AFL Recap: Ngoepe Homers, Cumpton Pitches Well

In Arizona Fall League action today, Scottsdale lost 4-3 to Surprise. Gift Ngoepe hit a two-run homer in the seventh inning to tie the score at three.

Three Pirates players were in the starting lineup. Matt Curry batted cleanup and played first base. He went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He is currently hitting .230 with one homer in 74 AB’s.

Adalberto Santos batted sixth and started in left field. He went 1-for-3, raising his average to the .290 mark. He also reached base via hit-by-pitch and recorded his ninth stolen base.

Ngoepe hit ninth and was at second base. The home run was his first of the Fall League season. He finished the game 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He is hitting .256 in 43 AB’s.

Brandon Cumpton came in to pitch the sixth inning and threw two scoreless frames. He allowed one walk and struck out two without allowing a base hit. Brandon faced the minimum and it took just 23 pitches(13 for strikes) to get through two innings.

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IC Bob

Watched Santos and he doesn’t look very fast. I do think he runs with some smarts. He has a LONG way top go to play in the infield. He may be more of a line drive hitting outfielder. I will say this the ball leaped off his bat when I saw him and that will always play in the Majors

Ian Rothermund

Yeah, if his defense is really as bad as everyone says, then he’ll probably be ticketed for the outfield. That’s good to hear that he’s stealing bases on ability rather than just speed though, that’s something the Pirates have lacked for quite some time. So too have they lacked legitimate potential .300 hitters. The defense is obviously a concern, but like I said, even if they could just get him up to the level of not embarrassing the team, I think he could really contribute a lot. Hitting for average, with enough power that he isn’t a complete contact hitter, stealing bases, working walks, low K rate….this is why Grossman was viewed as being even more replaceable than some may have expected. Hey, he should be fine in a small right field with gold glover McCutchen manning center (phahahaha). Sorry, couldn’t hold it in on that one. At least there won’t be many balls getting through to the north side notch, and Andrew has the speed to catch up to all the balls he and Santos will misplay. Oh well, as long as Santos can work a .320 or .330+ OBP out of the lead off spot, no one will care if he even wears a glove on the field.


I don’t think we should be counting on a 25 year old with no at bats above AA to be a MLB starter. Santos is a non-prospect who might make it as a bench bat. He will not be pushing Tabata, Snider, or Marte for at bats.

Ian Rothermund

He will if he shows up in AAA and keeps doing the same thing he has for the last year and a half. Just have to wait and see, I’m not thrusting him into the top 10 or anything, but I don’t see any reason to be such a negative nancy either.

Ian Rothermund

I’m very interested to see how Santos will do in AAA this year. The fall league seems as though it should be a good tune up for that, as I would imagine the talent level is similar, barring older AAAA players that simply have experience on their side. Hopefully he can learn how to play at least average defense at some position though, as I haven’t heard much good about that aspect of his game. I assume he has some speed though, and I can’t imagine why, at the very least, he shouldn’t be able to at least learn to make the appropriate plays. So in that way, he should at least be able to not be a liability in the field.

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