Prospect Watch: Kingham and Duncan Throw Shutout Ball

P2 Top 30

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors and loses his prospect eligibility, 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 mid-season update, 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, Pirates -[insert_php] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20160817′);

3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20160817′);

4. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20160817′);

5. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20160817′);

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20160817′);

7.Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20160817′);

8. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(641771,’P’,’20160817′);

9. Will Craig, 3B, Morgantown –  [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20160817′);

10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20160817′);

11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20160817′);

12. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20160817′);

13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20160817′);

14. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20160817′);

15. Gage Hinsz, RHP, West Virginia  – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20160817′);

16. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592866,’P’,’20160817′);

17. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20160817′);

18. Tito Polo, OF, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(622738,’B’,’20160817′);

 19. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20160817′);

20. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(663399,’P’,’20160817′);

21. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20160817′);

22. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20160817′);

23. Taylor Hearn, LHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20160817′);

24. Adrian Valerio, SS – Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20160817′);

25. Braeden Ogle, LHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20160817′);

26. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20160817′);

27. Travis MacGregor, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669740,’P’,’20160817′);

28. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20160817′);

29. Frank Duncan, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(641538,’P’,’20160817′);

30. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20160817′);

P2 Top Performers

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INDIANAPOLIS — Only one pitcher from the opening day starting rotation remains on the roster.

While the names have changed, one constant remains: the Indianapolis pitching staff is putting up impressive numbers. The man putting up the most impressive numbers lately is Frank Duncan, a player that opened the season as a reliever in Double-A Altoona.

Duncan pitched six shutout innings against Louisville on Wednesday, pushing his consecutive scoreless streak to 17.2 innings. But that wasn’t enough for the Indians, losing 4-1 in 10 innings.

In 17 starts with the Indians, Duncan now has a 2.06 earned run average and 1.13 WHIP. Both of those numbers would rank in the top-5 of the International League if he wasn’t about five innings short of qualifying for the leaderboard.

As the season is in its final month, Duncan has probably has three, maybe four starts, remaining. But Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor doesn’t want the momentum Duncan has gained to fade away. So, he’s urging Duncan to play in the Dominican Winter League this year.

Duncan said he is “absolutely interested” in playing winter ball and has no hesitations, as long as the Pirates organization is on board with the idea.

“I think your goals are to get ready to play a full major league season and part of winter ball is getting down there and getting more games under your belt,” Duncan said. “So, when that year comes and you’re hopefully in the big leagues and ready to go deep into the season, I think that’s what it’s mostly for.”

Treanor has coached multiple seasons in the Dominican Winter League, where he has gained manager of the year awards. There are winter leagues in the Dominican, Mexico, Venezuela, and Puerto Rico, but Duncan would likely end up in the Dominican due to the connections Treanor has within that league.

“It’s a different atmosphere and a more intense atmosphere,” Treanor said. “You have to perform right away and it’s just a different environment out there. The fans in winter ball are at a higher level than they are here in the states.”

The main goal of playing in a winter league will be for Duncan to continue the progress he has made this season. On Tuesday, Duncan pitched well with the exception of a few elevated fastballs. He allowed five hits and one walk, leading to a runner being on base in each of the first five innings, before retiring the side for the first time in the sixth inning.

“I think the biggest thing today and (his last outing) was his ability to make pitches,” Treanor said. “He gets into trouble and was able to work his way out of it, and you can’t say enough about that. I thought his stuff was good today and he used his slider well.”

Duncan struggled with his command in the first three starts he made returning from a thumb sprain that caused him to miss a start. He walked 10 batters in those three games.

But he’s only walked two batters and allowed eight hits in 14 innings over his last two starts. After returning, Duncan felt like his velocity increased slightly, but he had to learn to command his better stuff. Duncan’s velocity is sitting 89-90, where it was about 86-87 earlier in the season.

“I think I’m starting to settle into having a little more velocity,” Duncan said. “And it’s not much more, but it’s enough to make stuff sharper and better. I’m obviously learning how to pitch with that and I’ve done a pretty good job of that the last couple times out.”

And Duncan’s highlights didn’t end on the mound. He collected his first professional hit in the third inning, taking a two-strike curveball to rightfield for a lead-off single.

“I was just trying to hit anything,” Duncan said, adding his last hit may have been in high school.

Indianapolis has thrown 17 shutouts this season and nearly had another one against Louisville on Wednesday, while allowing one run or less in 38 games. And they were on a streak of 24 scoreless innings before Louisville scored four runs in the 10th inning.

Louisville put a quick end to the extra innings, sending nine batters to the plate and scoring four runs in the 10th inning. Bats shortstop Jose Peraza caused the most damage in the game — hitting three doubles, with his last coming in the 10th and serving as the game-winning hit. Alen Hanson nearly made an impressive diving catch, having the ball pop out as he hit the ground.

Louisville opened the 10th with a single, sacrifice bunt, and walk, which ended Curtis Partch’s day. Jorge Rondon entered in relief and the bottom quickly fell out. He walked the first two batters — one intentionally – the latter one forcing in a run. The Bats added two more runs on a fielder’s choice and single.

The Indians still managed to threaten in the 10th inning bringing, scoring a run on Max Moroff’s RBI single. And later in the inning Jose Osuna and Josh Bell came to the plate as the tying runs, but Osuna struck out and Bell hit a fly out.

Indianapolis appeared in position to win the game in the ninth inning. Bell led the inning off with a double to rightfield and Jason Rogers walked. But Danny Ortiz could not get a bunt down and Bell was picked-off going to third.

“Bell can’t get caught off there but it’s not uncommon for that to happen because you’re trying to get that good jump to get to third, so you get hung up,” Treanor said. “In that situation that can’t happen. Bell knows that, but it’s not uncommon for that to happen.”

Eight different players had a hit for Indianapolis, but nobody with more than one. – Brian Peloza


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Clay Holmes had a typical outing for him on Wednesday. He got a ton of soft contact on the ground. He broke a couple bats. He had some control issues and lots of foul balls, which led to him throwing a lot of pitches. The only thing that wasn’t typical was him giving up three earned runs, which happened just one other time in his previous 11 starts.

Holmes almost avoided the third run scoring. In the fifth inning, he got four weakly hit grounders and one batter reached on a bunt. The first batter reached on an infield single, then a grounder got him to second base. The bunt put runners on the corners, then another grounder was hit weak enough that they couldn’t turn a double play, allowing the run to score.  Holmes got another soft grounder to shortstop to end the inning.

There was nothing cheap about the second earned run Holmes allowed. He gave up a long home run to begin the fourth inning. Portland scored twice in the third inning, though a passed ball and a throwing error by Chris Stewart on the same play made one of the runs unearned.

Holmes walked the lead-off hitter, then allowed a soft single up the middle just under his glove. It looked like either Kevin Newman or Erich Weiss could have kept the ball from getting into the outfield and allowing the runner to advance to third base, but both of them being so close to the ball may have kept both of them from attempting to dive for it to knock it down. A line drive single scored the first run, then Stewart’s shenanigans brought home the second run and moved the runner from first all the way to third base.

Holmes threw 98 pitches in just five innings, with 57 going for strikes. He walked two, struck out four and had a 9:0 GO/AO ratio. He wasn’t wild in this game, just threw a lot of pitches to get his outs and didn’t miss by much on a few two-strike pitches. He wasn’t getting the outside of the plate to righties early, but that probably helped him later when the umpire started giving him the corner and batters weren’t swinging at it, thinking it was still being called a ball.

Kevin Newman picked up three hits, his first multi-hit game in two weeks. He scored a run, stole his sixth base with Altoona, and picked up an RBI. Anderson Feliz and Barrett Barnes each had a double and an RBI. For Barnes, it is his 24th double of the season. Elvis Escobar had a single and two walks. He walked once in his first 11 games since being promoted to Altoona.

Game Two: Alex McRae gave up a pair of two-run homers, yet still managed to throw a complete game victory on 86 pitches in game two of the doubleheader. He allowed seven hits and one walk, while striking out eight batters and posting a 7:2 GO/AO ratio. McRae has a 5.84 ERA in 13 starts with Altoona.

The Curve trailed 4-3 in this game going into the sixth inning when they loaded the bases for Jonathan Schwind. He connected on his third home run of the season, a grand slam that made the score 7-4, which is where it would stay. Kevin Newman topped off his nice day with a solo homer in the fourth inning. Every Altoona player reached base at least once. Jin-De Jhang had the only multi-hit game, picking up two singles, scoring twice and driving in a run. Edwin Espinal hit his 19th double and Eric Wood connected on his 16th double.


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Nick Kingham made his Bradenton debut in the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday and he pitched great. Kingham pounded the strike zone, getting through five shutout innings on just 58 pitches. He is capped at five innings this season as he continues his return from Tommy John surgery. Kingham allowed an infield single in the first inning, then another single in the second and fourth innings, but he was never in trouble this game. Only one runner reached second base and that was due to an error. He threw 43 of those 58 pitches for strikes, picking up three strikeouts and posting an 8:1 GO/AO ratio. Kingham made six starts for the GCL Pirates and had a 3.00 ERA in 24 innings, with only one walk.

Bradenton got on the board in the top of the first, as Jordan Luplow hit a two-out double, then scored on a Jerrick Suiter single. That would end up being the only run of the game, as the Marauders took game one by a 1-0 score. Suiter and Connor Joe each had two hits. Wyatt Mathisen hit his ninth double, to go along with a .300 average in 28 games. Junior Lopez threw two shutout innings for the save.

Game Two: Bradenton swept the doubleheader, coming back from a late 4-2 deficit in game two, to pull out a 5-4 victory. Tanner Anderson got the start and gave up four runs on eight hits over 4.2 innings. Jose Regalado followed him and retired all four batters he faced, which earned him to win. Luis Heredia got the save, but made things interesting by giving up two hits.

The Marauders had just four hits in the game, yet they still managed to score five runs. Tito Polo walked in the fourth inning, then moved to second base on a passed ball. He would score on a Kevin Kramer single, with Kramer moving to second on the throw. Jerrick Suiter then drove him in with a single for the second run.

In the sixth inning, the scoring again started with a Tito Polo walk. Kramer then reached on an error, but was forced out at second on a Suiter ground out. Polo would score on a Wyatt Mathisen single, which put runners on the corners. Suiter then scored on a Michael Suchy grounder, which ended up as a force out of Mathisen at second base. After Taylor Gushue reached on an error and Justin Maffei walked, Pablo Reyes singled home Suchy, while Gushue got thrown out at the plate on the play. That made the score 5-4, which is where it would stay.

Cole Tucker went 0-for-8 in the doubleheader with five strikeouts. He had a 19-game on base streak snapped on Tuesday, but he is now 3-for-31 in his last eight games.



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West Virginia was rained out. They will play a doubleheader tomorrow.


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Morgantown was rained out on Wednesday night. They will play a doubleheader tomorrow.

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Bristol has off today.


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The GCL Pirates used patience, speed and defense to help them to a 4-3 victory in ten innings on Wednesday. With the win, they moved within two games of the first place Braves. The Pirates scored twice in the ninth and then walked it off in the tenth on a single by Andrew Walker, which was just the fourth hit of the game for the Pirates.

Max Kranick started this game and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits in 4.1 innings He had no walks, three strikeouts and a 6:2 GO/AO ratio. In seven outings, he has a 2.45 ERA over 25.2 innings. Kranick has given up just two walks. Ronny Agustin relieved Kranick and threw 1.2 shutout innings, followed by one run over four innings from Oddy Nunez, who picked up the win

As mentioned, the offense had just four hits, all singles, with two from Paul Brands and one each from Andrew Walker and Johan De Jesus. They won by picking up ten walks, five stolen bases, and on defense, Yondry Contreras threw a runner out at third base and another out at home. Victor Ngoepe had two walks, a run, an RBI and his ninth stolen base. Nelson Jorge had two walks, an RBI on a sacrifice fly, and two stolen bases.

The Pirates got some bad news before the game. Mikell Granberry has a broken left hand from a hit-by-pitch yesterday. He will be out 8-10 weeks, which is more important on his part because he will miss the beginning of winter ball, as well as the end of the GCL season. Granberry put up a 1.012 OPS this month. His loss leaves the team without their best hitter recently and also means they only have two catchers. In the GCL, one catcher is in the bullpen for most of the game, as they use 3-5 pitchers each day. Paul Brands has been playing infield and Boomer Synek has been used as a DH, so now one of them will be catching and the other will be in the bullpen. Which means the Pirates will be even more short-handed unless they add a catcher, which is unlikely with two weeks left.


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The DSL Pirates lost 3-2 to the Yankees1, giving up a late lead to drop to 26-37 on the season with just nine games left. The Pirates got a run in the third inning on a lead-off triple by Eddy Vizcaino, followed by an RBI ground out from Kevin Sanchez. In the seventh, they manufactured a run on a Rudy Guzman walk, followed by a sacrifice bunt, wild pitch and an RBI single by Ramy Perez. The Pirates had the bases loaded in the fifth on a walk and two singles, but couldn’t get a run across the plate.

Yeudry Manzanillo started and allowed one run on four hits and a walk in five innings. He posted a 7:3 GO/AO ratio. He was the highest bonus pitcher last July 2nd for the Pirates, getting $150,000 to sign. Manzanillo has had some decent starts recently, but his strikeouts and walks have not been good. In 54.1 innings, he has a 23:22 BB/SO ratio. He has just eight strikeouts in his last seven starts. Manzanillo was followed by Armando Bustamante, who threw two shutout innings. He hasn’t allowed a run since July 7th. He is holding batters to a .161 BAA this season.

  • Had a chance to catch Altoona last night. Wanted to see Holmes. His fast ball was very consistent 92-93. Seemed to work it around ok. For the first couple of innings he seemed to be working on his changeup and didn’t throw more than a couple curves.
    When he went to the CB in the 3rd, he seemed to be slightly overthrowing it. When he threw it 81/82, it seemed to have less break and could not find the zone, mostly burying it. As he got more of a feel, he threw it 78/79 and was a plus weapon.
    Newman really impressed. Just solid line drives. His HR was a rope to LCF. Next ab he crushed one to RCF that the Sea Dog made a spectacular catch.
    He seemed very solid in the field with plenty of range, just a touch slow. Charged in on a few, good plays, good throws, but was late on each of them leading to IF hits.
    Chris Steward said he was feeling well before the game. Ran well (first to 3rd on a double to lf). His error was on after a wp where he tried to get the runner from 3rd and overthrew the pitcher covering. Espinal did not back up and the runner from first went to 3rd.
    Will be able to catch the weekend games in New Hampshire.

    • Just a correction on Stewart, it was a passed ball not a wild pitch, went right off his glove. Holmes has been throwing his 2-seam fastball a lot more recently, so that’s why the velocity is a little lower than earlier in the season when he wasn’t using the pitch at all

  • Oh look, Newman made another mistake. 🙂

  • Todd Shevchik
    August 17, 2016 9:56 pm

    Don’t get all excited. Duncan is the PTBNL in the Yankees deal with the Bucs for Nova.

  • Kingham looks like he’s recovering okay from that surgery. I look forward to seeing him work his way back next year.

  • Is it time to get concerned about Bell’s slump? He’s been under .230 since being sent down.

  • What is Duncan’s upside? I read the description on him from 2014 and 2015 and the words “too hittable” and “very hittable” appeared and now his WHIP and Hits/9 have decreased this year. Does he profile as a spot starter next year or long relief? His ranking of 29 doesn’t match up to his stats. Is that attributed to just average stuff across the board?

    • His upside would be a back-end starter, more likely would still be a spot starter/middle reliever who can get a lot of grounders. I would say his stuff is average across the board, but it plays up when his command is on and it’s been on a lot this year.

      His #29 ranking is more a product of a deep system than his pitching. If he continues to pitch well, he will probably move up a couple spots since I don’t think anyone behind him has passed him, but we will probably see Chad Kuhl off the list soon and I see a couple people who are trending down…but that’s talk for down the line.

      We may have to figure out where Adam Frazier fits in again. He is still 61 at-bats short of leaving the list and he’s not on pace for that, especially in September when he can lose some at-bats with more players around. I’m not a fan of his usage because I don’t think he was a finished product. He has 72 plate appearances since June 24th. For comparison sake, Alen Hanson just got his 189th plate appearance during today’s game. That’s a lot of sitting around for Frazier

      • When Jaso plays regularly
        .OPS .484
        FWAR -0.5
        Second half of the season
        What a huge waste of money and a roster spot

      • Is Kingham on a set schedule to get back to Indy in 2016?

        • Probably not until next year. My guess is that he will remain in Bradenton and pitch in the playoffs to get more innings. He could also do that at Altoona, but not Indianapolis

          • Thanks

          • Is Kingham still top of the rotation ceiling? Any chance he makes it to ML by June of next season?

            • I think his upside has always been a good number 3 starter

            • The first part can’t be answered yet. We will have to wait until next year when he’s going longer than five innings and we see where his velocity sits and if his secondary pitches still look as good. I think June is a possibility although I wouldn’t be surprised if he has a phantom injury and a DL trip right around that time to limit his innings just like Taillon did

      • I see your point on Frazier, but I’d also say that many of his 72 PA’s have contributed significantly to the outcomes of major league games. To me, that’s more valuable than the potential benefit he could gain from an extra 100 PAs.

        • Yeah, that’s two different subjects though. As far as helping the Pirates on offense, he definitely has contributed, but for his future I’m not sure that limiting his playing time is the best idea. I’m sure he is just fine with it now and you do learn things just by being in the majors, even if you’re sitting most of the time

          • I thought they did the same to Mercer when he was initially called up.

            • They did, but that doesn’t mean anything for Frazier. Mercer also played half of 2011 in Indy (split with Altoona), half of 2012 there, and went back there in 2013 until early May. He also played all of 2010 in Altoona. Mercer had 1460 plate appearances at the upper levels, more than double what Frazier has

          • For sure, definitely not disputing that less PAs inhibits his professional growth. I was just saying that I can live with the way they are using him, as the cost/benefit analysis makes sense, since 100 PAs is only like 20 games’ worth of experience.

    • Vance Worley.