Morning Report: An Early Look at the 2015 Draft Picks

With two draft picks signing on Friday night, it’s a good time to take a very early look at the progress of all the other draft picks from this year. If I don’t mention the team name, that means the player is with Morgantown. The list below is in order from the first round down to the 40th. You can get more familiar with each player in our draft tracker.

Kevin Newman(pictured above) was the top pick of the Pirates and he is really struggling through 13 games with a .170 average. He missed a few games after fouling a ball off his foot.

Ke’Bryan Hayes is killing the ball in the GCL, hitting .405/.500/.524 in 11 games. He has reached base a total of 25 times, including at least once each game.

Kevin Kramer is barely outdoing Newman, batting .208/.306/.226 in 14 games.

Casey Hughston is having a horrible time adjusting to pro ball, going 5-for-54 so far.

Jacob Taylor pitched once in the GCL on June 30th and he hasn’t pitched since and wasn’t available to pitch on Thursday when they used two position players. We will get an update on him soon if he doesn’t return.

J.T. Brubaker has a 5.40 ERA in four starts. He threw five innings on Thursday, giving up one unearned run.

Mitchell Tolman is hitting .240 so far, but he has a .424 OBP thanks to 13 walks in 16 games.

Seth McGarry is pitching in the GCL for some unknown reason, possibly because he is from Bradenton(unless you got a better reason?). He is doing what you would expect a 21-year-old with major college experience to do in the GCL.

Bret Helton is basically doing the same thing as Brubaker. Three bland starts before dominating in his fourth game with five shutout innings on Friday.

Logan Sendelbach is the highest draft pick(10th round) with Bristol. He has an 8.31 ERA and .405 BAA against mostly younger competition, so it’s a very disappointing beginning to his career. It’s just three starts though.

Christian Kelley is hitting .182 so far, though his OBP is nearly 200 points higher. He has just one extra-base hit, so the OPS is still only .590

Ty Moore is hitting .339/.431/.500 through 17 games, making his one of the top hitting draft picks so far.

Logan Ratledge is about to turn 23 and he has a .286 OPS for Bristol. He was called a possible late round steal, but his early returns are awful. He’s also made three errors in nine games.

Chris Plitt has made two starts in the GCL and looked real good, but he is top end for age you want to see in the league, so take his season stats with a grain of salt. He is probably there just to get innings in, instead of worrying about results or level of competition.

Scooter Hightower is with Bristol, which is a level lower than where he should be, but that’s due to a roster crunch. He is doing well so far and went four innings in his last relief appearance.

Nick Hibbing has pitched ten innings, allowed ten hits and he has ten strikeouts. He also has a 0.00 ERA, so it’s hard to beat those results.

Stephan Meyer pitched once nine days ago and got hit around. That’s a long break between appearances, so there could be some injury issue.

Tanner Anderson threw shutout ball in his first three appearances for Bristol, then gave up three runs on Friday night. He was a college senior this year, so he obviously should be higher up than the Appalachian League.

Nicholas Economos started in the GCL for the first time on Friday after three straight relief outings. He’s allowed three runs in nine innings, with an 0.67 WHIP.

Nathan Trevillian is in the GCL, but hasn’t pitched yet due to forearm tightness. Last word was that he hoped to make his debut very soon.

John Bormann has a .333 OPS in five games for Bristol. He is one of three catchers, so that explains the limited playing time. He’s another rare college senior in the Appy League.

Logan Hill is mashing at Morgantown with a .328/.442/.531 slash line. He is fourth in the NYPL in slugging and second in OPS.

Shane Kemp is on Bristol’s roster, but hasn’t played yet. He signed a little later than most, though he agreed to his contract pretty quick.

Albert Baur has a .288 average, but a .662 OPS, mostly due to two walks in 14 games. He is 23 already, so you want to see some bigger numbers from him at this level.

Mike Wallace is another college pitcher too old for the GCL, but he has a good excuse for his only appearance. When the team needed inning on Thursday, he was sent to the GCL from Bristol and activated for the game, getting two scoreless innings in right away. Even though he was on Bristol’s roster, it’s likely that he was still in Bradenton after signing.

Sean Keselica has had some control issues in his six innings over five appearances. He has the strange stat line of a .167 BAA and a 1.67 WHIP thanks to seven walks.

Jordan George is hitting the ball well for Bristol, though that comes with the caveat that he turns 23 this upcoming Thursday.

Daniel Zamora was the 40th round pick. He only signed last week and hasn’t pitched yet.

One extra and that is the only non-drafted free agent signed so far. Garrett Russini is one of four catchers in the GCL and Yoel Gonzalez is going to see the majority of the time behind the plate. Russini was forced into action on the mound on Thursday, his first time pitching since his freshman year of high school. He is 3-for-11 in three games behind the plate.

Pirates Game Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Playoff Push

The Pirates trail by 4.5 games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a 4.5 game lead for the top wild card spot.

Indianapolis is 5-5 in their last ten games. They have a four game lead in their division.

Altoona is 5-5 in their last ten games and they are in second place, trailing by one game in their division to Bowie, who they play tonight.

Bradenton and West Virginia did not win their first half title. Their second half records are included below in the schedule.

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 5-2 over the Cardinals on Friday night. In game three of the series tonight, A.J. Burnett will take the hill for the Pirates, making his 18th start of the season. He faced the Cardinals on May 1st and pitched six shutout innings. In his last start, Burnett allowed one run over 7.2 innings. His mound opponent will be John Lackey, who has a 3.09 ERA in 110.2 innings. He faced the Pirates on May 2nd and allowed one run in six innings.

In the minors, Radhames Liz will make his fourth start for Indianapolis tonight and he has been terrific in the role. When he first went down to AAA, he was being stretched out in a relief role. Liz threw 5.1 scoreless innings over three appearances. He then moved to the rotation and tossed four shutout frames. Liz gave up one run over five innings his next time out, striking out seven batters. He followed that up with six shutout innings in his last start, getting eight strikeouts. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (51-34) vs Cardinals (56-31) 7:15 PM
Probable starter: A.J. Burnett (1.99 ERA, 30:94 BB/SO, 113.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (52-37) @ Columbus (48-41) 7:15 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Radhames Liz (0.44 ERA, 7:25 BB/SO, 20.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (47-39) vs Bowie (48-38) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (3.07 ERA, 29:63 BB/SO, 93.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (41-45, 9-7 second half) @ Daytona (45-40) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Frank Duncan (4.81 ERA, 12:64 BB/SO, 82.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (49-36, 12-4 second half) @ Greensboro (33-52) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (4.05 ERA, 13:72 BB/SO, 86.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (9-11) @ Vermont (8-12) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

Rookie: Bristol (6-10) @ Kingsport (10-8) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter:  TBD

GCL: Pirates (12-5) vs Phillies (13-4) 10:00 AM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (15-21) vs Yankees2 (19-17) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Here we have two videos of Max Moroff hitting RBI singles on Friday night.

The second hit

Recent Transactions

7/10: Pirates sign Ike Schlabach and assign him to GCL.

7/10: Pirates sign Tate Scioneaux and assign him to Morgantown.

7/10: Jesus Paredes promoted to Morgantown. Oderman Rocha sent to GCL.

7/9: Pirates sign Sherton Apostel.

7/9: Mike Wallace sent from Bristol to GCL.

7/7: Clay Holmes added to Bradenton roster. Harold Ramirez placed on temporary inactive list.

7/7: Trace Tam Sing added to West Virginia roster. Tito Polo placed on temporary inactive list.

7/6: Josh Harrison placed on disabled list. Travis Ishikawa added to active roster.

7/6: Justin Seller assigned to GCL on rehab.

7/5: Pirates claim Travis Ishikawa on waivers.

7/4: Pirates sign five international players.

7/3: Pirates sign Kevin Sanchez and Samuel Inoa.

7/3: Pirates trade Clayton Richard to Chicago Cubs for cash considerations.

7/2: Chris Volstad sent outright to Indianapolis.

7/2: Pirates sign Larry Alcime Jr and Kyle Simmons.

7/1: Alen Hanson activated from disabled list. John Holdzkom and Hunter Morris placed on disabled list.

7/1: Paul Brands assigned to GCL Pirates from DSL.

6/30: Corey Hart sent on rehab to Indianapolis.

6/30: Jose Tabata outrighted to Indianapolis.

6/29: Jeff Inman and Gift Ngoepe promoted to Indianapolis.

6/29: Pirates sign Daniel Zamora.

6/28: Jose Tabata designated for assignment. Gorkys Hernandez added to Pirates roster.

6/28: Chris Volstad designated for assignment. Steve Lombardozzi added to Pirates roster.

6/28: Clario Perez promoted to Altoona. Wes Freeman activated from disabled list.

6/28: Kawika Emsley-Pai retired.

6/28: Hunter Morris activated from Indianapolis disabled list.

6/27: Junior Lopez promoted to Bradenton. Dovydas Neverauskas activated from West Virginia disabled list.

This Date in Pirates History

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus one trade of note.  Starting with the most recent player first, we have lefty reliever Javier Lopez(2010), catcher Ed Ott(1974-80), pitcher Hal Gregg(1948-50), pitcher Harry Wolter(1907) and 1898-1900 catcher Pop Shriver. Wolter played one game for the Pirates on June 17,1907, throwing the last two innings of the game. Before that, but during the same season, Wolter played outfielder for the Reds. After his one Pittsburgh appearance, he moved on to St Louis two weeks later, where he was also used as an outfielder. Ott was a member of the 1979 World Series champs. He hit .333 during the series and drove in three runs.

The trade on this date occurred in 1992, as the Pirates improved their starting rotation by adding pitcher Danny Jackson from the Cubs in exchange for third baseman Steve Buechele. The Pirates were able to move Jeff King to third base full-time and Jackson put up a 3.36 ERA in 15 starts.

On this date in 1902, the Pirates moved to 49-15 with a 6-3 win over the New York Giants. It gave them a 13 game lead in the National League and it was the start of a seven game win streak. The Pirates would finish the season 103-36, for their best record of all-time.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 12, 2015 9:29 pm

    Suiter 5 for 5 today…drove in 5 runs…given he was drafted last year as a college player, shouldn’t he be moved up to Bradenton by now?

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 12, 2015 3:08 pm

    Newman has been major disappointment – he should be dominating a short season league. Kramer has come on a little lately, Hughson has hit better the last 3-4 games, after a disastrous start. I don’t expect much from Tolnan – still cannot believe he was our 5th round pick.

    On the flip side, Hill and Moore have done very well – with Hill being the pleasant surprise. But, as they always say on this site, college players are supposed to dominate Low A and short season leagues. It would b nice to get a real solid major leaguer, out of one of our lower picks – maybe Hill could be that guy? Or Suiter or Suchy from last year’s draft?

  • Seth McGarry is pitching in the GCL for some unknown reason, possibly
    because he is from Bradenton(unless you got a better reason?).

    That made me laugh out loud. I’d say ROFL, but I’m too old to do that anymore.

    • When he was drafted, they said he was someone that could move quick. Rarely do they send anyone to Low-A during their draft year, but if anyone from this draft class would go right away, he would have been my guess. Instead, he goes three levels lower

      • definitely baffling, for sure. I thought he’d be at A+ or AA.

        What do we know, huhn? 🙂 🙂

        • I know they wouldn’t send him to A+ or AA. That’s just crazy talk.

          • I can’t remember who, but someone on another site speculated he might be there getting stretched out, similar to a rehab assignment, since he was pitching mainly in relief in college. Give him a chance to build innings without worrying about competition too much

            • It’s likely, that’s what I wrote about Plitt, although he is a year younger and no major college experience, so the GCL is fine for him. What I was basically trying to say is that McGarry’s GCL numbers mean nothing, so I wasn’t going to mention them

  • Any word on signing Spillane, the prep 3B drafted late?

  • I know its early, only 13 games, but Newman has been a disappointment. Playing against similar competition that he had previously and not being able to be successful at all is a little startling.