Prospect Watch: Gregory Polanco Hits Sixth Homer; Reese McGuire Continues Streak


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors (Stolmy Pimentel #13). 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. If a player is out for the season (Jameson Taillon #2, Clay Holmes #12), he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 20 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2014 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Gregory Polanco, CF, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, HR, BB

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (4/22 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – DNP

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 2-for-4, BB

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 1-for-4, BB

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power – Disabled List (4/22 Update)

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 3-for-4, 2B

10. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – Disabled List (5/7 Update)

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – DNP

12. Blake Taylor, LHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

13. Cody Dickson, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (4/14 Update)

15. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 3-for-5

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, Extended Spring Training – DNP

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia – 0-for-5

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton – 0-for-4

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

20. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP



The 2014 Prospect Guide is now available, and is the perfect resource to follow the minor league system during the 2014 season. You can order your copy on the products page of the site.



Top Pitcher: Zack Dodson, LHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Curry, DH – 3-for-5, HR

Home Runs: Gregory Polanco (6), Mel Rojas (4), Elias Diaz (3), Matt Curry (2), Raul Fortunato (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 15, Charlotte 6

Starting Pitcher: Vance Worley, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Robert Andino, SS – 3-for-6, 2 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 1-for-5, HR, BB

Chris Dickerson, CF – 1-for-5, 2B, BB, SB

Chris McGuiness, 1B – 4-for-6

Game Notes: Vance Worley had his worst start since joining Indianapolis. Prior to this outing, he had a 2.84 ERA in 19 innings over three starts, with a 14:0 K/BB ratio. He gave up all six runs in the second inning tonight, then rebounded to get 13 of the next 15 hitters. The only two hits allowed the rest of the game were with two outs. You don’t normally expect six runs allowed on seven hits and one walk in six innings. Usually the hits are more spread out, rather than all of the damage coming in one inning. Outside of that one inning, Worley has been great this season. It’s a small sample size, so we’ll have to see if that “one big inning” problem comes around more often. On the offensive side, Indianapolis scored 15 runs. Gregory Polanco did a little damage, hitting a three run homer, his sixth of the year. Robert Andino added three hits, and Chris McGuiness had a four hit night.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 11, Erie 6

Starting Pitcher: Zack Dodson, LHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Curry, DH – 3-for-5, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Mel Rojas, CF – 3-for-5, HR

Elias Diaz, C – 1-for-4, HR

Drew Maggi, 2B – 2-for-4, BB

Game Notes: Since returning from the disabled list, Zack Dodson has a 2.77 ERA in 13 innings over three starts, with a 10:3 K/BB ratio. On the season he has a 2.66 ERA in 23.2 innings, with a 16:9 K/BB ratio. He’s the only remaining 2009 prep pitcher who has a shot at making the majors for the Pirates. His upside is still a member of the starting rotation, and to get there he is going to have to continue limiting the walks. It’s more likely that he ends up as a reliever, in which case his fastball/curveball combo could be very effective. Altoona’s offense was on fire tonight, with Mel Rojas, Matt Curry, and Elias Diaz all homering. It was the fourth of the year for Rojas, the second in two nights for Curry, and the third of the season for Diaz.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 9, Daytona 2

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Raul Fortunato, LF – 3-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-5, 2B

Ryan Hafner, RHP – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Raul Fortunato had a three hit night, and also hit his first home run of the year. Chad Kuhl had a nice outing, going 6.1 innings for the second start in a row, and giving up one earned run. Kuhl has been inconsistent this season. He had a 3.09 ERA in 23.1 innings in April, with one bad start mixed in. He’s had a 5.76 ERA in 29.2 innings in May, with three bad starts and two good ones, including tonight. He’s a sinkerball pitcher who has been working on his extension fastball to lefties, along with developing his changeup. So far, lefties are hitting him much better, with an .834 OPS, compared to a .741 OPS against right-handers.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Lakewood 6

Starting Pitcher: Justin Topa, RHP – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Elvis Escobar, RF – 3-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, CF – 3-for-4, 2B

JaCoby Jones, SS – 3-for-5, SB

Reese McGuire, C – 2-for-4, BB

Game Notes: West Virginia rounded up the big day of offense in the system by scoring eight runs. Elvis Escobar, Harold Ramirez, and JaCoby Jones all had three hit nights. Jones stole his 12th base of the year, giving him a six game stolen base streak. He also has a six game hitting streak. Ramirez hit his seventh double of the year in just 63 at-bats, and now has his OPS up to .753 after a slow April start and a hamstring injury. Reese McGuire also continued his hot hitting of late. He extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his multi-hit night. He also has reached base safely in 18 straight games. He only has a .690 OPS on the season, but has a hit in 23 of his 31 games, and has reached base safely in 27 of 31 games. The low OPS is mostly due to a lack of power, as he has just an .042 ISO on top of his .294 average.

Live Report: An offensive explosion occurred Friday night at Appalachian Power Park. The Power bats banged out 15 hits in the 8-6 victory. The scoring started when Elvis Escobar scorched a fastball to right driving in the first two runs of the contest. Escobar continued to impress at the plate collecting two more hits including an RBI double in the 4th where he took the ball the other way. Escobar’s combination of speed and sneaky power was very impressive tonight.

Joining Escobar in the three hit night parade were JaCoby Jones and Harold Ramirez. Ramirez hit the ball hard all evening, in particular his lead-off double to start the 3rd. Ramirez continues to show tremendous gap power to right-center, making standup doubles a regular occurrence. Jones was all over Lakewood starter Arteaga, hitting two line drives to left and continued to show his propensity for swiping a bag with his 12th steal. One that was made with ease due to a great jump off the pitcher.

Reese McGuire went 2 for 4 at the plate but did struggle with the high fastball in the 3rd, which was somewhat surprising considering his ever improving plate discipline and that the entire lineup was rocking the pitcher at the time. McGuire did redeem himself with two nice pieces of hitting in his 3rd and 4th at-bats, hitting two line drives up through the box.

Brett McKinney came in for the five out save in an outing where he hit 95 on the gun on two occasions. He looked sharp and threw strikes. The only negative you could take from the outing was giving up another home run — an absolute bomb to center on a pitch up in the zone. That’s a trend that shows McKinney may give up the long ball if the hitter catches up to his fastball. – Blain Smith

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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IC Bob

Is Austin meadows going to miss the year with a strained hammy? I don’t believe it was torn but I may be wrong here.

Lee Young

Re:Dodson……”He’s the only remaining 2009 prep pitcher who has a shot at making the majors for the Pirates.”

And, at the time, draftniks were applauding our strategy and labeled ZVR a ‘steal’.

Pitching attrition rate is indeed huge.


Boy the Lumber Company was the Lumber Corporation tonight! With Dodson and Curry topping the charts it feels like 2011 here. Good day all.

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