The Pirates had a camp day today, which ended with four intersquad games. Days like this are like mega prospect days. Everywhere you look there’s a Pirates pitcher throwing, and a Pirates hitter hitting. The Pirates had games on all four fields, which can make the coverage overwhelming. Fortunately we had four people at Pirate City today, as Kristy, Wilbur, and Kevin were also in attendance at various times throughout the day.
On camp days it is easier to watch the pitchers. The games go about six innings, so each batter will see around two or three at-bats. If you see more than one at-bat for a guy, it’s rare. It’s easier to move around based on who is on the mound, or who is about to go on the mound. It’s harder to keep track of who is due up to the plate.
My approach is to focus on certain pitchers, and just note a position player when they stand out. It’s easier to get a read on the pitchers, since you’ve got an inning or two of work, versus one at-bat or one play on the field. So here are the notes from today, which are heavily biased towards pitching.
**Luis Heredia and Clayton Holmes were pitching against a lot of guys who played in high-A last year. Heredia was 90-92 MPH today, while Holmes was 89-91. Both velocities were down from what they’ve been earlier this Spring, although that seemed to be a trend with a lot of guys today. Heredia was working both sides of the plate and had good tailing movement on his fastball. Video of Holmes can be seen below.
**Colton Cain was 87-90 MPH with his fastball today, but mostly sitting in the 87-88 range. This was about what I’ve seen him earlier in camp, and what I saw him in the second half of last season when he struggled. I chalked the second half up to his innings total. I like Cain a lot better when he’s throwing low-90s.
**Matt Benedict threw a few innings, sitting in the 88-90 range. He got a lot of ground balls, but did give up a few hard hits.
**Nathan Baker pitched in the higher level game. He was sitting 88-91 MPH when I saw him. His off-speed pitches looked good, although his fastball command wasn’t as sharp.
**Jake Burnette followed Holmes and was 89-91 MPH. He had good movement on his fastball, and showed some good athleticism covering first base.
**Yhonathan Herrand was throwing 89-94 MPH, mostly sitting in the 92-94 range. He was very wild, hitting Jeremy Farrell and coming close to hitting a few other players. This has been what I’ve seen out of Herrand pretty much every time I’ve watched him pitch.
**Josh Poytress was throwing in the 84-87 MPH range. The left-hander falls toward the third base side, which isn’t good for a left-hander in that speed range. It opens him up to bunt singles down the first base line.
**Victor Black was 92-95 MPH, which was higher than the last time I saw him. However, his control was wild.
**I got to see a few of the international guys for the first time. Roberto Espinosa looks more like an organizational arm, throwing in the 85-88 MPH range. He had a good curveball, which explains his success in the international leagues the last few years, although I don’t think he’s got the stuff to make it beyond the lower levels. Luis Campos was 87-89 MPH and was elevating a lot of his pitches.
**David Jagoditsh was 88-90 MPH with good movement on his fastball. I’ve seen him throwing harder in the past. He’s an intriguing prospect due to his size and the downhill movement on his pitches.
**Andrew Lambo hit a home run today off left-hander Nathan Baker. That’s a good sign as I’ve pointed out Lambo’s struggles against left-handers.
**Carlos Paulino showed off a great arm today, with a laser throw to second and a nice pick-off throw to first. That’s similar to what I’ve seen from him throughout camp.
**Jin-De Jhang has a good arm, but is a little wild at times. He sailed a high throw to second base on a stolen base attempt today.
**While we’re focusing on catchers, Tony Sanchez showed off his great blocking skills today.
**Alex Dickerson is a huge guy, but he also has some speed. I saw him steal a base a few days ago. Today he tried a drag bunt for a hit. Just what you want to see out of a power hitter.
**Candon Myles showed off his speed today with a stolen base.
**Carlos Mesa had a big drive yesterday, hitting a double to straight away center field. Today he had a big hit to center off Matt Benedict, falling where the notch would be in PNC Park. Mesa has been hitting well the last two days.
VIDEO OF THE DAY
Clayton Holmes throwing an inning of work today.
Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.