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 – Disabled List
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, Bradenton -[insert_php]
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]
Indianapolis lost 9-8 on Wednesday in a game in which they had to rely on their bullpen for the entire game. Kyle Lobstein was scheduled to start, but he was called up by the Pirates earlier in the day. The Indians went to Kelvin Marte for his first start and then needed to use John Kuchno for four innings, before Trey Haley closed the game out. Marte allowed seven runs and took the loss. The score was 9-3 going into the ninth inning, as an Indianapolis rally came up one run short.
Josh Bell, Jason Rogers and Max Moroff each picked up three hits. Bell scored twice and collected two doubles, giving him nine on the season. Rogers also scored twice and hit his sixth double, while Moroff drove in two runs and drew a walk. Gift Ngoepe had two hits, two runs scored, a double (his seventh) and a walk. Alen Hanson scored a run and drove in a run, but failed to pick up a hit. After going 8-for-17 right before he got called up to the majors last week, he is now 1-for-21 since he returned.
Tyler Eppler got the morning start on Wednesday. He came into the game with a 2.74 ERA, a 1.07 WHIP and a .239 BAA. Eppler has been a workhorse this season, going at least six innings in seven of his eight starts.
Eppler started the game with an eight-pitch battle that ended with a single being sent to left field. One pitch later, he gave up a softer hit ball right down the third base line, which ended up as a double. Just one pitch later, prospect Bradley Zimmer sent a double to the gap to make it 2-0. The next batter sent a ball to the warning track in center field, which went for an out, but moved the runner to third base with one out.
Eppler had a little bad luck on the next play, as he jammed the batter and got a pop out in foul territory just beyond first base. The way second baseman Erich Weiss caught the ball, with his momentum going into foul territory and with his back to home plate, allowed the runner to tag up and score. It was a good pitch and was only hit about 120 feet, it just ended up in a bad spot for Altoona. The next batter flew out to right field to end the inning. Eppler came into the game with three runs allowed or less in every start this season, but he was quickly down 3-0 and he threw 21 pitches in the inning. He was working mostly fastball, which was hitting 93-94 MPH.
In the top of the second inning, Eppler came out with a 3-3 score. The second pitch of the inning was lined just over his head for a single to center field. A couple pitches later, Akron had two men on, as the second batter lined a ball between Weiss and Jose Osuna at first base. Eppler walked the next batter (who was trying to sacrifice the runners) to load the bases. The next man up flared a ball to center field for a single, which brought in one run and kept the bases loaded with no outs. That was followed by a sacrifice fly to deep center, which brought home a fifth run and put runners on the corners.
Akron pulled off a double steal to score the sixth run. Jin-De Jhang made the throw to second base and it looked like they got the runner, but he was called safe and it allowed the runner from third to score easily. Eppler ended up picking up two strikeouts swinging on slurves to get out of the inning without anymore damage. He was throwing strikes, just getting hit around by a strong offensive team. Eppler was now at 43 pitches, 31 for strikes.
The third started with a fastball on the outside corner, which was lined into right field for a single. The next batter hit soft liner that hit off the glove of Erich Weiss, who just missed making a leaping catch. That was followed by a sacrifice bunt to move the runners up. Eppler gave up a double down the right field line to make it 8-3, then one pitch later, he allowed a double down the left field line to bring in another run. The next batter lined a ball to left field for the final out. Until the doubles, Eppler actually looked real good this inning, mixing his pitches and keeping the ball down. He was 92-94 with the fastball and he needed 28 pitches to get out of the inning, 22 for strikes, which included numerous foul balls.
I mentioned in each of Eppler’s last three starts that the pitching line looked better than the stuff. He got a lot of help on defense in two of those games. This game looked a lot like the results on paper. His fastball was very hittable, despite showing his usual velocity and good control. His off-speed pitches actually looked decent in this game, showing some nice slurves and changeups. Akron is a great team, posting the best record at any level/league this season. The lead the Eastern League in homers, and they are second in both runs and OPS coming into today. In the last two days, they have knocked out Brandon Waddell early and now Eppler. So it was a tough opponent, but Eppler really took one on the chin after a strong run of eight starts to begin the season. His ERA went up 1.39 (now 4.13) in this game.
Altoona lost 13-6, with the last four Akron runs coming off Brett McKinney. Jared Lakind threw two scoreless innings and utility fielder Jonathan Schwind came on a threw a scoreless ninth. He has pitched six times in his career and still hasn’t allowed a run. Schwind had an RBI double earlier in the game, starting the day as the right fielder.
Jose Osuna left this game after being hit by a pitch on the left shoulder in the third inning. He ran the bases, but Edwin Espinal replaced him at first base in the next inning.
Harold Ramirez had a big game, collecting three hits, including his first home run of the season. He scored two runs and raised his average to .300 after starting the month of May with a .213 average. Erich Weiss also had a nice game, collecting three hits, including a two-run single in the ninth inning. Austin Meadows had an RBI double, his fifth double of the season. Eric Wood collected his sixth double and third triple. The two teams combined for 28 hits.
Bradenton came into action on Wednesday night in a four-way tie for first place in their division and they lost 4-2 on to Jupiter. Alex McRae pitched seven innings, and while he gave up all four runs, he had a decent outing. Only two of the runs were earned off McRae, who was hurt by two solo homers. He allowed four hits, didn’t walk anyone, and struck out four batters. He posted a 10:5 GO/AO ratio and 62 of his 91 pitches went for strikes. McRae now has a 2.45 ERA in 55 innings this season.
The Marauders scored one run in the second and another in the fourth. The first run came on a Connor Joe single to start the inning, followed by three walks to bring Joe home. In the fourth, Michael Suchy was hit by a pitch, stole second, and moved to third base on a wild pitch. Kevin Newman brought him home with his ninth double of the season.
Taylor Gushue drew a walk and hit his seventh double. Suchy reached base three times, with a single, a walk and the HBP. Kevin Kramer had a single to extend his on base streak to 18 games.
The save in this game went to Ryan Reid, who is now pitching in High-A, three years removed from his only big league stint. He pitched seven games for the 2013 Pirates. Reid has four saves this season for Jupiter.
West Virginia won 5-3 on Wednesday night behind some strong starting pitching and three runs from the offense in the eighth inning.
Dario Agrazal looked good in this game, keeping the ball down and pounding the strike zone. He allowed one run over six innings, giving up six hits and two walks, while striking out five batters. Agrazal allowed a home run for the only run, but gave up a lot of soft contact and got his share of swing and misses. The double he allowed was probably lost in the lights, which is me giving the benefit of the doubt to Ryan Nagle. He didn’t move a step on a ball that fell about five feet behind him, with the only effort being him reaching up as the ball went just over his head. Other than the homer, Agrazal looked in control throughout the game, as he lowered his ERA to 2.80 through 45 innings.
Cole Tucker had a nice game, with two hits, including a triple down the right field line in the eighth inning. He also made a nice leaping catching and a quick throw to first base for a fine double play. After Tucker tripled, he was driven home by Tito Polo, who had a single and a run scored. Mitchell Tolman opened up the scoring with a two-run home run in the second inning, his second homer of the season.
Logan Hill drove in two runs with a double, breaking an 0-for-16, ten strikeout streak since being sent down from Bradenton. John Bormann had two walks to continue an impressive streak. He isn’t seeing much time as the backup catcher, but he has reached base at least once in all 13 games he has played this season.