Prospect Watch: Sampson Struggles With Control; A Young Second Baseman to Watch


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 – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-4

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-3, 2 BB

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

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

8. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-3

10. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 2-for-3

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Extended Spring Training

12. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

13. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

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 – 1-for-5, 3 K

19. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

20Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training



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Top Pitcher: Jason Creasy, RHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB, SB

Home Runs: Pablo Reyes (1)



Box Score

Result: Columbus 3, Indianapolis 0

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Elias Diaz, C – 2-for-3

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Tabata, RF – 2-for-4

John Holdzkom, RHP – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson struggled with control much of the night in his first start of the season. The results were pitching in jams most of the contest. Outside of allowing a two-run home run in the first and allowing another single run in the third, he was able to pitch around the trouble. The fastball was in the low 90s, with the breaking ball was in the low to mid 80s. He had an easier time controlling the curveball and the change, but consistent elevation of the fastball led to a lot of the solid contact.

Deolis Guerra followed Sampson with a scoreless frame, including a pair of walks and two strikeouts. Collin Balester tossed two perfect innings with a strikeout. John Holdzkom pitched the ninth in his first appearance of the season. Holdzkom allowed a hit and a walk, while hitting the mid 90s. A double play got Holdzkom out of a runners at the corner jam with one out.

Elias Diaz picked up his second single in as many nights in the young season. However, Columbus picked up a pair of stolen bases on the strong-armed catcher. Both were stolen on the pitchers (Guerra and Holdzkom), as Diaz tossed perfect strikes to second to make them close. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Harrisburg 3, Altoona 2

Starting Pitcher: Jason Creasy, RHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Keon Broxton, CF – 2-for-4, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Chris Stewart, C – 2-for-4

Eric Wood, 3B – 1-for-4, BB, 3 K

Willy Garcia, LF – 1-for-5, 3 K

Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-5, 3 K

Josh Bell, 1B – 0-for-3, 2 BB

Game Notes: Strikeouts were a big issue tonight for three Altoona hitters. For Eric Wood, the three strikeouts could be chalked up to a bad night. It’s a little more concerning with Willy Garcia and Stetson Allie, since both have really struggled with their strikeout rates in Altoona before, and are making their second run through the level. They both have a ton of raw power, possibly more than any other player in the system, but the strikeout issues will limit them. Obviously this is just one game for both of them, but that’s going to be a big focus this year. Allie, who is making the switch to right field, had two fielding errors. Jason Creasy had a good night, giving up just two unearned runs on a walk and four hits. He will need to improve on the strikeout totals by focusing on improving his off-speed stuff this year and developing a better strikeout pitch.



Box Score

Result: St Lucie 6, Bradenton 1

Starting Pitcher: Felipe Gonzalez, RHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, CF – 1-for-4

Barrett Barnes, LF – 1-for-4

Reese McGuire, C – 1-for-4, SB

Game Notes: JaCoby Jones picked up his first double of the year, while also drawing a walk. It’s only two games, but Barrett Barnes is off to a good start, going 4-for-8. I bring that up because he was also hitting the ball well during Spring Training, so it’s good to see him carrying that hot stretch over to the start of the season. Barnes has a lot of potential with his bat, including a lot of raw power. The key for him will be staying healthy — something he hasn’t done in the past. If he can stay healthy this year, he’ll be primed for a breakout season.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 3, Savannah 1

Starting Pitcher: Alex McRae, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 1-for-3

Tito Polo, CF – 1-for-2

Jerrick Suiter, 1B – 1-for-2, 3B, BB

Montana DuRapau, RHP – 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Yeudy Garcia, RHP – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: West Virginia got some strong pitching tonight. Two of the pitching performances come at little surprise. Alex McRae and Montana DuRapau are both college pitchers, with DuRapau being drafted as a senior last year. They should be expected to do well at this level, ironing a few things out in their game and possibly moving up to Bradenton by the middle of the season. The more impressive performance came from Yeudy Garcia, who made his debut in the US with an aggressive push to West Virginia, skipping past the GCL, Bristol, and Morgantown, had a strong outing with two shutout innings. That seems to be a theme this year, as the Pirates gave a few other guys an aggressive push to the level. One of those players, Pablo Reyes, has a lot of potential at the plate, and had a big night tonight, hitting the first home run in the minor league system for the 2015 season, while also drawing two walks and stealing a base. It’s unclear what his upside will be, and I’m skeptical at the moment he can be a future starter due to his size, but Reyes is a guy to watch due to the hitting skills he has displayed in pro ball.

  • Tim: General question about Jameson Taillon and others who are in extended ST. Are they in Pirates City in Bradenton, or with one of the teams such as with AAA Indy? If at Pirates City, do they spend their full time at Pirate City or do they get involved with the Bradenton Marauders for workouts, bullpens, etc? Any chance getting some updates on those who may be appearing in Pittsburgh later this year?

    • They’re at Pirate City and spend their time working out and playing there. I’ll have updates from extended throughout the year.

      • Thank you. That’s got to be expensive and a part of the annual operating costs I have never considered. The Rotation has been excellent so far, but the importance of guys on XST like Morton and Taillon is very important to the Pirates of 2015 and beyond.

  • Reyes has a model: Atuve. It’s an improbable result. But it’s hardly impossible.