Prospect Watch: Two Homers For Tony Sanchez, Three Hits By Gregory Polanco


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 – 3-for-6, 2B, RBI

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (5/30 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI, SB

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – DNP

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power – DNP

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – DNP

10. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – Disabled List (5/30 Update)

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

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

13. Cody Dickson, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (5/30 Update)

15. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – DNP

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

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia – DNP

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton – 1-for-4

19. Casey Sadler, RHP, In Majors

20. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – 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: Richard Mitchell, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C – 3-for-6, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Home Runs: Tony Sanchez 2(3)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 11, Syracuse 2

Starting Pitcher: Jay Jackson, RHP – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C – 3-for-6, 2 HR, 5 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 3-for-6, 2B, RBI

Mel Rojas, CF – 2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB

Game Notes:  We heard on Wednesday that this game might be the last with Indianapolis for Gregory Polanco and if it is, he went out with a bang. He collected three hits, scored three runs and had an RBI in the 11-2 victory. He is 10-for-24 since moving to the lead-off spot. Polanco’s night was overshadowed by someone who has already been up to Pittsburgh this year. Tony Sanchez hit two homers and drove in five runs, giving him 17 RBIs in 13 games in AAA. Matt Hague also had a big night, going 3-for-6 with three RBIs and two runs scored. He has now driven in 38 runs this season. Mel Rojas Jr. joined in the fun on offense, collecting two hits and two walks. He’s hitting .353 since joining Indianapolis. Jay Jackson did the brunt of the pitching, allowing two runs over six innings for the victory.




Box Score

Result: Altoona 6, Binghamton  5

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Elias Diaz, C – 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, SS – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, SB

Matt Curry, 1B – 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI

Game Notes: Joely Rodriguez started the season with some control issues that led to poor numbers, but he seems to have turned things around. After posting a 5.12 ERA in April, he had a 3.66 mark in May, then allowed two runs over six innings on Wednesday night. He had four strikeouts and ten ground ball outs. Elias Diaz had three hits and drove in two runs. Alen Hanson had two hits, including his sixth triple and he drove in two runs as well. Matt Curry had two doubles and an RBI. Altoona got the win despite 13 strikeouts. They are well out ahead of the rest of the league in strikeouts from their hitters, with 493 in 58 games.



Box Score

Result: Brevard County 3, Bradenton 1

Starting Pitcher: John Kuchno, RHP – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jeff Roy, CF – 0-for-2, 2 BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Adam Frazier, SS – 1-for-4

Jin-De Jhang, C 1-for-4

Game Notes: John Kuchno couldn’t match his seven shutout inning performance in his last start, but he still pitched a decent game despite ending up on the losing side. He had another outing that qualified as a  quality start, allowing three runs over seven innings of work. Bryton Trepagnier threw a scoreless eighth inning to lower his ERA to 2.00 through 27 innings. The offense couldn’t put anything together after scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Jeff Roy had two walks and scored the lone run, while four other players collected one hit apiece. Jordan Steranka had the only extra base hit, a sixth inning double.



West Virginia had their game canceled due to rain



Box Score

Result: Pirates 9, Braves 6 in 10 innings

Starting Pitcher: Richard Mitchell, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Yunelky Adames, 1B – 3-for-4, 3 RBI, 2 SB, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Sandy Santos, CF – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB

Edison Lantigua, LF – 0-for-4, RBI

Adrian Valerio, SS – 1-for-4

Game Notes: The DSL Pirates won for the first time all season, taking home a 9-6 victory. Richard Mitchell got his first start of the year and pitched brilliantly, allowing just one hit and one walk over five shutout innings. Mitchell is one of the top two pitchers on the DSL Pirates and he showed why on Wednesday. Coming into the game, Pirates pitchers allowed 30 runs in the first three games. After Mitchell left, two relievers combined to allow six runs.

The offense has been solid all season and they put up nine runs on Wednesday, led by three hits and three RBIs from Yunelky Adames, plus two hits and two RBIs from Sandy Santos. Both Santos and Adames stole two bases, including a steal of home from Adames. Raul Siri had two hits, including his fourth double of the season. Top prospect Jeremias Portorreal went 1-for-3 with a walk. Victor Fernandez had a hit, walk and scored two runs.

You can check out the DSL Pirates season preview here.

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.

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Don’t look now, but Rojas is climbing the ladder in a hurry. As soon as the media starts calling him a top prospect he should put the Pirates in some good dealing positions.


IMO, Sanchez could be the starting catcher on many teams in major league baseball and It is comical to hear people complaining about Sanchez’s defense, he is a terrific defensive catcher right now, quit trying to compare him to Martin, get out a little bit and watch other catchers in major league baseball. What Martin can do right now that Sanchez can’t and I said can’t do is command the respect from the pitchers that Martin commands. Sanchez can receive, block, call the game as good as most, has a strong arm, but might have a little confidence problem with the arm.
I would move Stewart and possibly get something for him, he is a good catcher and catchers are always in demand. The only problem with moving Stewart is if an injury occurs, then you are down to two major league ready catchers in the organization.

R Edwards

It would have been nice to have had Tony Sanchez in the lineup last night, instead of Chris Stewart.

Andy Prough

That’s what I was basing my observation on. Why lose a game when you don’t have to? We are going to need every win this year if we are going to make any kind of a run.

R Edwards

Exactly, the Pirates have lost a lot of close games this year, for a myriad of reasons. I have to believe that having Tony Sanchez, Chris Dickerson, and possibly Mazzaro up in place of Stewart, Snider, and Gomez, we may have 2-3 more wins this year. Maybe more.

Andy Prough

I’m assuming I’m not the only one who thinks Sanchez has earned the backup catcher spot over Stewart?

Frank Micko

There are several points for having him in Pittsburgh now.

1- He was hitting nearly .280 and already had 3 game winning hits. Have you seen our bench?

2- There’s no guarantee his defense improves to where he’s the everyday starter in 2015.

3- 4- Martin wants to help Tony improve and has already said he should be up here.

4- Regardless of how much he improves, Tony’s window as a potential starter can shut as early as June of 2016 depending on the rate that Mcguire continues to improve.


Yes I’ve seen our bench. It’s the best in terms of OPS as PH in the league.

Frank Micko

Did you have a qualification for having one of your best bats seasoning for a job he might never be given or only hold for 14 months?

Frank Micko

Right and those numbers are including Tony’s OPS. Gaby is the only bench player with a higher OPS than Tony’s.

R Edwards

I agree 100% – but the Pirates obviously do not believe in fielding the best team possible in Pittsburgh and trying to win. If they did, Sanchez would be in Pittsburgh and Stewart DFA’d. Chris Dickerson or Lambo (when they were healthy) would have been called up to replace Snider a long time ago, until Polanco could be recalled.

Andy Prough

The “when they were healthy” part kind of kills your argument. I’m assuming Snider won’t be around long once the healthy Polanco arrives though.

R Edwards

No not really, at least with Dickerson – he just got hurt late last week. So, he could have been up for the first 6-7 weeks of the season, in place of Snider.

Nick Rexilius

Most people would agree. But Sanchez isn’t gonna get much better collecting dust on the bench while Martin gets the bulk of playing time. They’d rather have him play everyday in Indy to help polish up his overall game for next year, when he’ll likely be the starting catcher

Andy Prough

Could have used him tonight!


So how is Jeff Roy of the Bradenton marauders the top hitter when he was 0 for 2. And the other notable performers were 1-2? Just curious.

Tim Williams

The other guys were 1-for-4. Roy was 0-for-2 with two walks and a steal. In terms of reaching base, he was 2-for-4.

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