Prospect Watch: Tarpley and Sadler Falter, Brault Sharp Again


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 – DNP

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-5, 3B, R

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-4, SB

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, 2B, R, BB

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – 5.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 0-for-4, 3 K

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, Indianapolis – DNP

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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

23. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 0-for-3, HBP

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

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-3, BB, R

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia -1-for-4, 3 K



Top Pitcher: Steven Brault, LHP – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Huascar Fuentes, 1B – 2-for-2, 2 BB, R

Home Runs: None



Box Score

Result: Durham 6, Indianapolis 3

Starting Pitcher: Casey Sadler, RHP – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, 2B – 2-for-5, 3B, R

Other Notable Performers:

Jaff Decker – 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, R
Elias Diaz, C – 1-for-3, 2B, R, BB


Game Notes: The recent rough stretch continued for Casey Sadler on Monday night. Sadler did not have his best stuff and was wild most of the night, but still battled through five-plus innings. With his four walks on Monday, Sadler now has 13 free passes in his past four outings, which is uncharacteristic for his typical control. Along with that, Sadler threw 60 of his 103 pitches across the plate for a strike.

Bobby LaFromboise relieved Sadler and allowed a long home run, as part of his three hits. Yhonathan Barrios continued on his successful Triple-A debut, by working 1.1 scoreless innings with just a long hit while consistently hitting 96 on the gun. Deolis Guerra worked a scoreless inning for his ninth straight shutout inning. Over the stretch, Guerra has only allowed six hits with successful change up.
Alen Hanson and Jaff Decker each tripled in the same inning, which was Hanson’s eighth of the season. Elias Diaz continued his recent hot streak with his 10th double of the season, while Gorkys Hernandez added his 11th double of the season. – Ryan Palencer



Altoona was off on Monday


Box Score

Result: Bradenton 3, Tampa 2

Starting Pitcher: Steven Brault, LHP – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

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

Other Notable Performers:

Michael Fransoso, LF – 2-for-3, 2B, BB, SB

JaCoby Jones, DH – 0-for-4, 3 K

Chris Diaz, SS – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Steven Brault has been one of the top pitchers in the Pirates’ system since the end of April. In his last ten starts combined, he has posted a 2.10 ERA, giving up a total of 13 earned runs. He wasn’t sharp on Monday with three walks and a home run allowed, but he limited the damage and had six strikeouts. Felipe Gonzalez(win) and Clario Perez(save) combined for 3.1 scoreless innings in relief.

Wyatt Mathisen and Michael Fransoso each had two hits and a walk. Mathisen drove in a run. Chris Diaz drove in two runs. Harold Ramirez went 0-for-4, which was just his third game this season(19 games) without a hit.

JaCoby Jones struck out three times. He has ten strikeouts in his last four games and 74 on the season. Austin Meadows is out with a bruised hand, but should return within a couple days. Jin-De Jhang has been out with a minor leg injury and he could return tomorrow.



Box Score

Result: Augusta 5, West Virginia 2

Starting Pitcher: Stephen Tarpley, LHP – 5.2 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Elvis Escobar, LF – 1-for-4, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 1-for-3, BB

Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Stephen Tarpley returned from shoulder soreness last month and had three straight strong outings of five innings each. In his last two games, he has got hit around pretty bad. Tarpley has allowed 18 hits and five walks in 8.1 innings over his last two games. This game stayed close because John Sever followed Tarpley will 3.1 scoreless innings. It’s a second straight shutout outing(7.2 IP total) for Sever, who gave up a career-high seven runs in his prior appearance.

The Power had five hits on the night, all singles and no one had more than one. Taylor Gushue and Chase Simpson each had three strikeouts and West Virginia had 12 as a team. Cole Tucker stole his 16th base of the year.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 6, Brewers 5

Starting Pitcher: Yerry De Los Santos, RHP – 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Huascar Fuentes, 1B – 2-for-2, 2 BB, R

Other Notable Performers:

Mikell Granberry, DH – 2-for-4

Christopher Perez, SS – 1-for-2, 2 R

Game Notes: This game was about players returning to action. Catcher Mikell Granberry returned after being injured during catching drills last week. He had two hits in the DH spot. Catcher Raul Hernandez made his first career start behind the plate. He missed time with an arm injury that occurred during Spring Training. He has played this year, though only as a DH/PH. Hernandez had two hits, but he also made two errors. Shortstop Christopher Perez made his first career start and scored two runs. He was one of the highest bonus players signed last July.

Huascar Fuentes reached base in all four plate appearances, as the Pirates moved to 7-7 on the season. Starter Yerry De Los Santos didn’t do well, but reliever Ronny Agustin followed him with 2.2 scoreless innings. He picked up his first career win.

  • JaCoby Jones struck out three times. He has ten strikeouts in his last four games and 74 on the season

    That is, uh, NOT good. If he is K’ing this much at THIS level, he is going to get eaten alive at AA/AAA (IF he makes it that far).

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      June 16, 2015 12:31 pm

      same things were said about Garcia

      • And he has yet to turn himself into a good prospect, exactly because of those issues.

        • I would differ and say that is is already a good prospect, but that he has a lot of room to improve to become a “top” prospect

          • That’s fair; without explaining, I definitely opened the discussion up to arguing over semantics.

            I’d certainly agree with your definition. I was thinking along the lines of him not even being a Top 200 prospect in the game combined with the high bust rate of Top 100 prospects. Doesn’t necessarily mean Garcia isn’t a good prospect, just one with a limited chance of succeeding.

    • Sometimes players need that failure to make a change, don’t worry about it, embrace it. Throw him up to AA and let him sink or swim, when he asks for a life preserver, you give him one and start over with a new approach

  • Barring injury to a regular, the Pirates look to be in a position of strength as the active trade period approaches. As a previous article pointed out it looks like we have prospect chips to spare. Is John Holdzkom rounding back into form? If so he could be an obvious power arm upgrade to the bullpen. IF the starting pitching maintains the current form the only obvious need for an upgrade in my opinion is first base. How does Pedro rate statistically as a fielder and hitter among first basemen? It can’t be in the top third. I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion we might be a better team now and in the future with Pedro out of our lineup. What do others think about first base and who might be an upgrade for the Bucs?

  • John: Why is Josh Bell still at AA? Leading the team in most offensive categories with a .320/.391/.453/.844 slash line while we have guys like Brent Morel, John Bowker, and Hunter Morris playing 1B at AAA? If Broxton and Garcia hit well enough at AA to earn the promotion and Bell is hitting better than both of them, and plays a position where there is a need at AAA, does keeping him at AA somehow make sense?

    The Pirates made the switch and thereby committed to him as our future at 1B. By doing so, we would get his bat to the majors much faster than if he stayed in the OF. Why does it seem as if they are now slow-walking when an obvious hole exists at 1B in AAA?

    • JoseGuillensArm
      June 16, 2015 8:08 am

      Why is this question still being posed on a weekly, sometimes daily, basis? Yes, Josh Bell is hitting well in AA, yes he plays first base, a position that is struggling mightlily at the AAA level, and yes other prospects have been promoted. However, none of these things necessitate a promotion. The success of the AAA team should have absolutely no bearing on a prospects development, and therefore people need to ignore the what’s going on up there when considering a promotion. If the prospect is performing well and he has checked off all the boxes, in Neal’s terms, the presence of other, lesser prospects will not impede them. The fact that other prospects, Barrios and Garcia most recently, have been promoted also has no bearing on Josh Bell’s development. Barrios is an impending minor league free agent so urgency in his progression is neccessary to see what the organization has in him for that time and Garcia is a player who was added to the 40 man roster, and is a player repeating a level he played well at previously. Garcia also has made strides in his game which had previously held him back with strikeouts, and this year an early power outage. Finally, the actual player himself is not a complete player on both sides of the ball yet and promoting just for the sake of promotion can stall development with someone learning a new position. Tim has talked at length about how a position change, and namely learning a new position as Josh is still doing, can affect a players offense. Why should a player be rushed into AAA when his defense is still a work in progress, and he must adjust to more advanced AAA pitching? Bell is hitting well with a solid K/BB ratio, average, and on base ability but there are still things he can work on and refine at the AA level. His power is just starting to emerge in the form of home runs, but it would be very beneficial to refine his hitting from both sides of the plate and avoid some of the slumps he has seen in his career. People view minor league development as a discontinuous process in which a player needs to jump to other levels at the earliest moment, but having a solid year at a level and smoothing out rough areas in a player’s game can be much more beneficial then constantly adjusting in different minor league levels; this has largely been the Pirate’s strategy when developing players. Of course all of this overlooks the fact that Josh Bell is a strong super two candidate and will not be up until June 2016 at the earliest so what level he is at now and later this year should not affect his timeline appreciably.

      • Personally, I trust NH and his crew to move guys when they feel they should be moved.

        Everybody wanted Polanco up last year. How has THAT worked out?

        Fans need to have more patience.

        • Yes, Everyone wanted Polanco, and now he’s trying to learn in the majors. He only had 243 ab’s in AA and 283 in AAA. The Pirates learned from Gregory. Bell will get a full season at AA and at least 300-400 AB’s at AAA.

    • BuccosFanStuckinMD
      June 16, 2015 8:21 am

      In general, why are the Pirates so slow in promoting their players, when so many teams trust their prospects enough to bring them up even after just a couple of years in the system?

    • Bell has 365 AA Plate Appearances and 263 AA PA’s this season. I do not think the Pirates need to fast track Bell to the majors, but I agree with you emjayinTN that a AAA promotion is warranted. Is 400 PA’s in AA or 300 PA’s this season enough? That’s roughly 10 more games. Is July 1st too soon? As a comparison, Polanco had a total of 243 at-bats at the AA level and hit .263 BA /.762 OPS.

      • Why do we keep citing PA’s as the reason for a promotion? This is not about his hitting, it is about his defense. He has less than 80 games in his CAREER at the position he is supposed to play for 10 years in the majors, having NEVER played infield before at any level.. How about we focus on that

    • Can you please quit asking this question emjay? You keep talking about it and keep getting the same answer- DEFENSE AND POWER. we, as an organization, teach and develop at the AA level, and refine at the AAA level. The kid can’t play first base yet, he needs to learn it first, and he needs to develop power unless you want this kid to be a switch hitting James Loney

      • If he came up now and played a full year at AAA (part of 2015 and part of 2016) would that somehow hurt his ability to play defense at 1B? Is there any way to justify the presence of Morel, Bowker, or Morris at 1B in AAA?

        And, Yes, this will be my last time on this subject, but it is good to cultivate some angst every once in awhile. I understand his lack of infield experience, but I do not think teaching ends at AA. And his learning on defense has had almost no ill effect on his bat – the numbers speak for themselves. Only 3 HR’s and leads the team in RBI’s and walks more than he strikes out. Should we want more?