A couple of AAA hitters may be wondering when they get to join the parade of Indianapolis players going to Pittsburgh, a couple of sluggers start to overcome slumps, and a couple of low A right-handers struggle.
Matt Hague, 1B (AAA): Continuing his torrid pace, Hague went 13-for-27 (.481), with five doubles, four walks and just two strikeouts. Until going hitless Sunday, he had a stretch of seven multi-hit games. He also had a double in six straight games before Saturday. With the signing of Lyle Overbay predictably proving to be a failure, more and more fans understandably are eager to see Hague move up to replace him.
Gorkys Hernandez, CF (AAA): Hernandez also continued his hot hitting, raising his average to .299 by going 12-for-28 (.429) on the week, with two doubles and his first longball of the season. He had a lot of doubters early in the season, but he seems to have restored his prospect status and should be in line for a callup if, heaven forbid, the Pirates’ injury epidemic continues. At worst, he should see Pittsburgh in September if he keeps hitting well.
Matt Curry, 1B (AA): After starting the week with just one hit and five whiffs in thirteen at-bats, Curry seems to have gotten himself back on track with a 9-for-17 (.529) showing in his last four games, with a double and HR, and just two strikeouts. Hopefully, he’s working his way out of the slump that started about a week after his two-level promotion.
Jarek Cunningham, 2B (A+): Just when it seemed like the pitchers had him figured out, Cunningham started slugging again. On the week he went 8-for-24 (.333) with three doubles, three HRs and ten RBIs. He even managed to draw three walks.
Zac Fuesser, LHP (A): Continuing to outpitch most of the more highly touted arms from the 2009 draft, Fuesser allowed just two earned runs total in his two starts, covering eleven innings. He allowed seven hits and three walks, and fanned eleven.
Stetson Allie, RHP (A-): Yeah, okay, his ERA is 6.00 and he’s walked seven in nine innings, but Allie pitched very little before turning pro and skipped the rookie level. Personally, I was afraid he’d have the sort of starts where he walked a bunch of guys and failed to get out of the first inning. Instead, he muddled through his first two starts and, in his last one, went four innings without walking a batter, fanning five. Viewed in context, Allie’s progress so far is encouraging.
Jose Osuna, OF (R): Joining Alen Hanson and Yhonathan Barrios in getting off to a good start in the GCL, Osuna went 7-for-11 (.636) during a typically rain-shortened week of GCL play. On the season he’s hitting 400/471/533. So far, Osuna hasn’t shown the power he displayed last year in the VSL, with just one double and one HR in thirty ABs, but he’s also fanned only three times.
Taylor Lewis, OF (A-): Lewis deserves a mention due to the fact that he’s hit four triples in his last three games. He doesn’t even have a double yet. Since a miserable 1-for-25 start to his season, Lewis is hitting 8-for-22 (.364), with all those triples and only two strikeouts. Lewis went to the University of Maine, which means he figures to be more of a project than the typical college player.
Justin Wilson, LHP (AAA): After a strong start to his season, Wilson has increasingly struggled as AAA hitters seem to be figuring him out. He didn’t pitch terribly in his two starts during the week, but he didn’t pitch particularly well, either, allowing twelve hits, six walks and seven earned runs in twelve innings. In his last eight starts, his ERA is 6.41 and he’s walked a batter every two innings.
Aaron Pribanic, RHP (AA): In his one start during the week, Pribanic got lit up, allowing eight runs (seven earned) and eleven hits in five innings, with just one strikeout. He finished June with an ERA of 8.74 and may be another example of how the inability to miss bats is hard to overcome, no matter how many ground balls a pitcher induces.
Zack Von Rosenberg, RHP (A): Von Rosenberg’s difficult season continued, as he failed to get out of the first inning in his lone start. In two-thirds of an inning, he allowed seven runs, five earned.
Brooks Pounders, RHP (A): After pitching very well for much of the year, Pounders has fallen on hard times lately. On Saturday, he allowed earned six runs in two innings. In his last four outings, he’s allowed a dozen earned runs over 7.2 IP.
Exicardo Cayones, OF (A-): About a year ago, Cayones was hitting .400 after going 7-for-7 in a doubleheader, and was still the recipient of the largest bonus the Pirates had given to a Latin American prospect, publicity stunts (i.e., Yoslan Herrera) excluded. Right after that doubleheader he stopped hitting. Now he’s 2-for-23 (.087) with eleven strikeouts on the season. He’s turned into mainly a bench player for State College, getting only nine ABs in the past week (and fanning in five of them).