Prospect Watch: Charlie Morton Dominates With Altoona


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-3, 2 BB

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

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-5, 2B

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 SB

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 0-for-4

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 2-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 – 2-for-5

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Extended Spring Training

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Extended Spring Training

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – DNP

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Altoona – 2-for-4, 2 RBI

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 1-for-4

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 – DNP

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – DNP



Top Pitcher: Charlie Morton, RHP – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Chase Simpson, 1B – 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Deibinson Romero (5), Max Moroff (2), Dan Gamache (1)



Box Score

Result:  Scranton/WB 5, Indianapolis 4

Starting Pitcher: Chris Volstad, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, 2B – 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 SB

Other Notable Performers:

Elias Diaz, C – 2-for-4

Mel Rojas Jr., LF – 1-for-4, RBI

Deibinson Romero, 3B – 1-for-4, HR, RBI

Game Notes: Chris Volstad had a good outing Friday night, but the bullpen blew the lead late in a loss to Scranton/WB. Volstad hasn’t been sharp since throwing six shutout innings(on one hit) in his season debut. He gave up ten bases runners, limiting the damage to two runs, one of which was unearned. Bobby LaFromboise came on the pitch the seventh and allowed two hits and a walk, while picking up just one out. Brad Lincoln followed him and all three runners ended up scoring.

Alen Hanson had two hits, stole two bases and scored twice. He has nine steals on the year and he’s raised his average to .265 after a slow start. He is hitting .368 in his last ten games. Elias Diaz has also been hot recently. He had two hits, extended his hit streak to six games. Deibinson Romero hit his fifth homer, tops in the Pirates’ system. Despite the home run, his bat has cooled off recently, going 8-for-33 in his last ten games, which has dropped his season average 45 points.


Box Score

Result: Altoona 10, Harrisburg 4

Starting Pitcher: Charlie Morton, RHP – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, 1B – 2-for-3, RBI, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Willy Garcia, LF – 2-for-4, 2 RBI

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-5, HR, RBI

Stetson Allie, RF – 2-for-4, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Charlie Morton made his first start of the season. He was stretched out before this game, throwing 93 pitches during an Extended Spring Training game last Saturday. He started the game with a walk, then got a double play and a ground out to end the inning on just nine pitches. The second inning started with two grounders to Max Moroff, who also made the last two plays in the first inning. Morton then allowed a long double, and a generously scored infield single, before getting another grounder to second to end the inning. He threw 16 pitches in the inning.

Morton started off the third with a strikeout, though it was the opposing pitcher. He followed that with a pop out to third base and a grounder to shortstop, ending the inning on eight pitches. Morton retired the side in the fourth on 11 pitches, then needed a total of 20 pitches to get through the fifth and sixth. His streak of 13 straight retired ended with a walk to start the seventh, but Morton quickly got three outs, ending his night with seven shutout innings on 84 pitches, 58 for strikes. He had five strikeouts and 12 ground ball outs and only gave up one legit hit.

Altoona got on the board early, putting five runs up in the first inning. Jacob Stallings reached base all four times he came to the plate in Thursday’s game and he had the big hit in his first at-bat, driving home two runs with a double. They broke the game open late and the score only looks closer because struggling reliever Josh Smith gave up four runs in the ninth inning. Jeff Inman made his season debut and retired the side in order on 17 pitches. Keon Broxton, Josh Bell, Willy Garcia, Stetson Allie, Max Moroff and Gift Ngoepe all had two hits apiece. Bell broke an 0-for-13 streak over his last four games. He also reached twice via walks.


Box Score

Result: Bradenton 7, Palm Beach 5

Starting Pitcher: Frank Duncan, RHP – 5.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Jin-De Jhang, DH – 2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI

Erich Weiss, 2B – 3-for-4, 2B, BB

JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-5

Game Notes: Bradenton got shutout each of the previous two nights, but the bats were hot on Friday night. They had 12 hits, including five doubles, en route to a 7-5 win. Erich Weiss had three hits for the third straight game. Jin-De Jhang, Chris Diaz and Edwin Espinal each drove in two runs. Jhang and Weiss both scored twice. Austin Meadows reached base three times with a single and two walks. Michael Fransoso has played nine games in the outfield and has six assists already after picking up one on Friday. Walker Gourley led the team last year with seven outfield assists. Starter Frank Duncan gave up all five runs, though he still got the win as the Marauders put up six runs early. The bullpen shut down Palm Beach the rest of the way, with Brett McKinney picking up his fourth save.


Box Score

Result: Kannapolis 4, West Virginia 3

Starting Pitcher: Jose Regalado, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Chase Simpson, 1B – 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 1-for-4

Cole Tucker, SS – 0-for-4

Yeudy Garcia, RHP – 4 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 0 HR

Game Notes: Jose Regalado was hit hard tonight, but got some help from his defense. He started the game with two straight line outs, with the second one only being an out due to a nice diving catch from Elvis Escobar in right-center field. He had a 5:6 GO/AO ratio, and gave up two home runs on the night, with one of them being a no doubter. Regalado was sitting in the upper 80s with his fastball.

Yeudy Garcia brought more velocity, working in the 93-96 MPH range, and mostly sitting 95 with an effortless delivery. I talked to a scout who has been watching West Virginia the last three nights who said that Garcia is the best pitcher he’s seen so far (a list that includes Austin Coley and John Sever, who were the top two guys coming into the year). Garcia’s only run was unearned, and was scored due to an error by Pablo Reyes at second.

For the second straight night, Michael Suchy used the opposite field. Last night he lined a double near the wall. Tonight he poked a single through the left side, then scored from first when Chase Simpson hit a double that almost went out for his fifth homer. Suchy is a big guy, built like a linebacker, but he’s got some nice speed for his size. – Tim Williams

  • Morton could come back as doug drabek and it would not matter with this anemic offence.

    • pb: It was a loss, but working 3 runs off Wacha in 6 innings is a good outing; 8 hits from the first 4 batters in the order. For now, they need to maintain contact with the Cards and Cubs, and wait for it all to come together.

      A very efficient game for Ground Chuck in AA – any velocity numbers? Does he drive to Pittsburgh from Altoona, or do a rehab start or two in AAA? Any comment from Benedict?

      • John Dreker
        May 9, 2015 10:12 am

        They haven’t decided yet what to do. Before the start, it was said Benedict would have to get together with Hurdle and others and decide the next step, which hasn’t been announced yet. There weren’t any numbers announced last night, which leads me to believe Harrisburg doesn’t have a radar gun set up

  • Patrick Kelly
    May 9, 2015 12:07 am

    So is Chase Simpson a legit prospect? Guy has been hitting the ball very well and is following up a pretty solid season with even better numbers so far this year.

    • Patrick: I would not go that far just yet. he has done well at Short-Season and now so far at Lo A, but a downside consideration would be that he is “old” at 23 for Lo A.

    • John Dreker
      May 9, 2015 10:09 am

      To give a little perspective on Simpson, he is eight months older than Alen Hanson. When you are 1.5 years older than league average and playing first base, you really have to put up huge numbers to get any prospect consideration