Prospect Watch: Sampson Pitches Great, Heredia Allows Career-High in Runs


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 – DNP

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 0-for-3

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

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

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-6

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 0-for-1

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol – DNP

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

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 0-for-4

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – DNP

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – 2-for-4

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 1-for-4

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB

23. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 2-for-4, 2 RBI

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 1-for-3

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona  – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – Pan-Am Tournament

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – 5.0 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 1-for-2, RBI, 2 BB, 2 R


Top Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Logan Hill, RF – 2-for-6, HR, 4 RBI

Home Runs: John Bowker (3), Logan Hill (2), Elvis Escobar (2)


Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 4, Louisville 0

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: John Bowker, 1B – 2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Tony Sanchez, C – 1-for-4

Willy Garcia, CF – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson has been in a rough stretch recently, giving up 15 earned runs on 24 hits in 17.1 innings over his previous three starts. Two starts before that, he allowed eight earned runs on 12 hits in his worst career outing. With a 4.15 ERA, he was losing his grip on the top spot in case the Pirates needed a full-time starter to step in to the rotation. Sampson may have turned things around on Thursday, although he will need to continue in the right direction before he’s really considered back on track. He threw seven shutout innings and had a 10:4 GO/AO ratio in the game, which still leaves him under 1.00 in that department for the season.

John Bowker provided most of the offense, hitting a two-run homer in the fifth inning after scoring a run earlier in the game. Corey Hart played the entire game at first base and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He is 4-for-22, with two homers and nine strikeouts in six games.



Altoona was rained out on Thursday. They will make the game up as part of a doubleheader on July 21st.



Box Score

Result: Palm Beach 10, Bradenton 1

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 5.0 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Austin Meadows, CF – 2-for-4

Other Notable Performers:

Barrett Barnes, LF – 2-for-4

Erich Weiss, 2B – 1-for-3

Game Notes: Luis Heredia gave up three runs in the first inning, then things got worse from there. When the dust settled, he had allowed a career-high nine earned runs. Heredia now has a 5.89 ERA in 11 starts this season and he has picked up just 22 strikeouts in 47.1 innings. Isaac Sanchez followed Heredia and threw three shutout innings.

As bad as the starting pitcher was in this game, the starting lineup wasn’t any better. They had a total of six hits(all singles) in the game and only three chances with runners in scoring position. Austin Meadows and Barrett Barnes both had two hits. Meadows also picked up an outfield assist. He is hitting .375 in his last ten games.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 11, Greensboro 2

Starting Pitcher: Yeudy Garcia, RHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Trace Tam Sing, 2B – 1-for-5, 3B, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Michael Suchy, RF – 1-for-4, 3B, 3 RBI

Elvis Escobar, CF – 1-for-4, 3 R, HR, RBI, BB

Jordan Luplow, DH – 2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 R, BB

Game Notes: West Virginia held a 2-1 lead going into the seventh inning, then broke it open, scoring in each of the last three frames, nine runs total. Starter Yeudy Garcia allowed one run over five innings, lowering his ERA to 2.31 through 70 innings. He’s been very consistent, posting a 2.32 ERA in his last ten games. Jared Lakind joined the Power today to replace injured Jake Burnette and he threw a scoreless inning in his debut.

Cole Tucker, Connor Joe and Jordan Luplow each had two hits, while Trace Tam Sing drove in four runs and Michael Suchy had three RBIs, giving him 41 on the season. Tam Sing has driven in 17 runs this year in just 21 games. Elvis Escobar hit his second homer of the season. He scored three runs in the game. Luplow had two doubles, giving him 20 this year.


Box Score

Result: Morgantown 12, Lowell 3

Starting Pitcher: JT Brubaker, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Logan Hill, RF – 2-for-6, HR, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Kevin Newman, SS – 0-for-5, R, RBI, BB

Alexis Bastardo, LF – 4-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB

Danny Arribas, C – 3-for-5, RBI, 2 R

Mitchell Tolman, 3B – 2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Morgantown got strong starting pitching from JT Brubaker and the bats had a field day in their 12-3 win over Lowell. Brubaker allowed one unearned run over five innings, giving up just one hit. Coming into the game, he had allowed ten earned runs over 11.2 innings in his first three starts. He also had a .353 BAA coming into the day, but somewhat surprisingly, he issued his first walk of the season in this game.

The big hit of the game was a grand slam by Logan Hill in the second inning. Toolsy outfielder Alexis Bastardo had a big day at the plate, collecting four hits and walking once. He hasn’t seen much playing time despite his potential, with most of the time going to draft picks from this year. One of those drafted players seeing full-time action in the outfield is third round pick Casey Hughston, who had a single in this game, but he still has an .075 batting average. First round pick Kevin Newman went 0-for-5 in this game, dropping his average below the .200 mark. On the other side of the spectrum, Danny Arribas had three hits and he now has a .339 average.


Box Score

Result: Bristol 7, Burlington 4

Starting Pitcher: Neil Kozikowski, RHP – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, 1B – 2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Sandy Santos, DH – 1-for-3, BB, 3 R

Julio de la Cruz, 3B – 2-for-3, 2 RBI

Game Recap: With four straight rainouts for Bristol last week, Neil Kozikowski ended up pitching in relief instead of making his regular start. Thursday was his first start since June 28th and he had a terrific outing, throwing four shutout innings. Kozikowski allowed 15 hits and five earned runs over nine innings in his first two starts, plus the short relief outing. Carlos Munoz reached base in all four plate appearances, picking up two hits, including his seventh double. Julio de la Cruz had two hits and drove in two runs. Sandy Santos scored three runs and stole his fourth base of the young season.


Box Score

Result: Blue Jays 4, Pirates 3

Starting Pitcher: Luis Escobar, RHP – 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Michael De La Cruz, CF – 2-for-5, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Sam Kennelly, 1B – 1-for-3, RBI

Adrian Valerio, SS – 1-for-4, 2B, BB

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B – 1-for-3, R

Game Notes: After playing 20 innings total yesterday, the Pirates had to call on two position players to pitch on Thursday and it ended up costing them the game. This was the third straight solid outing for Luis Escobar, the 19-year-old flamethrower from Colombia. His last two games were the same, one hit over five shutout innings, so this one wasn’t as good, but still looks decent on paper for a pitcher working with a limited pitch count of 75 pitches or five innings, whichever comes first. The bad side to his one run over 4.2 innings performance, is that he hit three batters, plus he only recorded three outs on ground balls. So it was an overall solid outing, but obviously not his best.

Ke’Bryan Hayes continued his on-base streak, which covers all ten games he has played. He had a single and a walk, giving him a .395/.500/.526 slash line over 38 at-bats. Michael de la Cruz had two hits, continuing to look good after a tough season last year. He already has more hits than last year and his .299/.356/.403 slash line is a strong improvement. Adrian Valerio has an .823 OPS through 16 games.


Box Score(not uploaded yet)

Result: Pirates 4, Marlins 2

Starting Pitcher: Argenis Romano, RHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mikell Granberry, 1B – 1-for-3, 2B, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Jeremias Portorreal, RF – 0-for-3, RBI, BB

Eddy Vizcaino, LF – 0-for-1, RBI, 2 BB

Yondry Contreras, CF – 1-for-3, R

Game Recap: The Pirates got great pitching from Argenis Romano in his first career start, as he threw five shutout innings, giving up three hits and a walk. Romano had a 5.87 ERA coming into the game, seeing all his time previous in long relief. He has looked good in some outings, but also got hit hard in others. He is a 20-year-old righty, who signed shortly before the season started, after the Pirates liked what they saw during an extended tryout.

The Pirates had just four hits, but made the most of their chances, capitalizing on six walks. Mikell Granberry hit a double, walked and stole a base. Jeremias Portorreal drew his 14th walk in the last 12 games. Shortstop Melvin Jimenez scored two runs from the lead-off spot.

  • And that outing, ladies and gents, is why Heredia has not earned any benefit of the doubt when he has that one decent outing every 3-4 times out. I want him to be good, but its about time to move him to the pen or figure something else for him.

  • Really encouraged by the work of Hayes and Valerio. If Valerio can even hold a .760 OPS, let alone an OPS over .800 then he’ll turn into a special, special prospect considering his glove. Logan Hill has been a pleasant surprise as well…well out hitting earlier draft picks.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 10, 2015 8:47 am

    Is it time to say good bye to Heredia?

  • Hate to say it but it looks like the “Good Ship” Heredia has sailed. On the other hand, very impressive start by Ky’Bryan Hayes.

  • I appreciate it John. Also, the explanation for why two position players pitched in the GCL game — information available nowhere else that I’m aware of. Nobody outworks you and Tim. My Top Prospect subscription has paid dividends since Day 1, as far as I’m concerned.

    • John Dreker
      July 10, 2015 9:56 am

      I just talked to Russini and he said that he hasn’t pitched since his freshman year in high school, so it’s been awhile. They asked him in the morning if he could pitch and of course a gamer is going to take one for the team.

  • jamminjoe66
    July 10, 2015 2:17 am

    It’s time to move Heredia to the Pen to see if he can gain some kind of status other then bust.

    • I kind of agree with you. He just continues to have me flabbergasted. So much talent in that arm plus rare projectability and it’s all been absent. I know he’s still too young to buy a beer in this country, but you gotta think with all the coaching and time he’s had working in the system that he’d at least be a solid starter at High-A ball by now. A sad story he’s become.

      • I think there might actually be a good lesson in that “rare projectability” comment.

        Seems to me the hype around Heredia always stemmed from a place of “holy smokes, this kid is 16 and already 6’5″ with a fastball in the mid-90s…just think what he’ll be when he grows up”. Well, turns out Heredia was done growing up, just not growing out. There simply did not turn out to be any projection left in the body or arm, physically speaking. He hit his growth spurt early and with no physical growth left, simply turned into a very, very marginal talent.

  • John Dreker
    July 10, 2015 1:31 am

    I hope all the late night readers appreciate the DSL stats and recap tonight. Three hours after this article was posted, the boxscore still isn’t up, but you knew what happened before the masses did. I’m going to sleep now, so that means under normal circumstances, that info wouldn’t have been up before 9am Friday morning.

    • “Luis Heredia gave up three runs in the first inning, then things got worse from there.”

      I hope everyone else enjoys your writing style as much as I do. This had me cracking up this morning.

      • John Dreker
        July 10, 2015 9:52 am

        I’m sure if people noticed it or not, but the other six starters gave up 2 ER in 30.2 innings and he allowed 9 ER in 5 IP!

    • John…to be honest, I appreciate everything you do here!!!! (except, of course, when you disagree with me on something).


  • Curious to see if Hayes will receive the well-known: “aggressive push” next season. A- seems like a healthy next stop.

    • I’m going to say yes, he seems to fit the mold well. I didn’t think Tucker would and he was a 1/2 year younger than what Hayes will be next year, plus Tucker had off-season surgery on his hand, so he missed some training time. Hayes is off to a hot start, which if he keeps up a pace even close to where he is now, he will have a much better season than Tucker. All those signs point to him going there. He also comes from a baseball family and knows what it takes to get the majors, so he’s a little more prepared for the full season than most high school players in their first full year.