Prospect Watch: Radhames Liz Throws Six Shutout Innings, Escobar Shines in GCL

P2 Top 30

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, Indianapolis – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-4, R, RBI, SB

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-2

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, 2B

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 0-for-3, R, RBI

7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-3, SB

9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – DNP

10. Kevin Newman, SS, Morgantown – 0-for-3, R

11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, GCL – 0-for-4

12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol – DNP

13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

15. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

16. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona – 2-for-3, R

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona – DNP

18. JaCoby Jones, SS, Altoona – 1-for-3, RBI

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-3

23. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-4, RBI

24. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona – DNP

25. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown – 0-for-3, BB

26. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL – 1-for-3, RBI

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

29. Jacob Taylor, RHP, GCL – Tommy John Surgery

30. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis –  1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

P2 Top Performers

Top Pitcher: Radhames Liz, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, DH – 3-for-4, 2 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB

Home Runs: Carlos Munoz (8), Logan Hill (4), Logan Ratledge (1)

Indianapolis Indians Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Radhames Liz has had one bad outing for Indianapolis and dominated the rest of the time. After six shutout innings tonight, he has a 1.02 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 44.1 innings. Four of the five runs he has allowed came during his start on July 11th. He has given up one run over 39.1 innings in his other six starts and three relief appearances.

John Holdzkom returned to Indianapolis for the first time since June 28th and had some control issues, giving up two walks and throwing 11 of his 20 pitches for strikes. He didn’t walk a batter in any of his previous seven outings, and in his last four outings combined, Holdzkom pitched five shutout innings, with no walks or hits, and seven strikeouts.

Keon Broxton had three hits and has now reached base in 22 straight games, dating back to July 3rd. There was one game in the middle, where he was only used on defense late, but that doesn’t break an on base streak since he never batted. Broxton stole his 14th base in 16 tries since joining Indianapolis. He had 11 steals with Altoona before being promoted.


Altoona Curve Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

In a game that included six hits total and just one run, Zack Dodson was the star for Altoona. He spread out two walks and two hits over seven shutout innings, never allowing a runner to reach second base. Dodson hasn’t had an outing like this in awhile, but he needed it because this is an important finish to the season for him. He reaches minor league free agency at the end of the year, so he’s pitching for a job for next season, possibly back with the Pirates. While his strikeout totals are low, he has a 1.21 WHIP in 121.1 innings and his .266 BAA and 1.09 GO/AO ratio are both respectable numbers.

Josh Bell is 1-for-14 over his last four games and Adam Frazier is 0-for-11 in his last three games, which comes after he collected two hits in each of his previous seven contests. JaCoby Jones is 5-for-10 in three games since being called up, and he drove home Max Moroff with the only run in this game. Moroff is third in the league in average and ninth in OPS, one spot ahead of Bell.
Bradenton Marauders Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes


Frank Duncan has been having a strong month of July after making some changes on the mound. This outing didn’t go as well as the others, but he still threw a lot of strikes(57 of 83 pitches) and only gave up three runs, spreading them out over three innings. Duncan finishes July with a 2.72 ERA in 39.2 innings, with a 2.60 GO/AO ratio and a 2:28 BB/SO ratio.

Bradenton had only five hits on offense and went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, so they were lucky to get the three runs they did. Harold Ramirez and Austin Meadows both stole their 16th base of the season, but Ramirez was also caught stealing for the 11th time. Meadows is now hitting .304 this season, which ranks him fourth in the FSL, while his .753 OPS has him ranked eighth overall. He is batting .336 in July and .357 during the second half of the season.
West Virginia Power Prospect Watch
West Virginia had off on Wednesday.


West Virginia Black Bears Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Luis Paula made his third start for Morgantown and almost got through five innings with just two runs. For someone that didn’t start last season and is still building up, Paula has looked good early in his starts, but he has faded late. In this game, he got a grounder to first base that got booted with two outs in the fifth. After that, he allowed two singles before leaving the game. All three runners scored, though all the runs were unearned. Paula has pitched 26.1 innings this season and has not issued a walk yet.

For such a strong college hitter, Kevin Kramer is having an unusually difficult time so far. After an 0-for-3 in this game, he now has a .217/.305/.243 slash line in 31 games. He is 6-for-35 in his last nine games. Casey Hughston isn’t doing any better than the guy taken one round ahead of him. Hughston has a .167/.225/.250 slash line in 29 games, with 29 strikeouts. Just like Kramer, he was a solid hitter in college, so it’s odd to see them having such a tough time in a league where the average level of competition is lesser than Division I play.


Bristol Pirates Prospect Watch1

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P2 Game Notes

After getting beat up on the scoreboard on Tuesday, Bristol returned the favor on Wednesday. Carlos Munoz continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4, with two doubles, a homer and a walk. He scored twice and drove in a run. Munoz has 14 doubles and eight homers, both tops in the Appalachian League. Sandy Santos reached base four times and scored two runs. He has been hitting well lately, so he is one to keep an eye on. He’s a very toolsy player, who skipped over the GCL this year, after getting some strong reviews when we did our DSL season recap last year. Santos has four homers, six stolen bases, and he is starting to hit for average now, plus he’s a solid all-around outfielder. Trae Arbet has hit well early on, but his lack of plate patience caught up with in this game, doing poorly while his teammates were hitting the ball well. He went 0-for-5, with three strikeouts, giving him a 5:29 BB/SO ratio in 25 games.


GCL Pirates Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Luis Escobar has looked amazing at times this year and in a couple other starts, he couldn’t get out of the first inning. The same thing happened to him last in the DSL, and it should be noted that he was a third baseman three years ago before switching to the mound due to his arm strength and lack of hitting. Escobar gets it up to 95 MPH and is nearly unhittable when he is on, but his lack of experience sometimes leads to poor outings. In two of his starts this season, he has given up a total of seven earned runs over one inning. In his other five starts combined, he has surrendered two runs over 23.2 innings. He has still yet to allow more than three hits in a game this season.

Michael de la Cruz has looked good recently, picking up extra-base hits, including a grand slam he hit the other day in a suspended game that won’t show up in his stats until the game is completed next week. He is a very toolsy 19-year-old, who is showing strong improvements over a rough 2014 season in the GCL. Ke’Bryan Hayes had his worst day at the plate as a pro, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Despite this game, he is hitting .362/.451/.449 in 20 games. Shortstop Adrian Valerio has been in a slump recently, going 2-for-23, with no walks in his last ten games. There were a few games in there where he came into the game after rehabbing Justin Sellers left early, so he either batted once or just played in the field.


DSL Pirates Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

The DSL Pirates dropped to 20-31 after a 10-3 loss on Wednesday. They have 21 games left in their season and would need a miracle finish to avoid a losing season. Starter Ronny Agustin allowed seven of the eight batters he faced to reach base, and only with help from reliever Carlos Bustamante, did he avoid giving up more than four runs in his abbreviated outing. This was his third start since opening the year with eight straight appearances out of the bullpen. Adonis Pichardo is normally in this spot, but he is resting a sore shoulder. It’s his second minor arm-related injury this season, last time getting shutdown for a start due to arm fatigue after his fastball was down 7-8 MPH in his start.

Mikell Granberry had two hits and a walk, while Jeremias Portorreal and Rudy Guzman combined for two hits and two walks from the clean-up spot, splitting the game in right field. All-Star infielder Melvin Jimenez is 2-for-21 in his last seven games. All-Star reliever Ramon Garcia dropped his season ERA to 1.45 after throwing two shutout innings in this game. He had a 5.92 ERA in 17 appearances last year.




Most Voted Comments

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Brian Bernard

Seriously promote Munoz. For real.


Is Liz a ‘AAAA’ pitcher, or can he be counted on as SP depth or replacing ‘Electric Charlie’?


Is Holdzkom able to amp it back up over 95 now since the return?


I read somewhere that J. Bell change his batting stand yet again, anyone able to confirm this?

Scott K

That’s akin to saying, “I read somewhere the sun set in the west last night, anyone able to confirm this?”

Bell changes his stance quite frequently.




Maybe Liz is our rotation upgrade. He’s been sensational since being switched back to starting.

Scott K

If nothing else, he’s got to be #1 SP depth option at this point.

I don’t see Pirates changing their rotation unless there’s an injury.


If that’s the case, why in the hell is Vance Worley still a Pirate?

I’d be absolutely shocked if the Pirates trusted Radhames Liz to start baseball games in a pennant race. Can anyone honestly see that happening?

Scott Kliesen

I meant SP depth in AAA. Do you disagree? He’s a better option now than Sampson, Volstad, or anyone else currently.

Luke S

If someone were to get hurt on, say, September 4th it might not be crazy. Worley hasnt gone 5+ in months. Its a choice of Worley+extensive pen work or possibly having Liz throw a few games.

Idk if i see a huge benefit in either of those over the other really. I dont trust Liz a ton as a SP, i trust Worley a bit more but also see why the bullpen throwing at least 4 innings every 5th day for 2-3 weeks isnt ideal.

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