Morning Report: There’s No Place Like Home?

Home isn’t always the best place to be, especially if you’re some of the top hitting prospects in the Pirates’ system. Bradenton seems to have some major home/road splits among top prospects, while other teams are showing similar results with their best players.

Reese McGuire is having a tough season at the plate overall, but his home numbers this year are just plain awful. In 16 games, he has a .180/.275/.213 slash line. Like most players that don’t play in a park that heavily favors pitchers, he was a better hitter at home in both 2013 and 2014.

Austin Meadows(pictured above) is having a strong season at the plate, especially when you factor in his age. Just like McGuire though, he is much better away from McKechnie Field. At home this year, he is hitting .231/.344/.308 in 20 games, which is a low average, but for his age, not a terrible OPS. He is doing much better when there is a bus trip involved, hitting .342/.402/.450 in 25 games on the road.

Before he was promoted to Altoona, Jose Osuna was hitting the ball well, but his success was coming on the road. He was a below-average player at home, putting up a .606 OPS. Compare that to the .868 OPS in away games, and you see where his resume for promotion was built.

Osuna is a unique example because we have three years of stats for him with Bradenton and the numbers are all over the map. Last year, he was basically the same exact player at home and on the road, posting a home OPS of .819 vs .792 away. In 2013 however, he had an incredibly poor .528 road OPS vs a strong .798 at home. I’m not sure how you can explain him going from hitting only at home, to being just as good home and away, to hitting only during away games over three seasons at the same park, but it’s interesting to see.

They are three players that have big home/road splits with the Marauders favoring the away games this year, but there are no examples of the opposite being true with as big a difference as those players. Many players have hit better at home on the team, but the three biggest splits among regulars favor road games.

Without going through every player, I decided to take a look at the top 30 prospects on the other three affiliates and see how they were performing home vs road. Here are the results.

Cole Tucker is much better on the road, with a .684 mark vs .484 in West Virginia.

Jordan Luplow is almost the same no matter where he is, with a .698 mark at home, .669 on the road.

Connor Joe doesn’t have enough playing time for his splits to matter, but just for the heck of it, he is .458 at home vs .611 on the road. It’s 15 games total, so you can’t take anything from them.

Tito Polo is .678 at home, .591 on the road.

That brings us to Josh Bell and Altoona, where he is a run of the mill hitter at home. Bell has a .738 OPS in 22 home games and .956 in 24 road games. The other top 30 prospect on the team is Willy Garcia and he has a .719 OPS at home, which isn’t far off Bell. The road numbers are well off though, posting a .678 mark in 22 road games.

Last year, Garcia had an .869 road OPS, vs .718 in Altoona, with the latter being one point off where he is at this year. Bell only put in 24 games with Altoona last year, 12 games both on the road and at home. Not enough of a sample size, but he was much better(.144 higher) at home.

In Indianapolis, Alen Hanson is consistent either way, .798 at home, .766 on the road. Elias Diaz apparently prefers hitting in Indianapolis, putting up a .778 OPS there, compared to just .556 on the road. He is the one and only player in the top 30 with a heavy home split.

Pirates Game Graph


Source: FanGraphs

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 7-4 on Tuesday night over the Giants. Francisco Liriano will get the ball for the Pirates this afternoon. In his last two starts combined, he has allowed one earned run over 12 innings, with 23 strikeouts. The Giants will send Tim Hudson to the mound. He has a 4.62 ERA in 62.1 innings this year.

In the minors, Clayton Richard makes his fifth start for Indianapolis this afternoon. In his last outing, he threw seven innings without an earned run. Yeudy Garcia pitches for West Virginia this afternoon, his fifth start of the year. He was picked as the Pirates Prospect pitcher of the month for May, after posting a 1.01 ERA in 26.2 innings. Altoona has an early morning start time. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (28-24) @ Giants (30-24) 3:45 PM
Probable starter: Francisco Liriano (3.47 ERA, 24:75 BB/SO, 59.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (31-22) vs Buffalo (26-26) 1:35 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Clayton Richard (2.78 ERA, 8:11 BB/SO, 22.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (29-20) vs New Britain (31-19) 10:30 AM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Matt Benedict (8.10 ERA, 2:6 BB/SO, 10.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (23-29) vs St Lucie (27-25) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Frank Duncan (5.21 ERA, 9:34 BB/SO, 46.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (31-21) vs Greensboro (22-30) 12:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.14 ERA, 12:40 BB/SO, 42.0 IP)

DSL: Pirates (2-1) vs Met2 (1-2) 10:30 AM (season preview)

Highlights

In the video below, we have a nice sliding catch from Willy Garcia in center field. He has moved over from left field after Keon Broxton moved up to AAA.

Recent Transactions

5/29: Andy Vasquez added to Altoona roster.

5/29: Keon Broxton promoted to Indianapolis. Adam Miller placed on disabled list.

5/29: Jeff Roy activated from West Virginia disabled list. Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/28: Jose Osuna promoted to Altoona. Jordan Steranka added to Bradenton.

5/28: Andy Otamendi added to WV Power roster. Trace Tam Sing assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/27: Kelson Brown added to Indianapolis roster.

5/26: Harold Ramirez added to Bradenton roster. Jordan Steranka and Andy Otamendi assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/26: Josh Wall placed on disabled list. Collin Balester added to Indianapolis roster.

5/26: Dovydas Neverauskas placed on disabled list. Julio Vivas sent from Bradenton to West Virginia.

5/26: Deibinson Romero sold to Doosan Bears of the Korean Baseball Organization.

5/25: Charlie Morton activated from disabled list. Radhames Liz designated for assignment.

5/25: Stephen Tarpley added to WV Power roster.

5/25: Jerrick Suiter activated from WV Power disabled list. Miguel Rosario and Montana DuRapau promoted to Bradenton

5/22: Jaff Decker activated from disabled list. Andy Vasquez assigned to WV Black Bears.

5/20: Tyler Glasnow placed on disabled list.

 

This Date in Pirates History

One former Pittsburgh Pirates player born on this date, plus two trades of note and some old draft news. The only former Pirate born on this date is second baseman Nelson Liriano, who played for the 1995-96 club. In 2009, the Pirates traded Nate McLouth to the Braves for Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke and Gorkys Hernandez, a trade that obviously worked out well. Exactly 103 years earlier, the Pirates dealt young Ed Karger to the Cardinals for veteran pitcher Chappie McFarland in a deal that didn’t go well. Karger went on to play until 1911 and he posted a career 2.79 ERA, while McFarland lasted six games in Pittsburgh before being put on waivers.

The Pirates have drafted some players of note on this date, taking Ryan Doumit during the second round of the 1999 draft and Jeff King as the first overall pick in 1986, the same year they took Stan Belinda in the tenth round and Jeff Banister and Rick Reed with back-to-back picks, going in the 25th and 26th rounds. In 1998, the Pirates pulled off some late round magic, taking Dave Williams, Joe Beimel, Jeff Bennett and Mike Johnston with consecutive picks in rounds 17 through 20.

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