Prospect Watch: Another Great Outing From Steven Brault

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, Jacob Taylor), 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 -[insert_php] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20150825′);

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20150825′);

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20150825′);

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(624512,’B’,’20150825′);

7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20150825′);

8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(623912,’B’,’20150825′);

9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – Disabled List

10. Kevin Newman, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20150825′);

11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20150825′);

12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20150825′);

13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20150825′);

14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20150825′);

15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20150825′);

16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20150825′);

17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20150825′);

18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(657022,’P’,’20150825′);

19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20150825′);

20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(624428,’B’,’20150825′);

21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(591994,’B’,’20150825′);

22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20150825′);

23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20150825′);

24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20150825′);

25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20150825′);

26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20150825′);

27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20150825′);

29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(641713,’B’,’20150825′);

30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(624517,’P’,’20150825′);

P2 Top Performers

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Indianapolis Indians Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Indianapolis went up against new Reds prospect Brandon Finnegan, and didn’t have the best results. They scored just one run in four innings, and most of their production tonight came against Louisville reliever Dylan Axelrod. Josh Bell had a nice night at the plate, continuing his impressive hitting since his promotion to Triple-A. Bell ended a seven game hitting streak yesterday, then picked back up with two hits tonight. This was the fifth multi-hit game for Bell in his last eight games.

The pitching staff didn’t have the best night, with Brad Lincoln getting hammered for five earned runs in four innings. A.J. Morris was a victim of poor defensive, giving up three runs, one earned, in four innings. The offense had a good night, with seven of the eight position players getting a hit, but it was hard to overcome the poor outings from the pitching staff.

Altoona Curve Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

ALTOONA — Steven Brault had another great outing tonight in Altoona, going seven innings and only allowing one run against him. The only run that Brault allowed was due to two walks to open the 6th inning following by a grounder hit down the first base line that got past a diving Jose Osuna.

Brault didn’t have quite the location that we have been accustomed to over the past handful of starts (other than when he walked four a few starts ago), but he was still able to get batters out on a consistent basis. His 64 strikes/101 pitches are slightly below the 68% strike average he has had over the last seven games before tonight.

Brault did get 16 groundballs compared to only five flyballs. Ultimately, the Fighting Phils didn’t seem to get too many hard hits off of him. He threw 18-of-29 first pitch strikes, and he retired 17 batters in three pitches or less. Going into the game, left-handed batters are hitting .194 with a .465 OPS against Brault, and lefties went 0-for-10 against him tonight. Brault’s key to success has been the location of his fastball; he has had the ability to move it all around the strike zone and keep the pitch down.

Jose Osuna has been great at first base defensively since moving there more permanently after Josh Bell’s promotion, and he made a great diving catch on a line drive to end the fifth with runners on first and second.

Max Moroff added two more hits tonight, giving him five hits in his last two games. The two hits tonight tie him for the Altoona Curve franchise record for hits by a switcher hitter with 142 hits. His two hits temporarily tied him, as well, for the Eastern League lead.

Moroff and Jose Osuna both had hits in a pressure situation in the 8th inning with the team down one run. They were both able to score a runner on second with RBI singles to give the Curve a lead.

Barrett Barnes added two singles for the Curve. Adam Frazier successful put down a sacrifice bunt in the 8th that moved Andy Vasquez to second base (which led to the Curve runs). – Sean McCool

Bradenton Marauders Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Bradenton had a quiet night on offense, combining for just four hits. Harold Ramirez hit his 12th double of the year and had the only extra base hit for the Marauders. Ramirez is having a fantastic season, with a .344/.410/.478 line in 270 at-bats. Meanwhile, Austin Meadows had one of the other hits, extending his season numbers to .308/.357/.410. Meadows and Ramirez are both young for the level, and it will be interesting to see if the Pirates try and move one of them up for the Altoona playoffs, as Bradenton doesn’t appear to be making the playoffs.

I wrote about Chris Diaz a few weeks ago, noting that he’s getting an opportunity for a lot of playing time after the JaCoby Jones promotion and trade. Diaz has taken advantage of this with his strong defensive play at shortstop, although his offense has been lacking. He does have a hit in seven of his last nine games, but isn’t showing a lot of power in the process.

West Virginia Power Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Austin Coley set a West Virginia record tonight with his 15th win of the season, giving up one earned run in five innings. Coley has had an impressive year, and has looked better than his 3.91 ERA would indicate. A lot of his success comes with the disclaimer that he’s a college pitcher who should be higher than where he’s at right now. However, he could move quickly next year if he repeats this success, with a chance of finishing in Altoona.

Kevin Newman has been hitting well lately, getting a hit in eight of his last nine games. He hasn’t been hitting for much power yet, with two doubles so far in West Virginia. Connor Joe has seen some better results lately, with a .758 OPS in the month of August. West Virginia had a lot of extra base hits tonight. Tito Polo hit his 18th double of the year and Elvis Escobar added his 26th. Chase Simpson and Tyler Filliben also had doubles and multi-hit games.

West Virginia Black Bears Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Morgantown got a big win tonight in their quest to try and win the NYPL Wild Card spot. Brandon Waddell struggled with his worst pro start, giving up two runs on two hits and leaving after recording just one out. He was picked up by the bullpen, who combined for 8.2 shutout innings. Juan Paula and Jerry Mulderig were responsible for most of that. Paula went 4.2 shutout innings. Mulderig followed that with three shutout innings.

The Morgantown offense took it from there. Logan Hill and Albert Baur each had their 12th doubles of the year, and both scored runs. Their best hitter lately, Kevin Kramer, was promoted to West Virginia today. His replacement, Logan Ratledge, had a hit and scored the other run in the game. Morgantown got their own promotion today, with Ke’Bryan Hayes coming up from the GCL. Hayes joined the team today, but didn’t get in the game.

Bristol Pirates Prospect Watch1

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P2 Game Notes

Billy Roth didn’t have the best control tonight, walking four batters in five innings. This was the third time in the last nine games that Roth has walked four batters in a start. His other outings have been good in terms of control, with just eight walks in 40.2 innings in his other outings since the end of June. When things are going bad for Roth in terms of control, they get really bad. It didn’t hurt him much tonight, as he only gave up two runs, and one earned, with the damage coming on a two run homer.

Sandy Santos had one of the six Bristol hits tonight, picking up his tenth double of the year. The toolsy center fielder also struck out three times. Carlos Munoz hasn’t been hitting as well lately compared to his early season success. He had a single tonight, giving him his fifth hit in his last 35 at-bats over the last ten games. Despite the recent slump, Munoz was named the Appalachian League Player of the Year today.

GCL Pirates Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

The GCL Pirates dropped under .500 just 15 days after they improved their record to 25-14 with a win over the first place Blue Jays, which moved them into a first place tie. The Pirates have gone 2-14 since then, piling up the same amount of losses in 23 fewer games. The went down by a 5-4 score on Tuesday after they led 4-2 going into the seventh and 4-3 going into the eighth.

The Pirates lost more than just the game on Tuesday and it looks like they will have to play the last four days(five games) short-handed on the bench. Ke’Bryan Hayes was promoted earlier in the day. Victor Fernandez was hit by a pitch and left the next inning for a defensive replacement. He had a bruised forearm and was unable to grip a bat. Michael de la Cruz injured his ankle sliding into second base on a steal and he was removed from the game. He was 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored at that point. The stolen base was his seventh of the year.

Hayes left with a .333 batting average and a chance to win the GCL batting title. At the beginning of the day, he trailed first place by three points and that player has been promoted already, so his average won’t move. The problem for the first place guy is that he is 12 plate appearances short of qualifying for the batting title. Assuming four of his games don’t get canceled this week due to weather, then Hayes doesn’t have to worry about him. There are two players with .332 averages though, so they could obviously pass him.

Adrian Valerio went 1-for-3 with his 12th double. He also drew a walk and drove in his 17th run. Valerio has played 30 consecutive errorless games at shortstop, which is extremely impressive considering the field conditions in the GCL and the constant rain they have dealt with the entire season.

Sam Kennelly is known as  sure-handed defender and someone who can play all four infield spots. He has mostly played first base this year and committed just two errors before today. With Hayes being promoted, Kennelly went to third base and ended up surpassing his season error total in one game. He had two fielding errors and another one due to a poor throw. At the plate, he hit his seventh double and also drew a walk.

Nicholas Economos started the game and went five solid innings, giving up one earned runs on three hits and a walk. He had five strikeouts and a 5:5 GO/AO ratio. Assuming he doesn’t promoted, the 21st round draft pick from this year, finishes his first season with a 3.98 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 31.2 innings

Nick Hutchings came on in the sixth and retired the side quickly, then had some trouble in the seventh inning. After giving up a one out homer, then striking out the next batter, Hutchings hit three straight batters before being removed. He had five hit batters in 55 innings as a pro before that outbreak. – John Dreker

DSL Pirates Prospect Watch

The DSL Pirates have completed their season. You can read our full season recap here, with reports on 41 different players. There is also a list of 12 players to watch, which can be found here.

  • Bell just continues to hit. I don’t recall him ever slumping for more than like 4 or 5 games. I think he’d be great in the 2-hole next year between El Coffee and Cutch. I still think Marte is better suited for lower in the order. Maybe even bat Cutch in the 2-hole and Bell 3 with the way CH likes to alternate lefties and righties. By July of next year, this is my hopeful line up:

    1. Polanco
    2. Bell
    3. Cutch
    4. Kang
    5. Marte
    6. Cervelli
    7. Jay-Hay
    8. Hanson

    No powder puffs in that lineup.

    • That may be a little early for Bell to be so high in the lineup but MAN that’s a nice looking lineup…

      • Dude gets on base and batting in between El Coffee and Cutch would give him plenty of fastballs to square up on.

  • At this point, how much of a difference really exists between Gage Hinsz and Billy Roth?

    • Not much, which is why they are fairly close on the top 30. Hinsz was considered very raw when he signed and he’s a year younger, so that’s why he is the higher rated one. Roth pitched a lot more in HS, so he came into the system with a much higher starting point. There’s a little more to it than that, but we obviously agree with your assessment based on our rankings

  • Every picture you guys post of Brault looks like it belongs in a pitching mechanics tutorial. Absolutely perfect.

  • Tim/Sean: A suggestion. Brault pitched a good game, and Sean did comment about the FB and his success in locating that pitch in and out and down in the zone. What is missing for me is the velocity of that pitch, type of FB, and other pitches being thrown by a young prospect.

    • I’ve commented on Brault’s fastball velocity during every other Prospect Watch I’ve written. I just skipped it today because it has remained consistent over the last 2 months.

      He’s got a full arsenal of pitches, with a 2-seam & 4-seam fastball, slider, changeup, and curveball. He relies heavily fastball location, and his changeup can be considered his best out pitch. Fastball usually sits 90-91 MPH, changeup & slider in the mid-80s, and curveball around 80 MPH.

      • The way he sits on the outside corner with those fastballs, especially against LH hitters, is truly amazing to see from a AA pitcher.

        • Another story emerging is what happens with Jose Osuna. He looks to me to be an excellent 1st base prospect both offensively and defensively, and is kind of overlooked by fans due to Josh Bell’s improvement.

          • There has to be a reason that Osuna was in Brandenton for 2 and a half years before getting promoted to Altoona this year.

      • If he can get a slight increase in velocity, he sounds like a poor man’s Cole Hamels to me. Tarpley excites me alot more but Brault definitely like a guy who could end up having a very solid career.