Prospect Watch: Newman Hits First Home Run, Heredia Strikes Out Eight


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. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton –  2-for-5, R, RBI

3. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-3

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-5, RBI, R, 2 SB

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis –  0-for-5, 2 K

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – Pan-Am Tournament

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

11. Kevin Newman, SS, Morgantown – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB

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 – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

17. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona – 2-for-6

18. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB

19. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI

20. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

21. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – DNP

22. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

23. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4

24. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI

25. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona  – DNP

26. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown – 2-for-5, 2 R

27.Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

28. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL – DNP

29. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – DNP

30. Jacob Taylor, RHP, GCL – DNP


Top Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones – 3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Carlos Munoz (2), Kevin Newman (1), Willy Garcia (1)


Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 6, Toledo 1

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, CF – 2-for-5, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, RF – 2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, RBI, BB, 2 SB

Tony Sanchez, C – 3-for-4, 2 2B, R,  RBI

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson had his second straight solid outing, giving up one run over six innings. He threw seven shutout innings last time out, but in his three prior starts, Sampson gave up 15 earned runs over 17.1 innings. He threw 87 pitches in this game, 58 for strikes, and the only run he allowed came in the first inning.

The offense was lead by five players that had multi-hit games, with Tony Sanchez leading the way. He had three hits, including two doubles. Sanchez had two hits on Thursday as well, which has raised his average to a .224 mark. Willy Garcia put the game out of reach with a two-run homer in the ninth, his first since joining Indianapolis. Keon Broxton had a busy game, with a single, triple, walk, RBI, two runs, two stolen bases and an outfield assist. Alen Hanson went 0-for-5, but he did steal two bases, giving him 25 on the season.



Game One Box Score

Result: Richmond 2, Altoona 0

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl , RHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-3

Other Notable Performers:

Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-3

Eric Wood, 3B – 1-for-2

Game Notes: Altoona got shut down by Richmond’s Kelvin Marte in the first game of a doubleheader. The Curve managed to collect five hits in the game, all singles. They only had one runner is scoring position all game. Chad Kuhl was the tough luck loser, allowing two runs which were both unearned. He hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 19 innings, dating back to his final stat in June. He lowered his ERA to 2.73 on the year. Max Moroff had two hits, while Adam Frazier went hitless for a second straight game, which followed a 16-game hit streak.


Game Two Box Score

Result: Richmond 2, Altoona 1

Starting Pitcher: Matt Benedict, RHP – 3.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Dan Gamache, 2B – 1-for-3, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Josh Bell, 1B – 1-for-3, R

Jose Osuna, LF – 2-for-3

Game Notes: Altoona put together a very poor display on offense in Friday’s doubleheader, scoring just one run total and dropping both games. Dan Gamache picked up the only RBI, scoring Josh Bell from third base on a single. Bell singled, then moved to third on a single by Jose Osuna.

Adam Frazier took over at shortstop late in the game and went 0-for-1, giving him three straight games without a hit(0-for-9). Matt Benedict gave up both runs in the fourth inning, though they scored after he left the game when Jeremy Bleich couldn’t get the final out before giving up the go-ahead hit. Clario Perez pitched a scoreless sixth, giving him 8.2 shutout innings since being promoted to AA.


Box Score

Result: Bradenton 7, Lakeland 2

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 6.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 3-for-4, 2 2B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, CF – 2-for-5, R, RBI

Barrett Barnes, LF – 1-for-4, 2B, BB, RBI, 2 R

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 2-for-4

Game Notes:  Luis Heredia put together one of the best outings of his pro career in this game. The performance was actually better than the line looks, as he went into the seventh inning for just the second time in his career and almost all the damage occurred after he reached 80 pitches. Through six innings, he allowed just one hit, one walk, and set a career-high with eight strikeouts. He was efficient with his pitches and he also had seven ground ball outs. We mentioned earlier in the day inside our new top 50 rankings, that he has never pitched like this before in his career, so he picked a good time to finally show that potential. Before expectations get too high though, I should point out that his last outing also had a career-high, and that was nine earned runs.

One day after striking out four times, JaCoby Jones had a big game at the plate, collecting two doubles and driving in three runs. He has 18 doubles this season. Austin Meadows had two hits, giving him seven multi-hit games since July 7th. Barrett Barnes added his 15th double, scored two runs and picked up an RBI. Bradenton had 12 hits in the game and 16 chances at the plate with runners in scoring position.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 10, Lexington 6

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B – 3-for-4, 3 R, RBI, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 1-for-4, RBI

Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI

Michael Suchy, RF – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Austin Coley had a tough outing, but he was bailed out by the offense in a 10-6 victory on Friday night. The Power were down 4-1 early, then rallied for the next six runs, plus put another three on the board in the eighth inning for good measure. Pablo Reyes had three hits and a walk, scored three times and had an RBI. He also stole his 16th base of the year. Cole Tucker drove in two runs with a pair of doubles. Michael Suchy brought home a pair with a single and his 19th double.

Coley lasted just four innings, giving up four runs. After posting a 1.80 ERA in April, he has followed that with 4.28 in May, 4.66 in June and now 4.50 in July. Jerrick Suiter had five hits on Sunday, and he’s gone 1-for-11 since then. Elvis Escobar has raised his average to .286 by going 11-for-32 in his last nine games.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 7, State College 3

Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Kevin Newman, SS- 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Ty Moore, LF – 3-for-4, 2 RBI, BB

Casey Hughston, CF – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI

Kevin Kramer, 2B – 2-for-5, 2 R

Christian Kelley, C – 2-for-3, RBI, BB, R

Game Notes:  The West Virginia Black Bears found their stroke, pounded 14 hits, received strong starting pitching and cruised to a 7-3 victory Friday night to avoid a three-game sweep. After falling behind early, 1-0, the Bears tallied two in the third inning and three more in the fourth to propel them to the win.

Starting pitcher, Dario Agrazal, who came into the contest with a 2.77 ERA, kept the State College Spikes off-balance all night.  Agrazal moved his fastball around effectively and had the Spikes chasing his breaking ball down and out of the zone.  It was an impressive performance for the righty, who was averaging just 1.7 BB per nine innings entering the game and he did nothing to hurt that stat. In six innings of work, he struck out seven and did not walk a batter. He only allowed three hits and retired 13 of the last 14 batters he faced.

Manager Wyatt Toregas discussed his outing saying, “Dario pitched a heck of a game.  He threw strikes and it was his best slider we’ve seen.”

Through an interpreter, Agrazal explained, “I worked the lower half of the zone and we established the inner half.”

The Bears took the lead in the third when lead-off hitter, Kevin Kramer singled, and Kevin Newman followed by smoking a fastball over the left field fence. They added to their lead in the fourth with one out singles from Maximo Rivera and Christian Kelley, followed by a walk to the number nine hitter Alexis Bastardo, which loaded the bases with one out.  Kramer grounded to short to score a run and Ty Moore kept the rally going with a 2-run single to stake the Bears to a 5-1 lead.

The teams traded single runs in the 7th; the Bears added one in the eighth and the Spikes scored one more in the ninth to close out the scoring.

Offensive highlights, besides Newman’s first pro home run, included Ty Moore continuing to rake at the plate with three singles and a walk. Casey Hughston, who finished 2-5, hit a soft, opposite field single to left but turned it into a double with excellent hustle. Kelley, Kramer and Rivera all had two hits.

Kevin Newman made an exceptional defensive play, going deep into the hole, leaping, and throwing a seed to first to get the batter on a bang-bang play at first.  This was one of the first times that we have seen some of the defensive skills that made him a first round pick. He also seems to have regained his stroke.  Coach Toregas suggested that possibly Newman had been hurting more than he wanted to let on when he fouled a ball off his ankle several weeks ago, which caused him to miss four games.

As a team, the Bears were patient at the plate and had good at-bats.  They were solid in the field and Christian Kelley did a very nice job blocking multiple breaking balls in the dirt behind the plate. That is huge for a pitcher to be able to trust his catcher to block the ball.  This allows him to bounce 0-2 and 1-2 pitches, especially with runners on base. However, Agrazal set the tone.  He was in control throughout his six innings.

Julio Eusebio pitched well out of the bullpen.  He threw a scoreless eighth and gave up a single run in the ninth.  He was running his fastball up to the plate at 95 mph. – Jamey Conlin




Box Score

Result: Bluefield 10, Bristol 9

Starting Pitcher: Neil Kozikowski, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, DH – 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 R

Other Notable Performers:

Trae Arbet, 2B – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, BB

Nick Buckner, RF – 2-for-6

Logan Ratledge, SS – 2-for-5, 2 R, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Neil Kozikowski made his fifth start and gave up two earned runs over five innings. In 18 innings this year, which includes one inning of relief work, he has a 3.50 ERA, with four walks and ten strikeouts. He had just two walks prior to this outing, so he continues to display strong control since signing an over-slot deal back in 2013. The 20-year-old righty has never walked more than two batters in a game during his three seasons. Kozikowski has also been getting a lot of ground balls this year and he improved on that tonight with an 8:3 GO/AO ratio.

While there are some good signs this season from a pitcher that had a 7.71 ERA in the GCL last year, there is still plenty of work to do.He hasn’t been much of a strikeout pitcher, collecting three in this game, which is his season-high and one off his career best. Kozikowski has also allowed 25 hits in his 18 innings, so he’s doing a decent job of keeping runs off the board, he’s not keeping runners off the bases and that could hurt him down the line.



The GCL Pirates were rained out on Friday. They will make the game up as part of a doubleheader on Saturday.



Box Score

Result: Red Sox 4, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Domingo Robles, LHP – 5.0 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter:  Kyle Simmons, 2B – 1-for-4, 3B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Mikell Granberry, C – 1-for-4, 3B

Jeremias Portorreal, CF – 1-for-4, 3B, RBI

Game Notes: The Pirates lost 4-2 to the Red Sox2 on Friday, as they now head into the All-Star break with a 16-26 record. Kyle Simmons, who was signed out of the Bahamas on July 2nd, made his pro debut and hit a triple and drove in a run. He’s 18 now, so he was eligible to play right away, as opposed to the younger July 2nd signings, who sign contracts for the following season. Jeremias Portorreal has been on a hot streak recently, drawing a ton of walks. He drove in a run with his sixth triple of the season, but also struck out three times. Mikell Granberry added his fourth triple of the year.

Domingo Robles allowed one earned run over five innings. Three unearned runs scored off him, but he was not sharp this game. He allowed nine hits, a walk, hit a batter, threw a wild pitch and committed a balk. Robles has a 4.73 ERA in his first nine starts as a pro. Julian Villamar pitched two clean innings in relief, retiring all six batters he faced. He has a .218 BAA and 29 strikeouts in 23.1 innings this year, which sounds great, but not when he has also walked 24 batters. He had control issues last year too, though this season he is having success despite the walks. He throws a 94-95 MPH fastball with sink and a mid-80’s curve that breaks hard.

Just a note on this game if you check the boxscore and they still haven’t updated it. Yondry Contreras didn’t play in this game and the Pirates certainly wouldn’t switch their high-priced center fielder to second base out of the blue. His stats belong to Kyle Simmons, who apparently isn’t in the player database for MiLB. I’m working on getting them to update it.

  • Team Pirate Prospects. You all do a fantastic job and I am very pleased with what I am paying. I feel that everyday you all get better and better and truly want to put out a quality product. Thank you.

    I do have one small request and that would be to include the high velocity and average velocity the pitchers hit that night. It seems you are hit or miss and to me and hopefully others is a stat that is interesting. Much appreciate the work you do. Keep it up!!!

    • John Dreker
      July 18, 2015 2:08 pm

      We post velocity whenever it is available, but sometimes that takes someone being at the game and with half the games being road games, there will be a lot of days that don’t have anything

  • Better not throw Heredia under that ship, oops I meant on that ship just yet. Besides, ships do not travel to Altoona anyway.

  • Looks like Heredia was pi$$ed that you dropped him to #48, Tim.

    • scrappy2499
      July 18, 2015 8:42 am

      I was thinking the same thing lol.

    • John Dreker
      July 18, 2015 9:45 am

      To be fair, we didn’t drop him, that was all on him, but if we knew all it took was dropping him to #48 to get him to finally pitch good, we would have done it 2 1/2 years ago the first time he decided to show up out of shape

  • John: Good point about the 80 pitch mark, because the Pirates have kept him right at that mark or less – even a few games ago when he was throwing a shutout I think he was pulled after 73 pitches.

    Another good point is the best/worst scenario the last 2 games. In his last 10 games he has had two awful games where he gave up a combined 16 earned runs in 10 innings pitched, but in the other 8 games he is pitching at a 2.55 ERA. He pitched well last night, and the 8/2 GO/FO was also very Pirate-like.

    • John Dreker
      July 18, 2015 9:41 am

      He had a good ERA in those other games, but he pitched very poorly in some of them, averaging 18-20 pitches per inning and every inning was a struggle. This was really the first time he looked like a good pitcher and I’m willing to overlook the seventh inning damage. He really lost it that inning, but that was uncharted waters for him. It was good to stretch him further than what he normally goes, build him up for the future

  • Granted I was listening to the game, not watching it, but from what I was hearing was the Heredia was going FB most of the time, was shaking off the catcher quite a bit, and never got his off speed pitch in the strike zone. One would think that he cannot live by FB alone.

    But as I said, I was only listening to the game, so maybe I was getting the wrong impression.

    • I don’t think he automatically became a great pitcher overnight, especially not after his last outing. It could have been one of many things. It was the same Lakeland team that just scored one run in 15 innings the night before, so if you want to be a pessimist, you could say Heredia allowed twice as many runs in 6.1 innings as his teammates allowed over 17.2 innings during the last two games, He also hasn’t pitched in nine days, so maybe the rest helped him and next time he goes on the normal five days, he gets hit hard.

      It’s a great game to see, but unless he backs it up 3-4 times, in the grand scheme of things it will mean nothing. For now you have to take it for what it is, one game over a five year career. If we can look back on it at the end of the season and say it was the turning point, then you may have something with him

  • Thanks john.

  • Is that Newman or the bat boy under that massive batting helmet? Seriously it looks like he could spin it around his noggin.

  • Any chance Heredia checked the top 50 before his outing? Seriously though good to see the updated top 30.