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 (Nick Kingham), 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 the mid-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 – 1-for-5, BB
4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-4
5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, 3B
6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-3, 2B
7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, 2B
8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 3-for-6, 3B
9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 3-for-5, 2B
10. Kevin Newman, SS, Morgantown – 2-for-4, 2 2B
11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, GCL – 0-for-5, BB
12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol – DNP
13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP
15. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP
16. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona – 2-for-4, 2B, SB
17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona – 0-for-3
18. JaCoby Jones, SS, Altoona – 1-for-3, BB
19. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP
20. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – DNP
21. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP
22. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4
23. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-3, HR, BB
24. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona – 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 0 HR
25. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown – 0-for-4
26. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP
27. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL – 0-for-6
28. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – DNP
30. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP
Top Pitcher: Steven Brault, LHP – 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K, 0 HR
Top Hitter: Chase Simpson, 1B – 3-for-5, HR
Home Runs: Chase Simpson (8), Willy Garcia (2), Edison Lantigua (1)
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Willy Garcia hit his second home run since being promoted to Indianapolis, and his seventh of the year. He was struggling early in his time with the Indians, but is doing much better lately. In his last ten games he has a .293 average in 41 at-bats, with a double, a triple, and a home run. He’s striking out at a 29% rate during that stretch, and only has three walks, but it’s good to see the hitting and the power starting to show up.
Angel Sanchez has been fantastic lately, and continued a good run tonight. He gave up two earned runs in 6.2 innings, and now has eight earned runs in 40 innings over his last six starts. That’s a 1.80 ERA, which goes well with his 34:7 K/BB ratio in the same span. Sanchez is quickly emerging as one of the top depth options in Indianapolis if the Pirates have a few injuries to the MLB rotation down the stretch.
Steven Brault continued his recent dominant stretch, going six innings and striking out nine without allowing a run. He only allowed two weak hits on the night — a seeing eye single and a little blooper behind second base. In Brault’s last three starts, he has pitched 17 innings, allowing two earned runs and three walks while striking out 19.
He looked composed from the very first pitch. His stuff doesn’t overwhelm anyone, but he stays out of the middle of the zone and works the corners well. He worked the fastball around 90-91 MPH, and the changeup usually around 80 MPH. The ability to locate his pitches well both down and around the corners gave him nine strikeouts on the night, which is one short of his season high that he set on July 6th.
Brault was a two-way player at Regis University and showed some skill at the plate tonight with two hits and two RBIs for the Curve. Both hits were hard hit grounders, one that found a hole between first and second and the second taking a huge hop over the third baseman.
Max Moroff was the only other Curve player to have multiple hits on the night, with a single and double off of the left-center wall. Moroff struck out twice to begin the game and looked very frustrated, but a few strong defensive plays seemed to pick him up, both on the field and at the plate. He showed very good range at second base.
JaCoby Jones added a single and a walk in his second Double-A game since being promoted from Bradenton. He also showed some quickness at shortstop, ranging to both his left and right. Sebastian Valle added a double to the wall in right field in the fourth and eventually came around to score on a Steven Brault single. – Sean McCool
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Clay Holmes — Started game one but wasn’t around long enough to allow much of an impression to form. Threw all or almost all fastballs. Seemed to drive the ball down well. First two hitters got singles, one a dribbler that got through. He then got a GIDP and a strikeout. Then three outs on three pitches in the 2nd and he didn’t come out for the 3rd, which was planned before the start to keep his season innings down.
Luis Heredia — Went six innings in game two. Threw mostly fastballs with a few curves. His curve is straight over the top, but harder with less break than the classic 12-to-6 curve. Got on top of the fastball well sometimes but not others. Tended to get wild high. Few missed bats but not much hit hard unless he got the ball up. Two strikeouts were both looking. Mostly effective in the first three innings, but had a lot of 2-0 counts. Then lost the zone in the 4th. Walked two and went to 3-2 on the last two hitters. Very wild high a lot, like he was overthrowing. Should have had a scoreless inning anyway, but Wyatt Mathisen threw to the wrong base on a bases loaded, two out grounder and got nobody. Heredia then went 3-2 again but got a ground out. Then breezed through the last two innings. Just suddenly started throwing strikes. There were several scouts there during game one, but most left and nobody had a gun on Heredia except the guy charting pitches for the Marauders.
Harold Ramirez — Short, quick swing produced hard contact. 3-for-6 overall, including a triple when the center fielder dove at a line drive and missed. Had to chase down some balls in the RF/CF gap, showed good routes and jumps. Good but not great speed.
Austin Meadows — Had one hit, an infield single. Lined out to deep right-center and otherwise didn’t hit the ball well.
Reese McGuire — Showed opposite field power with a double into the left field corner. One steal attempt. Runner had a big jump. McGuire got rid of the ball very quickly but bounced the throw. No pitches got by him. Made an amazing grab on a foul tip to get Holmes a strikeout; the bat actually got a good piece of the ball. Hard to see how he held on.
Chris Diaz — Seems to be the shortstop now. Showed very good range a number of times, including one play where he ran to cover second on a hit and run, then had to reverse course to go after the ball in the hole. Managed to get the out at first. Made several strong throws from the hole.
Jin-De Jhang — DH in game one. Struggled with a very large strike zone and struck out twice, once looking. Didn’t hit anything well in game two. Mostly good reactions behind the plate. Made a quick recovery on one ball that bounced away and got the runner trying to advance from first with a good throw. – Wilbur Miller
West Virginia’s bats broke out in a big way today. Every hitter in the lineup reached base safely, and everyone but Jordan Luplow had a hit, with Luplow getting two walks. Cole Tucker, Michael Suchy, and Chase Simpson led the way with three hits each. Simpson added a home run, which was his eighth of the year. Suchy hit his fourth triple, and now has a .280/.370/.441 line in 304 at-bats this year. Tucker has really picked up the pace lately, with a .798 OPS in the month of July. Meanwhile, Austin Coley struggled a bit, giving up three runs in five innings, with just one strikeout. Sam Street saved him, throwing three shutout innings in relief.
Kevin Newman got off to a really slow start in his pro career, but has been doing much better lately. Today he picked up two doubles, giving him nine on the season. Five of those have come in his last four games, along with one triple. He is 8-for-18 in that stretch. Newman also has hits in 12 of his last 14 games. 39th round pick Tate Scioneaux made his pro debut tonight, striking out two in a shutout inning. Dario Agrazal continued pitching well, giving up two earned runs in five innings. He has a 2.57 ERA and a 27:5 K/BB ratio in 42 innings this year.
Tenth round pick Logan Sendelbach hasn’t had a good season, with a 9.50 ERA in 18 innings over his first six starts. Tonight he was ranging from 86-92 MPH, and at times had some sink to his four seam fastball, while mixing in his slider often. The fastball can come in on a downward plane and work down in the zone, but he’s not consistent with this approach. When he leaves it up, the pitch doesn’t fool anyone, and gets hit around, which was the case in the first two innings tonight. He did a better job of keeping the ball down in the third inning, but ran into trouble in the fourth, and the damage was increased when Shane Kemp came on and gave up a home run. You can see what the Pirates like about Sendelbach — he’s tall and skinny with a projectable frame, and he already hits 92-93 MPH with occasional downward plane on the pitch (I’m told he was 90-93 in his last start, although the results were horrible). But as the results show, he’s definitely a project.
Carlos Munoz continued his hitting, going 2-for-5 with a double. The first hit was just an opposite field poke that barely made it over the shortstop, and might not have been a hit in the upper levels. The double was well struck, pulled to right field. Munoz excels at limiting his strikeouts and keeping the walks high. However, he showed some bad swings tonight, going after a few pitches low and way out of the zone. Because of his size and frame, he has trouble getting to the pitches in the bottom half of the zone. This leads to some weak contact that can go for hits here, but probably won’t translate to hits in the upper levels. He does move well for his size, which is something I noticed last year in the GCL. And when a pitch is up in the zone, he can get a hold of it, as he demonstrated with the double tonight. I still have a lot of concerns about his size, and how that will impact his numbers in the future.
Trae Arbet was aggressive attacking pitches up in the zone at the plate. On the field he had some issues with his throwing, leading to two errors. One was a somewhat routine grounder where he over-threw Munoz at first base. The other was a relay from second on a double play ball, once again over-throwing Munoz. He was drafted as a shortstop, but has been transitioning to second base for the last year.
Jordan George, who goes by Zach, went 0-for-2 with two walks. However, he looked advanced for the league, laying off a lot of close pitches that wouldn’t have been good to swing at. He’s a first baseman/DH, but looks to have the frame to potentially play an outfield spot. Sandy Santos showed off his speed, picking up two hits including one bunt for a hit. – Tim Williams
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The Pirates took both games of a double header against the Phillies. Chris Plitt started the first game, giving up three runs on three hits in five innings, with his two home runs hurting him. The Pirates didn’t have much offense, with four hits and two walks, but managed to score four runs off that small amount of production. The second game saw another 4-3 victory, although once again there wasn’t much offense, with no walks and seven hits. Jhoan Herrera and Edison Lantigua were the hitters of the day. Lantigua went 3-for-7 with a home run in game one. Herrera went 4-for-7 with a double between the two games.
The DSL Pirates won for the 20th time in their 50th game on Tuesday, dropping the Brewers by a 6-4 score. Catcher Raul Hernandez has been getting a lot of playing time recently and he made the most of it in this game, collecting three hits and driving in a career-high four runs, doubling his previous best. Hernandez was one of the lesser signings last year, inking his first contract months before his 19th birthday. He was also supposed to be a backup, with Gabriel Brito(who signed for $200K) and second-year player Mikell Granberry seeing most of the time behind the plate. Brito has had a couple injuries and Granberry has seen time at first base, which has opened up time behind the plate for Hernandez.
Pitcher Argenis Romano was recently moved to the starting rotation to cover for the injured Bryan Sousa. In his first two starts, Romano threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits each time. Last week he got hit hard in an outing that only lasted 2.2 innings. This was a nice bounce back performance, as he allowed one unearned run on just one hit in four innings. He was signed shortly before the season, impressing the team during tryouts at the academy. He is 20 years old, so the upside is probably limited, although we saw last year with Yeudy Garcia that age isn’t everything. Romano now throws his fastball 90-91 MPH, with a sharp-breaking curve that is his best pitch. He has issues with holding runners on base, but that could be due to inexperience. – John Dreker