Prospect Watch: Another Gem From Sampson; Hanson and Garcia 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 – Disabled List

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – DNP

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-4

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, HR

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – DNP

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

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – DNP

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – DNP

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

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 – 1-for-4, HR

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – DNP

23. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 2-for-5

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – DNP

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-4

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – DNP



Top Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jaff Decker, LF – 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB

Home Runs: Alen Hanson (4), Willy Garcia (4), Dan Gamache (4), Jaff Decker (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 5, Lehigh Valley 2

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jaff Decker, LF – 1-for-2, HR, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, 2B – 1-for-5, HR

Gustavo Nunez, SS – 2-for-5, 2B

Steve Lombardozzi, 3B – 2-for-4

Elias Diaz, C – 2-for-3, 2B

Game Notes: Alen Hanson hit his fourth homer of the year, while extending his hitting streak to a modest four games. Jaff Decker also homered, getting his first of the year. He had a .333/.407/.423 line in 78 at-bats with Indianapolis this year. Elias Diaz has been hitting well lately, going 11-for-35 in his last ten games. Adrian Sampson had one of his best starts of the year, throwing seven shutout innings. He’s got a 2.69 ERA in 73.2 innings this year, along with a 67:19 K/BB ratio. In his last two outings, Sampson has given up one earned run in 13.2 innings, with a 14:2 K/BB ratio.



Box Score

Result: Erie 6, Altoona 4

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Dan Gamache, DH – 1-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Willy Garcia, LF – 1-for-4, HR

Adam Frazier, CF – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Willy Garcia continued his recent power surge, hitting his fourth homer of the year. All four homers came during his last nine games. He’s been on a hot streak, with a 12 game hitting streak after tonight. In that span, he has gone 19-for-48 with two doubles, a triple, and the four homers. The downside here is that his high strikeout rate has returned during this stretch, with a 29% strikeout rate. The walks have also been low, with just two during this span. Dan Gamache has also been on a hot streak lately, with three homers in his last nine games. Chad Kuhl was hit around today. Sean McCool wrote an article today on how he’s working on the command of his slider and changeup this year.




Bradenton was off today.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 4, Rome 3

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Elvis Escobar, LF – 2-for-4

Other Notable Performers:

Connor Joe, 1B – 2-for-5

Game Notes: Austin Coley continues to put up impressive numbers with West Virginia. He now has a 3.56 ERA in 60.2 innings, with a 57:8 K/BB ratio. That’s a bit inflated, due to some poor infield defense this season. I wrote an article earlier this week noting how Coley probably belongs in Bradenton right now. However, there isn’t really a spot for him, due to the logjam of pitching prospects throughout the system. Connor Joe might be seeing his bat heating up. After going 4-for-34 to start the year, he has gone 11-for-35 in his last nine games.



The DSL Pirates were off today.


  • went to 4 Altoona games last week and nobody really threw hard. We thought that they were working on off speed stuff and was glad to read the update from Sean that that was the case. Of the pitchers, Kuhl and Creasy performed really well. There was a scout from the A’s a couple of seats over from me who seemed very interested when both of them pitched.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    June 8, 2015 10:02 am

    Free Sampson – send down Locke. Cut Hart, bring up Decker or Lombardozzi.

    • jamminjoe66
      June 8, 2015 1:00 pm

      I agree with everything except Locke is out of options. Trade him to some team desperate for pitching. I think he’s a starter only on a non playoff team.

  • Bring Sampson up this week to pitch against the Phillies. Friday will be 5 days rest for him and the Phillies in the Burgh would be a good way to ease him in. Dude’s ready and he’s got more upside than Locke or Worley.

  • Darkstone42
    June 8, 2015 9:43 am

    If Locke and Worley both continue to struggle (though I guess Locke was fine until he was trotted out for an extra inning for some reason), is there any chance we see Sampson up sooner rather than later? Or is he more likely a September callup, who might go into the rotation when the rosters expand and we can throw both Locke and Worley into the bullpen? And would you suspect him as the first call-up for a long-term injury? Obviously a spot start will go to the pitcher whose turn it is, but if someone takes a trip to the DL, I’m sure they’d call up their best option.

  • I think Garcia is the key trade chip for the Pirates at the deadline. He is blocked from both AAA and MLB spot in the outfield.

  • Chad Kuhl was bit by the Pirate Prospect jinx!

  • I think Garcia is making a point: ” I can cut out the strikeouts and be a singles hitter IF I need to be” but I can also be a power hitter if you can handle the strikeouts” – at this stage of development, he may have issues being able to meld those two dissimilar approaches, but the fact that he COULD do it means he has potential to at least become that type of hitter with 2 strikes which would really help cut down the strikeouts………

    • It’s also legal for him to change his approach from pitch to pitch. We are all fervently hoping that Pedro learns this lesson.

      • too late for Kdro.

      • Legal yes, but my comment above states he probably has an inability to change his mindset and preparation, maybe even mechanics, from pitch to pitch and at bat to at bat at THIS stage of his development.The fact that he can do it at ALL, is better than most players can do.

    • Y….I am not counting on Garcia for anything for us. Maybe we can get something good for him in trade? It is a deep org position.

      • I’m not 100% sold on Polanco, and he (garcia) is the closest to the majors if Polanco doesn’t work out. Assuming Polanco works out, it would still be really difficult to trade away that kind of power when we have such a deficiency of it in the organization. I’m not sure what you’d even want to trade him for honestly.