over six innings in a win against Cal State Northridge. McClelland has shown excellent control this season, allowing nine walks over 51.1 innings.

North Carolina State shortstop Trea Turner was taken by the Pirates in the 20th round of the 2011 draft and they probably wouldn’t mind getting him in the first round this year. Early on, he was a likely top five overall pick, but he has dropped into the middle of the first round due to questions about his bat and his defense. On Saturday, he hit two homers and scored three runs in NC State’s 7-5 loss to Boston College. Turner’s Friday night was covered yesterday. He now has six homers on the season.

Michael Conforto and Oregon State had off this weekend. Conforto is rated by most as a mid-first round pick, though he has been mentioned as a possibility for the Pirates. His teammate Dylan Davis is also going to be picked fairly high, with most ranking him 2nd-3rd round.

Third baseman Alex Blandino and Stanford, went up against Arizona State this week. Blandino is a possible late first round pick if he finishes strong and has less weekends like he had this week. He went 0-for-5 with a strikeout on Thursday. On Friday he was 1-for-5 with a double. He finished his weekend series with a 1-for-3 day on Saturday.

Max Pentecost, a catcher from Kennesaw State, had a two game series this week versus USC Upstate. Pentecost was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a walk on Thursday and he was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two walks on Friday. He is hitting .387/.447/.572 through 41 games. There is a chance he could drop to the Pirates as most have him in the 15-20 range.

Indiana and their two big bats in this draft, took on Michigan State this weekend. Catcher Kyle Schwarber went 1-for-3 with a double and walk on Friday. First baseman Sam Travis was 1-for-4 with a run scored. On Saturday, Schwarber played left field and went 0-for-4 with a walk. Travis was 2-for-5 with a triple and run scored. Schwarber is a strong possibility for the Pirates and although he catches in college, most feel his future will be at first base, possibly outfield. Travis will go in the second round, possibly a little later due to a poor power showing early on in the season.

First baseman Casey Gillaspie from Wichita State has recently moved into the first round talks. He is a big switch-hitter with a strong bat. He went up against Southern Illinois on Friday and had two RBIs, a walk and his tenth double of the season. On Saturday, he went 2-for-5 with his tenth homer. He also drew a walk and stole his fourth base of the season.

Mike Papi from Virginia is another first baseman that could sneak into the first round. His teammate Derek Fisher should return from a broken hamate soon and if he does well, they may have two first round picks on offense. Papi went 0-for-3 with a walk on Friday against North Carolina. On Saturday, he was 0-for-3 with a walk and RBI.

Virginia’s Nick Howard was getting top 50 rankings early this year as one of the better two-way players in college. He showed off that skill on Friday and Saturday, collecting two hits, score two runs and driving in the other in a 3-2 win Friday night. He also pitched a perfect ninth and struck out the side. On Saturday, he picked up his 13th save of the season, throwing a scoreless ninth, striking out two batters. He was 1-for-3 at the plate.

In yesterday’s draft article linked at the top, we covered the day of Cal State Fullerton’s third baseman Matt Chapman, as he took on possible first round pitcher Matt Imhof from Cal Poly. On Friday, Chapman went 1-for-5 with a solo homer and a walk. He  could be a first round pick and may be someone the Pirates look at, although recent rankings have had him outside the first round. Early in the year, he was being mentioned often in the 15-25 range. Chapman’s teammate J.D. Davis shouldn’t last too much longer in the draft than Chapman. He is another two-way player of note. On Friday, he pitched the last 4.1 innings of the 13 inning game and allowed just one run, though that ended up being the game-winning run. At the plate, he was 0-for-5 with a walk and run scored.

On Saturday, Chapman went 0-for-2 with two walks. Davis was in right field and he went 1-for-3 with a walk. Each of them struck out once.

One top pitcher didn’t go until Saturday. Sean Newcomb and Hartford took on Albany and won 3-2 in the opener of a doubleheader. Newcomb went seven innings, allowing one unearned run on three hits and four walks. He struck out seven batters. Newcomb had two subpar outings in a row before this week, so he could be getting back on track. Right now, he is mentioned often in the 15-20 range for the first round.

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Prospect Watch: Chad Kuhl Throws Six Shutout Innings http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-chad-kuhl-throws-six-shutout-innings.html http://www.piratesprospects.com/2014/04/prospect-watch-chad-kuhl-throws-six-shutout-innings.html#comments Sun, 20 Apr 2014 02:30:37 +0000 http://www.piratesprospects.com/?p=76846 TOP OF THE SYSTEM

A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors (Tony Sanchez #11, 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-3, BB

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton - Disabled List (4/14 Update)

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia - Disabled List (4/2 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona - 0-for-4, BB

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona - DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia - DNP

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton - DNP

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power - Disabled List (4/14 Update)

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia - Disabled List (4/14 Update)

10. Andrew Lambo, 1B, Indianapolis - 1-for-4, 2B, BB

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona - 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 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 - DNP

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

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia - DNP

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton - 0-for-3

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis - DNP

20. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis -  DNP

 

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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.

 

DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas Jr, CF – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Home Runs: None

 

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Box Score

Result: Louisville 4, Indianapolis 2

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Matt Hague, 3B – 2-for-4, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Brent Morel, 2B – 1-for-2, 2 BB

Gregory Polanco, RF – 0-for-3, BB

Andrew Lambo, 1B – 1-for-4, 2B, R

Phil Irwin, RHP – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: After allowing a run in the top of the first, Indianapolis starter Adam Wilk settled down to retire 10 straight hitters. However, he ran into some trouble in the sixth, allowing two more runs. Phil Irwin threw two strong innings in relief. Irwin allowed one run on two hits and two walks, one intentionally. He also struck out a pair.

Gregory Polanco had a tough night at the plate, striking out twice and grounding out weakly to first against Louisville starter Jeff Francis. Polanco appeared outmatched by Francis’ off speed pitches and breaking ball, which provide a nice test for what he will see at the next level.

Matt Hague went 2-for-4 at the plate to lead the Tribe, but struck out with the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at second in the eighth with one out. – Ryan Palencer

 

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Box Score

Result: Richmond 7, Altoona 3

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 4.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Mel Rojas Jr, CF – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, SS – 0-for-4, BB

Willy Garcia, RF – 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB

Game Notes: What should have been an intriguing pitching duel between prospects Joely Rodriguez and Kyle Crick, turned into an exhibition of missing control. The Curve uncharacteristically waited Giants’ top prospect Crick out, drawing six walks in 3.1 innings. Altoona walked 11 times in total today.

Rodriguez lasted 4.1 innings, picking up the loss. He generally worked in the 87-89 MPH range with his fastball, generating a heavy dose of ground balls in the process. The one bright spot for the Curve pitching staff today was Quinton Miller, striking out the side in the seventh, and working 90-93 MPH.

Mel Rojas Jr. and Willy Garcia paced the offense today, each getting on base three times. Garcia contributed an RBI single, along with his two walks. Rojas had a double of his own, as well as two walks.- John Kokales

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Box Score

Result: Bradenton 4, Jupiter 0

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Adam Frazier, SS – 3-for-4, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Osuna, 1B – 0-for-4, R

Jin-De Jhang, C – 0-for-3

Game Notes:  Chad Kuhl threw six shutout innings on Saturday night and continued to show impressive control this year. He had seven strikeouts and no walks, giving him two walks and 16 strikeouts over his four starts this year. All three hits Kuhl allowed were singles. He had seven ground ball outs, giving him a 1.83 GO/AO ratio this year. Josh Smith followed him with two shutout innings, giving him 9.1 scoreless frames this season. Robby Rowland closed out the win with a perfect ninth. The offense came off the bat of Adam Frazier with three hits and a run scored, plus a double and two RBIs from Walker Gourley. Josh Bell did not play.

 

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER   

West Virginia was rained out for the second straight day.

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