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]
2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
3. Austin Meadows, CF, Altoona -[insert_php]
4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php]
7. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – In Majors
8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php]
9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – Disabled List
10. Kevin Newman, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php]
11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Morgantown -[insert_php]
12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php]
16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php]
21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php]
26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – Disabled List
29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php]
30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
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 was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night.
Bradenton has completed their season.
West Virginia was eliminated from the playoffs on Saturday night.
Morgantown won the NYPL title on Tuesday night.
The Bristol Pirates have completed their season. The season recap will be posted soon.
The GCL Pirates have completed their season. Season recap and top ten prospect list can be found here.