A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time (Trevor Williams, Alen Hanson, Jose Osuna), or loses his prospect eligibility, he will be removed from this list. 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 more active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2017 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.
1. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
2. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
3. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php]
4. Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php]
5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
6. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
8. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Extended Spring Training – [insert_php]
13. Max Kranick, RHP, Extended Spring Training – [insert_php]
14. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – [insert_php]
15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
16. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
17. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
18. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
19. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php]
20. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
21. Stephen Alemais, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php]
22. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
23. Travis MacGregor, RHP, Extended Spring Training – [insert_php]
24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
25. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
27. J.T. Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
28. Chris Bostick, INF/OF, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
29. Connor Joe, 3B, Altoona – [insert_php]
30. Pat Light, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
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INDIANAPOLIS — There were no lack of pitchers used in the game, but there was a definite absence of offense.
Indianapolis used six pitchers in a 6-0 loss to Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Indians starter Cody Dickson lasted just 2.2 innings, which led to a rotating door of relief pitchers.
But those pitchers managed to put together a relatively solid outing. Edgar Santana, Angel Sanchez, Antonio Bastardo, and Pat Light combined to allow one run on four hits, striking out nine in 5.2 innings. Josh Lindblom allowed four runs in his one inning rehab appearance.
The biggest excitement from this game came from two people who didn’t play – Phil Gosselin and Max Moroff, who was a late scratch about 30 minutes before first pitch.
A little later, news from the Pirates’ clubhouse indicated Gift Ngoepe was being optioned back to Indianapolis and Alen Hanson was not traveling with the team to New York.
After the game, it was confirmed Moroff and Gosselin were being promoted to the Pirates.
Outside of those moves, not much noteworthy came out of Wednesday’s game.
Indianapolis barely managed any threats offensively. Lehigh Valley starter Thomas Eshelman, who entered with a 1.82 earned run average, allowed just five hits in a complete game shutout.
Joey Terdoslavich had a pinch-hit double with one out in the sixth inning, on a pitch that sawed off his bat into multiple pieces. Christopher Bostick followed with a walk, but Austin Meadows hit a shallow fly out to left field and Danny Ortiz grounded out.
In the eighth inning, Barrett Barnes had a pinch-hit bloop single, which was followed by Bostick’s double, putting runners at second and third. Meadows grounded out to end that threat.
Dickson worked around a one-out walk in the first inning, striking out Jorge Alfaro and Dylan Cozens. While Dickson worked out of the jam, he needed to throw 24 pitches in the first inning and that set the tone for his outing.
As has been a problem at times this season, Dickson lacked control. He only allowed one run on two hits in his 2.2 innings, but walked four batters and threw just 39 of his 67 pitches for a strike.
“He’s been a closer, a starter and everything in between,” Barkett said. “I don’t think he’s settled into a role yet to be comfortable. When you’re a starter you get used to a routine and sometimes it’s not easy to go into some of these roles we’ve asked him to do. He’s going through a lot of different experiences. He’s scuffled a little bit with his command, but he’ll bounce back. He has all year.”
And with Dickson not lasting through the third inning, that began a revolving door of relievers. Edgar Santana entered to get the final out of the third inning after pitching one inning on Tuesday.
Santana allowed a walk and a hit before striking out Jorge Flores to end the inning. That was just the second time this season Santana pitched on consecutive days, also doing so on May 17-18.
“We’re trying to get these guys into so many similar roles that they’re going to be in Pittsburgh,” Barkett said. “It’s just another example of us trying to do that. He’s going to have to do it back-to-back days, where he comes into the game to get one out or two outs. We’re trying to be creative with our scenarios.”
Antonio Bastardo pitched the seventh inning, in a scheduled rehab appearance. He allowed one run, though, he should have gotten out of the inning. A routine fly ball fell between left fielder Austin Meadows and center fielder Danny Ortiz. It appeared the two players lost the ball in the lights, as it simply fell in front of them for an RBI triple.
Josh Lindblom followed by pitching the eighth inning as part of his rehab stint, but he allowed four runs on four hits and one walk. He threw 17 of his 29 pitches for a strike. – Brian Peloza
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Altoona lost 4-2 on Wednesday night, as starter Tanner Anderson had an uneven outing against Akron. Known as a pitch-to-contact ground ball pitcher, Anderson came into the game with a career high of five strikeouts. That’s partially due to the fact that he was a long reliever prior to 2017. His longest career outing was six innings coming into this game. So this ended up not only being his longest outing with seven innings of work, he also shattered his strikeout record by recording eight of them. The problem was that he allowed two runs in back-to-back innings, giving up four or more runs for the third time in his last four starts.
Anderson was pounding the strike zone early in this game, recording quick outs for the first four innings, including four strikeouts. In the fifth inning, he gave up a triple, walk and a triple for the two runs. In the sixth, he gave up a lead-off single, which was followed by two strikeouts. Unforunately for Anderson, he couldn’t get that third out. A single and a double brought home two more runs. He finished this game with a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. Anderson now has a 4.41 ERA on the year, though that’s a split between his 2.01 April ERA and his 6.41 May mark.
Luis Heredia followed with two shutout innings, giving up two hits and a walk, while recording three strikeouts. He has a 4.97 ERA in 12.2 innings over nine appearances.
Altoona had just five hits in this game, but four of them went for extra bases. Connor Joe hit his tenth double, Edwin Espinal added his 16th and Jordan Luplow connected on his 12th double. Chase Simpson hit his first triple of the season. The only other hit was a single by Espinal, who now has a .312 average.
The Curve had one walk and ten strikeouts in this game. Kevin Kramer continued his May slider by going 0-for-2, though he did draw the one walk and also reached on a hit-by-pitch. Kevin Newman saw his average go down to .225 with an 0-for-4 night and he committed his fourth error.
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Bradenton won 1-0 in a game that included just five hits between the two clubs. Pedro Vasquez pitched a gem, throwing seven shutout innings on two hits and one walk. Jake Brentz and Daniel Zamora threw shutout innings to seal the victory.
I mentioned earlier this month that Vasquez was getting terrific results despite some flaws in his game. He had a low strikeout total and a low ground ball rate, which can work in the Florida State League where balls don’t travel well, but not in the upper levels. Vasquez followed that report up with 13 strikeouts in 13 innings over two starts, while also slightly improving his ground ball rate. In tonight’s game, he set a career-high with eight strikeouts and also posted a 7:5 GO/AO ratio. So not only is he getting great results with his 1.97 ERA in 59.1 innings, he is also improving his two weak areas, which in turn improves his prospect status.
The only run in the game scored in the fourth inning when Cole Tucker walked, then advanced to second base on a poor pick-off throw. Ke’Bryan Hayes then singled to drive in Tucker. That was also the first hit of the game for the Marauders. Will Craig later doubled and Mitchell Tolman singled for the other two hits. Casey Hughston struck out in all three at-bats in this one, but according to Nate March, the announcer for Bradenton, he made an outstanding diving catch to end the seventh and possibly keep a run off the board.
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West Virginia won 5-3 on Wednesday morning, getting strong pitching from starter James Marvel and reliever Oddy Nunez. Marvel went four innings in this game, as he continues to build up his pitch count after going 16 days between starts earlier this month. He had one bad inning, otherwise he breezed through his outing, allowing one run on two hits, a walk and five strikeouts. His sinking fastball was very effective down in the zone, getting those strikeouts, along with a 6:1 GO/AO ratio.
Nunez came in for the fifth in his first relief appearance of the year, although he ended up having his longest outing of the season. He basically dominated this game, though it looks like he got touched up in the sixth inning. He allowed three hits and two of those runners scored. Those hits were a drag bunt, an easy grounder to third base that Trae Arbet booted, and a swinging bunt that went about 30 feet and catcher Arden Pabst decided to let it go foul instead of make the play. It didn’t go foul.
If you watched it live, the inning actually got more ridiculous afterwards when the Arbet play was changed from an error to a hit. It seems like I’m tough on Arbet and Hunter Owen for their poor defense, but it’s mostly due to the fact that I’ve seen each of them botch easy plays multiple times and they go for hits, which only hurts the pitchers. Or last night, Arbet’s throwing error goes to Valerio for no reason.
Nunez pitched as well as anyone you will see in this game, yet he had two earned runs credited to him. If you’ve read prior reports when I’ve been able to watch him, you know this isn’t the first (or second) time that poor infield defense has cost him earned runs and extra pitches on his limited pitch count. His ERA could easily be around 2.50 (it’s 3.99) with halfway decent defense behind him. Nunez had no walks, three strikeouts and a 9:2 GO/AO ratio, needing just 56 pitches to get through his five innings.
Adrian Valerio did more of the same we’ve seen from him recently in this game. He extended his hit streak to nine games with a single late. Earlier in the game, he put down a sacrifice bunt with the hit streak on the line. He stole his fourth base of the season and he looked strong on defense again, making some tough plays look easy. It’s basically the same thing every game with Valerio. He puts together solid at-bats, has been using his speed more often, though he isn’t the fastest base runner. I would rate him average speed, but it plays up because he’s always hustling.
The scoring came on a three-run homer from Arbet, which was his team-leading seventh of the season. He had a total of four homers in his first four seasons. He doesn’t have the best plate patience and swings and misses a lot, but he swings hard and make a lot of solid contact when he does make contact. He has cut down his strikeouts at this point to an acceptable number, which was an issue in the past. Kevin Mahala also homered off of the bench, his first of the season.