Prospect Watch: Kuhl Pitches Brilliantly, Bell Collects Four Hits in Indianapolis Win

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, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20150913′);

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20150918′);

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20150918′);

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(624512,’B’,’20150907′);

7. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – In Majors

8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(623912,’B’,’20150907′);

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

10. Kevin Newman, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20150913′);

11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20150916′);

12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20150902′);

13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20150912′);

15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20150913′);

16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20150913′);

17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20150913′);

18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(657022,’P’,’20150901′);

19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20150902′);

20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(624428,’B’,’20150913′);

21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(591994,’B’,’20150918′);

22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20150912′);

23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20150913′);

24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20150912′);

25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20150901′);

26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20150913′);

27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – Disabled List

29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(641713,’B’,’20150916′);

30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(624517,’P’,’20150902′);

P2 Top Performers

[insert_php] display_topperf(‘20150918’);

Indianapolis Indians Prospect Watch

[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150918′,’ind’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

Indianapolis trailed Columbus 2-1 in the best-of-five International League finals coming into Friday night. In game four, they went with Chad Kuhl, who last started nine days ago in the Eastern League playoffs and he got hit around, lasting just 1.2 innings. In his first AAA start, he started out quick with two ground outs. Kuhl was hitting 94-95 consistently in the first inning. With two outs, he gave up back-to-back singles, then got out of the inning with a third ground out. He was working mostly fastballs, mixing in two off-speed pitches.

After Indianapolis went down in the bottom of the first, Kuhl came out for the second and worked a quick inning, throwing a couple nice sliders, mixing them in with his two-seam and four-seam fastballs. The Indians were retired just as quick in the bottom of the inning, sending the game to third inning scoreless.

Kuhl again retired the side in the order in the third, though he got some help from Dan Gamache and Gustavo Nunez, who both made nice plays. He was at 41 pitches, with 26 going for strikes.

Nunez drew a one out walk in the third, but the top of the batting order couldn’t put anything together. In the fourth, Kuhl ran into some trouble, as the middle of the order was seeing him for the second time. He gave up a solo homer with one out, then walked a batter with two outs. He got out of the inning without allowing anything else, but he threw a lot of pitches and the first two outs were hit hard. Kuhl threw 20 pitches in the frame, with nine going for strikes.

In the bottom of the fourth, Josh Bell led off with a home run to tie the score. It was his first homer of the playoffs after hitting seven during the regular season.

The top of the fifth started with a hard hit ball to Nunez at shortstop. His throw was in the dirt and Bell couldn’t scoop the short hop throw. The next batter hit into a fielder’s choice, with the out made at second base. That was followed by a sharp single to right field to put runners on first and second. Kuhl then got a grounder up the middle, which was taken by Alen Hanson, who stepped on the bag, then turned and fired to first base for the inning-ending double play.

The top of the sixth went quick for Kuhl, despite a generous single awarded on a grounder Josh Bell couldn’t handle. Kuhl got through six on 80 pitches and he allowed a run on five hits and a walk up to this point.

Alen Hanson singled to start the bottom of the sixth. Gorkys Hernandez moved him up to second base on a sacrifice bunt. Josh Bell came up and singled off the pitcher’s glove, putting runners on the corners with one out. Willy Garcia was up next and he struck out for the second time in the game. John Bowker came up and grounded one by the first baseman, but the second baseman made a great play and still got the out at first base to send it to the seventh with a 1-1 score.

Kuhl started the seventh with his third strikeout of the game. After a fly ball to left field, the next batter singled on a blooper that landed in front of Keon Broxton. That was all he allowed though, as he got through the inning on 13 pitches, picking up another strikeout of three straight sliders to end the inning. The problem up to this point was that the Columbus pitcher matched Kuhl over seven innings, so it was still tied. Frank Herrmann came in for the eighth inning, ending Kuhl’s night(more on him below).

Columbus put men on the corners in the eighth with one out. Herrmann picked up a strikeout for the second out. A foul ball down the right field line was chased by Willy Garcia, who couldn’t catch it, but he ended up sliding knee first into the opposing bullpen’s bench. He limped off the field after a few minutes and was replaced by Mel Rojas Jr. in right field. A few pitches later, Michael Choice hit a three-run homer to give Columbus the 4-1 lead.

Indianapolis did not go out without a fight. Nunez walked to start the eighth. After an out from Hanson, Gorkys Hernandez singled, then Josh Bell reached for a fourth time, picking up a single to load the bases. Rojas got his first at-bat and brought in a run on a grounder to second base. Bowker lined out to shortstop to end the inning.

Closer Blake Wood came out for the ninth, trailing 4-2. He worked around one base runner, sending the game to the bottom of the ninth, with Indianapolis needing some big hits. Keon Broxton led off with a bloop double down the right field line. Dan Gamache grounded out up the middle for the first out, moving Broxton to third base. Tony Sanchez made it 4-3 with a single to left field. Gustavo Nunez followed him with another bloop hit, putting two runners on for Alen Hanson. He hit the first pitch into left field for a single that scored pinch-runner Steve Lombardozzi. Both runners moved up on the throw, putting the winning run just 90 feet away for Gorkys Hernandez.

After the Columbus pitcher went down 2-0 to Hernandez, he was walked intentionally to load the bases for Josh Bell. That was a mistake, as he wasted no time to single into right field for the game-winner, sending the series to a game five on Saturday night. Bell had four hits and a walk in the game.

Kuhl had a great game, especially considering the fact this was his debut in AAA and it was a must-win game. He worked very quickly and pounded the strike zone, using the outside corner well, while also coming inside to keep the batter honest. He didn’t get many swing and misses, but he got plenty of soft contact. He was 93-95 with the fastball most of the game, hitting 92-94 at the end. His slider was his main off-speed pitch, using it about 20 times with a lot of success. It was 85-87 with a nice sharp break. Kuhl threw the occasional two-seam fastball, which came in around 88-90 and was consistently down, not throwing it for strikes, though it started in the strike zone. I only saw one change-up and he had a batter out in front on it. Overall a very impressive performance.

Altoona Curve Prospect Watch


Altoona was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night.

Bradenton Marauders Prospect Watch


Bradenton has completed their season.

West Virginia Power Prospect Watch

West Virginia was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night.

West Virginia Black Bears Prospect Watch


Morgantown won the NYPL title on Tuesday night.


Bristol Pirates Prospect Watch1


The Bristol Pirates have completed their season. The season recap will be posted soon.

GCL Pirates Prospect Watch

The GCL Pirates have completed their season. Season recap and top ten prospect list can be found here.


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.

  • As happy I am for Chad Kuhl, I think the bigger story is Bell absolutely raking at AAA and in the playoffs. As I recall, I don’t think this is the first time in these playoffs that he has reached base in every plate appearance. Here are the full highlights by the way.

    • I don’t know if I’d call Bell the bigger story, since he basically continued doing what he has done. That’s hitting and making Pedro Alvarez look good defensively at first base. His path has been fairly set for awhile now. If he is at least serviceable at first base, he will be up around June 10th next year. Defensively, he needs every single day of that, while on offense, he’s ready now from the left side, but he will need the AB’s from the right side.
      If there was a lefty DH spot in the NL, he would be ready on Opening Day and I think you would see strong stats from him(not your typical rookie stats). But there isn’t so he will need all of those two months in AAA and maybe a little more.

      Kuhl made his AAA debut in a huge spot and pitched like a veteran. If you knew nothing about Glasnow and Kuhl except their age, and you watched the last two playoff games, you would swear Kuhl was the better prospect. I don’t have the numbers, but I know he had the better fastball average velocity because when Kuhl got near the end, he was down one mph, while Glasnow was down three. They were both 93-95 during the game too.

      • It didn’t seem like Glasnow ever really recovered his stride after the injury. Another full year in AAA will do him a lot of good.

        • He seems to get frustrated easily. Glasnow needs a shot of confidence, doesn’t have a bulldog mentality. His demeanor on the mound is basically the same as that of a Pirates fan watching Jeff Locke pitch.

          It could be that he isn’t used to failure since he’s been so good, so this time in AAA might be great for him in the future. They say it’s always great for a pitcher to experience some failure before they come up to the majors

      • They is a good point. He did pitch fantastic in a huge game for his first AAA start. He seems like he’s mentally tough.
        I’m just increasingly impressed with Bell’s consistency at the plate. He doesn’t seem to slump and he always seems to improve. I’m excited about his offense.

  • Two AAA teams; two totally different looks. Last night Chad Kuhl, 23, pitched very well. His opponent on the mound was Jarrett Grube, 33, who also pitched well. The night before, Boscan, 25, pitched well against his mound opponent Murata, 30.

    Many of the position players for the Pirate group are age appropriate or under for AAA and are on their way up, while the Cleveland affiliate seems to have a lot of older players/pitchers who are probably heading in the other direction. I like our situation much better than that of the Cleveland affiliate.

    Cumpton is a loss, and I hope he can come back from this setback. However, Chad Kuhl is capable of minimizing that loss. I will be looking for Glasnow, Taillon, Kuhl and Kingham all to get to Pittsburgh next year.

    • I highly doubt Kingham gets to Pittsburgh since he’ll probably not pitch in AAA until mid-June or July I’m guessing…remember how cautious they were bringing back Taillon and Holmes, and I think Kingham’s value/potential probably falls right in between those two

  • Sorry to hear about Cumptons shoulder.

    • Great to see Bell continuing to rake. Can’t wait to hear about how the Pirates are horrible for not bringing him up early next year.

      What is wrong with Cumpton’s shoulder?

      • Cumpton had a procedure done by Dr James Andrews. Trying to get a clarification if he is out another 13-15 months, or that’s now his total time out, which would just be three months on top of the 10-12 for TJ surgery….we’ll have more later

      • Bell’s defense is still pretty shaky for AAA let alone MLB. Fortunately, the organization won’t be stampeded into rushing him up, they will wait for him to be ready.

        • Honestly, we will probably have to learn to live with the D for now and hope the power eventually comes. Hopefully he can get on base.