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, 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 2016 prospect guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.
We’re working on a solution for the PHP stat codes not working in the app.
1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
2. Austin Meadows, CF, Altoona – [insert_php]
3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
4. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
6. Harold Ramirez, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
7. Reese McGuire, C, Altoona -[insert_php]
8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – Disabled List.
9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
11. Kevin Newman, SS, Bradenton -[insert_php]
12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
13. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
15.Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php]
16. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
17. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
18. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
19. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
21. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
22. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
23. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
24. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
25. Gage Hinsz, RHP, – Extended Spring Training
26. Adrian Valerio, SS, – Extended Spring Training
27. Adam Frazier, INF/OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
28. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
29. Jordan Luplow, OF/3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
30. JT Brubaker, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
Chad Kuhl was on the mound Wednesday night for the sixth time this season. Coming into the game, he ranked third in the International League in ERA and second behind Jameson Taillon in WHIP. In his previous four starts combined, he allowed just two runs.
In the first inning, Kuhl got a ground ball right back to him for the first out. He struck out the next batter on an outside slider. That was followed by a fly out to left field to end the inning. Kuhl was hitting 93-94 with his sinker and he got a swinging strike on a change. It was an 11-pitch inning.
The second started with a foul out to third base on the first pitch. Kuhl walked the next batter, but the last two pitches were very close to the zone. He hit 95 MPH and used all three pitches in this plate appearance. Kuhl struck out the next batter on three pitches, getting him swinging at an inside slider. He hit 95 again that at-bat. The next batter grounded out weakly to first base to end the inning. Despite the walk, he got out of the inning on 12 pitches, eight for strikes.
In the third inning, Kuhl started with a shallow fly out to left field. The first hit he allowed was a soft liner over shortstop by the opposing pitcher, Aaron Laffey. Next up was prospect Trea Turner, who bounced out to third base, with a force out at second place accounting for the only out on the play. Turner stole second base, then Kuhl walked the next batter to put two runners on with two outs. The next batter grounded out slowly towards the second base bag, with Gift Ngoepe making a really nice play for the out. This was a 21-pitch inning and he hit 95 again.
Kuhl began the fourth with an easy grounder to Gift Ngoepe, who was shifted over for a lefty. The next batter went down swinging on an inside change-up. One pitch later, he got a grounder to second base for the final out. It was a quick and easy inning after a long top of the fourth inning. Through four frames, he had 55 pitches, 37 for strikes.
The fifth started with a nice diving catch behind the second base bag by Max Moroff on a soft liner. That was followed by a walk in a long battle that included a few 3-2 fouls. A pinch-hitter for the pitcher lined a single to center field. The next batter loaded the bases by lining a single into left field. Kuhl got a foul out neat first base for the second out. He worked out of the inning by getting a grounder to first base. This inning was 22 pitches.
The sixth started with a ground out to second base. Kuhl threw a nasty change-up in that at-bat that got an awkward swing. Kuhl got the second out on a ball hit softly right back to him. The third batter hit a double right down the first base line. The inning and Kuhl’s outing ended on another soft ground ball to the second baseman. He finished with six shutout inning, four hits, three walks and three strikeouts. Kuhl had a 10:2 GO/AO ratio.
The was a really nice outing by Kuhl, except for when he loaded the bases in the fifth and even then he settled down to get two outs to keep it scoreless. His change-up was as good as I’ve seen this year, the sinker looked good and the slider got some nice results. His velocity was where it should be (93-95) and even when he walked batters, he was around the zone. Like usual, he kept the ball down in the zone and he worked quickly. He has now allowed just two runs in his last 28 innings.
Indianapolis won this game 3-1 with Kuhl not factoring in the decision. After Guido Knudson replaced Kuhl and allowed a run while recording just one out, Cory Luebke came on and retired the only two batters he faced. That was followed by two runs in the top of the eighth, which gave Luebke the victory. Gift Ngoepe singled home a run, then came around to score on an error one batter later. Indianapolis got their first run on a Chad Kuhl bases loaded walk in the fourth inning.
Alen Hanson was in left field for the sixth straight game. He had three singles in this game and stole a base. He was also running two times where the ball was put in play, once it avoided a double play and the other time it allowed him to move up a base. Possibly the best hit ball he had was a one-hopper to third base with the bases loaded, following the Kuhl walk. The third baseman was hugging the line and had an easy play (after making the catch) at third base for the force out.
Willy Garcia had three hits and a walk in this game. He has shown better patience at the plate recently, even if it really doesn’t show in the stats. Garcia seems to have trouble mixing patience and power. Last year when he cut down on his strikeouts, it came with no power. When the power returned, the strikeouts jumped.
Jason Rogers had three walks, while Josh Bell had one of his worst games at the plate, striking out three times in five hitless at-bats. Ngoepe had two strikeouts, which extended his season-long streak of at least one strikeout in all 22 games he has played.
Clay Holmes made his seventh start of the season and fourth straight daytime start. He had two starts this season in which he allowed a combined 12 runs over just 6.2 innings. In his other 21.2 innings over four starts, he gave up a total of six runs.
This game started with line drive single to center field on the second pitch, both fastballs. The next batter popped out to third base on a low fastball. Holmes then got a slow grounder to shortstop for a force out at second base. The next batter lined out to center field on the second pitch. Holmes hit 94 MPH this inning and a lot of his pitches were up in the zone. He threw ten pitches, seven for strikes.
In the second inning, Holmes started with a strikeout of Sebastian Valle, setting his up with a nice curve, before getting him swinging on a low inside fastball. The next batter singled on a bouncer between first base and second base. Holmes threw him a nice low fastball and it was just a well-placed hit. The runner stole second base and had a big jump, giving Reese McGuire no chance. A soft grounder to the second base bag got the second out and moved the runner to third base. Holmes got the third out on a strikeout swinging, using the curve effectively.
This inning was a great job of pitching. He used all three pitches, he worked down in the zone and pounded the inside corner. The fastball hit 95 MPH and the change-up got a weakly hit foul ball. We have seen impressive sequences from him 1-2 batters at a time, but he pitched all four batters well this inning.
In the third, Holmes got a grounder to shortstop on the first pitch. That was followed by a soft line to center field for a single. The next batter doubled on an odd sequence. It came on a 3-1 pitch, which followed a pitch out on a 2-1 count after Holmes missed badly on a couple pitches. Then after the ball got by a diving second baseman, center fielder Harold Ramirez and right fielder Jonathan Schwind couldn’t decide who should pick up the ball, so that allowed the runners to go to second and third. That was followed by a sacrifice fly to medium center field, with the throw from Ramirez going up the third base line. He didn’t set up well to make a throw to home, catching the ball flat footed. Ramirez got a chance for redemption one batter later on a single up the middle and he threw out to runner to end the inning.
Holmes was up in the zone this inning and missing outside, though he did break off another nice curve. It began raining during the inning, so that may have affected him, but it was nowhere near the great inning he had in the second frame. Trenton made some good contact too, though nothing too hard. Holmes was now at 47 pitches, 29 for strikes.
In the fourth inning, Valle grounded out weakly to shortstop on the second pitch. The next batter poked an opposite field single into left field on a 2-0 pitch. Holmes struck out the next batter swinging on a curve, a pitch that has been really good this game. During the strikeout, the runner stole second. The inning was ended two pitches later on a fly ball just short of the right field warning track. This was an 11-pitch inning.
The fifth began with his first walk, missing inside on every pitch. The bottom of the fourth was a very long inning, so it looked like a little rust to the first batter, as he threw five straight strikes to the next hitter. That at-bat ended on a near double play, with an out being made at second base. One pitch later, the runner from first stole second base. On the fourth straight strike to the third batter, Holmes allowed a triple over the head of Harold Ramirez to bring home a run. Ramirez looked like he could have caught the ball, but he stopped and turned like he was going to play it off the wall. The ball landed about five feet away from him and about 6-8 feet from the wall. It was the best hit ball off Holmes all game, but Ramirez probably should have caught it. Looked like he just badly misjudged how close he was to the wall. Holmes quickly got the last two outs on a shallow fly ball to right field and a grounder to third base. That put Holmes at 80 pitches.
Holmes got an easy grounded to shortstop to start the sixth. The next batter walked on a 3-2 pitch in a long at-bat, in which he used all three pitches multiple times. The next batter reached on a swinging bunt, with Reese McGuire slipping on the wet grass while making the throw. That ended the day for Holmes. He threw 90 pitches total, 57 for strikes. Josh Smith relieved him and allowed both inherited runs to score on a double.
The best thing from this game is how good the curve looked from Holmes. He had it working all game with excellent results. The fastball control was a little better than usual, as he didn’t miss badly too often and did a decent job keeping the ball down. His change-up has looked better, but he did throw a couple nice ones. There were only a couple balls really well hit out of the eight hits, the triple in the fifth and the single that ended the third inning. The out to end the fourth was also a deep fly. Other than that, there was a lot of soft contacts and hits just out of the reach of fielders. Twice when he needed a double play, he got soft contact that resulted in just one out. He looked better than the pitching line would indicate, especially with the two runs coming in after he left. Holmes could have done a better job of holding runners, which would have helped him out with McGuire behind the plate.
Altoona won 5-4 in this game, with Holmes picking up his second victory. Josh Smith threw 2.2 scoreless innings, though he did allow those two inherited runners to score. Dovydas Neverauskas finished it out with a scoreless ninth. The Curve got a lot of help from poor defense by Trenton. They committed five errors in the contest, to none for Altoona.
The offense was led by Eric Wood, who had two hits, scored once and drove in two runs. He hit his fifth double of the season. Harold Ramirez had a much better day on offense than defense, collecting three hits, with a run and an RBI. He is 7-for-14 in the last three games and has raised his average 56 points since the end of April. Besides the three mental errors listed above with the flat-footed throw, not taking charge on the single-turned-double and misjudging the wall, he also came in on a soft liner to him, before reaching up and over to his side to catch the ball. A couple inches higher and he would have turned a routine out into a possible inside-the-park home run.
Reese McGuire went 1-for-3, giving him hits in three straight games. He also put down a sacrifice bunt and scored a run in this game. McGuire is hitting just .227, but he is making some solid contact recently, and he has a 14:7 BB/SO ratio, rarely swinging and missing, even against a lefty who had no problem striking out lefty Erich Weiss three straight times today.
Bradenton got outmatched by strong pitching on Wednesday, losing 5-2 to Tyler Jay and Ft Myers. Jay was the sixth overall pick in last year, and he shutout the Marauders for seven innings on just three hits and a walk. Two of the hits he allowed didn’t leave the infield and the third only reached the outfield after it hit off the shortstop’s glove.
On the other side, Colten Brewer allowed four earned runs over 5.1 innings, with two runs in the first and two in the sixth. Despite the poor overall results, he went on a nice streak in this game. Brewer got a double play in the third inning, followed by retiring the next nine hitters, including five of them by swinging strikeouts. The last strikeout ended up reaching first base on a wild pitch and that came back to bite Brewer, who gave up three consecutive singles before being removed.
Kevin Newman had three hits in this game, one of the infield hits off Jay and two after he left the game. He has played 27 games this year and has at least two hits in 14 of those games. Newman drove in one of the two runs. Michael Suchy had an RBI and a double, the only extra-base hit for Bradenton. Connor Joe had three strikeouts, giving him 29 in just 27 games. Last year he had 34 strikeouts in 80 games for West Virginia.
West Virginia has off today.