Prospect Watch: Josh Bell Continues His Hot Streak


A look at how the current top 30 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 30 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from early season update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Altoona – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – DNP

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 2-for-4, BB

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, RBI

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – DNP

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Extended Spring Training

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Extended Spring Training

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – DNP

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Extended Spring Training

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Extended Spring Training

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Extended Spring Training

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Altoona – 2-for-5, RBI

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 1-for-3, RBI

23. Connor Joe, 1B/3B – Extended Spring Training

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – DNP

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 1-for-4

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 1-for-4, RBI



Top Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gorkys Hernandez, CF – 3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI

Home Runs: Michael Suchy (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 2, Louisville 1

Starting Pitcher: Wilfredo Boscan, RHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gorkys Hernandez, CF – 3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Pedro Florimon, SS – 2-for-4, 2B
Alen Hanson, 2B – 1-for-4, RBI


Game Notes: Wilfredo Boscan avoided some late wildness to get out of a couple of jams and only allow one run in six innings. His fastball was between 88-91, while the breaking ball was in the low to mid 70s. However, Boscan limited the damage by moving the ball around nicely and keeping the hitters off balance.

Deolis Guerra threw two scoreless innings and struck out three, working primarily with his off speed pitches. John Holdzkom found his control again and had his best outing of the season, as he struck out one in a perfect inning of work.
Gorkys Hernandez had three hits, including the walk off and Pedro Florimon added a pair of hits to continue their hot streaks. Alen Hanson also added another hit, as he has broken out of the early season funk.- Ryan Palencer


Box Score

Result: Altoona 6, Akron 5

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edward Salcedo, 3B – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Josh Bell, 1B – 2-for-4, BB, 2 R

Stetson Allie, DH – 1-for-5

Willy Garcia, LF – 2-for-5, RBI

Game Notes: Altoona won 6-5 in 10 innings on Wednesday afternoon. They played extra innings last night as well and ended up losing on a walk-off HBP in the 14th inning. Chad Kuhl went six innings and allowed two earned runs, which is the second highest ER total from an Altoona starting pitcher all season. John Kuchno blew the save in the ninth inning, then picked up the win in the tenth.

Josh Bell had two hits and scored two runs, plus he walked once. Bell is now hitting .352 and he has 14 hits in his last six games. Max Moroff had a walk and scored two runs, while Edwin Salcedo drove in a pair. Willy Garcia is now hitting .295, but he is doing it with a .697 OPS, due to a low walk total and only two extra-base hits(a double and a triple). He has 23 strikeouts in 61 at-bats.



Bradenton had off on Wednesday


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 4, Hagerstown 0

Starting Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Michael Suchy, RF – 1-for-4, HR, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 1-for-3, RBI

Tito Polo, CF – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Dovydas Neverauskas recovered strongly from three rough starts as West Virginia shut out Hagerstown, 4-0. Neverauskas threw five innings, allowing just two hits, one on a bad-hop grounder and the other on a grounder that shortstop Trace Tam Sing dropped, only to have the play incorrectly ruled a hit. He walked two and struck out three. Although he had occasional bouts with wildness, they didn’t last as his command generally was strong. He no longer seems to have the mid-90s velocity he showed a couple years ago, as he sat at 89-91 in this game. He gets good extension and throws downhill, so even though he didn’t get many swings and misses, nearly everything was hit on the ground.

Yeudy Garcia followed with three scoreless innings. He sat at 91-93 and got a lot of swings and misses with the fastball, more than you’d expect with that velocity. It may help Garcia that he’s quick to the plate. He gave up two hits, one of which should have been ruled an error, while striking out three. Garcia also had occasional control problems, running into some three-ball counts, but he managed to recover without walking anybody. Montana DuRapau pitched the 9th. He recovered from a line drive off his shin – which caromed to first for an out – by striking out the game’s last two hitters.

The Power got a run in the 1st when Pablo Reyes, who continues to show surprising pop for a small guy, lined a double over the left fielder’s head. He came around on a two-out grounder through the middle by Taylor Gushue. West Virginia could have done more damage, as the hitters teed off on the Hagerstown starter, but Elvis Escobar, Jordan Luplow and Michael Suchy all hit line drives that were caught. The Power got another run on a groundball single by Jeff Roy in the 2nd. In the 7th, Suchy showed his raw power by lining his first HR over the fence in center. The final run scored because of an error in the 8th, followed eventually by a liner to deep right field by Luplow that went for a sacrifice fly. Luplow looked much better than he did Tuesday night, hitting a single and the two long drives to right.

Cole Tucker didn’t play, possibly due to the lingering effects of a minor pileup on the bases Tuesday. Tucker looked fine prior to the game. – Wilbur Miller

  • Corporate_Joe
    April 30, 2015 11:21 am

    I am just happy Holdzcom didn’t walk anyone last night.

  • Is there anywhere on THIS site to see season to date stats for prospects?

    • Michael: Go on the Pirates MLB site and click roster then choose minor league affiliates and pick the team you want to review. Or, it will list the Top 20 Prospects and you can just get individual info there.

    • Not yet, but it’s a feature we are working on. I did a who’s hot/not this morning with stats for 16 players and then the minor league schedule always covers the starting pitcher, plus we feature someone in the highlights, so whenever a player struggles or does well, we usually mention it. If there is a specific player you want to see after reading about them here, just click the boxscore link and they’re right there.

  • John: Is it too early to start making changes/promotions/demotions? Josh Bell has about 165 AB’s at AA in 2014/2015 and is hitting very well. Very good batting average, no HR’s, but a very respectable slugging percentage based on 3 doubles and 2 triples so far in 2015. Only 2 errors at 1B. Bell is in his age 23 season, and, IMO a full year at AAA would probably be of more benefit to his progression.

    Next move would be Lambo down and Lombardozzi up. Lambo is making contact, but could probably use some steady AB’s to build some confidence at the plate – only 23 AB’s in a month? Lombo is a switchhitting, young MLB veteran who hit well in ST and has continued that with Indianapolis. He was an “off-the-bench” guy for B’more as a 2B last year and also played 22 games in the OF at AAA for them. I think the Pirates have been giving him time all over the field at AAA – he can hit, and especially against RHP’s.

    Also, how long will it take for teams to start dialing up NH looking for Gorkys Hernandez?

    • I agree with Lambo. There are better options in AAA. He still looks lost. Josh Bell needs more work at first and needs to start hitting HR’s before I would elevate him to Indy. I would rather see Gorkys in Pittsburgh than Lambo.

    • Remember last week when Kang was lost and Didn’t deserve to be on a Major League bench? Yeah, me too.

      It’s April. 25 PA is more than even Mr. Super Utility, Josh Harrison got last April. If you have a bench player getting more at bats than that in the first month of the season, it says more about your starters health and performance than the bench player himself.

      Lambo is still very much unproven, and there’s clearly the possibility that a better option such as Decker, Lombo, or Gorkys exists. But this decision was made in ST, and one month doesn’t tell you nearly enough to change that. Making a move now implies that they didn’t have confidence in him in the first place.

      • NMR: The guys you mention are getting the benefit of steady AB’s down at AAA, and hoping for the opportunity to play in the majors. We have shown an inordinate amount of support for AL over the past few years. He is in his age 27 season and IMO, he needs daily live rep’s more than anything else right now.

        You know the light could go on for Lambo in a week, a month, a year, or never. All you can do is try to do the best you can for the team and the player. It is a long season, and he could be back up later in the year if he gets it together. I hope he does.

    • As for Bell, that very respectable slugging percentage is due more to a .383 BABIP and great contact driving up his batting average than actual power production. Great example of how misleading SLG% can be. He’s still running an Isolated Slugging percentage under .100 during his time in AA, which is absolutely unheard of for a 1B prospect. Kid is going to have to learn to leverage power into game situations before he’ll be a productive big leaguer.

      • Watching Bell hit often, if they wait for him to start hitting HRs before moving him up, it will be a long time till he gets to Indy. He is starting to remind me of a Sean Burroughs.

        • Ugh.

          I try not to comment on Bell much, because I think I’m pretty clearly the low man on him and I know it can get tiresome reading guys crap on the same player post after post. I’ve just never liked the swing, especially from the right side, and have been disappointed that the athleticism hasn’t been close to what we dreamed on at draft time.

          Kid pretty clearly has the raw power and hit tool to be a quality Major Leaguer, and those are two pretty damn good tools to start with. I just see very little willingness to adjust his swing or approach in order to reach his ceiling, and this ongoing personal swing coach relationship bothers me from that standpoint. This admittedly is far from an apples to apples comparison, but it reminds me of the rich kids on my old Legion ball teams with parents who dumped a ton of cash into self-proclaimed swing experts and refused to listen to any other advice.

          All that said, plenty of talent here to like and I hope it starts to click.

          • I don’t think the comparison is that crazy since we’re talking swing adjustments. My question is as long as he hits over .300 with “gap power” we’ll say – do you think he’ll be asked to make an adjustment for power? I don’t remember the exact quote but they seem happy he’s hitting the ball with authority to sum it up. Is this one of those cases where the power comes last so to speak or do you think with his current swing it’s just not going to come?

            • In my opinion, there’s literally nothing to lose by making the adjustment, regardless.

              The problem I see with the “as long as he hits .300 with gap power” logic is that there’s literally maybe a dozen guys in baseball right now who can claim to have that package as a legitimate skill set, and scouts haven’t come close to hanging similar grades on Bell’s hit tool. The far more likely result is basically James Loney, without the defensive value. And James Loney, at his absolute upside, is no more than an average Major Leaguer.

              If Bell’s hit tool is real, adding loft to his swing won’t suddenly turn him into a .240 hitter. Not like he’s adding anything with his legs on the bases like could be said for a Starling Marte, either. Turning raw power into game power unquestionably makes him a more productive baseball player.

              “The power will come” line of thinking is inherently talking about the hitter either adjusting swing and approach, or developing physically. Bell’s body at this point has nowhere to go but down, and so I find it hard to imagine how doing the same thing he is now at the plate will suddenly turn into better results.

    • Teams usually don’t make promotions this early unless it is out of necessity(replacing an injured player or someone got called up). Right now, I don’t think there is anything Bell could do to get to the Majors before June 2016, so no need to rush him to AAA, he will put in time there.

  • BallHeadWonder
    April 30, 2015 5:37 am

    How many times this season has our Affiliates gone undefeated?? I have seen that quite a few times this season and not much at all the last 2 seasons!! I like it!!!

    • BHW: I can remember 3 times so far and that is only with about 25 games being played in April.