Morning Report: A Look at the West Virginia Power at the All-Star Break

A few days ago, I took a look at each individual player on the Bradenton Marauders. The idea was just to see who was doing better than expected, as expected or not living up to expectations. The West Virginia Power are on their All-Star break and they are at the halfway point, so now is the perfect time to take a look at their roster. This roster clearly doesn’t have the prospect power of the Bradenton list, but there are some interesting players. Below, you will find all 32 players who have seen action with them, listed alphabetically, broken down into hitters and pitchers.

HITTERS

Stephen Alemais – Clearly a disappointment, as his off-season workouts for hitting were intense and involved mentoring by Jose Reyes and Carlos Beltran. Prior to his hand injury, his defense was as advertised, but the .646 OPS is well off what was expected.

Trae Arbet – Doing better than expected, especially with limiting strikeouts and showing some power. Strong kid, who swings hard.

Alexis Bastardo – Definitely exceeding expectations because I didn’t expect much from him and he’s been a decent player. A shoulder injury in 2014 really stalled a player who looked promising with lots of tools.

Albert Baur – He’s one of many players, who are older for the level and doing as expected.

Clark Eagan – Doing about the same as he did last year when he went by the name Ryan Nagle. His draft scouting reports really didn’t impress, so he’s right where I expected.

Victor Fernandez – Gets an incomplete due to being out for two months with a hamstring injury. You could say that the time missed makes it a disappointing first half.

Brent Gibbs – Hitting has been slightly better than expected, though that could normalize if you look at his one walk and 23 strikeouts in 18 games. Defense has been disappointing and the fact that he started in Extended Spring Training, where the reports weren’t good, means he is definitely below expectations at this point.

Chris Harvey – Has retired within the last month. I guess you could call that disappointing, but while he was playing the stats were as expected.

Kevin Mahala – I expected him to bounce around the infield and look like a decent utility player and he’s right there.

Ty Moore – Has put up decent stats, but he is repeating the level at 23 years old, so he should succeed in Low-A.

Carlos Munoz – Somewhat disappointing that he’s repeating the level in his last year before free agency. Isn’t really showing he should be higher up either.

Hunter Owen – I was going to say disappointing, but after thinking about it, he’s an outfielder who is trying to play third base, so it’s not his fault that the defense is bad at a position he won’t play in the future. He’s been hitting well, so we can call it even.

Arden Pabst – Has looked good behind the plate and his hitting stats are okay, so he’s right where I expected.

Logan Ratledge – Was disappointing that he was repeating this level, but he’s up at Bradenton now and doing as expected.

Adrian Valerio – He fits right in the middle of expectations. He has hit better than expected and the defense has been as advertised, but two injuries have really limited his playing time.

Sandy Santos – I had no expectations for Santos because he’s too hard to figure out. He has so many tools and no idea what to do with them. That’s not new this year though, he still makes as many mistakes as he did back in the DSL.

Andrew Walker – Has only played four games, but the fact he was called on when they needed infield help means that he was doing well in Extended Spring Training. So he get a nod in the better category. He’s with Morgantown now.

PITCHERS

Ronny Agustin – Has only pitched twice, so can’t grade him on that, but I will say that the reports I got on him didn’t do justice to his curveball. It’s a nasty pitch that he mixes with a 90-92 MPH fastball. Has some control issues, but has potential as well.

Matt Anderson – I’d say he is slightly below expectations though he does have a nice strikeout rate. Just not consistent enough.

Blake Cederlind – We expected him to have some growing pains as he works on fastball command and refining his off-speed pitches and he’s been on and off this year. So he’s right where I expected at this point.

Matt Eckelman – Usually I don’t put expectations on a college reliever unless we see things that say otherwise. Eckelman has a 5.13 ERA though, so that’s disappointing.

Luis Escobar – He was known to have great stuff before this season and to be inconsistent, so my expectations were that he would look great sometimes, look lost at others. He has been as expected, although his high strikeout total could give him a slight nod in the better category.

Matt Frawley – Was one of three pitchers who made great impressions during Spring Training. Just like the other two, he has lived up to what we saw back in March, which is impressive. Last year Billy Roth was impressive in Spring Training and he was released during the off-season at age 21, so it doesn’t always work out this way. Unfortunately, Frawley has been traded to the Yankees.

Geoff Hartlieb – Expectations weren’t high, but there was room to dream due to a fastball that reaches mid-90s. He has been a pleasant surprise this year with his 0.85 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.

Hector Garcia -We once had high hopes for Garcia, but injuries have derailed his career and his 2017 season.

Jordan Jess – He’s a 24-year-old reliever who was drafted out of college. Being a lefty almost always helps in the lower levels and he’s putting up stats that match his profile.

James Marvel – I expected more from Marvel, who has shown it at times. He missed two full years of pitching due to the timing of his Tommy John surgery, so there could still be some rust there. One thing that does help him is a slight uptick in his velocity this year.

Oddy Nunez – We got reports in spring that said watch Nunez and that he was throwing 4-5 MPH harder. He has definitely lived up to the spring expectations and them some. He’s nearly unhittable at times.

Dylan Prohoroff – Was considered a project despite getting a decent bonus in the eighth round last year. I thought he would be a little better than where he is now, but not enough to say he’s been disappointing.

Eduardo Vera – Along with Frawley and Nunez, Vera was the third player who took a huge step this spring. He’s now hitting 95 MPH, after sitting 88-91, and his secondary pitches have all showed improvements. He’s matching the reports we got, but even so, he has been special this season with four walks and 54 strikeouts in 52.2 innings.

Cam Vieaux – This is a tough one, because he’s putting up the stats you would expect from a 23-year-old pitcher in Low-A with strong college experience. The problem is that his velocity hasn’t been good and we really expected him to be with Bradenton by now. So you could say he’s not meeting expectations for those last two reasons and not performance related.

Mike Wallace – A pitcher who relies on off-speed pitches the way Wallace does, usually does well at the lower levels if the command is there. He’s right where I expected, although he wasn’t with the team to start the season, so you could say he’s ahead of my expectations from early April.

PLAYOFF PUSH

Bradenton has been eliminated from the first half playoffs

West Virginia has been eliminated from the first half playoffs.

*This section will disappear on Thursday and reappear later in the season with all eight affiliates and the Pirates updated daily.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Milwaukee Brewers by an 8-1 score on Monday night. The Pirates will send Chad Kuhl to the mound tonight for his 14th start, equaling his total from last year. He faced the Brewers on March 5th in a game that his outing was shortened to three shutout innings due to a rain delay. The Brewers will counter with 24-year-old right-hander Zach Davies, who  has a 4.91 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in 73.1 innings this season. He allowed two runs over 5.2 innings against the Pirates back on May 7th.

In the minors,  Tyler Glasnow will make his second start for Indianapolis. He allowed one run over six innings in his debut, giving up two hits, four walks and he struck out eight batters. West Virginia is on their All-Star break. They are sending three players to the All-Star game tonight, Ty Moore, Trae Arbet and Cam Vieaux, plus there is a chance another will go as a backup.  The Altoona starter for tonight’s game could be Dario Agrazal, who will be promoted to the Curve for his next start. If he goes on five days rest, then that would be tonight. Check back for any updates. I know TBD can’t pitch for everyone. Ike Schlabach is scheduled for Morgantown. More on him in the season preview, which will be posted today.

MLB: Pittsburgh (32-38) @ Brewers (38-34) 7:40 PM
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (5.61 ERA, 25:47 BB/SO, 59.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (39-30) vs Toledo (29-38) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (1.50 ERA, 4:8 BB/SO, 6.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (37-30) vs Trenton (46-23) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

High-A: Bradenton (36-29) @ Clearwater (37-31) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter:  TBD

Low-A: West Virginia (30-36) vs Lexington (34-35) 7:05 PM 6/22 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

Short-Season A: Morgantown (1-0) vs Mahoning Valley (0-1) 7:05 PM
Probable Starter: Ike Schlabach  (NR)

DSL: Pirates (6-8) vs Cubs1 (4-10) 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is Danny Ortiz doing his Bill Mazeroski impression by breaking a 9-9 tie in the ninth with a home run

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

6/19: Tomas Morales assigned to Altoona.

6/18: Chris Stewart activated from the disabled list. Jacob Stallings optioned to Indianapolis.

6/16: Pirates sign Shane Baz.

6/16: Justin Maffei assigned to Altoona.

6/15: Ronny Agustin assigned to West Virginia.

6/14: Matt Frawley sent to New York Yankees as part of earlier trade.

6/14: Francisco Cervelli activated from disabled list. A.J.Schugel optioned to Indianapolis.

6/13: Adrian Valerio and Victor Fernandez activated from disabled list. Sandy Santos and Andrew Walker assigned to Morgantown

6/13: Barrett Barnes placed on disabled list. Justin Maffei and Eury Perez assigned to Indianapolis.

6/13: Anderson Feliz assigned to Altoona.

6/12: Jameson Taillon activated from disabled list. Phil Gosselin optioned to Indianapolis.

6/11: Kevin Kramer placed on disabled list.

6/10: Chris Diaz traded to Miami Marlins.

6/10: Dovydas Neverauskas and Tyler Glasnow optioned to Indianapolis. A.J. Schugel and Edgar Santana promoted to Pittsburgh.

6/10: Pat Light designated for assignment.

6/10: Jason Stoffel assigned to Indianapolis. Placed on disabled list.

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade of note. Starting with the 1918 trade that sent pitcher Elmer Jacobs to the Phillies for pitcher Erskine Mayer. The deal looked good short-term for the Pirates, but they ended up putting Mayer on waivers in 1919 and he ended the season with the Chicago White Sox, who were the infamous Black Sox team that threw the World Series. Jacobs lasted in the majors eight years longer than Mayer, though he didn’t do much for the Phillies.

Players born on this date include utility fielder Rob Mackowiak (2001-05), outfielder Gary Varsho (1991-92, 1994), infielder Clem Koshorek (1952-53), pitcher Ed Warner (1912) and pitcher Bill Clemensen, who pitched for the Pirates in 1939, 1941 and 1946. He never left the Pirates for another team, instead he spent the 1940 season in the minors and 1942-45 serving in the military during WWII. You can find mini bios for all of these players in the link above.

Also including in the link above is a recap of two extra-inning wins over the Cubs on this date in 1983. Those games were the beginning of a nine-game win streak by the Pirates. You can find those boxscores here: Game One Game Two

  • Hate to say this but there are no real hitting prospects in WV. the Pirates international signings have been terrible for the past few years and it shows at this level. there is very little hitting in Morgantown and Bristol but I hope we get some pop out of the GCL. DSL is very young so maybe some of those hitters might succeed in time. I hope so.

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