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]
2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
4. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php]
5. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
6. Nick Kingham, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
7.Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php]
8. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Pirates – [insert_php]
9. Will Craig, 3B, Morgantown – [insert_php]
10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
12. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
14. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
15. Gage Hinsz, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
16. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
17. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
18. Tito Polo, OF, Bradenton – [insert_php]
19. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
20. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
21. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
22. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
23. Taylor Hearn, LHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
24. Adrian Valerio, SS – Bristol – [insert_php]
25. Braeden Ogle, LHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
26. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
27. Travis MacGregor, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
28. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
29. Frank Duncan, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
30. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
INDIANAPOLIS — Alen Hanson is a player the organization wants hitting line drives and keeping balls on the ground so he can use his speed to his advantage.
But there can be exceptions made to that rule and Monday’s game against Louisville provided one. Hanson hit a walk-off grand slam in the ninth inning, giving the Indians a 5-2 win.
Hanson hit the first pitch of his at-bat to the opposite field for the grand slam off Louisville reliever Kevin Shackelford. He was, at bare minimum, looking to drive a ball to the outfield to bring home the game-tying run.
“I thought he attacked the first pitch and got something he could handle,” Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor said, noting Hanson’s approach to get the tying run home. “When you do that and have the right approach, good things happen sometimes. Yeah, we try to get him to hit line drives and keep it on the ground, but in that situation, he probably won’t be scolded on that one.”
Hanson went 3-for-5 and led two innings off with hits, including a leadoff double in the first inning. The Indians scored all five of its runs in the ninth inning, rallying from a deficit after eight innings for just the second time in 49 opportunities this season. Dan Gamache had an RBI pinch-hit single in the ninth inning for the Indians’ first run of the game.
Before the Indians’ ninth-inning rally, it appeared their offense was going to have another inefficient game. But that’s nothing out of the norm for when Trevor Williams starts as Indianapolis has scored two runs or less in six of the last 10 games Williams has started.
In terms of evaluating prospects, the win-loss record of a starting pitcher is pretty inconsequential. But there may be some benefit to not getting much run support, as Williams isn’t getting the luxury of pitching stress-free innings with a large lead.
“That’s a good way to look at it — he has to do everything he can to keep us in the game to give us a chance and give himself a chance,” Treanor said. “And it seems like in those games every pitch he makes is a big pitch because of that. To raise the level he has to go at, that’s a good thing.”
Williams didn’t think he had his “best stuff” in the five innings he pitched, allowing two runs on seven hits. He struck out four and walked one batter, throwing 58 of his 87 pitches for a strike.
“He had a little trouble putting guys away so his pitch count got up there,” Treanor said. “I think he got hurt by some soft hits.”
Williams retired the side in order in the first inning, but allowed a run in the second and third innings. He gave up four hits in those two innings — but only one was hit sharply.
Beau Amaral reached on a bloop single in the third inning, while Jose Peraza had a single through the second base hole after Hanson went to cover the bag with the runner moving on the pitch. Hernan Iribarren then hit an RBI single on a bloop hit to center. Three hits, none hard, but one run across.
“You’re always wanting to put up zeroes whether you’re up by 10 or it’s a 1-0 game,” Williams said. “Definitely putting up zeroes helps team morale. I think it’s important to put up zeroes for the hitters. Run support or not it is what it is. The runs will come and the wins and losses will even out at the end of the year.”
Williams has allowed two runs or less in eight of his last 10 starts and was coming off a 1-0 loss in which he allowed four hits and the lone run of the game. In the end, Williams isn’t worried about his win-loss record, but the development of his game.
“It goes on the back of your baseball card but that’s about it,” Williams said. “It is what it is. I don’t get closer to 100 career wins when I have any in the minors.”
In the first eight innings, a walk may have been the biggest offensive highlight of the game for Indianapolis. Max Moroff did not start, but was used as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning and drew a walk, his 73rd of the season. That set a single-season franchise record for walks during the Victory Field era, which encompasses the past 20 years.
But the most notable pinch-hitter of the night entered in the seventh inning: Josh Bell, who did not start for the second consecutive game. Bell is only hitting .214 with a slugging percentage of .276 in 28 games since returning from his brief promotion with the Pirates.
“I thought he could use a day to reflect on things,” Treanor said, adding, “I would guess he’s in the lineup tomorrow.”
Hanson led the eighth inning off with a single, but Louisville reliever J.J. Hoover struck out the side to end that threat. He led the first inning off with a double down the rightfield line. But after Austin Meadows struck out, Hanson was caught trying to steal third.
Diaz led the seventh inning off with a single, but was erased when Willy Garcia hit into a double play for the 18th time this season. Danny Ortiz walked and Gift Ngoepe singled, to set up Bell’s pinch-hit strikeout. – Brian Peloza
Altoona has off today.
Bradenton lost 4-3 to Ft Myers in a game that was delayed at the start for two hours due to rain. Buddy Borden started and allowed four runs (three earned) over 4.1 innings. Borden has not adapted well to the starting role after coming over from the Rays earlier this season. He was being used out of the bullpen and as a spot starter since they acquired him for Sean Rodriguez before last season. The bullpen followed Borden with 4.2 scoreless innings to keep the Marauders close, but the offense came up short. Justin Topa made his first appearance above the GCL since his Tommy John surgery and he threw a scoreless eighth inning.
The Marauders got two hits from Cole Tucker, who drove in a pair of runs. He has been in a slump recently, going 3-for-22 in his previous seven games, though he maintained an on base streak during that stretch due to drawing some walks. He now has that streak up to 18 games. Jordan Luplow also had two hits. He scored a run and picked up an RBI. Luplow raised his OPS to .751, which leads all regulars on the Marauders. Connor Joe went 0-for-3, but his walk extended his on base streak to 14 games.
West Virginia has off today.
Morgantown is off until Wednesday due to the NYPL All-Star game.
BRISTOL, VA – Adam Oller had a great outing tonight, throwing five shutout innings with two hits, one walk, and three strikeouts. The 20th round pick this year was extremely efficient throughout the game, with three innings where he threw 11 pitches each, one inning where he threw 16 pitches, and one where he threw just six pitches. His control was on as he pounded the strike zone, and he primarily worked off the fastball, with very little off-speed stuff.
That last note hasn’t been the case all year with Oller. He has good secondary stuff, and coming from the college ranks, he was used to pitching off that secondary stuff, as most pitchers need to pitch around metal bats. That’s not the approach you want to take in pro ball, and the Pirates have been trying to get him to trust his fastball, telling him that it’s a decent fastball when he keeps it down.
“He has, coming from college, been more pitching off his off-speed,” Bristol Manager Kory DeHaan said after tonight’s start. “He started with that as he came into the season, and we’ve slowly but surely been working him off [that approach].
Oller got a lot of easy outs, and mixed in his secondary stuff for a few strikeouts. He’s not really a strikeout pitcher, and might not have the stuff to be a starter in the long-term, with an 87-90 MPH fastball that touches 91, but he should keep getting starts the rest of the year, and could be a long reliever next year at one of the A-ball levels.
David Whitehead came on in relief, and continued his horrible season with control, while also having the most Appalachian League inning ever. He started with a leadoff walk, then got a broken bat chopper back to the mound, fielding it while avoiding the bat. He threw to second, but one hopped the bag. Fortunately, Adrian Valerio made a nice scoop and a strong throw to get the out at second and get the runner at first. Whitehead then walked the next batter, followed by a wild pickoff throw to first, allowing the runner to advance to second. Yoel Gonzalez then picked off the runner at second base on a one hop throw, with the runner being so slow to the bag that he was tagged out easily, with no slide attempt. All of this said, it’s not a good sign that Whitehead continues with his control problems at this low a level.
Geoff Hartlieb, taken in the 29th round this year, threw two shutout innings, but had some problems in the second, loading the bases before getting out of a jam with a swinging strikeout on an inside fastball. He was mostly a two pitch guy, sitting 88-91, touching 92, with an upper 70s slider. The fastball velocity is down from the report from college, where he was said to be hitting 95 in shorter outings. This could be due to being so late in the year though.
The lone run from the Bristol offense came on an RBI double by Jhoan Herrera, scoring Daniel Cucjen. The main player I’ve been focusing on with the team on offense is Adrian Valerio. He hasn’t looked good, with some poor pitch recognition, especially on curveballs, which has led to some bad strikeouts the last two days. Defensively, he looks smooth, and his defense will keep him as a starter at the shortstop position going forward, getting a lot of chances to move up throughout the system. But he’s got a long way to go with the offense, and needs to take an approach where he settles on being a singles hitter with extra base hit power, rather than trying to be a power hitter. – Tim Williams
The GCL Pirates picked up a big victory on Monday, topping the Yankees East by a 5-2 score. The Pirates kept pace with the first place Braves, who they trail by three games with 15 games left in the season. Jacob Taylor started this game and went 2.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks, striking out four batters. The 2015 fourth round pick is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery. This was his second game, though he did pitch on the side last week due to two rain outs messing up the pitching schedule. Taylor was sitting 94-96 MPH in his first start back.
The game included another Tommy John return, with lefty Hector Garcia pitching for the first time. He threw a scoreless inning with one hit, one walk and two strikeouts. I was told that he was very wild to the first few batters, then he settled down and struck out the last two hitters. He was mixing in all of his pitches, which is a good sign at this point in his return. He’s still shy of his 21st birthday, and was rated in the top 50 in out 2015 Prospect Guide before the injury, so he is still a young pitcher with upside.
Eduardo Vera finished out the game for the save, throwing two shutout innings. This was the first time he has gone longer than an inning in his return from…you guessed it, Tommy John surgery. In five innings, he has allowed two hits, one walk and no runs.
The Pirates scored three runs in the third inning, doing all of the damage with two outs. Luis Benitez tripled, then Melvin Jimenez walked. After he stole second base, Mikell Granberry drove in both runs with an opposite field single. Granberry then scored on a triple from Edison Lantigua.
In the fifth, the Pirates added two more runs. These came about strictly due to a wild pitcher. Benitez walked and stole second. Jimenez walked and two wild pitches moved both runners up. A third wild pitch scored Benitez, then Jimenez scored on a Lantigua grounder. The ball never left the infield the entire inning, even on the outs.
Felix Vinicio had two walks and two singles. Yondry Contreras had a single and his sixth double.
The DSL Pirates lost 6-2 to the leader in their division, the 44-16 Rangers1. The Pirates had a 2-1 lead going into the ninth inning before Randy Jimenez and Ramon Garcia combined to allow five runs. Roger Santana started and continued his strong season. In 13 starts this year, he has allowed two earned runs or less in every game. He now has a 1.47 ERA through 61.1 innings. Santana had a 5:1 GO/AO ratio, but the entire game was ground balls, with a combined 23:2 GO/AO ratio between all of the pitchers used in this game from both sides.
In the fifth inning, the Pirates got a single from Cristopher Perez and a walk from Eddy Vizcaino. Those were followed by a double from Gabriel Brito, which brought home two runs. The only other Pirate to reach base all game was Vizcaino on a seventh inning walk.