Prospect Watch: Clayton Richard Makes Debut, Diaz Heats Up at the Plate


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 – 0-for-4

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-1

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

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – DNP

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

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 3-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI

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 – 1-for-4, 2B

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Extended Spring Training

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Extended Spring Training

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

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

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 1-for-4, 2B

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

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 2-for-3, 3B

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-2, HBP, SH

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 1-for-4, 2B, RBI



Top Pitcher: Clayton Richard, LHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Elias Diaz, DH – 3-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI

Home Runs: None



Box Score

Result:  Indianapolis 6, Rochester 5

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Elias Diaz, DH – 3-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Mel Rojas Jr., LF – 3-for-3, BB

Gorkys Hernandez, CF – 1-for-3, BB, SB, 2 R

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson didn’t have his sharpest start, but he still pitched well enough to get credited with a quality start, allowing three runs over six innings. He gave up eight hits, including two doubles, hit a batter and threw a wild pitch. Coming into the day, Sampson was second  in strikeouts in the International League, trailing Nick Kingham and another pitcher by one. He picked up four, which gave him the league lead temporarily before Buck Farmer from Toledo passed him. Sampson has a 2.80 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 35.1 innings.

Elias Diaz has been on a hot streak recently, raising his average to .280 with three hits on Thursday. He is 9-for-16 during a five-game hit streak. Diaz drove in three runs and collected his fourth double of the season.

Mel Rojas Jr. raised his average up to .301 with three hits and a walk, reached base all four plate appearances. The average is good, but he has just two extra-base hits(both doubles) and he isn’t taking many walks.

John Holdzkom had a strange outing, throwing 20 of 31 pitches for strikes, but he still walked two batters, gave up two hits and allowed two runs. He has a 5.56 ERA and a 2.12 WHIP in 11.1 innings.


Box Score

Result: Richmond 4, Altoona 2

Starting Pitcher: Angel Sanchez, RHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-4, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Adam Frazier, SS – 1-for-5

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-4

Jacob Stallings, C – 2-for-2, 2 BB

Game Notes: Altoona came into this series at home with a 15-6 record and Richmond was 3-17 on the season. Four games later, the Curve were swept by a team that won fewer times in their first 20 games. Angel Sanchez had what was easily his worst start this year, as he came into the game with a 1.00 ERA. Stetson Allie had the only big hit for the Curve, a two-run homer in the first inning. Adam Frazier made his first start of the season, going 1-for-5 and scoring on the Allie homer. He singled as a pinch-hitter in his season debut last night.

Jacob Stallings had two singles and two walks. Max Moroff had two hits, giving him a .341 average. Josh Bell grounded out as a pinch-hitter, leaving him 0-for-13 in the series. Willy Garcia was on the bench after being removed from last night’s game in the first inning after dropping an easy fly ball that he played nonchalantly. He came into the game in the ninth and popped out to third base in his only at-bat. Yhonathan Barrios pitched a scoreless ninth and hasn’t allowed a run in 8.2 innings this season.


Box Score

Result: Palm Beach 1, Bradenton 0

Starting Pitcher: Clayton Richard, LHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Erich Weiss, 2B – 3-for-4, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Wyatt Mathisen, 3B – 2-for-3, 3B

JaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Clayton Richard made his season debut and allowed one unearned run over six innings of work. He was efficient with his pitches, walking just one batter. Richard hit 93 MPH, which was right around where he was during Extended Spring Training when he was sitting 91-94 MPH. The only run scored after a single and an error by Erich Weiss on a thrown during an attempted 4-6-3 double play. The Marauders didn’t get any outs on the play and both runners moved up a base.

Weiss had three hits for the second straight game, which is hard to believe when you factor in that Bradenton got shutout in both games. Wyatt Mathisen had two hits, including his second triple of the season. He is still looking for his first double this year. Austin Meadows, Barrett Barnes and Reese McGuire went 0-for-12 with four strikeouts at the top of the batting order.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 4, Kannapolis 3

Starting Pitcher: John Sever, LHP – 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Michael Suchy, RF – 2-for-3, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 1-for-4, 2B

Taylor Gushue, C – 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

Game Notes: West Virginia won on a crazy finish tonight. The Power entered the ninth inning down 3-2, with Jordan Luplow coming up to the plate. Luplow connected with what appeared to be a solo home run to left field, on a shot that had very little doubt that it left the yard. The only problem was that it bounced back on to the field, which led the home plate umpire to think it bounced off the yellow line at the top of the wall. My opinion was that it bounced off a metal sign right behind the wall. Hitting the yellow line wouldn’t have made the ball bounce back as far onto the field. Luplow held up at second base, confused about the call. The home plate ump and the second base ump talked it over, and ruled that it didn’t go out. That led to Power manager Brian Esposito losing it and getting tossed from the game.

The whole situation was moot, as Taylor Gushue followed Luplow with a double to the gap, bringing in the tying run. Jeff Roy came on as a pinch runner, and moved over to third on a Tito Polo bunt. That’s when Chase Simpson delivered a classic Low-A ball walk off, hitting a broken bat grounder that went through the first baseman’s legs for the win, with the bat traveling further than the ball.

West Virginia got a strong line from John Sever tonight, who struck out six in four innings. Sever didn’t have his best command, and was missing a lot with his breaking stuff, bouncing a few in the dirt, and leaving a few up flat in the zone. One problem might have been that he was going to the pitch too often in the first inning, which tipped his hand the rest of the game, and led to the opposing hitters laying off the low breaking stuff the rest of the night. The curveball was getting a bit loopy at times, making it recognizable from the start.

Sever did manage to get ahead with his fastball, setting up some good strikeout counts. He also got a lot of weak contact and ground ball outs. His inning total was ultimately cut short due to high pitch counts, including two innings where he went over 20 pitches in each inning. Sever was sitting around 89 MPH with his fastball.- Tim Williams

  • As much as I love pp I have one suggestion, it would not require an article or analysis not even a boxscore just a caption saying something like “comment on tonights pirates game” or something to that effect. I understand this is a prospect site and I really appreciate the insight on the minors and really like the fact that most of the articles are minors oriented it’s what makes pp unique. that said all of us are ultimately pirates fans and with very little effort on pp’s part ( at least I think it would be not much trouble) we could have a place to sound off on the nights game (or day) no demands here tim just a request.

    • Speaking of which, since ESPN abandoned live chat in favor of FB and SI butchered taking over that role to the point where SI all but killed live chat, does anyone have a decent suggestion for a place to live chat during Bucs games that’s not mobile-only (cell service at my house sucks).

      • I used to go to the pirates website to live chat until it became a haven for trolls and became impossible to have a convo.

      • bucs dugout is a good place for in-game chats and other big league news and analysis. Nothing compares to PP for minor league coverage though

  • Disappointing start to the year for Willy Garcia, to say the least.

    On the other hand, Elias Diaz looks like he could compete with either of the Pirates catchers for playing time right this moment.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    May 8, 2015 7:46 am

    How did Street look? Is he viewed as a prospect or an org arm at this point?

  • Tim: Thanks for the in-depth review on Sever – looking at the box score, I wondered why he was pulled after 4 IP. Clayton Richard seems to have had a great first outing at Hi A and 93 mph from a LHSP is nearing that upper echelon. It will be interesting to see how he recuperates and what the plan is for him.

    The Pirates Rotation continues to lead this team, and thankfully, it led to a win that was needed very badly.