Prospect Watch: Tyler Eppler and Yeudy Garcia Shine in Long Relief Outings


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-5, 2 RBI

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-2, 2 BB, R

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-3, RBI

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-4

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 2 R

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

10. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-5

11. Kevin Newman, SS, Morgantown – 1-for-4, RBI

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 – DNP

17. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona – 0-for-4

18. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – 1-for-5, SB, 4 K

19. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-4, RBI, R

20. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia –  5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

21. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol – DNP

22. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

23. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona – DNP

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

25. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona  – DNP

26. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown – 0-for-4, 3 K

27. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

28. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL – 0-for-1

29. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 1-for-4, R

30. Jacob Taylor, RHP, GCL – DNP


Top Pitcher: A.J. Morris, RHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

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

Home Runs: Pablo Reyes (9), Edwin Espinal (4), Taylor Gushue (3)


Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 5 Scranton/WB 0

Starting Pitcher: A.J. Morris, RHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Pedro Florimon, SS – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, R

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, LF – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Jose Tabata, DH – 2-for-3, RBI

Game Notes: Coming off his baseball rounds over the past couple of weeks with the Futures Game and the Triple-A All-Star Game, Elias Diaz had his second straight multi-hit game on Monday night. Coming into the break, Diaz had hits in four of five games. In addition, Diaz saw spikes in his OPS to .782 and .779 in May and June. While the power is still developing, Diaz has certainly shown the ability to hit for average and get on base.

In his first start of the season, A.J. Morris was strong for Indianapolis. The six innings and 71 pitches for Morris were both season highs. As a reliever, Morris has seen his share of ups and downs, but he was locating well on Monday night and the results followed.

Jeff Inman worked a pair of scoreless innings, while allowing three hits. Outside of one crooked outing, where he allowed five runs, Inman has seen good success since his promotion to Indianapolis. Bobby LaFromboise walked a batter, but worked a scoreless ninth to finish off the victory.

Monday night marked the first game since the second half of the season started that Alen Hanson failed to score a run, but he picked up an RBI with a sac fly. Earlier in the day, we announced that Hanson would start taking grounders at third base and eventually get into games there.  – Ryan Palencer


Box Score

Result:  Erie 8, Altoona 1

Starting Pitcher: Jason Creasy, RHP – 6.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, 1B – 0-for-2, 2 BB, R

Other Notable Performers:

Dan Gamache, 2B – 0-for-2, 2 BB

Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Jason Creasy lasted 6.1 innings, allowing three earned runs. He was hit hard in the first two innings and allowed a two-run home run in the second before settling in and giving the Curve a decent outing. He could have gotten out of the 7th with a double play if not for an error on the second baseman Dan Gamache. Instead, he loaded the bases after a walk, and Josh Smith could not hold any of the runners.

Creasy has cooled down considerably in June and July with a 5.56 ERA in 43.2 innings since June 5th. Before tonight’s game, opponents were hitting .317 with a .866 OPS in those seven June/July starts. Compared to last season in Bradenton, Creasy is walking more than twice as many batters and striking out about half as many. Since the beginning of May, he has walked 29 batters and struck out 31.

The Curve bats cooled off immensely on Monday night in Altoona, only mustering two hits against Erie. Stetson Allie skied popup down the right field line, which dropped in between the right fielder and second baseman, and Andy Vasquez hit a slow roller up the middle for the Curve’s only hits on the night.

Adam Frazier had a day off after going 2-for-17 in his last five games. He had a 15-game hitting streak snapped last Thursday in Richmond, where he hit .419/.500/.963 during the streak. Josh Bell entered the game on a nine-game hitting streak, and he failed to get a hit on the night, too.

Notably, Max Moroff played shortstop and performed extremely well in the field. He made every play hit at him and showed decent range from the position. Manager Tom Prince said that the plan is to get Moroff eight or nine starts at shortstop for the rest of the season (as of now), so don’t expect to see him there in a more permanent role. Moroff hit a shot to deep center field and a line drive to the third baseman, but he came up empty-handed on a 0-for-4 night. He was 6-for-10 in his last two games before tonight. – Sean McCool



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 5, Palm Beach 3

Starting Pitcher: Cody Dickson, LHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-3, 2 R, BB, HR, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Erich Weiss, 2B – 1-for-3, 2 BB

Tyler Eppler, RHP – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Cody Dickson started the game for Bradenton, but it was another starter that saved the game for the Marauders. Tyler Eppler followed Dickson and threw four shutout innings, striking out six batters, while allowing just two base runners. Eppler allowed just one run in each of his last three outings, throwing a total of 16 innings. It looks like Bradenton is going to limit his innings after he missed the beginning of the season due to elbow soreness. They now have Luis Heredia, Frank Duncan, Jayson Aquino, Clay Holmes and Dickson in the rotation, so if that remains intact, expect Eppler to throw 3-4 innings each outing and possibly pitch more than once every five days with the lighter workload.

Edwin Espinal had himself a good game, connecting on his fourth homer and reaching base in each of his four plate appearances. He is 9-for-13 in his last four games. Austin Meadows had two hits and drove in two runs, giving him a .339/.376/.432 slash line in 27 games since the All-Star break. Barrett Barnes had a tough game, striking out four times for the first time in his four-year career.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Lexington 7

Starting Pitcher: Alex McRae, RHP – 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B – 4-for-4, 2B, RBI, HR, 2 R

Other Notable Performers:

Michael Suchy, RF – 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

Elvis Escobar, CF – 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

Taylor Gushue, C – 2-for-3, 2 R, HR, RBI, BB

Yeudy Garcia, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Just like in the Bradenton game, it was a starter pitching in relief that stole the show. This game was a slugfest on both sides until Yeudy Garcia came out of the bullpen and dominated for five innings, allowing an unearned run on one hit and one walk. Garcia lowered his season ERA to 2.03 through 80 innings. He only pitched 59.2 innings last year in the DSL, but they have Extended Spring Training  similar to the U.S., so he pitched there and in the Fall Instructional League. They will probably want to limit his innings the rest of the way, but he has been going five innings in previous outings, so this outing didn’t take anything away from his usual workload.

Pablo Reyes had a big day at the plate, connecting on four hits, including his ninth homer of the season. While he has disappointed as someone that could be a potential breakout player coming into this season, he is now up to a .250 batting average and a .730 OPS, thanks to 27 extra-base hits. He has also stole 17 bases, so he could be breaking out in the second half. Jordan Luplow could also be breaking out with the bat, and that may have something to do with getting comfortable at a new position. He had two hits in this game, including his 23rd double. Luplow has a .766 OPS, including a .924 mark over his last 23 games.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 4, Auburn 3

Starting Pitcher: JT Brubaker, RHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Albert Baur, 1B – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Maximo Rivera, DH – 2-for-3, BB, SB

Mitchell Tolman, 3B – 0-for-2, 2 BB, R , SB

Game Notes: JT Brubaker threw five shutout innings on Monday, allowing two hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. It’s the second time in six pro starts that the sixth-round pick has thrown five shutout innings. He still has a 5.33 ERA though, because his other four outings were subpar. Brubaker has shown excellent control so far, coming into this contest with just two walks allowed.

Morgantown was facing starter Taylor Hearn, who was drafted by the Nationals this year in the fifth round. Some of you might remember him as the 22nd round pick of the Pirates in 2012. The 6’5″ lefty took the loss, giving up two runs over 4.1 innings.

Kevin Newman had a single and an RBI, extending his hit streak to eight games. He is 10-for-32 during that stretch. Albert Baur provided most of the offense with an RBI ground out in the fourth inning and an RBI double in the sixth. Ty Moore is batting .337 and has reached base in all but one of his 27 games. Logan Hill is almost matching Moore’s impressive on base ability, reaching in 25 of his 26 games.


Box Score

Result: Bristol 7, Danville 6

Starting Pitcher: Gage Hinsz, RHP – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

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

Other Notable Performers:

Trae Arbet, 2B – 2-for-4, R

Jordan George, 1B – 2-for-6, RBI

Game Notes: Gage Hinsz made his third start of the season and struggled through three innings of work. He allowed three runs(two earned) on four hits, a walk and hit a batter, but didn’t get any help from his defense. Bristol made three errors in the first three innings. Hinsz has thrown 6.2 innings in his first three outings this and allowed six earned runs, so the results aren’t matching the stuff. He has been getting ground balls, which is what you like to see. In his three starts, he has an 11:2 GO/AO ratio. The 19-year-old was raw when signed by the Pirates, due partially to the fact that he went to a school that didn’t have a high school baseball team. He was still hitting 93 MPH and has a projectable frame, so the Pirates signed him to a $580,000 bonus in the 11th round last year.



Box Score

Result: Braves 10, Pirates 3

Starting Pitcher: Chris Plitt, RHP – 3.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Luis Benitez, RF – 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 2 R

Other Notable Performers:

Jhoan Herrera, DH – 2-for-3, 2B

Sam Kennelly, 1B – 1-for-4

Justin Seller, SS – 1-for-4, RBI

Game Notes: In his first three outings combined, Chris Plitt allowed one earned run in 10.1 innings. The only trend that carried over from those three games for the Pirates’ 14th round draft pick this year, was the fact he still hasn’t walked a batter. He did however, give up seven earned runs on seven hits over 3.1 innings on Monday afternoon. Plitt recorded nine of his ten outs either on the ground or by strikeout, so along with the control, it wasn’t as bad as the line looks, but it was obviously still a poor outing.

The Pirates were facing Mike Soroka, the first round pick of the Atlanta Braves and he has pitched like a first round pick. Including this game, he has thrown seven shutout innings, with two hits, no walks and six strikeouts. The Pirates ended up putting three runs on the board after he left, but by then the game was out of hand.

Raul Siri was the best hitter on the DSL Pirates last year and he got off to a torrid start this year, hitting .452 in eight June games. July hasn’t been so kind to Siri, who is batting .143 in 15 games this month. He also has some big splits against RHP/LHP, hitting .444 vs lefties, while batting just .203 against right-handed pitchers. Last year, Siri hit at least .310 in every month and he hit better against righties than lefties, so his struggles this season are not something you’d expect.


Box Score(not available)

Result:  Pirates 3, Rangers2 2

Starting Pitcher: Miguel Hernandez, RHP – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Rudy Guzman, CF – 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, R, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Mikell Granberry, C – 1-for-3, R, SB

Kyle Simmons, DH – 1-for-3, RBI, SB

Game Notes: The Pirates won their first game back from the All-Star break, thanks to Rudy Guzman, who was making just his second start of the season. Guzman, who is only there due to visa issues, drove in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning with a double that scored Mikell Granberry. Earlier in the game, Guzman stole home plate. Kyle Simmons added an RBI single in his second pro game. He is one of those rare July 2nd signings that actually plays the same year he signs. Most players sign for the following season, but Simmons, who is from the Bahamas, is already 18 years old, so they got his career started right away.

Miguel Hernandez made his ninth starts and allowed two runs over five innings, but failed to pick up his first career win. The 19-year-old, 6’5″ righty has put up a strong ground ball ratio, to go along with 36 strikeouts in 40 innings. He had a run of four solid outings in which he went the maximum five innings each game and allowed a total of four runs. In his other four starts prior to Monday, he got knocked out before reaching five innings. Edgardo Leon and Raymond Rodriguez combined for four shutout innings in relief.

  • Would it be possible to add the teams affiliation i.e. Erie (Tigers)?

    • John Dreker
      July 21, 2015 1:06 pm

      It would be, but these things already take a couple hours to put together and you’re the first person to ask for that

      • Thanks…I can put the list together from the Trib. Great work. Been a reader for about 4 years.

  • Many people are calling for a return of Clint Barmes for SS, if a all field no hit SS is your plan, then call up Pedro Florimon who is now a better defensive player. I’m not calling for this, as I particularly like Kang at SS because I like a bat first SS. Additionally I’m fine with Morel at 3rd until Harrison returns to playing the position. In a pinch, and if Clint would actually give the kid a chance to play, I’m fine with Hanson getting time there also.
    Not a fan of giving up actual prospects for some other teams scrap 3rd baseman, and not a fan of giving up top prospects for another teams average 3rd baseman either. If we go after someone like #FreddyFreeman then I’m on board.

    • Maybe they think one Pedro is enough? 🙂 🙂

      Actually, I’d rather have Florimon or Ngoepe at SS and keep Kang at SS.

      It would make for a better IF defense.

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    July 21, 2015 9:32 am

    All Carlos Munoz does is hit….almost .300 career average so far in the minors with 1/3 of his hits are extra base hits. 21 now….he is deserving of a move up soon, if he keeps this up. I know he doesn’t have the ideal body (5’11”, 225), but does anyone know how he is with the glove at first base?

    • The problem with Munoz is that he has never shown the ability to hit during an entire half season, fading every year and that’s why he is 21 in Bristol, when he should be in WV. He is a great hitter for 2/3 of a short-season, which probably won’t translate well to full-season ball unless he puts in the off-season work to make himself better. He has a lot to prove before anyone should get excited about him

  • Just curious, how was Munoz the night’s best hitter when you had two other guys (Espinal and Reyes) reach base in every plate appearance and each hit a home run?

    One thing I’ve been following much of the year in West Virginia, and something like was mentioned above could hopefully be turning around, has been the incredibly low BABIPs posted by several of the Power’s more intriguing prospects this season. By my count, Reyes, Gushue, Luplow and Joe have all posted at least 30 points below league average in that category. Luplow and Reyes strike me as being particularly unlucky to this point given their solid extra base hit totals. If the regress back up to the mean, their seasons could look much more promising by season’s end.

    • John Dreker
      July 21, 2015 3:01 am

      Munoz drove in three runs, reached base four times, had two doubles. It was close, but I based it on run production since they all reached base four times and he had the best of the three

    • I’ve noticed that about the WV bats as well, Sean. Sort of caught me off guard that folks around here were considering Luplow’s season, in particular, disappointing. Kid has struck out less, walked more, and hit for more power than at the previous level; the counting stats are just held back right now by the BABIP. That’s often more instructive at lower levels of the minors than it is in the Major Leagues, so maybe he is having issues with contact, but without actual eyes on these guys I’m not sure I trust what the counting stats say about their overall performance.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD
        July 21, 2015 9:35 am

        Because of his extra base power, relatively low number of K’s, etc, I have hope for Luplow – he has shown signs of having a good bat. Suchy is very raw, but has potential as well. Suiter has been the one hitting the best there, but seldom is talked about. Escobar has had a nice bounce back season – although having 9 SBs and 18 CSs is one of the strangest stats you will ever see in baseball.

      • Exactly, if I could see them to either cement or contradict what the stats say I’d feel much more confident. Even though BABIP is a solid luck-determining stat, it’s usually more accurate for pitchers than hitters.

        Either way, I have a feeling both Luplow and Reyes – the former especially – will finish in the .260 to .270 range by the end of the year and be flirting with an .800+ OPS, if not reaching that.