Prospect Watch: Chad Kuhl Dominates Again With More Mid-90s Velocity

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’,’20150823′);

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20150823′);

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20150823′);

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(624512,’B’,’20150823′);

7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20150823′);

8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(623912,’B’,’20150823′);

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

10. Kevin Newman, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20150823′);

11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20150823′);

12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20150823′);

13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20150823′);

14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20150823′);

15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20150823′);

16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20150823′);

17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20150823′);

18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(657022,’P’,’20150823′);

19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20150823′);

20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(624428,’B’,’20150823′);

21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(591994,’B’,’20150823′);

22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20150823′);

23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20150823′);

24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20150823′);

25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20150823′);

26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20150823′);

27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20150823′);

29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(641713,’B’,’20150823′);

30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(624517,’P’,’20150823′);

P2 Top Performers

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Indianapolis Indians Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes


Indianapolis got a lot of help tonight from guys who will most likely be playing for the Pirates in a little over a week. Travis Snider went 3-for-5 and hit his first home run since signing with Pittsburgh. Radhames Liz pitched three shutout innings, giving up a hit, no walks, and striking out six. The outing was important, as Liz has struggled with his comfort level out of the bullpen, and has had his success in Triple-A mostly from the rotation. He would pitch in a bullpen role in September, so success in the same role in Indianapolis is good to see.

One guy that I don’t expect to see in Pittsburgh during the month of September is Josh Bell, who went 3-for-5 with a double and a triple. It was his sixth double and second triple in Indianapolis. Bell has been hitting for a good amount of power in Triple-A, with a .347/.405/.560 line in 75 at-bats so far. It’s a small sample size, but Ryan Palencer might have the reason why he’s doing so well, pointing out this week that he made an adjustment to his leg kick which seems to be working for him.

Corey Hart went 1-for-5 in his rehab work as the designated hitter. He’s on the 60-day DL and could return, although it might be difficult to fit him on the roster. It will be interesting to see if Elias Diaz gets the call to the majors. He’s the best catching prospect in Triple-A, and would be the best guy to get called up for the third catcher role.

Altoona Curve Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

BOWIE, Md. — A day after a ten-walk performance by the Altoona pitchers, the Curve got a remarkably efficient outing from Chad Kuhl in a 2-0 win over Bowie. Kuhl took just 66 pitches, 52 of them strikes, to get through seven innings. He allowed just two hits, didn’t walk a batter, and struck out four. The only runs came in the 5th and 8th. The first came when Jacob Stallings grounded a ball just inside first and ended up with a triple thanks to some shaky defense. He scored on a fairly deep fly by Stetson Allie. The second scored when Allie doubled and came home on a single by Eric Wood. John Kuchno and Jhondaniel Medina each threw a scoreless inning to close the game out.

Chad Kuhl — The last time I saw him, a couple months ago, his command faltered a few times. This time that didn’t happen. He fell behind almost nobody and got nothing over the center of the plate. Effectively worked inside and out, keeping the ball down. Fastball was mostly 94-95, but in the 3rd he sat at 96-97 and he also hit 96 several times in the 5th. Threw a fair number of sliders, mostly in his last couple innings. Generally about 85 MPH with decent break, but Kuhl commanded it very well, getting it low and in on right-handed hitters. Threw a few changeups to left-handed hitters. The pitch looked serviceable. Doesn’t have a big swing-and-miss pitch, but got a good number of them by locating very well.

John Kuchno — Threw a lot of sliders, mostly 85 MPH. Fastball was 90-91. Command was poor, but he got a GIDP after walking the second batter he faced.

Jhondaniel Medina — Fastball was 93-95, threw maybe one curve. Command was mostly OK. Walked one, on four pitches.

Adam Frazier — Hit two drives that were caught on the track in left and left-center. Good actions around short, although he didn’t get any real tough plays.

Max Moroff — Still DHing, hit several balls hard the last two days, including one deep drive today, but got no hits.

Jose Osuna — Ripped the ball all four times up, but got only two doubles. The left fielder reached above the fence to take an Osuna HR away in the 1st. The starter was a right-handed sidearm thrower who got consistently hit hard by the Curve’s left-handed hitters, but the right-handed hitters couldn’t do anything with him except Osuna, who hit him hard all three tries.

Jacob Stallings — Picked Steve Pearce off second. Good agility behind the plate, but very slow runner. Got a triple because the ball got away from the right fielder, and Bowie still had a shot at him but botched the relay.

Stetson Allie — Improved a lot defensively since the beginning of the year. Made a nice running catch down the right field line despite having a lot of ground to cover. Didn’t swing and miss much the last two days, although he didn’t have much to show for it. Seems to be toning down his swing a bit, but the results aren’t there yet.

Barrett Barnes — Had a nice running catch. Couldn’t seem to pick the ball up in three at-bats against the sidearm guy. Went 0-4. – Wilbur Miller

Bradenton Marauders Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Luis Heredia can’t seem to put things together this year. He had a string of starts where he wasn’t walking anyone, with just ten walks in 30 innings from July 9th to August 13th. The problem was that he was getting hit hard in most of those outings, and wasn’t striking out a lot of guys. He turned it around recently with the strikeouts, boosting his totals with 14 strikeouts in 12.1 innings over his last three starts. However, the control numbers started to spike and the hits were still up. Tonight he didn’t give up many hits, but had horrible walk totals for his second straight outing. He’s still young for the level, but Heredia remains a project.

Austin Meadows picked up two hits, extending his hitting streak to nine games. Meadows has seen his numbers drop in August, with a .756 OPS compared to an .816 OPS in July. That’s mostly due to a drop in walks, which seems short-term, as he has a .355 OBP this season and has shown much better pitch recognition at the plate this year than previous years.

West Virginia Power Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

West Virginia won in comeback, walk-off fashion today. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Power got a tying run from Michael Suchy, who hit his tenth homer of the year to lead off the inning. It was the second hit of the day for Suchy, who entered the game with an .834 OPS. West Virginia then took advantage of a struggling relief pitcher who followed the homer by hitting Jerrick Suiter and walking Chase Simpson.

Tyler Filliben couldn’t pull off a sacrifice bunt, and Suiter was thrown out at third. However, Francisco Diaz came up big with a single to right field, bringing Simpson in to score from second for the game winner.

Colten Brewer got the start today, and gave up two runs on four hits in 5.2 innings, with two walks and four strikeouts. Brewer has a great fastball which frequently hits mid-90s and touches as high as 97. However, he’s had some issues this year with his control at times, while also getting hit a lot more than he should with his stuff. Those problems didn’t seem to be on display today.

West Virginia Black Bears Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Dario Agrazal doesn’t have great stuff, but he does have good command with his sinker, and a good ability to pitch. Last year he pitched well, but his ERA was inflated due to a poor infield defense. He has seen a better defense this year, and it’s no surprise that his numbers have been much better this time around. Tonight he continued his strong year, going six innings with just one earned run. On the season he has a 2.77 ERA in 65 innings, with a 39:10 K/BB ratio.

Kevin Kramer has been on fire lately. The second round pick had a .486 OPS in June, and a .575 OPS in July. This month he has a 1.161 OPS in 50 at-bats, with four doubles and two triples during that span. Kramer is one of many players the Pirates have drafted who hits for average, gets on base, and doesn’t hit for home run power, but has good gap power. The interesting thing here is that he hasn’t been playing shortstop, even with first round pick Kevin Newman moving up to West Virginia. Kramer would probably have a difficult time sticking at shortstop in the long-term with Newman and Cole Tucker in A-ball next year, so putting him at second makes the most sense.

Bristol Pirates Prospect Watch1

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P2 Game Notes

Trey Supak hasn’t had the best outings in his return from shoulder soreness. He gave up three earned runs while getting just one out in his first start back. He bounced back a bit last time with one run in three innings. But this time around he was hit for three earned runs on a walk and five hits over four innings.

Carlos Munoz has slowed down his amazing pace in the month of August. He was crushing the ball in July, with a 1.194 OPS. In the month of August he has a .791 OPS, which is still good. However, that number loses a bit of appeal when you consider his age relative to the rest of the league, and the fact that he doesn’t really project for much defensive value at first, meaning he’s going to have to crush in the lower levels at the plate to be considered a prospect. Munoz also struggled in August last year after a great July, and in 2013 he saw his numbers decline each month, with his lowest point in August.

GCL Pirates Prospect Watch

The GCL Pirates were off today.

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.

  • What’s wrong with Tucker and when is Tailon pitching again…

  • BuccosFanStuckinMD
    August 23, 2015 11:30 pm

    Originally, I had plans to go to Bowie today to watch Kuhl pitch – as I have been hearing good things about his performance and his stats speak for themselves. Unfortunately, it did not work out. Disappointing, as it sounds like he dominated a pretty good Bowie lineup.

  • Can we send down Locke for Altoona? Lol

  • I see Kuhl hitting 95+ as a SP and cant help thinking he’d be a legit late inning reliever. He’d likely be throwing 97+ with a decent slider and serviceable change.

    • Christopher R
      August 23, 2015 10:18 pm

      I’d be more pleased if he turned into a solid back of the rotation piece, which I feel he could very well be.

      • Only reason i dont see that for him is timing. Its likely he is near ML ready when we still have (or likely could have ) a rotation of Cole-Liriano-Glasnow-Taillon.

        So 1 spot left open for guys like Kingham or a FA. Idk, its gonna be a crowded rotation and while id love to keep him there, he could get to the bigs quicker and still have a big impact as a big time late inning reliever.

        • Chris Reidmiller
          August 28, 2015 3:00 am

          I don’t believe Liriano will still be there when Kuhl or Kingham is ready. I’m under the assumption with the timing of Kinghams TJ surgery and the Pirates extra caution with the recovery that we won’t see Kingham in the big leagues next year, not necessarily a comment on his stuff, more so on the options we’ll already be adding to the rotation. Regardless of their stuff, I don’t know if I’d be happy seeing a playoff contending teams rotation with three rookies in it in the second half. I see next years second half rotation as Cole Liriano Glasnow Taillon and Locke/Morton/FA. I look for Kingham and Kuhl to possibly be September bullpen callups, or break in in 2017

    • How many late inning relievers struggled to strike out more than 15% of hitters in AA?

      Kuhl needs an out pitch or else he’s a slightly harder throwing Brandon Cumpton.

      • …which might not be a bad thing. Cumpton seemed to give the Bucs a chance to win every time he pitches. Kuhl seems to have a similar acumen. There are those occasional pitchers that are able to have success without having good K numbers.

        • As a serviceable depth starter/middle reliever sure. But I think we saw Cumpton getting hit a lot harder the more he got around the league, which could’ve been caused by a lack of options keeping hitters off balance.

          Joe Kelly also looked like a good starter until the book got out on him. Great example of a guy who throws a million miles an hour with good control but not much else.

      • NMR said it.

      • Im not a huge fan of the assumption that to be effective late in game you must strike a ton of people out. If he can have a K rate as a reliever of 7+ K/9 im content with him in the 8th.

        He’s at 6 K/9 this year, so if him throwing only 1 inning allows that total to go up 1 K per 9 im cool.

        • Yeah I’m not big on absolute’s either, but you can acknowledge that it’s probably not a good idea to go around betting on those types, right? I just asked for examples of anyone who fit the comp.

          If you’re sitting around 15% K-rate you basically have to be some kind of ground ball specialist.

          • I see him as able to be a mesh of both. He sports a good GB rate, and has the ability in relief to have a non useless K rate. If a move to relief, in roughly a year, correlates to a 1 K/9 bump he’s gonna strike out enough to let his good GB rate play.

            Not a dominate closer, but quality 7-8th inning man. On the cheap

    • He doesn’t have a change right now. All I see are fastballs and a slider. He will be fine soon enough.

      • Right, he’s not there right now for sure. In a year, options will be there for him. Either someone doesnt step up and a rotation spot is up for the taking, or its a bit blocked and he’s a potential reliever.

        • All reasonable possibilities. I really like him a lot, he has shown an ability to command his fastballs, and that is really the most important component to be able to be an MLB starter.

  • Wilbur Miller
    August 23, 2015 6:34 pm

    Any idea whether Luplow is hurt? He came out for a PH last night.

  • Hopefully Kuhl can get promoted to Indy soon.

    • Wilbur Miller
      August 23, 2015 6:38 pm

      With Indy very likely to make the playoffs, if they call up Worley and Liz they may have to promote Kuhl. Of course, Altoona is likely to make the playoffs, too.