Morning Report: Hitting and Pitching Leaders For the GCL Pirates

The GCL season ended on Saturday, mercifully you might say. They finished with a 3-17 record over their last 20 games. It wasn’t a horrible season, since they started off so well with a 25-14 record before the epic collapse. We will have a season recap of the team soon, which will cover the good and bad with the team, as well as a list of the top prospects. For now, here is a summary of their players who finished among the league leaders in some hitting and pitching categories.

Ke’Bryan Hayes finished second in the league with a .333 batting average and sixth with an .809 OPS. He led the league with an .434 OBP.

Michael de la Cruz was seventh with 32 runs and tied for 13th with 50 hits, which led the Pirates. He also finished third with 55 games played, one behind shortstop Adrian Valerio, who played the second most games in the league. De la Cruz tied for second with five triples. He ended up eighth with 74 total bases. His 23 walks led the Pirates, but ranked him 15th overall.

Jhoan Herrera was fourth in the league with 13 doubles, one ahead of Valerio.

Michael de la Cruz had the highest slugging percentage on the team at .379, which was 18th best in the league. He was just above Herrera(.377) and Hayes(.375).

The league leader had ten homers. The Pirates as a team had ten homers, which of course sounds real bad out of context. They were one of five teams to finish with ten or less homers, and 12 of the 16 teams had less than 20 homers.

Victor Fernandez finished second in the league with 16 steals and his 89% success rate was the best among the 13 players that attempted at least 15 steals.

On the pitching side, no Pirates’ pitcher reached the minimum(46.2 IP) to qualify for any of the league leaders.

The two team leaders in innings tied with 40.2, Chris Plitt and Luis Escobar.

The best ERA among players with at least 25 innings belong to Cristian Mota, who had a 1.69 mark in 26.2 innings. For starters, Plitt had a 2.88 ERA.

Yunior Montero led with 42 strikeouts.

Plitt led with an 0.89 WHIP.

There are only nine days left in the minor league regular season, with a total of 46 games left for the Pirates’ affiliates.

As you can see in the Playoff Push below, one team clinched a playoff spot, while the other five are still alive. Two teams could be eliminated by tonight.

Pirates Game Graph

Source: FanGraphs

Playoff Push

The Pirates trail by 3.5 games in the division to the Cardinals. They have a six game lead for the top wild card spot.

Indianapolis is 5-5 in their last ten games. They have a one game lead in the division with nine games left.

Altoona is 6-4 in their last ten games. They are in second place, 5.5 games back of Bowie and they lead the wild card by two games, with nine games left.

Bradenton is 4-6 in their last ten games. They trail Palm Beach by five games in the standings with seven games left. That includes three against Palm Beach, who they need to sweep, due to the Cardinals holding the tie-breaker.

West Virginia has clinched a playoff spot.

Morgantown is 8-2 in their last ten games. They are a 1.5 games ahead in the wild card chase.

The Bristol Pirates are 3-7 in their last ten games. They are 2.5 back in the wild card with three games to go and two teams ahead of them, though they can still get the WC spot with three wins over the third place team and three losses from the second place team.

The GCL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.

The DSL Pirates’ season is finished. They did not make the playoffs.

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 4-3 over the Rockies on Saturday night. Charlie Morton gets the ball this afternoon, making his 18th start of the season. In his last outing, he gave up four runs over 5.1 innings against the Marlins. Colorado will go with Jorge De La Rosa, who has a 4.61 ERA in 123 innings. In his last start, he allowed five runs over seven innings against the Braves.

In the minors, Steven Brault looks to continue his terrific run that dates back to mid-July. In his last eight starts combined, he has a 1.25 ERA in 50.1 innings. Brault is holding batters to a .195 average during that stretch and he has 46 strikeouts. He has never allowed a home run to a left-handed batter in his three-year career. Cody Dickson threw 5.2 shutout innings in his last start. Austin Coley has allowed one run in each of his last two starts. The GCL season ended on Saturday. The DSL Pirates’ season is done. You can view the season recap here. You can view last night’s prospect watch here.

MLB: Pittsburgh (79-49) vs Rockies (51-76) 1:35 PM
Probable starter: Charlie Morton (4.20 ERA, 30:74 BB/SO, 100.2 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (78-57) @ Toledo (55-80) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Brad Lincoln (3.95 ERA, 38:54 BB/SO, 57.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (70-63) vs Trenton (69-63) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Steven Brault (2.40 ERA, 19:73 BB/SO, 75.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (68-63, 36-25 second half) vs Palm Beach (73-58) 5:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (3.97 ERA, 46:89 BB/SO, 131.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (80-50, 43-18 second half) vs Lexington (54-75) 2:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Austin Coley (3.91 ERA, 25:101 BB/SO, 133.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (36-31) @ Batavia (27-39) 5:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

Rookie: Bristol (28-33) @ Elizabethton (31-33) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

GCL: Pirates (28-31)

DSL: Pirates (30-42) (season recap)


Here are a couple videos of Altoona catcher Jacob Stallings. First on defense…

…and here he is at the plate.

Recent Transactions

8/29: Alen Hanson activated from Temporary Inactive List. Wilkin Castillo assigned to GCL.

8/28: Carlos Munoz promoted to Morgantown.

8/28: Edwin Espinal activated from Bradenton disabled list. Clay Holmes placed on disabled list.

8/28: Kelson Brown placed on disabled list.

8/26: Stephan Meyer and Tanner Anderson promoted to Morgantown.

8/26: Cristian Mota promoted to Bristol.

8/25: Ke’Bryan Hayes promoted to Morgantown. Raul Siri promoted to Bristol.

8/25: Kevin Kramer promoted to West Virginia. Jordan Luplow placed on disabled list.

8/25: John Bowker placed on disabled list. Kelson Brown activated from disabled list.

8/25: Pedro Florimon sent outright to Indianapolis.

8/25: Alen Hanson placed on temporary inactive list.

8/22: Jordy Mercer activated from disabled list. Travis Ishikawa placed on disabled list.

8/22: Josh Wall sent outright to Indianapolis.

8/22: Pirates release Jesus Ronco and Luis Brun

8/21: Josh Harrison activated from disabled list. Josh Wall designated for assignment.

8/20: Corey Hart assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

8/20: Travis Snider signed to minor league deal.

8/19: Josh Wall added to Pirates. Pedro Florimon designated for assignment.

8/18: Edwin Espinal placed on disabled list. Junior Sosa activated from Bradenton disabled list.

8/18: Adam Miller placed on disabled list. Jeremy Bleich activated from temporary inactive list.

8/16: Jose Salazar retired.

8/16: Pirates sign Frank Herrmann. Jeremy Bleich placed on temporary inactive list.

8/16: Rob Scahill sent to Indianapolis on rehab.

This Date in Pirates History

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus two trades of note. On this date in 1991, the Pirates helped their playoff run by acquiring third baseman Steve Buechele from the Texas Rangers for two minor league pitchers. He would hit .246 and drive in 19 runs the rest of the way for the Pirates, then in 1992, they traded him to the Chicago Cubs for pitcher Danny Jackson. The Pirates gave up pitcher Kurt Miller in the original deal. He was the fifth overall draft pick in 1988, but never panned out in the majors.

On this date in 1990, the Pirates gave up three minor league players to the Phillies for 1B/OF Carmelo Martinez. He didn’t do much for the Pirates during the rest of the season, but drove in two runs during the NLCS. He would be traded away during the 1991 season. All three of the players the Pirates gave up eventually reached the majors, but Wes Chamberlain was by far the best and he played just 385 Major League games, so the deal didn’t end up too bad.

Former players born on this date include(bios for each in the link above):

Luis Rivas, 2008 infielder.

Johnny Lindell, 1953 knuckleball pitcher. Started his career as a pitcher, played ten seasons as an outfielder, then went back to pitching.

Charlie Starr, infielder for the 1908 Pirates. Seldom-used backup who got into 20 games all season, seeing time at three different spots.

Will Thompson, pitcher on July 9,1892. Gave up five runs over three innings in his only big league game. Poor defense led to four unearned runs.

Also born on this date, Hall of Fame outfielder Kiki Cuyler, who played for the Pirates from 1921 until 1927. His .336 batting average is the third best in franchise history. He holds the Pirates’ single season record with 369 total bases in 1925. He drove in six runs during the World Series that year. You can read a full bio of Cuyler here. He was elected to the HOF in 1968.

Morning Report

  • Tim/John,
    There are three players that I think would be very interesting additions to the Pirates for September callups. Bats only now.
    Broxton – The “Speed” guy. This is the pinch runner and emergency bat.
    Hanson – The “First Hacks” rookie who should be a full timer next year. Hanson should also provide some speed, and versatility (not really needed for that though) and also a switch hitting option at the top of the lineup. What role he plays would be determined by the quality of his work.
    Garcia – The “Slugger” rookie and righty infrequent compliment to Polanco who will compete with Polanco on who has the nastiest and most feared arm from RF in the system.
    I think each guy can play a part, get a taste of it, and be really fun for fans to see first hand.
    What’s the chances on each guy getting a shot this year?

    • My guess is that Hanson will be called up after the AAA season. I don’t see Broxton getting the call because they will need three roster spots for Worley, Snider and Liz, so any more would cause some tough cuts that wouldn’t be worth risking for an end of the bench player. Garcia I doubt because his only MLB value is his arm and that’s not really needed. His 21:113 BB/SO ratio and recent slump means his bat will have very little use on the bench, especially against MLB pitchers. He isn’t fast and his defense(besides the arm) is average. I’ve seen him recently take some bad routes and get some bad jumps, so I don’t see any use for him

  • With Bradenton on the brink of elimination, does that mean Meadows, Ramirez, Jhang, Eppler could see time in Altoona for a playoff run?

    • They could definitely move some players up, they have done it in the past like that. Some of them might be out of necessity, as I’d expect some call-ups from Indy right on September 1st, who might be replaced by Altoona players, who would then be replaced by Bradenton players. Bradenton can just go short-handed for a few days or they may bring someone over from Pirate City, or up from Bristol, since their season ends on the first.

  • The Bucs are 61-27 after starting 18-22… Unbelievable. Btw, for any of you that live near Philly, I found a store called Steel City Sports at the Tanger Outlets in Lancaster. It’s a fantastic little slice of paradise. I picked this shirt up there. Can’t wait to wear this on the Philly subway on casual friday next week.

  • An .834 OBP for Hayes would be really really good – a record in fact – but his actual figure was .434. Still really good. Only one other hitter in the league was above .405.

    • That other hitter was Cornelius Randolph. If you were following the draft coverage, people here really wanted Randolph for the Pirates pick, but a few times I said he won’t be available(going by mock drafts), so Hayes would be a good fallback pick and that I didn’t think there was a huge overall difference between the two players. Strange thing was that some listed him as a shortstop, while others said he would have trouble sticking at third base, and shortstop was out of the question. Phillies threw him right into left field and that was the only spot he played.

      They hit about the same, so for now(and it’s real early) it looks like the Pirates got the better player. I think they will both end up as solid MLB players with the bat, but I’d take a Gold Glove third baseman over an average left fielder anyday