Prospect Watch: Josh Bell Hits 11th Homer; Kris Johnson Injured


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today. Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. 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. Rankings are from the mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player page.

1. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 5.25) – DNP

2. Gregory Polanco, CF, Altoona (.275) – 3-for-4, 3B, SB

3. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, West Virginia (8-3, 2.50) – DNP

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona (.179) – 0-for-5

5. Austin Meadows, CF, GCL Pirates (.311) – 1-for-4

6. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (.288) – 3-for-3, HR, BB

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona (3-3, 3.02) – DNP

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power (4-3, 3.18) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

9. Reese McGuire, C, GCL Pirates (.320) – 0-for-4

10. Dilson Herrera, 2B, West Virginia (.267) – 0-for-3

11. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia (.261) – Low-A DL

12. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 19.29) – Triple-A DL

13. Stetson Allie, 1B, Bradenton (.224) – 0-for-5, BB, 2 K

14. Wyatt Mathisen, C, West Virginia (.185) – DNP (GCL Rehab)

15. Clay Holmes, RHP, West Virginia (4-5, 4.27) – DNP

16. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Indianapolis (2-4, 3.30) – DNP

17. Vic Black, RHP, Indianapolis (3-2, 2.16) – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

18. Harold Ramirez, CF, Jamestown (.308) – DNP

19. Blake Taylor, LHP, GCL Pirates (0-2, 3.86) – 0.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

20. Jin-De Jhang, C, Jamestown (.279) – DNP



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Top Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP (3.18) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, RF (.288) – 3-for-3, HR, BB

Home Runs: Josh Bell (11)


Kris Johnson left the game in the second inning with an arm injury. (Photo Credit: David Hague)
Kris Johnson left the game in the second inning with an arm injury. (Photo Credit: David Hague)


Box Score

Result: Charlotte 5, Bradenton 4

Starting Pitcher: Kris Johnson, LHP (2.41) – 1.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Felix Pie CF (.249) – 2-for-5, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Andy Oliver, LHP (4.10) – 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Vic Black, RHP (3-2, 2.16) – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Kris Johnson left the game in the second inning with an arm injury. No word on his status. Andy Oliver continued his control problems out of the bullpen. Johnson and Oliver are the two options for a third lefty out of the bullpen, and you’d rather go with Johnson due to the control issues from Oliver. Indianapolis came back to score three runs in the bottom of the ninth and send the game to extra innings. Vic Black threw two shutout innings in extras, and Ali Solis came on to win it with a walk off single.



Box Score

Result: Portland 5, Altoona 2

Starting Pitcher: Casey Sadler, RHP (10-6, 3.46) – 4.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gregory Polanco, CF (.275) – 3-for-4, 3B, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Alex Dickerson, RF (.296) – 2-for-4, 2B

Justin Howard, 1B (.335) – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Gregory Polanco has hits in each of his last five games, including three doubles and now one triple. Polanco also stole his 11th base with Altoona, and has 35 on the season. Alex Dickerson picked up his 32nd double of the year. Justin Howard is now 15-for-38 in the month of August, getting hits in nine of his 11 games. He’s been hitting well since June, and currently has a modest three game hitting streak.



Game One Box Score

Result: Palm Beach 4, Bradenton 1

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP (4-7, 5.53) – 6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gift Ngoepe, SS (.333) – 2-for-3, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Elias Diaz, C (.266) – 2-for-2, BB

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson had a rare night where he gave up three walks. That was only the second time this season that he has walked more than two batters in a start, and only the fourth time he has walked more than one batter in a start. Gift Ngoepe is hitting for a .333/.451/.500 line in 42 at-bats so far in his second run through high-A ball.


Game Two Box Score

Result: Bradenton 4, Palm Beach 0

Starting Pitcher: Joan Montero, RHP (3-5, 3.36) – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, RF (.266) – 3-for-3, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Gift Ngoepe, SS (.326) – 0-for-1, 2 BB, SB

Dan Gamache, 2B (.267) – 2-for-3, RBI

Jacob Stallings, C (.204) – 1-for-3, 3B

Game Notes: Joan Montero made the spot start for the Marauders in game two, and had a great outing. So far this season Montero has a 3.68 ERA in 51.1 innings as a reliever, with a 43:27 K/BB ratio. Willy Garcia hit his sixth triple of the year.



Box Score

Result: Greensboro 5, West Virginia 1

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP (3.18) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, RF (.288) – 3-for-3, HR, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Francisco Diaz, C (.238) – 2-for-3, BB

Ryan Hafner, RHP (2.96) – 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Josh Bell hit his 11th home run of the year, and his second in his last three games. John Dreker wrote about Bell and the West Virginia hitters in detail today, noting Bell’s continued improvements throughout the year. Luis Heredia threw five shutout innings, and more importantly he didn’t allow a walk. In his last five starts, Heredia has a 1.82 ERA in 24.2 innings, with an 18:13 K/BB ratio. The walks have been the biggest issue this year, as his overall numbers have looked good considering he just turned 19 years old and is already pitching in low-A.



Jamestown was off today.



Box Score

Result: Blue Jays 6, Pirates 1

Starting Pitcher: Blake Taylor, LHP (0-2, 3.86) – 0.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Candon Myles, LF (.292) – 1-for-2, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, DH (.311) – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Blake Taylor had some control problems today, walking three and giving up one hit before being removed for a single inning pitch limit. Cameron Griffin allowed all three inherited runners to score with the only hit he gave up in 2.2 innings. Taylor’s ERA went up two and a half runs with the outing. Austin Meadows has a .370/.383/.543 line in 46 at-bats so far in August.

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.

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