Prospect Watch: Sanchez Continues Strong Altoona Pitching, Osuna and Simpson Homer


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-5, 2B

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

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – DNP

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-4

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, BB

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 – 2-for-3, 3B, BB

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis -6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

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 – 1-for-4

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis -1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 2-for-7

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

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 0-for-4

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2B

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia– 1-for-3, BB



Top Pitcher: Angel Sanchez, RHP – 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, RF – 3-for-4, HR

Home Runs: Chase Simpson (3), Jose Osuna (1)



Box Score

Result: Toledo 6, Indianapolis 0

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Steve Lombardozzi, RF – 1-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:


Elias Diaz, DH – 1-for-3, BB

John Holdzkom, RHP – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: While Adrian Sampson allowed some contact and some baserunners, he continued his strong run of strikeout totals, with seven. After striking out four in his first start, Sampson has struck out seven, six, and seven in consecutive outings. Sampson’s main issues could come back to command in the zone, as only 63 of his 100 pitches crossed the plate for strikes.

Brad Lincoln tossed a scoreless frame with only a walk blemish. After Lincoln, John Holdzkom continued his struggles with command. He allowed a pair of earned runs on a hit and a walk.

Indianapolis was only able to pick up a pair of hits, as it struggled all game long at the plate. Steve Lombardozzi and Elias Diaz picked up those knocks as their strong road trip continues. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Altoona 8, Erie 2

Starting Pitcher: Angel Sanchez, RHP – 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-3, 2B, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, CF – 2-for-4, 3B, SB

Josh Bell, 1B – 2-for-5, 2B

Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 K

Game Notes: At the start of the season, Altoona was getting some amazing pitching from their rotation. That has continued, with the latest successful start coming from Angel Sanchez. The right-hander threw 6.2 shutout innings, and now has one earned run in 22.2 innings of work this year. The offense has picked up the pace lately, which is another trend that continued tonight. Every member of the offense had at least one hit. Stetson Allie and Max Moroff both extended their hitting streaks to seven games. Josh Bell is hitting for average (.291) and getting on base (.371), but not hitting for power (.382). That was the same as his stretch in Altoona last year. The season is still young, and I think the power will come for Bell in Double-A.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 5, Charlotte 4

Starting Pitcher: Frank Duncan, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, RF – 3-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:


JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-3, 3B, BB

Justin Maffei, LF – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Jose Osuna has had a few big games recently. He picked up four hits on Thursday, and three more today. Osuna has a .333/.403/.483 line in 60 at-bats this year. However, those numbers come with the disclaimer that he is currently in his third season in Bradenton. It’s not a surprise that he’s putting up good numbers, especially since he had a strong finish at the level last year. Osuna is getting time in the outfield in Bradenton, but is blocked in Altoona at both right field and first base. It would be nice to see him move up this year, but that would require Stetson Allie or Willy Garcia to move up to Indianapolis from Altoona.



Game One Box Score

Result: Lexington 4, West Virginia 3

Starting Pitcher: John Sever, LHP – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Michael Suchy, RF – 2-for-4

Other Notable Performers:


Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-4

Taylor Gushue, C – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: John Sever led the Pirates’ organization in strikeout rate last year, and is off to a strong start this time around as a starter in West Virginia. After tonight’s outing, he has 16 strikeouts in 14 innings of work, with a 2.57 ERA on the young season. Cole Tucker is hitting for average, with a .294 mark, but isn’t getting on base much or drawing much power, with a .315 OBP and a .333 SLG.

Game Two Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Lexington 4

Starting Pitcher: Jose Regalado, RHP – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Chase Simpson, 3B – 2-for-3, HR

Other Notable Performers:


Tito Polo, CF – 2-for-3, 2B

Jordan Luplow, DH – 1-for-3

Game Notes: Chase Simpson has done a good job of hitting for power so far this year, hitting his third homer of the season tonight. Simpson has a .327/.426/.577 line in 52 at-bats for West Virginia this year, which is already an upgrade over his .286/.369/.481 line in Jamestown last year. He’s still a college level guy in low-A, and will need to show this hitting in the upper levels. Right now he’s showing some encouraging signs. Tito Polo has done a good job of hitting for average and getting on base so far, with a .294/.345 line, but isn’t hitting for much power yet, with a .373 SLG. He had his fourth double of the year tonight.


  • Seems like there are a lot of pitchers in Extended Spring Training. Is this strictly because of injuries or are the Pirates sending a number of the younger kids through an extensive pitching school with Jim Benedict?

  • Love the new layout by the way.

  • Tim: Very impressive new look, and I found it much easier to use. At West Virginia, John Sever only pitched 4 innings. I looked for pitches thrown, but it was not listed, although they did list that he faced 16 batters. Any injury?

    • Thanks. I’m glad it’s easier.

      I think Sever is getting built up. He was only throwing around 2-3 innings per outing in Spring Training. The guys who got up to 5 innings at the end of ST have only been going 5-6 innings max early in the season. It makes sense that Sever is lower, since he was lower in camp. We’ll see how soon he sees an increase.

      • Makes sense, thank you. With the victory yesterday the Pirates assured themselves of at least a .500 first month. In 2014 the Pirates started miserably with a 9-16 record in April with 2 games postponed due to weather that were played on May 1, and they lost both of them, so 9-18 in April 2014.

        Therefore, a huge improvement over 2014 so far, and the hitting is just starting to click.

  • Robert Reznik
    April 27, 2015 1:27 am

    Not worried about tucker and polo lack of 4 baggers. I am worried about josh bells long ball draught. I wonder if it is just his natural swing path or if it is his lack of confidence or whatever that he needs to really sit on a pitch to drive, what do you all think his spray chart would look like?

    • RR: My take on Josh Bell is that he will be a 30+ doubles/10-15 HR guy in the majors. I am impressed so far with the W/K ratio of 7W/7K, the on base percentage, and the fact that he only has 2 errors at a brand new position. Moving from the OF to the infield is a major move.

      • Quite honestly- We need more from that from Bell, he isn’t a 2nd baseman, he is a corner outfielder or a first baseman. Do we really want a switch hitting James Loney? Because about two years ago I remember a lot of people unhappy that we were even looking at him….

        • I was one of those folks that could not see James Loney as a guy going into his age 30 season and looking for a long term contract. I felt we had better possibilities in-house – Alvarez, Walker. Loney had a track record of not hitting for power; Bell has the potential to hit for average and power, but 30+doubles/10-15 HR’s is OK for me.

          I also advocated making some deals for lower level LH hitting first basemen from other teams – guys blocked at the majors like Greg Bird of the Yankees, Dan Vogelbach of the Cubs, or Matt Skole, 3B/1B of the Nats.

          • I actually would be more willing to let Stetson Allie try to figure out how to cut down strikeouts, then try to teach a line drive hitter how to hit for power. It just doesn’t happen without a total retooling of his swing. He has more potential currently to be a starting linebacker for the Steelers with his size and strength than he does of harnessing it into a swing with loft so he can actually have power. I just don’t see the value of a .300 hitter with 30 doubles and 10-15 homers, but he hasn’t even shown he can hit 10-15 homers yet so lets remember that.