Prospect Trends — Week Ending 6/5

Mercer had a two-HR game.

There weren’t a lot of extreme performances one way or the other in the past week.  Several pitchers, including Rudy Owens, Aaron Pribanic, and Brandon Cumpton, combined one good start with one bad one.  Matt Curry got an uncharacteristic (for this front office) two-level promotion, while Kyle McPherson flirted with a no-hitter.


Gorkys Hernandez, CF (AAA): Hernandez continued to pull his season out of the fire after a bad start, going 6-for-19 (.316) with two doubles.  He’s had 13 hits in his last 35 at-bats (.371), which brings his overall BA up to .271 and his OBP to .338.

Alex Presley, CF (AAA): Every time Presley seems to be cooling down, he quickly gets hot again.  Although he went 0-for-5 in his last two games, for the week he was 8-for-22 (.364) with two HRs, both coming in a 6-RBI game.  He’s now hitting 336/381/518.  Unfortunately, he was hit on the arm and had to leave Saturday’s game and didn’t play Sunday, but he’s not on the disabled list.

Matt Hague, 1B (AAA): Hague went 12-for-26 (.462) with two doubles and a HR.  He has his BA up to .310, but he’s only slugging .429, which isn’t enough for a firstbaseman.  If the right-handed Hague mashed lefties he might have a better chance, as the Pirates desperately need right-handed hitting with Steve Pearce out, but Hague has had sizeable reverse platoon splits every year of his pro career.  This year his OPS is .859 against RHPs and .645 against LHPs.

Jordy Mercer, SS (AA): Mercer’s strong hitting since the beginning of May continued, as he went 9-for-25 (.360) with three HRs, including two on Sunday.  Mercer’s now slugging .473 on the year, which makes him very intriguing as a shortstop.

Matt Curry, 1B (AA): A two-level promotion for Curry got off to a strong start, with eight hits in his first nineteen Altoona at-bats.  He went hitless in his last two games, including three whiffs in the last one, but the promotion gives Curry a chance to push his name well up the prospect list.

Kyle McPherson, RHP (A+): McPherson provided the system’s highlight for the week by taking a no-hitter into the 9th inning on Tuesday.  He allowed a solo HR, the only hit he gave up, but it was still a great start.  His next time out the team pulled him after four good innings, possibly due to the long previous start or to the pending Florida State League All-Star Game, or both.  For the week he allowed two runs, five hits and one walk in 13 IP, and fanned eleven batters.  On the year he’s struck out sixty and walked only six.

Drew Maggi, SS (A): Maggi continue to claw his way back from a rough start, going 9-for-28 (.321) with three walks.  He finally appears to be safely above the Mendoza line at .219 and he has a near-respectable .323 OBP, thanks to 26 walks.  That’s just one less than the number of times he’s fanned; good control of the strike zone may bode well despite the early struggles.

Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP (A): After a long string of rough starts, von Rosenberg had his second consecutive good start, this one an especially strong one.  He allowed just three hits and one run, with no walks and seven strikeouts, over six innings.  After major gopher ball problems through much of the season, he hasn’t allowed a longball in his last four starts.

Victor Black, RHP (A): Black continued his comeback from shoulder problems, pitching two hitless innings in each of his two outings.  He walked one and fanned two.  And he stayed healthy.


Jarek Cunningham, 2B (A+): Cunningham cut way back on his strikeouts, which had gotten out of hand, but for the week he went only 4-for-23 (.174) with a double.  His problems with the strike zone, which have produced a strikeout to walk ratio of 8-to-1, may be catching up to him.

Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

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