It’s been awhile since I last checked, so I figured I’d start your Friday off by looking at the players in the system who rank among the top ten in their league in hitting and pitching categories. Starting with Indianapolis and working our way down, here are players excelling in at least one category with just over three weeks left in the minor league season. For some people, the list for the first player will ruin your day. I apologize in advance.

Indianapolis

Josh Bell ranks fifth in average, tied for third in OBP and fourth in slugging with his .305/.391/.485 slash line. He is eighth with 57 runs, fifth with 122 hits, fifth with 59 RBI, fifth with 54 walks, third with an .876 OPS and eighth with 14 homers.

Danny Ortiz is tied for eighth with 14 homers.

Alen Hanson is third with six triples and tied for first with 32 steals

Max Moroff ranks first with 70 walks

Tyler Glasnow is second with a 1.94 ERA, second with 122 strikeouts and fifth with a 1.12 WHIP

While the numbers were mostly put up elsewhere, Drew Hutchison is third with 120 strikeouts and sixth with a 1.15 WHIP.

Altoona

Barrett Barnes is sixth with a .296 average and seventh with seven triples.

Austin Meadows and Erich Weiss are third with eight triples.

Eric Wood is seventh with 15 homers.

Tyler Eppler is eighth with a 1.27 WHIP

Bradenton

Jordan Luplow is eighth with a .363 OBP and ninth with 50 walks.

Chase Simpson is tied for eighth with five triples.

Connor Joe and Kevin Kramer are tied for third with 23 doubles.

Yeudy Garcia is tenth with a 3.02 ERA and he’s first with 111 strikeouts.

West Virginia

Daniel Arribas is eighth with a .370 OBP and sixth with 51 walks.

Mitchell Tolman is tied for second with 57 walks.

Carlos Munoz is tied for ninth with 46 walks.

Alfredo Reyes is seventh with 27 steals.

Casey Hughston is tied for eighth with six triples.

Mitch Keller is sixth with a 2.85 ERA, sixth with 112 strikeouts and first with an 0.94 WHIP

Logan Sendelbach is seventh with a 1.13 WHIP

Morgantown

Hunter Owen is fourth with a .478 slugging percentage and tied for eighth with five homers.

Will Craig is seventh with a .384 OBP, tied for fifth with 12 doubles and third with 27 walks.

Albert Baur is tied for ninth with 22 walks and tied for seventh with 11 doubles

Sandy Santos is tied for third with four triples and tied for seventh with 11 doubles

Danny Beddes is eighth with a 2.30 ERA, tenth with 41 strikeouts and eighth with an 0.99 WHIP

Bristol

Victor Fernandez is eighth with a .311 average, tied for tenth with two triples and tied for ninth with nine steals

Michael de la Cruz is tied for ninth with nine steals and he’s fourth with 24 walks.

Raul Siri is seventh with 22 walks.

Garrett Brown is tied for fifth with three triples

Jhoan Herrera is tied for fifth with 12 doubles

Matt Eckelman is second with a 1.03 WHIP

Ike Schlabach is seventh with a 1.21 WHIP

GCL 

Henrry Rossario is sixth with 25 runs, second with 43 hits, tied for second with six triples, tied for fourth with five homers, second with a .436 OBP, first with a .667 slugging, first with a .368 average and first with a 1.103 OPS.

Johan De Jesus is sixth with nine doubles.

Edison Lantigua is tied for second with six triples,

DSL

Williams Calderon is tied for sixth with five triples.

Roger Santana is ninth with a 1.44 ERA

PLAYOFF PUSH

Indianapolis is in second place in their division, trailing by eight games. They trail by 13 games for the lone wild card spot.

Altoona leads their division by 2.5 games. The top two teams in the division go to the playoffs, with the first place team getting the home field advantage in the first round.

Bradenton won the first half title. They have home field advantage in the playoffs.

West Virginia is tied for fifth place in their division, trailing first by 2.5 games.

Morgantown is tied for fourth place in their division, trailing first place by 12 games. They are 6.5 games back for the lone wild card spot.

Bristol is in fourth place, trailing by 7.5 games. The top two teams in each division go to the playoffs.

The GCL Pirates are one game back in their division. This is the only league where you have to win your division to make the playoffs.

The DSL Pirates have been eliminated from their division race. They trail in the wild card by 15.5 games.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates won 4-0 over the Padres on Thursday afternoon. Tonight against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Ivan Nova makes his second start since joining the Yankees. He went seven innings in his first game last Saturday against the Reds, allowing three runs on six hits and no walks, with five strikeouts. The Dodgers will counter with right-handed pitcher Ross Stripling, who has a 3.79 ERA in 59.1 innings, with 44 strikeouts and a 1.26 WHIP. He threw five shutout innings in his last start, which was against the Red Sox.

In the minors, Mitch Keller threw six shutout innings in his last start, striking out nine batters. In each of his three prior starts, he failed to last five innings, giving up a total of eight earned runs on 20 hits over 12.2 innings. Clay Holmes has allowed two earned runs or less in nine of his last ten starts. He is five behind Tyler Eppler for the Altoona lead in strikeouts (91 to 86). After going at least six innings in each of his last four starts in June, Frank Duncan has failed to get through six innings in six straight starts. His ERA would rank third in the International League if he had enough innings to qualify.

MLB: Pittsburgh (57-55) @ Dodgers (64-50) 10:10 PM
Probable starter: Ivan Nova (3.86 ERA, 0:5 BB/SO, 7.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (59-61) @ Lehigh Valley (71-47) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Frank Duncan (2.41 ERA, 20:68 BB/SO, 82.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (64-52) vs Reading (77-39) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Clay Holmes (4.15 ERA, 53:86 BB/SO, 117.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (58-56) vs St Lucie (61-51) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (5.44 ERA, 18:29 BB/SO, 51.1 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (59-57) vs Delmarva (60-56) 7:05 PM(season preview)
Probable starter: Mitch Keller (2.85 ERA, 14:112 BB/SO, 107.1 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (24-29) @ Brooklyn (28-25) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: TBD

Rookie: Bristol (19-28) @ Danville (22-25) 7:00 PM (season preview)

GCL: Pirates (17-23) vs Tigers East (16-26) 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (24-34) vs Indians (23-35) 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is a two-run homer from Barrett Barnes, hit earlier in the week. It was his second homer of the season.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

8/10: Christian Kelley promoted to Bradenton. Raul Hernandez assigned to West Virginia.

8/10: John Kuchno assigned to Altoona.

8/9: Chad Kuhl promoted to Pirates. Curtis Partch optioned to Indianapolis.

8/9: Erik Lunde retired.

8/9: Kyle Lobstein placed on disabled list. Kelvin Marte activated from disabled list.

8/9: Raul Hernandez assigned to Bradenton.

8/8: Delvin Hiciano assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

8/8: Josh Outman assigned to Indianapolis.

8/7: Austin Meadows activated from Indianapolis disabled list.

8/6: Arquimedes Caminero traded to Mariners for two players to be named later. Curtis Partch recalled from Indianapolis

8/6: Jason Creasy assigned to Morgantown on rehab.

8/6: John Kuchno assigned to Indianapolis. Josh Outman assigned to Altoona.

8/6: Chris Harvey assigned to Morgantown

8/4: Ryan Vogelsong activated from disabled list. Max Moroff optioned to Indianapolis.

8/4: Pirates release Wilfredo Boscan.

8/4: Kelvin Marte placed on disabled list.

8/4: Henrry Rosario promoted to Bristol. Sam Kennelly assigned to GCL Pirates.

8/3: Chris Harvey promoted to Indianapolis. Trey Haley sent to Altoona.

8/3: Elvis Escobar promoted to Altoona. Justin Maffei assigned to Bradenton.

8/3: Erik Lunde assigned to Bradenton. Jose Regalado activated from disabled list.

8/2: Wilfredo Boscan placed on disabled list.

8/2: Tomas Morales assigned to Altoona. Chris Diaz activated from temporary inactive list.

8/1: Pirates trade Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire and Harold Ramirez for Drew Hutchison.

8/1: Pirates acquire Ivan Nova from New York Yankees for players to be named later.

8/1: Pirates trade Jon Niese to New York Mets for Antonio Bastardo and cash.

8/1: Blake Cederlind placed on disabled list. Evan Piechota assigned to Bristol.

8/1: Edgar Santana promoted to Indianapolis.

7/31: Pirates recall Max Moroff. Steven Brault optioned to Indianapolis.

7/31: Erik Lunde assigned to GCL Pirates.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including a recent one and four players born in the 1800’s.

Jose Tabata, outfielder for the Pirates from 2010 until 2015 when he was dealt to the Dodgers for Michael Morse.

Paul Carpenter, 1916 pitcher. He was signed by the Pirates in July of 1916 after his minor league team disbanded. He pitched just five games over the last 2 1/2 months, giving up one run in 7.2 innings.

Wyatt Lee, pitcher for the 1904 Pirates. Pittsburgh purchased his contract shortly before the start of the 1904 season. The Pirates tried to sign him as an amateur in 1899, but he started a bidding war between the Pirates and Reds and ended up pricing himself out of both team’s range. In 1904, he was considered a major off-season acquisition for the starting staff, but he posted an 8.74 ERA in his 22.2 innings before the Pirates got rid of him in June.

Andy Dunning, 1889 pitcher. With injuries to their top two pitchers, the Alleghenys signed three young pitchers, one of them being Dunning. He lasted just two games due to poor control and the return of both Cannonball Morris and Pud Galvin.

Dan Lally, right fielder for the 1891 team. He played pro ball for 19 years, but lasted just two years in the majors, 1891 and 1897. For the Pirates, he hit .224 in 41 games.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. John, nice list of what seems to be great but look behind the numbers and most of these guys are marginal with some exceptions. Hughston for example strikes out allot and cannot hit. Raul Siri had his best days in the DSL. So you lead in walks but noting else is positive, it does not make you a future major league player.

        • I think that’s a fair statement. The Pirates have a loaded farm system, but they also have 220+ players. So teams have more players and some of the worst farm systems have a handful of legit prospects. If you use 95% and 220 players as the average, that gives you 330 prospects. I would say anyone who can’t rank in the top 330 is marginal at best

    • That’s usually a list you don’t want to be on as a player. Go over the save leaders over the years and 90% of them are players who you have never heard of unless you follow the minors very closely. The role of a minor league closer is usually a one inning role, while prospects have specific days laid out for them to pitch and if they get a save, it’s 2-3 innings.

      You want prospects to get their innings in and you don’t want to bring them in situations where they need to warm-up in a hurry to bail someone out. They start doing that in AAA as an intro to the majors, but coming up through the system, it’s more about development.

      So basically I didn’t include saves leaders because I consider it a negative stat and was trying to keep the list up top to positive stats. While it’s completely different than a save, I left strikeouts for batters off on purpose as well.

      • Aren’t there players who are groomed as closers early on in their careers such as Houston Street for instance?
        I would think that those players would differ from the organizational types which you alluded to.

        Tim just wrote an article on Prohroff who could be an example of the above.

        I would think that the way that bullpens have changed over the years, with more defined roles beginning with the sixth inning, that organizations
        would begin to groom their relievers for specific roles earlier in their minor league careers.
        Essentially, bullpens have become equally important as starting pitching and it would not surprise me to see the day when your starter goes 3 innings.

        • I can’t speak for other organizations, but the Pirates generally use fillers at all of the lower levels for the closer, and that includes all the way up to Indy sometimes The best two prospect relievers they have right now are Edgar Santana and Dovydas Neverauskas. They combined for 5 one inning saves in their careers. DuRapau has 19 of those this season. If a pitcher is a prospect, you want to keep him on a set schedule, they want to give him fresh innings to start with, and you want to use him for more than one inning at a time. You can’t do that and be in the closer role, but you can occasionally get saves if it’s your day and the starter goes long.

  2. I like how you slid in the Hutchison with 120 K’s very subtle…. Weld Played John Well Played. 🙂 Have a great weekend everyone.

  3. JD/Tim

    What happened to the link to the Mid Season Top 50? I liked to click on that for reference?

    I did a search on PIRATE PROSPECTS TOP 50 MIDSEASON PROSPECTS, and all I get is articles like “Pirates place 7 on BA’s mid season list”, etc.

    Can you keep it on the front page? Thx.

  4. JD….

    DK Insider today says NL scout sees that Bell has problems with inside fastballs and that is keeping him in AAA along with defense.

    Is this, to the best of your knowledge, true? I take what DK says with a grain of salt, but every once in a while he “nails” one (blind squirrel syndrome)

    • Ah the mysterious scout! I think this dude can hit blindfolded! I heard that from someone but can’t remember his name. I’ll take Bell any day as a hitter. I have known four scouts in my life 1 was always sober 2 were always drunk and the fourth was Tony Lucadello from Fostoria Ohio. Baseball treated him cruelly but he knew his craft.

    • Bell has quick hands and can basically hit any pitch, the problem is that if you catch him on the right day, he can look awkward at the plate because he sometimes gets aggressive and guesses. That’s usually something that goes away at-bat to at-bat with him though. He isn’t someone you can watch for a couple days and get a good read on because he’s always adjusting at the plate.

      I wrote in one article that a scout I was sitting with didn’t like his swing because he started it way too late and held his back elbow above his back shoulder. Said he would never be able to get around on fastballs. The next series a month later, he wasn’t doing that, then the third time I saw him, he had a leg kick added.

      Basically, you can’t look at him one day and say that stance will never work, or note that he had certain issues because it usually only applies to that day. You have to note the bat speed, the hand-eye coordination, the raw power, the plate patience, those are things that don’t change and they are why he is a top hitting prospect.

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