Tony Sanchez had a huge game for Indianapolis yesterday and he has been an RBI machine in AAA this year. He hit two homers on Wednesday, including the opposite field shot shown in the video below, which was his second homer of the game. Sanchez has played 14 games now for Indianapolis and he has 17 RBIs to go along with a .966 OPS. The Pirates obviously want him catching everyday instead of getting two starts a week behind Russell Martin, but the fact the Pirates are 4-11 when Chris Stewart starts and 24-20 when he doesn’t, could mean that Sanchez doesn’t spend a whole lot of time in AAA this year.
The Altoona Curve won 6-5 on Wednesday and their game had a bunch of highlights of note. The most important one is the triple to straight away center from Alen Hanson. He also had a single, drove in two runs and stole his 12th base of the year. Since May 1st, Hanson leads all Pirates minor league players with six homers and 25 RBIs. Other highlights include doubles from Matt Curry, Elias Diaz and Willy Garcia, plus a strikeout from Quinton Miller to end the game.
Miller is an interesting player to highlight on draft day. He signed with the Pirates for a $900,000 bonus after being selected in the 20th round of the 2008 draft. He was a projectable high school pitcher, who hasn’t panned out due to injuries throughout his career, even getting a late start to this season. Once a pitcher with starter upside, he is a multi-inning reliever now. The Pirates will likely select a projectable high ceiling high school pitcher this year early in the draft. The hope for the pick is the player ends up progressing like Tyler Glasnow or Nick Kingham, but you can’t let pitchers like Miller scare you away because pitching is a game of attrition. For every pick you hit on, you get multiple players like Colten Brewer, who had pitched just 38.2 innings since being drafted in the fourth round in 2011, or Jake Burnette(7th Rd, 2011) with his 32.2 innings, or Hayden Hurst, who has recorded one out since signing an overslot deal in 2012.
Regardless of his past, if Miller can stay healthy, he still has an outside chance of ending up in a Major League bullpen someday. This season he has a .237 BAA, a 3.20 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 19.2 innings, so there is still some potential there from the 24-year-old.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.
In the Altoona clip, did anyone else notice how large Keon Broxton is when he is walking next to Hanson?