Today we take a look at the progress so far from all of the 2014 draft picks that the Pirates signed. It was a busy signing period, as they agreed to contracts with 32 players. You’ll find a quick update on 31 of those players below, with the lone exception being 17th round pick Michael Clemens, who was released last year after he failed a drug test due to HGH use.
1. Cole Tucker- With West Virginia, starting everyday at shortstop. Isn’t hitting for any power, but is more than holding his own with a .294/.315/.338 slash line and just two errors.
1. Connor Joe(pictured up top) – Extended Spring Training(EST) and has recently started playing games. Still hasn’t made his pro debut due to a back injury from last year.
2. Mitch Keller – EST, slated for either Bristol or Morgantown in a starting role.
2. Trey Supak – Same as Keller, although more likely to start at Bristol. Had minor setback(shoulder soreness) in Spring Training.
3. Jordan Luplow- Starting at 3B for West Virginia, hitting .259/.369/.389 in 16 games. Missed first week due to shoulder soreness.
4. Taylor Gushue- Starting catcher for WV, struggling at the plate with a .206/.284/.283 line.
5. Michael Suchy – Right fielder for WV, hitting .210/.333/.323 in 19 games.
6. Tyler Eppler – Recovering from elbow soreness, due to join Bradenton when he’s ready to go.
7. Nelson Jorge – EST, could return to the GCL after a very poor season at the plate, otherwise Bristol.
8. Austin Coley – Early on, he has been the best pitcher for West Virginia. In 20 innings, 2.70 ERA, 2:19 BB/SO.
9. Kevin Krause- EST, elbow injury, return date is unknown at this time, depending on how elbow reacts to treatment.
10. Alex McRae- Has a 5.09 ERA in five starts for West Virginia and scouting reports were less than spectacular.
11. Gage Hinsz – See Trey Supak.
12. Tyler Filliben- Has a .554 OPS in limited time with West Virginia as a backup infielder.
13. Frank Duncan- Starting at Bradenton and was doing well until his rocky start on Saturday.
14. Chase Simpson – Top hitter for West Virginia, playing first base, he is already 23 years old.
15. Eric Dorsch- Struggling in WV bullpen, also 23 years old.
16. Sam Street- Pitching well in WV bullpen, also 23 years old, 1.93 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 14 innings.
18. Erik Lunde- EST, also 23 years old(yes they drafted a lot of older players in these rounds)
19. Carl Anderson- EST recovering from hernia surgery.
20. John Sever – Starting for WV, hasn’t dominated like last year, but he is striking out a lot of batters still.
21. Eric Thomas Jr. – EST, likely headed to Bristol, though repeating the GCL isn’t out of the question.
22. Eric Karch- EST, out with an elbow injury, 23 years old.
25. Erik Forgione- EST, played one game with WV, before being replaced by Luplow.
26. Jerrick Suiter- Currently on the DL, hitting .314/.417/.412 in 16 games for WV.
27. Jess Amedee- EST, likely a bullpen arm for Morgantown.
28. Nick Neumann- Bullpen for WV, turned 24 last month. Has four saves.
30. Dave Andriese- EST, likely bench player for Morgantown
31. Luis Paula- EST, likely bullpen arm for Morgantown, though he has some upside.
32. Montana DuRapau- Bullpen for WV, 2.16 ERA in 8.1 innings.
36. Palmer Betts- EST, likely bullpen arm for Morgantown.
Pirates Game Graph
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 3-2 to the St Louis Cardinals on Sunday. They got swept in the series and dropped below the .500 mark. After an off-day on Monday, the Pirates will host the Cincinnati Reds for three games. Jeff Locke will be on the mound, making his fifth start.
In the minors, three teams play tonight as Indianapolis has off. Altoona brings their 15-6 record home to face a Richmond team that has won three games all season. Zack Dodson makes his fourth start, coming off an April in which he threw 18 shutout innings. Dovydas Neverauskas is looking to build on one of the best starts of his career. He threw five shutout innings last week, giving up two hits and two walks. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.
MLB: Pittsburgh (12-13) vs Reds (12-13) 7:05 PM 5/5
Probable starter: Jeff Locke (4.76 ERA, 7:20 BB/SO, 22.2 IP)
From Saturday, Josh Bell had a huge game for Altoona. He drove in all five runs in a 5-3 win, which ended on a walk-off three-run homer. Bell is now hitting .395/.452/.568 through 20 games.
5/1: Jerrick Suiter placed on disabled list. Austin Coley added to WV Power roster.
5/1: Pirates sign pitcher Robert Stock.
4/29: Jaff Decker placed on disabled list. Wilkin Castillo added to Indianapolis roster.
4/27: Jeremy Bleich promoted to Altoona
4/26: John Sever added to WV Power roster. Austin Coley transferred to WV Black Bears roster.
4/25: Jonathan Schwind placed on disabled list.
4/25: Justin Sellers transferred from Bradenton to Indianapolis on rehab.
4/25: Jeremy Bleich added to Bradenton roster.
4/22: Francisco Diaz assigned to WV Black Bears roster. Kawika Emsley-Pai added to WV Power roster.
4/21: John Sever assigned to WV Black Bears roster. Jose Regalado added to West Virginia Power roster.
4/20: Justin Sellers assigned to Bradenton on rehab.
This Date in Pirates History
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including one that has an interesting baseball-related story from after his playing days were over. Depending on your age, you might remember two players born on this date, outfielder Jason Michaels(2008) and infielder Ken Oberkfell(1988-89). Before those two, there was 1919 first baseman Vic Saier and 1914-15 outfielder Zip Collins. The oldest player is the one we take a look at today.
Lou Gertenrich played just one game for the Pirates, manning right field on June 21,1903. The Pirates were short two outfielders due to an injury to Fred Clarke, and regular right fielder Jimmy Sebring left to get married. Gertenrich was a local player from Chicago and the Pirates were in Chicago at the time. He had played two Major League games two years earlier, so they Pirates picked him up for one day and he actually batted second during his only game(remember that this was in the middle of a pennant race, which the Pirates won). He went 0-for-4 and handled the only two plays he had in the field. Gertenrich isn’t as obscure as you would think a player from 1903 with three games experience would be. In 1922, he advertised his candy company on the back of baseball cards that are quite popular now for pre-war collectors due to their scarcity.