Prospect Watch: Kuhl Looks Solid in Return; Keller Continues Recent Struggles

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’);
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2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20160801′);
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3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20160801′);
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4. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20160801′);
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5. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20160801′);
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6. Nick Kingham, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20160801′);
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7.Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20160801′);
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8. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(641771,’P’,’20160801′);
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9. Will Craig, 3B, Morgantown –  [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20160801′);
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10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20160801′);
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11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20160801′);
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12. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20160801′);
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13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20160801′);
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14. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20160801′);
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15. Gage Hinsz, RHP, West Virginia  – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20160801′);
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16. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592866,’P’,’20160801′);
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17. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20160801′);
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18. Tito Polo, OF, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(622738,’B’,’20160801′);
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 19. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20160801′);
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20. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(663399,’P’,’20160801′);
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21. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20160801′);
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22. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20160801′);
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23. Taylor Hearn, LHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20160801′);
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24. Adrian Valerio, SS – Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20160801′);
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25. Braeden Ogle, LHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20160801′);
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26. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20160801′);
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27. Travis MacGregor, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669740,’P’,’20160801′);
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28. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20160801′);
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29. Frank Duncan, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(641538,’P’,’20160801′);
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30. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20160801′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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Chad Kuhl took the loss on Monday night, but the only run he allowed in his sixth innings of work was unearned. Indianapolis dropped a 1-0 decision to Columbus, as their bats went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Kuhl looked terrific in this game, allowing four hits and he didn’t walk a batter. He had six strikeouts and threw 58 of his 85 pitches for strikes. He had a 4:5 GO/AO ratio, but there weren’t many well hit balls until the last two batters.

Kuhl was on a slightly limited pitch count due to leaving his last start early and going nine days between starts. He left a couple pitches up at the end and that resulted in a double off the wall, and a fly out to the wall in left field. Other than that, he pitched great and the only run scored due to a Willy Garcia fielding error. Before the two-out double in the sixth, he retired eight batters in a row, which went back to the play that Garcia made the error on in the fourth inning.

Jason Rogers had two of the six hits by Indianapolis. Dan Gamache’s double was the only extra-base hit. Josh Bell, Danny Ortiz and Alen Hanson each contributed a single. Bell stole his second base of the season.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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Altoona has off on Monday.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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Bradenton lost 2-1 on Monday night, as Yeudy Garcia labored through five innings. Garcia needed 85 pitches to get through his outing, with 50 going for strikes. He allowed both runs, giving up five hits, three walks, and he hit a batter. With five strikeouts, he extended his Florida State League lead to 108 on the season. Garcia was coming off one of his more efficient outings last time out, going 6.2 innings on 87 pitches. Tate Scioneaux followed Garcia and faced the minimum over three innings, striking out three batters. He allowed a single, but that runner was thrown out trying to steal.

The Marauders scored their only run in the fourth, as Kevin Kramer started the inning with his 22nd double, then scored after consecutive ground outs to second base, with Chase Simpson picking up the RBI. Elvis Escobar hit his 18th double and also walked, carrying his hot hitting from July (.868 OPS) into the first day of August. Connor Joe had a single and a walk in four trips to the plate.

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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HAGERSTOWN, MD – Mitch Keller had another early exit in West Virginia’s ten-inning, 5-4 win over Hagerstown. Keller lasted only three and two-thirds innings, allowing three runs on seven hits. He walked none and struck out three.

Keller breezed through the first two innings, allowing only an infield hit. He ran into trouble with one out in the third. It started with a bunt single and a hit batsman. Two hard-hit, RBI singles followed, both off changeups. In the fourth, Keller hit the lead-off batter, then allowed three straight, one-out singles to bring in a run. Another infield hit loaded the bases and ended Keller’s night.

In both the third and fourth innings, he threw a lot of pitches, running his total to 85. Throughout the outing, Keller was able to get two strikes on hitters but couldn’t put them away. One problem was that he wasn’t able to get his curve over for strikes, and another was that his change wasn’t very effective, which probably accounts for the fact that he didn’t throw it much. His fastball started off at 94-97 and he was still reaching 96 toward the end of his outing. At times he was able to get swings and misses on high fastballs and he also threw it inside effectively, with a lot of pitches popped up or fouled off. Keller’s curve was in the low 80s and his change about 89, which may not have been enough separation from his fastball. His control was fine but a few fastballs caught too much of the plate, mainly in the fourth inning.

Cesilio Pimentel followed and threw four and a third shutout innings. Pimentel often struggles with his command, but didn’t in this game. He allowed just one hit, walked nobody and fanned five. Seth McGarry inherited a 4-3 lead in the ninth, but gave up a long HR with two outs to tie the game. McGarry’s fastball was sitting at 92 and he threw a lot of low 80s curves.

The bottom two-thirds of the Power lineup mostly hit the ball hard. Logan Hill seems to have recovered from his earlier problems. He went 2-for-5 and had two long drives caught in the outfield. Carlos Munoz, Ryan Nagle and Christian Kelley had two hits apiece, with Kelley driving in the game-winner in the top of the tenth. Casey Hughston struggled to make contact, getting fooled repeatedly by off-speed pitches and striking out three times while going 1-for-6.

Kelley showed a strong arm behind the plate. The Suns stole two bases while Keller was on the mound, but both runners had good jumps. On the second steal, the pitch was in the dirt and Kelley had to make a lunging pickup and throw from his knees while falling forward. Despite the extremely awkward situation, he narrowly missed catching the runner. Kelley made another strong throw to catch a runner with Pimentel on the mound. – Wilbur Miller

Prospect-Watch-Morgantown

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Morgantown lost 2-1 on Monday night, as Danny Beddes had some control issues we haven’t seen from him recently. The 15th round draft pick from this year now has a 2.32 ERA after allowing one earned run over five innings. This wasn’t his best outing, throwing just 44 of his 80 pitches for strikes. He walked three and gave up five hits, while finishing with two strikeouts. In his previous three starts, Beddes went six innings each time and walked a total of two batters. Cristian Mota finished off the game, throwing three shutout innings after Beddes left.

The lone run for the Black Bears scored in the sixth inning, as Stephen Alemais reached on an error, then scored four batters later on a two-out single by Kevin Krause.

Austin Meadows played his third rehab game and went nine innings for the first time. He played center field and went 1-for-4 with a single. Will Craig also went 1-for-4 with a single, as he now has his batting average up to .248 through 36 games. Kevin Krause had two hits, with Morgantown collecting just four hits in the game.

Prospect-Watch-Bristol
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Bristol lost 10-2 to Johnson City, with starter Nicholas Economos and reliever David Whitehead allowing five runs each. Economos lasted three innings and allowed seven hits. He now has a 6.09 ERA in 34 innings over eight starts. Whitehead went just 2.1 innings and allowed five hits and two walks in his limited time. Despite pitching in Altoona this season, he has a 9.58 ERA in ten appearances with Bristol. Evan Piechota joined Bristol from the GCL Pirates and threw a scoreless inning. He replaced fifth round pick Blake Cederlind, who went on the disabled list with arm soreness.

Bristol scored a run in the third inning before they collected their first hit of the game. Raul Siri walked, which was followed by a throwing error and then a sacrifice fly from Garrett Brown. In the fourth, Jhoan Herrera led off with a double, then scored the second run for the Pirates on a single by Alexis Bastardo. Herrera finished with two doubles, giving him nine on the season. Bastardo had two singles and a walk.

Prospect-Watch-GCL

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The GCL Pirates won 3-1 on Monday to maintain their top spot in the division. The Pirates saw their lead cut to a 1/2 game on Saturday, and that’s despite a 14-18 record coming into play on Monday. The Pirates got 3.1 shutout innings from starter Miguel Hernandez, who was very wild in this game, reaching his pitch count well before his limit of five innings. He gave up three hits, two walks and hit two batters, while picking up five strikeouts. Two of the hits were infield hits, and he got three ground ball outs, so the opposition wasn’t doing much when he did throw strikes. Hernandez now has a 2.25 ERA and he has thrown shutout ball in five of his seven starts.

Chris McDonald followed Hernandez and allowed one run over 3.2 innings for the win. Francis Rodriguez threw two innings of shutout ball for the save.

The Pirates trailed 1-0 going into the seventh inning. Melvin Jimenez reached on an error. He stole second, then went to third on a wild pitch. Raul Hernandez then walked and stole second, which was followed by a two-run double from Felix Vinicio. The Pirates added an insurance run in the eighth on a single from Paul Brands, who moved to second on an Andrew Walker walk, then scored on a throwing error.

Raul Hernandez walked three times in four trips to the plate. Edison Lantigua connected on his fourth double. He also has five triples this season, which ties him with teammate Henrry Rosario for the second most triples in the league.

Prospect-Watch-DSL

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The DSL Pirates were rained out on Monday.

  • Weird not seeing McGuire and Ramirez listed in the top prospects. I haven’t felt this bad about being a Pirate fan since the previous management team passed on Weiters. I could have parted with Ramirez, but losing McGuire hurts the system. Even if they didn’t like how he was developing him then it was an issue taking him 13th overall.

  • Wilbur I don’t know if you were at the power game at hagerstown but spot on with your analysis was impressed with pimentil though I would have sent a lot more runners home and took a chance with those outfield arms of the suns.will be there the next 2 games also so I will buy u a beer if you want to show my appreciation for reading your outstanding reports

  • John … Any info on why Krause is still in SS WV? Is he still recovering from TJ surgery? It seems like a college hitter should at least be in A-ball at this point.

    • That’s the reason he wasn’t ready by Opening Day of the minor league season and why he needed Extended Spring Training to get back into game shape. I’m not sure why he isn’t higher, but it’s probably a combo of his poor defense and WV not needing a DH with Arribas and Munoz splitting that spot.

  • John – I see that Hutchison has 3.128 years accumulated ML service time. How many days would he have to have in the minors next year to get an additional year before free agency (if it gets to that). Is it simply 182 days X 0.128 = 23.3 days?

    • I thought .128 actually meant 128 days

      • You may be right. If that’s the case no chance for an extra year. Grasping for straws…

        • He currently has 3 years and 137 days, which means if they keep him down until August 31st, which I fully expect, they will still get three full seasons out of him. I can not imagine they would call him up before then and throw away a year of control. He has spent most of this season in the minors, picking up just nine days so far and they already assigned him to Indianapolis.

  • silversalmon586
    August 1, 2016 9:30 pm

    Just want NH to explain it to my 9 year old BC I sure as hell have not been able to so so tonight when I told him about the trade. Like everyone said, thought this was past us. We will never be a true WS contender by continuing this…

    • Think of the children Neal!!!!!!! LOL
      Well he said they had faith in this new pitcher take it how you will.

      • I’m pretty sure BC stands for border collie. I have a 3 year old border collie and told her about the trade and she left when she realized I wasn’t talking about going out or feeding her

        • After you told her about the trade did she say don’t bother on take your dog to the park day the rest of the year?

          • She said it was a pawful deal, and too ruff for her to handle. She likes puns, I just like the fact she talks

            • My dog said the pirates should have thrown a few more bones into the deal and saved the prospects. He also said he would like to bury the front office in the back yard. He also called Nutting’s wife a bitch…I said don’t you mean his dog? He said “you heard me right the first time.”

        • I needed that John.. Thank you

    • Just tell your 9 year old that simply not having Liriano go out and pitch every 5 days for the rest of the season means the Pirates will win at least 3-4 more games by the end of the year. The book is out on Liriano…simply don’t swing and you’ll get on base.

  • Inconsistent philosophies shown at this trade deadline. Since when are we trading multiple top prospects instead of sending cash? Why not just send Liriano and Ramirez for a no name suspect or PTBNL?

  • gosteelers69
    August 1, 2016 8:57 pm

    I feel depressed as a baseball fan. Thankfully the Penguins won the Stanley Cup and training camp has opened for the Steelers.

  • That’s the kuhl I remember!

    • Keeping Hutchison at AAA through August just got a whole lot easier, thanks to Kuhl’s efforts last night. So we are at Cole, Taillon, Kuhl, Brault, with cameo’s from Jeff Locke, Ryan Vogelsong, and others as needed.

  • Why is it that all of the catchers that we draft on the first round end up in Toronto?

  • You just wonder which two of these non-40 man prospects we’re going to be giving away to the Yankees for one of the terrible pitchers we traded for today.

    • After seeing the Toronto nightmare you have to think Yuedy and Mitch don’t you. Eeek

  • I don’t see catcher as a strong place of depth in the minors….

    • It’s not anymore. Diaz is a decent prospect and that gives the Pirates three catchers for the next couple years, so it’s not a short-term issue. Jin-De Jhang would be next, he’s a possible back-end top 50 due to his bat, then you have all defensive catchers with no bats and there are a lot of them. As far as defense goes as an organization, they are absolutely stacked. Can’t imagine there is a team with better overall defense behind the plate from top to bottom in the minors. Even the backups for most teams are plus defenders. But, they only have two who hit good enough to be considered top 50 prospects, Diaz and Jhang.

      • They must be convinced diaz is the guy and draft another catcher high next year.

        • because they have done so well drafting catchers in the first round?

          • I don’t agree with it, but it must be their rationale. Why didn’t we trade freese or jaso. Too get hanson, bell up.

            • I am as confused as you are…..I am also extremely disillusioned at this point (as I’ve mentioned elsewhere).

              I’m almost past the point of caring. I thought we were done with salary dumps and giveaways.

              Feels like Lofton and Aram for Bobby Hill all over again.

              • I never thought NH would sell out like this. I just don’t like our chances in the future now that teams with money are making good decisions like the cubs and Yankees.

              • Obviously we are either unable to or unwilling to be a serious contender or make any significant salary additions in the future in order to field a championship caliber team . Very saddened. To me the Pirates are going to be returning to their AAA status for big market franchises 🙁

          • 0 for 2

      • Which brings up an interesting question. Jin DE Jang always seemed to hit better than Reese. Now that Reese is gone will the additional innings available in the system enable him to develop defensively so that he will develop into a better prospect than Reese? Also, how does Taylor Gushoe compare to Reese?

        • Jhang hits for average, but he’s not a power guy and doesn’t take walks. He isn’t athletic behind the plate. He’s just an average catcher at best, and maybe you get to someone you call average if he plays full-time.

          Gushue is strong defensively, not really in the same class as McGuire, but not many players in baseball are. He has a long way to go with the bat. It’s hard to project a major college player struggling in High-A in his second full season to be a legit prospect

  • How the he’ll is Keller the fifth best prospect? He had a couple of good starts in a ball. He hasn’t done anything yet. Let him prove his worth at a much higher level before moving him so high. Is he better than McGuire or Rameriz who were doing it in double A or just moved up because those guys were just given away for nothing?

  • John … Do the Pirates have to forfeit their games tonight because the don’t have enough prospects left to field a team?

  • hard to care about any of this after todays events. Always new we were short stacked but I had no idea it was this bad. i thought we were past this. I do want to believe in NH so that leaves only one real answer to todays disaster and thats BN

    • I was about to post the same IC.

      I was hoping we could use our prospects to get some good pitchers/players and we end up giving two of our Top 10 away for nothing.

      Very, very disillusioned tonight.

      • My first take about 4 hours ago was less than glowing, but after getting away from it for awhile, Nova and Hutchison could be decent adds. I liked Ramirez and McGuire, but would they ever have a chance to play at PNC? Very doubtful.

        Liriano and Niese will be missed, but only by the Paymaster. It was unexpected, but probably overdue.

        • In a vacuum, I really like adding Hutch. Nova is meh, but whatever.

          The issue isnt the future of the two prospects, its the value they had when we moved them.

          I cant see any logical way we gave up fair value for that trade. Even as a salary dump, Hutch does not have the type of high value to demand this return, even with them eating salary.

          We basically gifted 1 prospect for no reason.

      • Please help me understand. We traded an outfielder (Broxton) in the majors, a 19 year old pitcher we gave a million dollar bonus, for a 3rd/1st basement that couldn’t make the major league roster.
        We traded a 2nd baseman that hit for average power and RBIs for a pitcher that lost 3-4 mph off his fastball. Then traded him back for a relief pitcher that we didn’t want.

        Friday, we traded the best reliever in the majors the last three years for two young lefty pitcher’s (I kinda of like this trade)
        Today, we traded for a pitcher with an era over 5 for two mtbn later. And the pitched we got is for only two months.
        We trade a major league pitcher, plus a first round 21year old catcher and a 19 years old outfielder that has hit everywhere he goes. All this for a minor league pitcher.
        Again I ask…..can someone explain all this to me???

        • Wilbur Miller
          August 2, 2016 1:01 am

          Salary dump.

          • Wilbur: Good call, but how about SDWB – salary dump with benefits. Bastardo will be traded. Nova is 29, still working to get back to pre-TJ ability, and his stock is down right now. Could he be amenable to a reasonable, but short term extension through 2017 to build up for a long term FA Contract after 2017? Hutchison is young and can help.

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