Prospect Watch: Three Hits For Tito Polo, Big Day For Edwin Espinal


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 – 1-for-4

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

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 0-for-4, 2 SB

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-1, BB

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-4, SH

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 0-for-5

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 – 0-for-3, BB, SB

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 – 0-for-1

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI

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

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

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia


Top Pitcher: Matt Benedict, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Edwin Espinal (1)



Box Score

Result: Louisville 7, Indianapolis 6

Starting Pitcher: Wilfredo Boscan, RHP – 6.0 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Deibinson Romero, 3B – 2-for-5, 2B, BB, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Gorkys Hernandez, CF – 1-for-3, 2 BB
Jaff Decker, LF – 2-for-6, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Indianapolis lost in 11 innings, one day after winning in 13 innings against this same Louisville team. Both games ended in a walk-off, as the series shifted from Indianapolis to Louisville today. Wilfredo Boscan couldn’t match his six shutout innings from his opening game, but he gave the team six much-needed innings after the bullpen was well used the previous night. Charlie Leesman ended up getting the loss. Former Pirate farmhand Nathan Adcock blew the save in the ninth inning, allowing two runs.

Elias Diaz had a rough game, going 0-for-5, while committing his first error. He is hitting .217 through 23 at-bats and all of his hits are singles. Jaff Decker was switched from a rehab assignment to the active roster, which was just a paper move, although the Pirates did have to send Adam Miller to their WV Black Bears roster to make room for Decker on the active roster. He had two hits and drove in two runs. Jose Tabata had two hits, but left the game after scoring from first on a double in the fifth inning. Alen Hanson came into the game late, walking and striking out in his two plate appearances.


Box Score

Result: Akron 6, Altoona 1

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Max Moroff, 2B – 4-for-5, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Stetson Allie, RF- 1-for-4, 2B, BB

Josh Bell, 1B – 2-for-4, BB

Game Notes:Chad Kuhl had a few innings where he labored with his pitch count, including the third inning when he approached 30 pitches. That shortened his day, but he managed to stay out of trouble. Kuhl works primarily off the two-seam fastball, with a focus on getting ground ball outs. He lacks a good slider, and tonight he saw the downside to not having that put away pitch. A better slider would have gotten him out of a few jams a lot earlier, and might have allowed him to go six innings. He eventually got the ground balls he needed to escape the night with no damage.

Altoona was hurt by poor control from John Kuchno and Josh Smith. Kuchno was wild from the start, but had bigger issues in his second inning of work. He was pulled for Smith, who came in throwing his first four warmup pitches in the left-handed batters box. Smith displayed good breaking stuff with a lot of movement from a sidearm angle, but his arm action is too wild to have any consistency with his fastball, which hurt him tonight. Jon Schwind came on to get the final out of the night. He gave up a long foul ball, then got out of the inning. Schwind also serves as the third catcher, and can play all of the corner spots. Apparently he’s now the emergency pitcher.

Max Moroff had a big night offensively. He picked up four hits, and did a great job of hitting the ball where it was pitched, working middle away. Last year I noticed Moroff would be a little too patient at times, barely taking the bat off his shoulders while working full counts. He did a better job tonight of being aggressive early, including hits on two different 1-1 counts. Josh Bell also did a good job tonight of hitting to the opposite field, and made some nice plays at first base, including one diving stop on a ball hit hard to his far right. He also made a few nice picks in the dirt after working pre-game with Kevin Young on that drill. – Tim Williams


Box Score

Result: Bradenton 4, Jupiter 1

Starting Pitcher: Matt Benedict, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, CF – 1-for-4

Jose Osuna, RF – 1-for-3

Justin Maffei, LF – 3-for-4, 2B

Game Notes:   Matt Benedict had a great outing, throwing five shutout innings, while allowing just two singles and a hit batter. Julio Vivas, who pitched in the GCL last year, threw two shutout innings to pick up his first save. On offense, Edwin Espinal had the big game, hitting a single, double and homer in his three plate appearances. He drove in three runs. Austin Meadows led off the game with a single. He has reached base in all nine games this season. Reese McGuire didn’t get a hit, but he did steal two bases. In his three seasons, he is 16-for-19 in stolen bases. JaCoby Jones stole his third base of the year. He also has three homers. Jose Osuna has a six-game hitting streak. The Marauders have a .312 team batting average this season.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Lexington 6

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Tito Polo, CF – 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 1-for-4, SH

Taylor Gushue, C – 0-for-4, BB

Jordan Luplow, DH – 1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI

Game Notes: Austin Coley allowed just one run in his five innings, while the Power put up eight runs and took a six run lead into the bottom of the eighth, but the game almost got away. Eric Dorsch gave up five runs in his one inning of work, although one of those runs came in during the eighth inning and the other four came around on a grand slam in the ninth inning before he could record an out. Nick Neumann came in for the save, but not before making it interesting by putting the tying run into scoring position.

Tito Polo(pictured above) had three hits and probably should have had four of them. He drove in two runs with two singles and a double, but lost a triple of a tough error charged to the third baseman. The ball hit so hard off the third baseman’s glove that Polo was able to get to third base safely, despite barely getting a step out of the box before hit reached the third baseman. Jordan Luplow reached base three times and drove in a run. Jerrick Suiter had three hits and drove in a run. Lead-off hitter Cole Tucker had a single, but he was the only player in the lineup not to score a run.