Prospect Watch: Josh Bell Breaks Long Drought With Walk-Off 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 – 1-for-4, BB

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-3, HR, 5 RBI

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

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, RBI

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 3-for-5, 2B

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

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-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-4

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 0-for-4, BB

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

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 1-for-3, 2 RBI

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 1-for-3, BB, SB

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – DNP



Top Pitcher: Josh Smith, LHP – 3.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 SO, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, 1B – 1-for-3, HR, 5 RBI

Home Runs: Josh Bell (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 6, Lehigh Valley 5

Starting Pitcher: Chris Volstad, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Tabata, RF – 3-for-5, 3 R, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Gorkys Hernandez, CF – 3-for-4, 2B

Alen Hanson, 2B – 1-for-4, SF, RBI

Game Notes: Chris Volstad continued his recent rough stretch, but was able to labor through six innings. Volstad pitched around solid contact most of the night, allowing seven hits. However, the damage could have been much worse, as he was able to work out of some jams. Brad Lincoln relieved Volstad and continued his strong run in his return to the Pirates system. Lincoln allowed two base runners in a pair of innings and struck out three. Bobby LaFromboise added a walk and a strikeout in his scoreless inning of work.

Jose Tabata and Gorkys Hernandez picked up three hits each. Alen Hanson added another knock, keeping up his hot hitting of late. Tony Sanchez made two throwing errors, giving him four on the year. Lehigh Valley was 4-for-4 in stolen bases. Indianapolis had 15 hits on the night, including a two-run single by Brent Morel for the walk-off win. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Altoona 5, Erie 3

Starting Pitcher: Angel Sanchez, RHP – 4.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, 1B – 1-for-3, HR, 5 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, CF – 0-for-2, 3 BB, 3 R, SB

Max Moroff, 2B – 3-for-4, BB, SB

Game Notes: Josh Bell homered on Saturday night for the first time since June 12,2014. He was nearing 400 straight plate appearances without a homer when you include his time in the AFL and the three All-Star games he played last year after his last homer. It was not only a big deal for Bell, but it came in a huge spot. Altoona was down 3-2 with two outs in the ninth, when he connected on a three-run shot for the walk-off win. Max Moroff had three hits and a walk, while Keon Broxton had three walks, scored three runs, stole a base and had an outfield assist. On the downside, Dan Gamache went 0-for-4 and he now has an .061 average.

Angel Sanchez was cruising along through the month of April, getting named the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month, then May happened. He lasted 4.1 innings and had terrible command, walking six batters and he also made two errors on pick-off throws. He had two walks in April and gave up just one run in 22.2 innings. He came into the game with the best WHIP and second best ERA in the Eastern League.



Box Score

Result: St. Lucie 6, Bradenton 3

Starting Pitcher: Frank Duncan, RHP – 4.0 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Wyatt Mathisen, 3B – 1-for-3, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Osuna, RF – 1-for-3, BB, 2 R

Austin Meadows, CF – 1-for-4, BB

Game Notes:Angel Sanchez was the best pitcher for the entire Pirates’ system, but Frank Duncan had the best April for Bradenton pitchers. Like Sanchez, he also struggled on Saturday, allowing five runs on 11 hits and two walks in four innings. That put the Marauders down big early and they fell three runs short at the end. Wyatt Mathisen drove in two runs and Justin Maffei had the other RBI. Jin-De Jhang reached base on a walk, but he had his 13-game hit streak snapped. Jose Osuna is hitting .412 in his last ten games. Austin Meadows had a hit and a walk. He has reached base in 19 of his 20 games this season.



Box Score

Result: Greensboro 4, West Virginia 1

Starting Pitcher: John Sever, LHP – 4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Cole Tucker, SS – 3-for-5, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Tito Polo, CF – 1-for-3, SB, BB

Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

Game Notes: John Sever cruised through three innings, then had his worst inning as a pro. Sever gave up four runs in the fourth inning, including a two-run homer. The bright spot was his five strikeouts, which gives him 21 K’s in 18.2 innings. Cole Tucker extended his hit streak to 11 games with a lead-off single. He ended up with three hits, including his third double of the season. Tito Polo had a single, walk, stolen base and an outfield assist. Pablo Reyes drove in the only run with a ninth inning double. Jordan Luplow went 0-for-4 and struck out three times.

  • It seems like Cole Tucker is having a solid season given the level he was placed at. Any thoughts on the next step for him?

  • Bout time we get to say “for whom the bell tolls”, and how bout that tucker kid!

  • It happened! NMR convinced Bell to add loft to his swing!

    • deacs: There is a very, very small difference between gap doubles and HR’s. He is young and only in his 3rd full year of professional baseball – it will come. He reminds me of Al Oliver, a guy who averaged a 3+ WAR with the Pirates during the 70’s. The fans always wanted him to hit more HR’s instead of the laser shot doubles and triples that put dents in the walls of Three Rivers.

      • I was being facetious. But I’ll take whatever extra base hits we can get. Hard watching the Bucs right now.

        • deacs: I knew that, I was just offering an example of a guy who played very well for the Pirates, but was primarily a line drive doubles hitter and only averaged between 15-20 HR’s a year. It is nice having a 30 HR guy, but last year the Pirates had 9 batters who hit more than 10 HR’s and 3 were between 18 and 25 – I more appreciate a lineup like that.

          • Oh sorry. Never sure how well my sarcasm comes through etc. I’d take high OPS and homers in the teens. That’s better production than I can remember at first.

    • John Dreker
      May 3, 2015 9:44 am

      Not really. I’ll have the video up tomorrow as they posted it too late for the Morning Report this morning, but it was a wall-scraper right down the line. No loft. At PNC, it would have hit halfway up the Clemente wall

      • Hate to be that guy but does he have any shot of a July or August promotion if the defense holds up or do they have a AA checklist for him before he gets promoted? Can’t imagine he’s going to hit .370 all year, but do they wanna see him get 400 ABs or so before a promotion?

        • Best case he’s June 2016 so I guess it really doesn’t matter.

        • John Dreker
          May 3, 2015 11:19 am

          I could see him getting to Indy this year at some point or they leave him down all year. His basic arrival time in the Majors is June next year, so they might not be in any rush to get him to AAA. Let him work on learning the new position, so he is at least average there when he gets to Pittsburgh

          • How’s his D so far?

            • John Dreker
              May 3, 2015 11:44 am

              From what I’ve heard, he is improving, but he is still a little stiff at the position. Basically it sounds like he is where you would hope he would be after such a short time.

              • Good to hear. As long as he’s not a liability in the long term over there.

    • There wasn’t any loft to that one. Line drive. But that’s not a bad thing. I sure would have liked to have seen one of those in that Pirate game yesterday !