Pirates Name Three Arizona Fall League Replacements

Back on September 9th, we reported that the Pittsburgh Pirates made major changes to their Arizona Fall League roster, pulling three of their seven players from the league. The replacement players for Austin Meadows, Trevor Williams and Dovydas Neverauskas were named today.

Joining Eric Wood, Montana Durapau, Jin-De Jhang and Edgar Santana on the Surprise Saguaros will be pitchers Alex McRae and Tanner Anderson, along with Connor Joe.

Joe is the now the best prospect going to the AFL for the Pirates. While he put up strong numbers on offense during the second half of this season for Bradenton, he also committed 25 errors in 96 games at third base. He finished with a .277/.351/.392 slash line, which are solid numbers for the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Joe had an .824 OPS in the second half of the season. He then hit three homers during the playoffs, helping Bradenton win the FSL title.

Anderson got stronger as the season went along, with is a theme with the three new players. He was sitting 92-94 MPH with his fastball on Monday when Bradenton won the FSL title. While the scouting report improved, the stats took a little bit of a hit with the mid-season jump to High-A ball. Anderson finished the season with a 3.58 ERA over 88 innings between West Virginia and Bradenton. He only had 50 strikeouts, but his pitch-to-contact ability led to many quick innings and an incredible 3.39 GO/AO ratio.

McRae split this season between Bradenton and Altoona, pitching well for most of the season, though he had a lot of trouble early on with the jump to Double-A. The 23-year-old righty finished with a 3.88 ERA in 155.1 innings, with 102 strikeouts, a .285 BAA, a 1.40 WHIP and a 1.31 GO/AO ratio. During the month of August, he had a 2.48 ERA and then threw six shutout innings in his last regular season start on September 1st. McRae struggled badly in his lone playoff start, giving up six runs on 12 hits in six innings.

The league begins play on October 11th and we will have daily coverage, including live coverage during the first week of November.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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Why they insist on playing Frazier in the outfield is beyond me….He has no business ever playing the OF. He’s a 2Bmen, not a utility guy, his defense in the outfield is some of the worst I’ve ever seen.


Glasnow sitting 92-94 with his FB again….Yet the guy stuck in MD thinks he should’ve been starting in PGH last year.

joe s

No new content. What is up with that?

Tim Williams

I had the flu all weekend.

Thomas H

Is this a sign that Neverauskas screwed up his career?


Think punishment.


I can’t discern what you are hinting about. Are you at liberty to say?


This is no place for this comment, but the wife is tired of hearing it. Freeze is almost an automatic to hit into a double play, he sucks. He makes tabata look like a fly ball hitter.


Sounds like an injury?


The drop in velocity sounds odd given his age.


If the NL ever adopts the DH, the Pirates are in good shape with Craig and Joe!


John … I understood from the mid season article that Jhang was in the 7th tier (that started at 42 and went to 65). Based on the Pirates’ praise (after Reese was traded), have you seen anything that would move him up a tier or two?


Has his development been delayed by having to split time with McGuire and getting the smaller share?


Given the relative splits in time it was clear that McGuire was seen as the better of the two prospects. But how much of that could be attributed to “bonus baby bias”? At the start of their MLB careers McGuire had better defense, spoke English, but had the weaker bat between the two. Jhang is growing in his English command. Does his defense have a high enough ceiling that he could eventually, say in three years, be of the same value as McGuire, seeing as his bat may always be the slightly better of the two players?


McGuire has never hit as well as Jhang.


I don’t ignore age, but with McGuire that narrative is getting old….It’s not like Jhang is 5 years older, he’s 2 years older. Not trying to say Jhang is a better prospect, saying he is a better hitter. Career OPS of .690 compared to .653 to Reese.

McGuire’s age=excuse on this site.


You didn’t offend me at all…I showed that Jhang has been the better hitter during their respective minor league careers. I’ve never been sold on McGuire….This site is his hype machine, nobody outside of this site believes in him they way you guys do.

I enjoy your feedback, but if you feel you don’t need to respond, I understand.


I am a bit surprised that Kevin Newman isn’t going to the AFL. It would give him an opportunity to work more on his defense at SS. However, with this being his first full season of professional baseball, he could probably use a rest.
Overall, we are sending a pretty underwhelming group, but then again, we usually do.


Connor Joe looks like someone to showcase for AL teams looking for a DH-3B/1B type. He does not look like a bad prospect, However, it is hard to see an easy path to the majors for him with the Pirates.


With the injury problems with catchers is De Jhang almost a lock to go on the 40 man roster?

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