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, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
4. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Pirates – In the Majors
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, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
9. Nick Kingham, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
11. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [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, Bradenton – [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 – [insert_php]
25. Gage Hinsz, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
26. Adrian Valerio, SS – Bristol – [insert_php]
27. Adam Frazier, INF/OF, Pirates – In the Majors
28. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
29. Jordan Luplow, OF/3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
30. JT Brubaker, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
INDIANAPOLIS — There is one pitching prospect that has yet to make his major league debut, but he continues to make a strong case for himself.
Trevor Williams seems to improve each time on the mound over the last month. Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor believes that, while the statistics tell the same story.
And the right-hander turned in his most dominant outing against Charlotte on Thursday, throwing eight shutout innings. Williams allowed just three hits and struck out five, facing just one over the minimum. He threw 71 of his 97 pitches for a strike.
“It’s almost like he keeps getting better every week,” Treanor said. “I really liked how he worked both sides and came in on guys. He got a lot of bats, a lot of weak outs. This is good to see.”
Williams has dominated the month of July, posting a 0.32 earned run average and allowing just ten hits in four starts.
“We were attacking with the fastball early [against Charlotte],” Williams said. “The second and third time through the lineup we were starting to spin stuff early because they started getting into a swing mode. I think it was just mixing it up, going in and out and up, and not really throwing the same pitch twice in a row.”
Williams said he worked his sinker off his four-seam fastball to give hitters a different look. His command was excellent throughout most of the game, only reaching a 3-ball count on a couple of occasions. He did not walk anybody, and has just three over 39.2 innings of his last six outings.
“He’s using all of his pitches and being able to command them,” Treanor said.
Williams only allowed three baserunners on Thursday — all on singles. Another runner reached on an error by shortstop Pedro Florimon. And only one runner made it past second base — and that was on a throwing error on a pick-off attempt Williams made in the eighth inning.
In the second inning Charlotte first baseman Jerry Sands singled with two outs but Williams worked around that by striking out Jake Peter. Charlotte designated hitter Jason Coats singled in the third inning, but was doubled off first base after Williams caught a fast line drive that came back up the middle.
Adam Engel, the third-ranked prospect in the White Sox organization, reached base in the sixth inning on an error by shortstop Pedro Florimon. Engel is a baserunning threat, with 37 stolen bases this season and 65 last season in High-A. Williams made four consecutive pick-off attempts, nearly getting him on the third one before catching him on his fourth try.
Williams tried to replicate that feat again in the eighth inning, but with a different result. Peter reached on an infield single with two outs in the eighth. But Williams’ third pick-off attempt was wayward of first baseman Josh Bell and Peter reached third base. Danny Muno struck out looking for the third out of the inning. Muno immediately threw his bat down and was eventually tossed from the game, which led him to throw his batting glove past the umpire.
Williams’ eight shutout innings comes after outings of 6, 7, 7, and 6 innings. Continuing to go deep into games is the next step in Williams’ progression as a pitcher.
“I think it’s just gaining that strength of being able to go deep into the game,” Treanor said. “If you can do that consistently, you have a chance to pitch at the next level. I thought his stuff stayed there throughout the whole game.”
The Indians had just one hit against Charlotte starter Chris Volstad, a former pitcher in the Pirates organization. But that hit was enough for the 1-0 win. Jose Osuna crushed a home run 415 feet into deep centerfield, his second one with the Indians.
“He hit a mistake tonight and that’s what you have to do,” Treanor said. “If he can continue to do that we’ve got something good.”
Kyle Lobstein retired the side in order in the ninth inning for the save. He struck out one batter and threw nine of his 13 pitches for a strike.
The Indians have scored just two runs in the last 36 innings, previously being swept at home by Lehigh Valley. – Brian Peloza
ALTOONA, PA – Clay Holmes was lucky to make it four innings tonight, as he threw 31 pitches in the first inning alone and 55 in the first two combined. His day ended after allowing five earned runs in four innings. He walked five batters and hit one.
He was missing all over the place in the first two innings, as he walked the lead-off batter and hit the second batter. He got a ground out before walking another, but he was all out of sorts in the inning and couldn’t recover before giving up two early runs. Holmes began working extremely slow, most of the time letting the pitch clock run out between pitches, and really looked to be laboring to get the pitch across the plate. His tendency to work slow really showed tonight, not only in between pitches, but also in his delivery.
As like his last outing at home over this past weekend, he really struggled with locating his fastball early. Akron DH Jeremy Lucas took Holmes deep to right-center field in the second inning, and Akron quickly had put up a five spot on the Curve before getting through two innings.
“He had no fastball command today,” Coach Justin Meccage said. “He was up and was never able to make an adjustment off of that.”
As like his last outing as well, Holmes worked back to finish strong in his last two innings of work, as he had a 1-2-3 third inning and struck out the last two batters he faced in the fourth. He struck out Akron’s Clint Frazier looking with a nice change up on the outside corner, then got Nellie Rodriguez swinging to end the inning. That put Holmes at 88 pitches in four innings, and he was done.
As we’ve been reporting, Holmes has been working to incorporate the two-seamer more, and he threw about half of his fastballs as two-seamers tonight. He did have a 1.80 ERA over his last six starts coming into tonight, and his season ERA jumped to 4.54 after the outing.
Reliever Josh Smith allowed a manufactured run in the fifth and a homer in the sixth. He did strike out five batters, which ties the most for a Curve reliever this season.
Miguel Rosario came in after Smith and also struck out five in only two innings of work, including the side in the ninth inning. Rosario has a 2.16 ERA during his time in Altoona, and he has been a very impressive reliever out of the bullpen.
“He had a good fastball today with some very good sink to it,” Meccage said of Rosario’s two-seamer.
Rosario’s arm slot is very deceptive to hitters, and he is also able to throw his slider to the opposite side of the plate, making him difficult to pick up when you only see him once as a reliever.
“The biggest thing that Smith and Rosario did tonight that Holmes wasn’t able to do was pound the strike zone,” said Meccage. “They got ahead of guys and got themselves in situations where they could punch guys out.”
Harold Ramirez had an RBI single in the third inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, and Barrett Barnes singled in the sixth to extend his on-base streak to 15 games. Kevin Newman had two hits to get back on the board after going 0-for-6 in a doubleheader yesterday. Eric Wood had the Curve’s only extra base hit with a double down the left field line.
Reese McGuire struck out three times tonight, which is the first time in his professional career that he has struck out more than twice in one game. Even McGuire striking out twice is a rare occurrence, and he voiced his displeasure with the home plate umpire a few times tonight. He did hit a very hard liner to the right-center gap, but it hung up just long enough for the right fielder to make the grab.
The Curve were never able to come back from the early deficit and lost 7-1. With the loss, the Curve extend their losing streak to seven games and fell out of first place in their division. -Sean McCool
Bradenton got some good pitching from Yeudy Garcia on Thursday night, even if the stat line doesn’t really show it. He went six innings, allowing four runs on six hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. Two of the runs were unearned, as Bradenton made three errors in the first three innings. Garcia had a 9:6 GO/AO ratio and threw 63 of his 89 pitches for strikes. He became the first FSL pitcher this season to top the century mark in strikeouts, finishing this game with 101 on the season.
In the third inning, Garcia allowed a bloop single before retiring the next two batters. After that, back-to-back errors allowed two runs to score. Daytona didn’t really hit him until the sixth inning, when four consecutive hits led to two more runs.
Bradenton lost this one 5-3, as Tito Polo drove in all three runs. In the seventh inning, he drove in two runs with his 15th homer of the season, most in the minors for the Pirates. Elvis Escobar had two hits and scored two runs. He also picked up an outfield assist. Erik Lunde had two hits and Pablo Reyes had a walk and a single.
CHARLESTON, WV – If you’re going to succeed as a sinker pitcher, you have to keep the ball low in the zone. Dario Agrazal couldn’t do that tonight against the Charleston RiverDogs, and he paid the price.
The game started poorly with two singles leading to men on the corners with no outs. The Power defense, which Agrazal typically utilizes heavily, helped him out of the jam when Logan Ratledge nailed the runner coming home.
In the home half of the first, the Power offense helped out the cause, scoring two runs on two walks, a Mitchell Tolman double, and an error.
In the second inning, Agrazal found himself in the same position with one out and did not escape unscathed. He allowed one run in the second and another in the third to tie the game at two runs apiece.
He pitched his best inning in the fourth, only allowing one hit and getting two weak grounders, but in the fifth, his poor control came home to roost. Agrazal quickly got a grounder to short but then allowed two consecutive singles to set up a three-run home run by RiverDog Alexander Palma.
Agrazal’s poor performance can be directly attributed to the ineffective user of his sinker. That sinking fastball just wasn’t working, as evidenced by his even split of ground outs and fly outs. Ultimately, the RiverDogs tagged Agrazal for 11 hits. This marks his worst outing since an eight-run start against Charleston on May 16.
The Power struck again in the bottom of the fifth when Casey Hughston and Logan Ratledge each drove in a run with a double, cutting the lead to one.
Cesilio Pimentel shut down the RiverDog bats over the course of his two innings, and fellow lefty Sean Keselica tied his season high with four strikeouts in two perfect innings.
Unfortunately, the Power bats stayed quiet in the ninth, and the team lost 5-4. – Abigail Miskowiec
Morgantown won 7-1 behind some strong pitching from starter Danny Beddes and 13 hits from the offense. Beddes allowed one run on four hits and a walk over six innings, improving his ERA to 2.84 through 31.2 innings. He has a .205 BAA and a 1.09 WHIP. Matt Frawley followed him and retired all six batters he faced, three by strikeouts.
The Morgantown bats put on quite a show, with the bottom four in the order doing most of the damage. Kevin Mahala and Chris Harvey each picked up three hits. Mahala had a double, drove in a pair and scored a run. Harvey had a run scored and an RBI. Clark Eagan and Kevin Krause each had two hits, with Krause scoring twice and Eagan driving in two runs. Albert Baur had a single, double and scored twice. As a team, they went 8-for-16 with runners in scoring position.
Bristol won 5-2, as they got production from the middle and the bottom of the order for the victory over Bluefield. The top three hitters in the order went 0-for-12 and Raul Siri went 0-for-4 in the ninth spot, but everyone in between contributed on offense.
Cleanup hitter Huascar Fuentes had two hits and scored a run. He was followed in the order by Victor Fernandez, who went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and three runs scored. Michael de la Cruz batted sixth and had three hits and scored a run. Daniel Cucjen had two walks and drove in a run, while eighth place hitter Yoel Gonzalez drove in three runs on two hits.
Starter Nicholas Economos had a rough game, allowing two runs on three hits and six walks in 4.1 innings. The bullpen combo of Shane Kemp and Jordan Jess threw shutout ball the rest of the way for the win.
The GCL Pirates had a 3-2 lead going into the sixth inning, but a pair of late homers by the Phillies handed them the 8-3 loss. Second round pick Travis MacGregor made his fourth start and allowed two runs on three hits and three walks, striking out one batter. He had a 5:0 GO/AO ratio. MacGregor pitched 8.1 innings over his first three starts without an earned run, but they tried something new with him in this game and it didn’t work.
In his last start, MacGregor threw 49 pitches total, with 46 being fastballs. He threw three changeups in that game and never went to the curveball, though he used it in the bullpen before the game, and also afterwards when he threw some extra pitches in the bullpen. For the first two innings on Thursday, he was using all three of his pitches and had zero success with the curve. The changeup and fastball were fine once he settled in and found the strike zone. In the third inning, MacGregor scrapped the curve and got through the frame with just one bloop single and three ground outs.
Judging from these last two starts when he wouldn’t use the pitch in one game, and it had zero success in this game, MacGregor will have some work to do before his curve becomes a legit offering. That’s not a total surprise, as he told Tim Williams that his dad didn’t allow him to throw a curve until he got older. It also explains why he has an advanced feel for the changeup, which was an effective pitch today.
The offense put together three runs on seven hits and four walks. Paul Brands got them on the board early with an RBI single in the first. That was followed by another RBI single, this one from Mikell Granberry. He would add another single later in the game. The Pirates played small ball for their run in the fourth. Victor Ngoepe walked, then moved to second after Luis Benitez was hit by a pitch. Paul Brands loaded the bases with his second single, then Ngoepe scored on a sacrifice fly from Felix Vinicio.
The DSL Pirates lost 7-4 to the Indians on Thursday, dropping their record to 15-25 on the season. Starter Roger Santana has been one of the better pitchers in the league this season, but he didn’t have a great day today. You would think that an 0:5 BB/SO ratio, along with an 11:0 GO/AO ratio would indicate a pitcher did well, but Santana allowed four runs on seven hits over 4.2 innings. He now has a 1.74 ERA in nine starts.
Kyle Simmons scored the first run for the Pirates in the fourth inning after his drew a lead-off walk. He then stole second, his fourth stolen base of the year. Kevin Sanchez sacrificed him to third base, then Simmons came home on a wild pitch.
The Pirates made a late run in the ninth, scoring their last three runs. Rodolfo Castro singled to start the inning, then Samuel Inoa grounded into a force out at second base. Sherten Apostel walked to move Inoa to second. Larry Alcime singled home Inoa, then Eddy Vizcaino singled to load the bases. Williams Calderon then singled home both Apostel and Inoa, but he made a huge mistake on the bases, getting thrown out after rounding first base and getting too far away from the bag. Simmons then popped out to end the game.