Prospect Watch: Glasnow Dominates, Despite Poor Control; Strong Play From McGuire


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. If a player is out for the season, 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 2015 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Altoona – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-3, BB

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-4

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-4, 2B

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, BB

8. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – DNP

10. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Extended Spring Training

12. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

13. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

14. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Extended Spring Training

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Extended Spring Training

17. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

18. Willy Garcia, OF, Altoona – 0-for-4, 3 K

19. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 0-for-4

20Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training



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Top Pitcher: Chris Volstad, RHP – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jerrick Suiter, DH – 2-for-4, HR

Home Runs: Stetson Allie (1), Jerrick Suiter (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 2, Columbus 0

Starting Pitcher: Chris Volstad, RHP – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jaff Decker, LF – 2-for-2, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Tabata, RF – 1-for-3, 3B, BB, SB

Alen Hanson, 2B – 1-for-3, BB

Blake Wood, RHP – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: After a bit of a rough start, Chris Volstad settled down nicely in his Indianapolis debut. Volstad was a bit all over the zone in the first couple innings, leading to a higher pitch count. However, he settled down, started attacking the zone more and retired the final 13 hitters that he faced. Of Volstad’s 79 pitches, 48 were strikes. The number is a bit deceiving as the control improved in the later innings. His fastball shifted nicely to each side of the plate and sat in the high 80s to low 90s.

In relief of Volstad, A.J. Morris pitched around a pair of walks to get out of his inning of work. Bobby LaFromboise struck out the side, while issuing one walk in the eighth. Blake Wood nailed it down with a perfect ninth, as he was hitting 96-98 on the gun.

Jaff Decker was productive in his three at bats with a double, RBI sacrifice fly, and a hard-hit single. Jose Tabata showed some speed as he added a triple and a stolen base. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Harrisburg 4, Altoona 1

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Glasnow, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, CF – 1-for-4, 2B

Jhondaniel Medina, RHP – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Tyler Glasnow made his Double-A debut on Saturday and it was a typical Tyler Glasnow start. He went five shutout innings, allowing two hits, four walks and he struck out six batters. Except for the fifth inning, when he got three grounders on seven total pitches, Glasnow had control issues which ran his pitch count up to 67 through the first four innings. He hit 96 MPH with his fastball and was using all three of his pitches, getting multiple strikeouts with his curve. Glasnow didn’t allow a hit after giving up a single to the lead-off batter in the second inning.

The Curve didn’t get their first hit until Keon Broxton doubled with one out in the sixth inning. Stetson Allie hit his first homer of the season in the seventh inning and that gave Altoona a 1-0 lead. Things got ugly in the eighth inning. Harrisburg scored four runs off John Kuchno with the help of three errors, including the third of the season by Allie in right field and the first from Josh Bell at first base. Jhondaniel Medina threw two shutout innings in his season debut and hasn’t allowed an earned run in the regular season in his last 42.2 innings, dating back to last April. – John Dreker



Box Score

Result: St. Lucie 3, Bradenton 2

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

Top Hitter: Erich Weiss, 2B – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Reese McGuire, C – 1-for-4, 2B

Jin-De Jhang, DH – 3-for-4, SB

Game Notes: Reese McGuire had a nice game on both sides of the ball tonight. At the plate he was making solid contact, hitting a deep fly ball that was caught with a leaping catch against the wall. He later ripped a double down the first base line. Defensively he made two strong throws to beat base runners attempting to steal second. The first throw beat the runner by a mile. The second was a close play on a pitch out against Champ Stuart. McGuire delivered a strong throw that beat the runner, but the ump at second called the runner safe, saying the tag was high. This prompted manager Michael Ryan to argue the call, which would have ended the eighth inning. The next batter hit a two-out home run, giving St. Lucie a 3-2 lead, which led to Ryan walking out to argue with the umpire again, and led to his ejection. Ryan said after the game that he told the umpire he would be back out if the runner scored, and sure enough he was. “I’m a man of my word,” Ryan said with a laugh after the game.

Justin Maffei showed off some solid range in left field, including making a great catch running back to his right, seen in the picture below.

Check out this amazing catch by Bradenton left fielder Justin Maffei. -Tim #Pirates

A photo posted by Pirates Prospects (@piratesprospects) on

Austin Meadows had a rough night at the plate. He didn’t get many good pitches, and laid off them in his third at-bat to draw a walk, but couldn’t lay off a curveball in the dirt for a swinging strikeout in his second at-bat. Meadows did make a nice Andrew McCutchen style sliding catch to his side in center field on a shallow fly ball.

Jin-De Jhang had a nice night at the plate, picking up three hits and also getting a stolen base. He followed that up by taking third on a wild pitch in the dirt. Erich Weiss showed some solid hitting, including a double that he took to the opposite field gap on an outside pitch, giving the Marauders their only runs. Frank Duncan was very effective, throwing all three pitches for strikes, including an 89-91 MPH fastball.



Box Score

Result: Savannah 11, West Virginia 4

Starting Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 1.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jerrick Suiter, DH – 2-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Elvis Escobar, CF – 2-for-5, 2B

Chase Simpson, 1B – 2-for-4

Francisco Diaz, C – 2-for-4

Junior Lopez, RHP – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Jerrick Suiter didn’t hit a single home run in his three years at TCU, spanning 412 at-bats. He hit just one homer last year in 190 at-bats in Bristol. It only took him ten at-bats this year to get one. I wouldn’t count on him suddenly being a power hitter, based on the history. He does a good job of getting on base, but he’s going to need to start hitting for power, especially with his move this year to first base. Dovydas Neverauskas looked promising the last few years as a guy who could hit 95 MPH at a young age. The downside was that he lacked consistency, and that becomes more of a concern the older he gets. He struggled with his control today and saw an early exit.

  • I predict huge season from Meadows and McGuire

  • Great summaries and thanks to you, Ryan at AAA and John at AA. I always appreciate the info not covered in box scores such as the types of pitches being thrown, the velocity (mph) of the pitches, where the pitches are missing, hitters who are making good contact, Catcher play, etc.

    • BTW, the radar at Harrisburg last night did not work half the time and some of the numbers it displayed, when it was working, were obviously wrong. As a result, I didn’t post anything about velocity. I wouldn’t trust the numbers.

  • My wife and I attended the Altoona at Harrisburg game tonight…..from a big baseball fan, but admittedly not a scout or an expert at analysis, here are my reactions and comments:
    (1) Glasnow – He’s the reason I was willing to drive 2 hours each direction to see this game. Although I am sure he was far from his best, he showed enough that you can tell he’s going to be a good one. He struggled with control and with the home plate umpire’s inconsistent strike zone. It appeared he mostly struggled with his fastball – usually low – he threw several in the dirt. What got him out of every jam was his curve ball, which was money tonight. That was his strikeout pitch tonight.What I liked the most about him was that he seemed very poised for a 21 year old in his AA debut. Never seemed to get rattled. He also pitched like a bulldog – just going right after the hitters. He seemed confident.

    (2) Medina – Although not very big, I liked what I saw from this guy. Again, he was aggressive – attacking the strike zone. His control was shaky at times, but overall he pitched well.

    (3) Kuchno – He got a raw deal tonight, as his defense failed him. Gamache booted two at second base, although the second one was not an easy play. Allie dropped a ball in RF, and Bell missed a grounder hit right at him. Only one ball was hit in the air the entire inning, but the 3 errors combined with 2 hits (one should have been scored an error on Gamache) allowed 4 runs to score. At most, he should have been out of the inning after 4-5 batters – maybe giving up one run.

    (4) Altoona hitters – major disappointment tonight, although it is one game. 1 run and 4 hits. The guy who hit the ball most consistently hard tonight was Salcedo. He was 0-4, but he hit a couple of balls very hard – including one to the warning track in LC. Broxton had a nice double to LC, and Allie hit a bomb for a HR – also to LC. And, that was pretty much it. I’ve seen Bell play now three times, and I have yet to see him hit a ball hard. Obviously, he’s better than when I have seen him. Overall, the Altoona hitters were taking way too many pitches – putting themselves in 0-2 and 1-2 holes continually. That Senators pitcher was nothing special, but he was throwing strikes – they should have been able to figure him out the second or third time through. None of the hitters were impressive. Bad night by all.

    (5) Ngoepe, as usual, played flawlessly at SS – and even made a couple of very difficult short hops look easy. Its too bad he can’t hit, because he’s easily the best SS in the entire Pirates system.

    Why is Allie in RF? I know Bell is playing first and they want to get Allie at bats, but it seems like he should be in LF and Garcia in RF. I don’t get that decision. Garcia easily makes the play in RF that Allie muffed. Allie is not an outfielder, and certainly not a RF. I’d try him at 3B, before trying him in the OF.

    There is a little guy who plays 2B for Harrisburg – Tony Renda – can’t be more than 5’8″. But, he’s a gamer – I was impressed with him. He’s the only guy who hit a ball hard off of Glasnow and he was generally a tough out tonight.

    • R: Thank you for the eyewitness account – it often explains the results one cannot identify from just reading the box score. It sounds like Glasnow is the real deal, and missing out of the zone low is much like a pro golfer missing on the high side of the hole. And on the Pirates, who want more ground balls, missing low is almost a requirement of the upbringing.

      I particularly liked the info on Salcedo, Broxton, and Allie. I was thinking Allie could have been in AAA this year. At AA last year, the average was only .246, but the K/W was a big improvement over the previous year, and his fielding at a .991 clip at 1B was decent. The bottom line IMO is that when we get a 24 year old kid hitting 21 HR’s in 400 AB’s at AA Altoona (not a launching pad), he needs to go to the next level. He may not be the answer in Pittsburgh, but he could surely be a better prospect for trade, especially to an AL team, if he repeats the HR’s in AAA. I know we picked up Hunter Morris, a LH hitting 1B from the Brewers, but why? At 26 does he show a lot more promise than Allie?

      • The reason for Allie playing OF is versatility. He has much more value off the bench if he is not only a first baseman.

        • Okay, but why RF and not LF? and why not 3B, instead of OF?

          • They have tried him at 3rd.

          • R: Chris covered 3B, but against RH hitters it is much easier to see the ball off the bat in RF and since most hitters are RH, it fits. Or, it might just be that the rule of thumb for OF is that the RF usually has a stronger arm than the other outfielders.

            Now, how long before he decides he wants to tinker with pitching again? Was he ever injured, or did he and the Pirates just decide that pitching was not in his future?

            • BuccosFanStuckinMD
              April 13, 2015 8:48 am

              Pitching was tried and failed…could not even remotely find the strike zone…that train has already left the station. With his lack of a position and defensive value, coupled with being a one trick pony at the plate, I don’t see him as a prospect anymore.