Prospect Watch: Starts From Glasnow, Heredia, Holmes and Sampson


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 – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 3-for-5

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-3, BB, R

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

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

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-5, SB

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, 3 K

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol – DNP

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-5

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 0-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – 6.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – DNP

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – DNP

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

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

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

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 0-for-3, BB

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona  – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 3-for-4, RBI, 2 SB

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton -DNP

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 1-for-4


Top Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Sam Kennelly, 1B – 4-for-5, 3B, 5 RBI

Home Runs: Corey Hart (2), Sebastian Valle (2), Adrian Valerio (1)


Box Score

Result: Louisville 9, Indianapolis 2

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 6.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Corey Hart, 1B – 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, 2B – 1-for-5, RBI

Keon Broxton, LF – 1-for-3, 2B, HBP, SB

Game Notes: In his previous sideways outings, it has been the first inning that has done in Adrian Sampson. On Saturday night, it was the second and third frames that created a rough outing for the right hander. In each inning, he allowed a home run with runners on. In the second, it was a three-run shot and the third was a two-run bomb.

Brad Lincoln did not give Sampson much help in relief, as he allowed a pair of Sampson’s inherited runners to cross the plate. In addition, Lincoln allowed two of his own runs on six hits in his 1.1 innings of action. Yhonathan Barrios worked 1.1 perfect innings, striking out one.

Corey Hart hit his second home run of his rehab stint with Indianapolis and Sampson picked up a pair of hits at the plate. Keon Broxton stole his tenth base in ten tries with Indianapolis. He has 21 on the season. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Harrisburg 11, Altoona 9

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Glasnow, RHP – 5.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Sebastian Valle, C – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Adam Frazier, SS – 2-for-5

Dan Gamache, 3B – 3-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Game Notes: Although the three earned runs and four runs total given up won’t speak to it, Tyler Glasnow looked great from the mound on Saturday night in Altoona. In front of a crowd of almost 9,000 people, Glasnow went five innings and gave up three earned runs (arguably four because of a controversial decision to label a hard hit ball to Dan Gamache at third as an error). Looking at that, it wouldn’t look like a strong outing for Glasnow; however, his fastball was live, and his velocity was pretty close to normal, hitting 97 mph numerous times and topping out at 98 mph.

Glasnow was extremely efficient with his fastball through the first three innings, averaging a little over ten pitches per inning while still striking out five batters. He was locating the fastball all across the plate, keeping the batters off-balanced and guessing.

He had a 73% strike rate and threw 17 of 23 first pitch strikes. Glasnow did not use his secondary pitches often tonight, only throwing a few curve balls and change ups. Pitching Coach Justin Meccage expressed the need for Glasnow to work his secondary pitches in more as he goes deeper into the night. When Glasnow got into the fifth, it looked like Harrisburg batters were looking for and guessing fastball, and he continued to throw it even though it was getting hit. As he gets back into a groove after missing a month, you would expect Glasnow to get more accustom to throwing those secondary pitches again.

Overall, the fastball command was extremely good, and Glasnow looked in control, at least for the first time through the order. He will need to mix up his pitches more during his next outing. He was on a five inning/80 pitch limit tonight.

From the hitting side, Dan Gamache ripped a bases clearing double in the first inning to the gap to get the Curve going. He finished the night with three hits. Adam Frazier got the start at shortstop and tacked on two more hits to raise his average to .375. Sebastian Valle added a late two-run home run in the eight inning on top of a double earlier in the game.

The 2-4 hitters for Altoona – Max Moroff, Josh Bell, and Stetson Allie – went a combined 0-for-10, with Stetson Allie striking out three times in as many at-bats. – Sean McCool



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 4, Jupiter 3

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jin-De Jhang, C – 3-for-4, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, CF – 3-for-5

Erich Weiss, DH – 2-for-4, 2B, BB

Game Notes: Luis Heredia was facing a lineup on Saturday that had two Major League players on rehab, Michael Morse and Don Kelly. He kept them out of the hit column, but still gave up three runs over 5.2 innings. Heredia walked four batters without picking up a strikeout. He was coming off two straight strong outing in which he gave up one earned run over 11 innings. Heredia only allowed five hits, but included among them were two triples and a double.

The offense was led by Jin-De Jhang, who had three hits and drove in two runs. He is 12-for-34 in his last nine games. Austin Meadows and Justin Maffei both had three singles. Meadows is 17-for-36 in his last eight games. Harold Ramirez had a seven game hit streak snapped, yet he is only batting .205(with no walks) in his last nine games.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Delmarva 1

Starting Pitcher: Yeudy Garcia, RHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tito Polo, CF – 3-for-4, RBI, R, 2 SB

Other Notable Performers:

Michael Suchy, RF – 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 2-for-3, 2 R, BB

Game Notes: Yeudy Garcia helped West Virginia to a 5-1 win with five shutout innings. He allowed four hits, walked none and had four strikeouts. Garcia lowered his ERA to 2.35 through 65 innings, giving him the sixth best ERA in the South Atlantic League. The Power moved to 8-2 in the second half, the best record in the league.

Tito Polo had a nice all-around game, collecting three hits, stealing two bases and picking up an outfield assist. He leads all Pirates’ minor leaguers with 25 steals. Cole Tucker had two hits and stole his 21st base. Michael Suchy hit his 16th double and drove in two runs, giving him 38 RBIs on the season.



Box Score

Result: Batavia 4, West Virginia 1

Starting Pitcher: Bret Helton, RHP – 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Logan Hill, RF – 3-for-4, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Christian Kelley, C – 1-for-3, BB

Cesilio Pimentel, RHP – 4.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 SO, 0 HR

Game Notes: There were fireworks during the game when Batavia’s manager, Angel Espada was ejected.  There were fireworks after the game the game that entertained the packed house, but there were no fireworks from West Virginia’s offense as they fell by a score of 4-1.

The West Virginia Black Bears starting lineup featured six of nine starters (including the DH) with batting averages less than .200.  The Batavia Muckdogs, a Miami Marlins affiliate,  entered the game with the worst record in the division (3-11) and starter Nick White on the mound, who had already given up six runs in his first nine innings of work this year.  Unfortunately, the Bears hitting woes continued.  Though they dented the scoreboard for a run in the bottom of the first, they did little else before a crowd of almost 3,000 on a beautiful 4th of July. After the game, Manager Wyatt Toregas discussed the lack of hitting.

“Sometimes you have to let them fail, ” Toregas lamented.  “Players will start to listen when they are hitting below .200.”

The Black Bears managed seven hits, with only one going for extra bases.  As second hit was scored a double, though the runner really advanced to second on the throw.

With two outs in the bottom of first, Logan Hill, who had singled, was driven home by Ty Moore on a soft line drive single to center field to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. Hill and Moore have been two of the bright spots for West Virginia’s struggling offense this season.  Hill singled sharply between short and third in the first and then drove a triple to center in the third that one-hopped the wall at the 400-foot sign. Hill led off the bottom of the sixth with another sharp single up the middle, but was erased on a double play. Hill entered the game with an .840 OPS. He finished 3-for-4.

Moore, who started the game leading the team in batting average (.370), hits (17) and RBI, also came into the game with an off-the-chart OPS of 1.018. He finished 1-for-3, with two Ks and a HBP. Moore also made a nice diving catch in left to rob the Muckdogs of a hit.

Bret Helton started for the Black Bears and continued to struggle while making his third start of the season.  He went to his fastball more in the first inning than he had in his previous start.  However, he gave up  four consecutive hits to start the second, and after getting an out, he proceeded to walk his second batter of the game.  That ended his night having thrown 43 pitches. Helton’s fastball was consistently around 92 mph and he touched as high as 94 mph.  His slider sat between 83-86, but he was up often with his breaking balls which were hit hard.  In his 1 1/3 innings of work, he gave up two walks, along with four hits, three of which were doubles and three earned runs.  Control is also an issue that continues to create problems for him.

After the game, Coach Toregas explained that Helton has been inconsistent with his release point.  He also went on to say that he needs to develop his slider and that he can’t just be a fastball curve ball pitcher.

“Our job (staff) is to teach him who he is,” Toregas explained.

Helton was relieved with one out in the second by lefty, Cesilio Pimentel and he was outstanding.  He worked out of Helton’s two on and one out jam in the second without allowing a run. He then proceeded to shut down the Muckdogs through the sixth without allowing a run or walk.  Pimentel’s fastball had a bit more life than the last time he pitched here in Morgantown.  He threw his fastball consistently at 90-91 and threw an excellent 12-to-6 breaking ball that sat 80-81 mph and had many of the Muckdogs chasing balls in the dirt.  He finished with seven strikeouts.

Pimentel credited his success with his curve ball and control to sticking to his pitching program. He said that he has been working hard to improve and it showed.

Right-hander, Eric Dorsch, was also effective in three innings of work giving up just one run.  Dorsch, is a very big man at 6′ 8″,245 pounds.  Dorsch described himself as a sinker/slider guy, who is working on his mechanics so that he can execute his fast ball down in the zone.  He said that he somewhat tried to model himself after the Pirates Jared Hughes because they have the same build and throw the same types of pitches.

Another bright spot was the play of Mitchell Tolman, who has Pete Rose-type hustle and Lenny Dykstra-type toughness.  Early in the game, Tolman chased a foul pop and had the ball in his glove as he literally flipped over the third base railing. He was unable to hang onto the ball but it was a tremendous effort.  Later in the game, he knocked down a one-hop smash and fired a strike to first to get the out. He also singled and drove a ball to the right field track that was caught, though it was a quality at-bat.

First round pick, Kevin Newman, who is batting .205, did not start.  He is day-to-day according to Coach Toregas. Second round pick Kevin Kramer, who entered the game batting .184, went 0-for-3 with a walk.  Third round pick, Casey Hughston, who signed for more than his slot value, went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. He is now 1-for-40 on the season.  He did hit two balls on the button, but got nothing to show for it. – Jamey Conlin


Saturday’s Bristol doubleheader was rained out. They will be back in action with a doubleheader on Sunday.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 9 Braves 3

Starting Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Sam Kennelly, 1B – 4-for-5, 3B, 5 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Michael de la Cruz, CF – 1-for-4, 2 BB, 2B, SB, 3 R

Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B – 3-for-4, HBP, SB, 2 R

Adrian Valerio, SS – 2-for-6, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R

Game Notes: Clay Holmes made his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery and had his best outing. He gave up just three singles and got six ground outs and four strikeouts over his five shutout innings. Holmes has a 2.03 ERA in 13.1 innings, with a 1:10 BB/SO ratio. He should be able to move up after this outing, though it is unknown at this time if he will go right to Bradenton or work his way up.

Sam Kennelly had a huge game, connecting four hits and driving in five runs. He had a bases loaded triple and two RBI singles. Ke’Bryan Hayes struck out in his first at-bat, then got HBP for the third time this season in six games. The rest of the team has been hit twice all season. After being hit, Hayes ended up hitting singles in each of his last three at-bats. He also scored two runs. Adrian Valerio hit his first homer of the season, giving the Pirates an early 2-0 lead. Michael de la Cruz reached base three times and scored three runs.



Box Score

Result: Brewers 10, Pirates 0

Starting Pitcher: Brian Sousa, RHP – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: William Calderon, 2B – 1-for-3, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Raul Hernandez, C – 1-for-4, 2B

Eddy Vizcaino, LF – 1-for-4

Game Notes: The DSL Pirates dropped their ninth straight game on Saturday, barely showing up in a 10-0 defeat. Starter Brian Sousa allowed four runs over four innings, though only two runs were earned. He had no strikeouts, but ten of his outs came on the ground. Sousa has a 3.31 ERA and a 3.44 GO/AO ratio. Raymond Rodriguez followed Sousa and all three runs he allowed were unearned.

The offense put together five hits and two walks, plus a hit batter. Raul Hernandez had a double, the only extra-base hit. The team went 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Yondry Contreras was dropped to ninth in the batting order and he struck out in all three at-bats.

Rudy Guzman got his first start since 2013. We wrote about his visa issues on Thursday and noted that the Pirates want to send him to the U.S., but those issues have kept him in the Dominican since 2013, when they first tried to send him to the Fall Instructional League. Guzman sat out all of last year, though he was still working out at the Pirates Dominican academy. He just recently started playing again, but until Saturday, he was only being used off the bench. Guzman went 0-for-4, with two strikeouts and an outfield assist. He’s a very talented/toolsy player, though he he has some rust to shake off.


  • peanutbutterguts
    July 5, 2015 11:44 am

    Is there a good app to follow minor league box scores? I’ve searched for the milb app but it was rated pretty poorly so I didn’t download.

  • “Sometimes you have to let them fail, ” Toregas lamented. “Players will start to listen when they are hitting below .200.” This is a very interesting quote to me. Could there maybe be a high pick or two there that think they have it all figured out and have been a little resistant to coaching? …or is he just speaking from past experience? Also, the Pirates have another Pimentel in the system for dudes from the Pittsburgh area to pronounce “Pimental” “We got another Pimental down-air in the low minors!”

  • could they send hughston down to bristol or gcl pirates to see if they can get him going? 1-40 is a bad way to start a season.

  • ScottinMass
    July 5, 2015 9:09 am

    Tim, are you going to update rankings as you’ve done in years past? Plus removing players out for the year (Kingham, Sadler) and adding in 2015 draft picks.

  • Cole Tucker continues to rake and steal bases. He turned 19 on the 3rd. Although he hasn’t had the noticeable break out campaign that Alen Hanson had when playing for the Power, Tucker has mostly improved his hitting as his season has progressed. Both were young for the league.

    If Tucker continues to hit as he has, he looks to become another Top 100 player for the organization, although he may lack the helium needed to make that climb. He’s looking like one of the more astute draft picks made by the current regime, and he may move quickly once he reaches the FSL.

  • Was looking ahead to possible Sept callups… Bucs have 29 games in 30 days, 10 home/19 away, plus a west coast trip (LA/Col). Looked at 40-man. Looked at AAA/AA. Surmised that the 40-man pitchers not already here won’t be helpful. Only one “clean” 40-man move available (Kingham to 60-day).

    Currently I’m thinking Liz (if he continues to do well as starter) and potentially Angel Sanchez and maybe AJ Morris (long relief/piggyback) would be useful. None of them on 40-man while Sadler, Raspberry, Acquino (!) have spots.

    Roster moves in next 60 days should prove very interesting.

    • If Kingham goes on the 60 day, his MLB service time starts.

      • If I were an actuarial, I’d put Kingham’s chances of being around to collect a SuperTwo salary from Bucs in 2019/20 at less than 20%. His first arb would be based on what, 1.5 seasons? Worth the gamble for the million they’ll pay this year and next if Neal is intent on holding onto other assets.

  • Very impressive pitching from Glasnow, Garcia, and Holmes. Continuing to throw mid to high 90’s, Glasnow had 8 K’s in 5 IP even though everyone in the house knew what was coming. A very solid rehab performance. Are the Pirates thinking about him as a September call-up? Taillon is shaky at best

    Clay Holmes is showing the stuff that made him a top pitching prospect out of HS before losing 2014 to TJ. I hope he does get the opportunity to get promoted to Hi A and get the travel money from the GCL Pirates in Bradenton to the Marauders who are also in Bradenton. Is that a cross-town bus?

  • John,
    You may have answered this a few times already so sorry if I missed it. But what do you think the futures are for Adam Frazier and Dan Gamache? Looks like neither of them have much power. Granted, both have less than 200 AA at bats this season. But the batting averages and OBP are solid for both. Do they profile as bench/utility guys at best if they make the majors or could one or both of them be starters?

    • IMO, bench/utility at best due to the competition at positions they play, and most likely both can be seen as minors depth.

    • John Dreker
      July 5, 2015 10:21 am

      Gamache is a utility player at best, but his problem is that he doesn’t have any standout tools. He’s hitting for average, but he isn’t a power hitter, doesn’t have speed, is average at best defensively and he’s 24(25 in November). That’s a lot to overcome.

      You would give the better odds to Frazier to make it because he can hold his own at shortstop, which makes him a more versatile utility player. He’s also 13 months younger than Gamache, which helps his case. Frazier also has better speed, though that hasn’t translated to many steals.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see both of them make it, but Gamache is probably more like a cup of coffee player, while Frazier could be the type to get 300 at-bats in a season a couple times and stick around for 5-6 years, especially if he plays for Hurdle, who would move him around to other spots, while letting him be the backup shortstop.

      • Frazier, Gamache, Moroff…some interesting MI/Util types at AA. They have all played so well. One thing about Gamache to me is he has been hurt a fair amount so he may have a little more upside…but I will definitely defer to the guys like John who have seen him up close a lot more than me. I always think back to Shelby Ford/Jordy Mercer…Statistically, and on paper with college background, level of competition, and physicality, they look like similar prospects but very different results in the long run.

        • Wow, Shelby Ford never stopped playing. I didn’t know this…playing independent AA ball now and even has played some catcher. .316 with an .850+ OPS in over 400 Independent AB since the Pirates cut him after 2011.

        • John Dreker
          July 5, 2015 11:10 am

          The reason I say utility player at best is that he really doesn’t have Major League defense and doesn’t hit enough to steal a spot. If you remember Drew Maggi last year, he was basically in the same spot as Gamache, but Maggi is the better defensive player and can steal bases, while Gamache has a little more power. That didn’t get Maggi anywhere, he’s playing AA ball for the Angels.

          It’s hard to get to the majors without any standout tools. If you remember Jim Negrych and Jason Delaney, they were similar to Gamache. Not a good place to put them on the field, but they could get on base and Delaney crushed line drives all over. He didn’t hit for enough power to make it as a corner OF/1B and Negrych was basically just hitting for average. Being known as a solid 24 year old at AA usually doesn’t get you far, but he hits just enough that you can’t rule him out.

          • I was thinking about Negrych too. He was cursed by having mediocre defensive abilities for sure. I had completely forgotten about Delaney. I don’t miss the days of rooting for all the Pirate’s low-tool guys to make it. Mike Felix and Jared Keel…Brett Ronneberg….and on and on. Weren’t Felix and Keel college teammates?

            • John Dreker
              July 5, 2015 12:31 pm

              Yes, Keel and Felix were both on Troy when they were drafted in 2006. I never got to see Felix pitch, kept missing him, but I saw Keel a lot and thought he looked like a solid player with an outside chance of making it to the majors, but not as anything more than someone that got a handful of games in, maybe a September call-up. He still had some tools and plate patience, just faded real quick and then tried independent ball and that ended quickly

              • Yes. I remember Keel walking a ton. Then I went and checked his stats and realized he walked even more than I thought.