TOP OF THE SYSTEM

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 – 2-for-4

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-4, BB

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, SB

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 2-for-4, 2 2B

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI

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

11. Kevin Newman, SS, Morgantown – 2-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, SB

12. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, GCL –  DNP

13. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol – DNP

14. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

15. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

16. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

17. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona – 1-for-5, R, SB

18. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona – 1-for-4, R, SB

19. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-4

20. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

21. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – DNP

22. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

23. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona – 2-for-4, BB

24. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-4, K

25. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona  – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

26. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown – DNP

27. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

28. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL – DNP

29. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 0-for-3, BB

30. Jacob Taylor, RHP, GCL – DNP

DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Angel Sanchez, RHP – 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jordan Luplow, 3B – 3-for-4, 3 2B, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Stetson Allie (16), Harold Ramirez (2)

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Box Score

Result: Scranton/WB 2, Indianapolis 1

Starting Pitcher: Angel Sanchez, RHP – 8.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Hunter Morris, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B, 3B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, 2B – 1-for-3, SB

Jose Tabata, DH – 1-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Angel Sanchez has been extremely strong since joining Indianapolis, but Thursday night took it to a new level. In the contest, Sanchez went eight full innings, allowing just four hits and a single run. With the exception of the July 10 outing when Sanchez allowed three runs in 5.1 innings, he has allowed just three runs and 17 hits in 28 innings since June 30, with 25 strikeouts.

Blake Wood took the loss, as he retired the first two hitters with ease before allowing back to back batters to walk and then pick up a hit, plating the winning a run.

Alen Hanson picked up a hit and his 27th stolen base in the contest. In his first game since July 12, Hunter Morris added a pair of knocks, including a double and a triple. Jose Tabata added his sixth double of the season.

With the stolen base allowed in the ninth, Tony Sanchez has now caught five attempted base stealers while allowing 51 stolen bases on the season. Sanchez also added his ninth error of the season on a catcher’s interference call. – Ryan Palencer

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Box Score

Result: Altoona 4, Akron 1

Starting Pitcher: Steven Brault, LHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Stetson Allie, RF – 2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Adam Frazier, CF – 2-for-4, BB

Dan Gamache, 2B – 1-for-4, RBI

Barrett Barnes, LF – 1-for-4, R, SB

Game Notes: Steven Brault had a solid game, but it wasn’t without it’s one big issue. He gave up one run on five hits, two walks and a hit batter over five innings, which is a fine pitching line, but it took 91 pitches to get through those five innings. With a pitch count that high, you’d definitely like to see more than five innings. Besides that, he threw strikes(63 of 91) and had a 7:1 GO/AO ratio, so it obviously could have been worse. In his previous outing, he allowed one run over six innings, giving him two solid outings in a row after he surrendered six runs over 1.2 IP in his prior game.

Stetson Allie has been putting on a power display recently, homering for the third straight day. He leads the organization with 16 homers now, but still had two strikeouts in this game, giving him 102 on the year. The average is slowly creeping up, but he needs a few more walks and a lower strikeout rate before you get excited about the power potential. Barrett Barnes played his first game with Altoona and singled, stole a base and scored a run.

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Box Score

Result: Bradenton 6, Dunedin 3

Starting Pitcher: Frank Duncan, RHP – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Harold Ramirez, RF – 3-for-4, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, CF – 2-for-4

Reese McGuire, C – 2-for-4, 2 2B

Game Notes: After his last start, Frank Duncan discussed his recent changes he has made, throwing more sinkers and scrapping two breaking balls for one better pitch. Those changes coincide with recent success that has now seen him go seven innings in four of his last five outings. He made those changes while also continuing to show the best command in the system, walking just 12 batters in 102.1 innings. Not only is he throwing strikes, he is also getting ground balls thanks to the sinker. Duncan had an incredible performance in that regard on Thursday, with a 15:1 GO/AO ratio.

After putting up an impressive scoreless streak, Montana DuRapau has allowed runs in back-to-back outings. He still has a 1.00 ERA in 36 innings with Bradenton.

Reese McGuire had two doubles in the game and they were very significant. Last week, I outlined the issues he was having against left-handed pitchers. Coming into Thursday’s game, he had one extra-base hit off a lefty in the last two seasons combined. Both of the doubles in this game were off a lefty starter. McGuire has 11 doubles on the season. Erich Weiss hit his 17th double and Edwin Espinal added his 19th two-bagger. Austin Meadows had two hits, giving him a .365 average in 28 games since the All-Star break.

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER

Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Lakewood 1

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jordan Luplow, 3B – 3-for-4, 3 2B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-5, 2B

Tito Polo, CF – 1-for-3, RBI, 2 R, HBP

Game Notes: The stories for this game were the hitting from Jordan Luplow and the pitching from Austin Coley. Luplow had three doubles on the night and drove in three runs. He now has 26 doubles this season and 35 extra-base hits. He is second in the South Atlantic League in doubles. Austin Coley allowed just one run over five innings, giving up two hits and a walk. He hasn’t been pitching good recently, so this is a nice start on the road against the team that trailed first place West Virginia by two games in the standings coming into the day.

Cole Tucker had a double and single, but also struck out three times, which had not occurred this season prior to this game. Tito Polo had a single, drove in a run and scored twice. In his last ten games, he is 11-for-28, with seven walks and seven steals.

A: WEST VIRGINIA BLACK BEARS

Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Brooklyn 1

Starting Pitcher: Luis Paula, RHP – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Alexis Bastardo, CF – 2-for-4, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Danny Arribas, 3B – 1-for-4, BB, 2 R

Kevin Newman, SS – 2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, SB

Game Notes: Starter Luis Paula didn’t put up the best line, but he actually had a strong outing when you consider others factors. This was just his second pro start and he cruised through the first four innings without allowing a run. His trouble came in the fifth, when he was well beyond his normal pitch count as a reliever. In his first start, he gave up just one run in five innings, so the early results look good. John Holdzkom pitched the ninth inning and retired the side in order, one by strikeout. This was his first rehab outing and first game since June 28th.

Kevin Newman hit his fifth double and first career triple. He also stole home plate for his fourth steal in the last two days. Ty Moore and Logan Hill continued their impressive on base streaks. Moore has reached in 29 of his 30 games, while Hill has reached in 28 of 29 contests.

Alexis Bastardo drove in four runs, surpassing his season total of three RBIs coming into the day. He also drove in four runs during the 2013 season, while in the DSL. Bastardo has seen limited playing time, which is surprising considering his upside. He can play center field, runs well, and can hit for average, which is hard to do when he isn’t getting regular playing time. Last year, he had a shoulder injury that limited his time during the GCL season, so he really hasn’t played much since his rookie season in 2013.

RK: BRISTOL PIRATES

Box Score

Result: Bristol 11, Burlington 6

Starting Pitcher: Logan Sendelbach, RHP – 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Sandy Santos,  CF- 4-for-5, 2B, RBI, BB, 3 R, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Carlos Munoz, DH – 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI

Trae Arbet, 2B – 2-for-5, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Tenth round draft pick Logan Sendelbach has had a rough start to his career and it got worse on Thursday, as he couldn’t get out of the first inning. He allowed five runs, raising his ERA to 8.79 in 14.1 innings through five starts. Batters were hitting .321 against him coming into the day, so it hasn’t been what you would expect from a 21-year-old college pitcher in the Appalachian League. Sendelbach was followed by Shane Kemp, who threw 3.1 scoreless innings.

Sandy Santos reached base five times in this game and stole a base. His the type of player that could one day put all the tools together and break out, or struggle along as someone with the potential label. Scouting reports from the Dominican last year said that he did a lot of things well and one person even went as far as saying they thought he was the best player on the team. The problem was, that he was already 20 years old playing on a team with multiple 17/18 year old players with huge upsides, so it’s hard to compare players that are young for the level, with one that is on the old side. The fact that he skipped over the GCL is a good sign, and he is a name to keep in the back of your mind as a sleeper for next season if he can make the jump to West Virginia.

RK: GCL PIRATES

The Pirates attempted to finish Wednesday’s game, then play a regularly scheduled game on Thursday afternoon. They ended up getting one full inning in before rains suspended the game for a second time. Michael de la Cruz hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to make the score 8-5, which is where it stands now, with the Pirates batting and no outs. The game will be completed on August 7th and Thursday’s game will now be part of a doubleheader on August 8th.

RK: DSL PIRATES

Box Score

Result: Braves 4, Pirates 0

Starting Pitcher: Ronny Agustin, RHP – 4.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Felix Vinicio, DH – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Huascar Fuentes, 1B – 1-for-3

Rudy Guzman, RF – 1-for-3

Game Notes: The DSL Pirates had a much better day on defense and on the mound than yesterday when they gave up 14 runs and made six errors. Unfortunately, the offense that put seven runs on the board yesterday, didn’t show up, as they lost 4-0 on Thursday. Not much happened in this game to talk about. The Pirates had four hits, with Felix Vinicio’s first inning double accounting for the only runner they put in scoring position all game. Rudy Guzman, who is a talented toolsy player stuck in the Dominican due to visa issues, has started to play more often. In limited time, he is hitting .381 with a 1.028 OPS. Besides the small sample size, he would probably be with West Virginia or Morgantown by now if he didn’t have the visa problems, so take his success with a grain of salt.

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15 COMMENTS

  1. Mets just called up Michael Conforto straight from AA. His .899 OPS in the Eastern League was impressive…not a ton of ABs but good numbers and he’s 22. Same age as Josh Bell and Max Moroff.

    • Jared, if you were the Mets you would be calling up every kid that looked like he knew what a bat is for. Conforto is really a good hitter. I am friends with many in his extended family and also got a chance to see him play with Binghamton when he was promoted to AA.

  2. Hey leo, thanks for the heads up about the Curve game being on TV last night.

    Barrett Barnes *looked* like the best player on the field. A bit thicker than I expected, honestly, but well put together and the athleticism showed.

    Steven Brault is a neat little pitcher, isn’t he? Kershaw-lite giddy-up in his delivery from the windup before coming at the hitter from a crossfire wide angle. He’ll be hell for lefties to pick up. Might just be a big league starter if that change is above average.

    I’m passed worrying about such things, but you’d think in all these iterations Josh Bell would find at least one swing that looks smooth. Kid has some insane hand eye coordination and plenty of bat speed to get the job done, but to my eye has never “looked” the part of a great hitter in the box.

    If Stetson Allie had even a 40 hit tool he’d be a big league starter. Decent eye, simple swing, strong as a freaking ox…and no idea where the bat head is going.

    • Is there anything that can be done about Allie, NMR? I mean, clearly, not with our hitting coaches, but is there anything that a good hitting coach could do for him? I mean his power is legit.

      • Nah, I don’t really think so. Hit tool is one you really can’t teach. At least not appreciably so. He could make the low contact rates work in combination with the patience and power if he were able to manipulate the bat into consistent hard contact, but it just isn’t there.

        Not the worst guy to have hanging around the upper levels of your system as up-and-down platoon/PH depth, but nothing more than that.

    • That’s great NMR, I’m glad some folks got the chance to see the Curve. They are some offensive team I think. Barnes will certainly do nothing but add to their attack. How about Moroff starting that DP ? I feel bad for Allie, I saw him hit the 2 HRs against Erie the announcers alluded two, and neither of those were close ! But that 33 % SO rate, in his 2nd try at AA is not good.

  3. Harold Ramirez continuing to rake. Question: would would you give up from that Bradenton roster (Meadows, McGuire, Ramirez, Jones, etc.) in a trade if it netted us THE piece necessary to get to the WS? I only consider Glasnow and Bell untouchable.

    • Ramirez, arguably, deserved a promotion to AA more than Barnes, despite Barnes being older. Counting his 2 homers in the Panama tourney, Ramirez is on a bit of a home run tear.

      • I think that’s scouting the stat line a bit. Ramirez is still somewhat of a hacker and while the .417 BABIP is indicative of quality contact at lower levels of the minors, it’s also about a hundred points off what could reasonably be considered true talent level translated.

        He also hasn’t been able to muster much more than a 50% success rate stealing bases for someone who has to carry that tool into the show. If he’s that bad against A-ball batteries then his speed is essentially unusable.

    • I know we’re deep in the outfield but I don’t think there’s a deal that would make me feel comfortable moving Meadows.

  4. Duncan has really upped his value going from Short Season in 2014 to Hi A in 2015. While doing so he has become another guy who knows how to pitch – walks very few, not quite a K per inning, and keeps the ball on the ground. He has punched his ticket for a promotion to AA in 2016, and possibly earlier than that.

    • I was thinking that as well. But with Sampson struggling a bit with consistency, maybe Sanchez is gaining some ground on him?

    • There is definitely a lot to like, and while the stats haven’t been great in the past, scouts have always liked him. Sometimes pitchers take awhile to go from a thrower to a pitcher. I’m sure to a lot of scouts, his current numbers aren’t a surprise. I think he will get a chance in September, but I believe the pecking order right now is Liz, Sampson then Sanchez, which of course could change if they need a spot start on short notice.

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