Morning Report: Leaders Around the Farm System at the Halfway Point

It’s close to the halfway point for all four of the full-season affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates. The West Virginia Power wrapped up their first half yesterday and the other three teams are all a couple games short of that mark. So now is a good time to look at the leaders in the system in some of the main statistical categories. At the end of each month I break them down into the team leaders, but this list covers the entire system.

For the average, slugging, OBP stats I used a minimum of 100 plate appearances. For the pitching stats, I went with 35 innings minimum.

HITTING

Average: Phil Gosselin .330, Kevin Krause .311, Albert Baur .307, Wyatt Mathisen .305, Chris Bostick .303

Slugging: Max Moroff .569, Kevin Krause .567, Jordan Luplow .545

OBP: Jordan George .399, Wyatt Mathisen .394, Will Craig .393, Kevin Krause .392

2B: Edwin Espinal 21, Chris Bostick 20, Kevin Kramer 17

3B: Casey Hughston 6, Cole Tucker 5, Ke’Bryan Hayes 4, Connor Joe 4

HR: Logan Hill 15, Jordan Luplow 15, Max Moroff 13

SB: Cole Tucker 27, Ke’Bryan Hayes 19, Alexis Bastardo 11

BB: Carlos Munoz 33, Max Moroff 31, Mitchell Tolman 31

SO: Casey Hughston 67, Logan Hill 64, Eric Wood 59

PITCHING

ERA: Sean Keselica 1.83, Steven Brault 2.18, Pedro Vasquez 2.20

IP: Dario Agrazal 80.1, Alex McRae 74.1, Steven Brault 74.1

SO: Luis Escobar 84, Taylor Hearn 74, Steven Brault 69

SO/9IP: Luis Escobar 12.0, Taylor Hearn 11.0, Blake Cederlind 10.2

WHIP: Mitch Keller 0.93, Oddy Nunez 0.94,  Dario Agrazal 1.03

SV: Montana DuRapau 10, Dovydas Neverauskas 6

* Morgantown opens their season today with a special treat. Mitch Keller will be on the mound making his first rehab start since going on the DL with back tightness after his start on May 16th. He threw 25 pitches in a bullpen last Monday, then threw again on Friday. Reports from both sessions were strong. Don’t expect too much out of him in this game, he hasn’t pitched outside of the bullpen yet.

We will have the Morgantown season preview tomorrow, hopefully. Right now, the roster only includes players who have been down in Extended Spring Training, along with Keller and also Michael Suchy, who suffered a broken hamate back in early May. So we might wait a couple days to see which draft picks go there. As I said elsewhere recently, don’t expect them to be a team loaded with prospects this year. Bristol is more interesting this year and if the Pirates sign all of their top draft picks, the GCL Pirates will be the team to follow.

PLAYOFF PUSH

Bradenton trails in their division by 2.5 games with three games remaining in the first half. They do not play first place Palm Beach again during the first half.

West Virginia has been eliminated from the first half playoffs.

PIRATES GAME GRAPH


Source: FanGraphs

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 7-1 to the Chicago Cubs on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates now go on the road for a four-game series in Milwaukee. Gerrit Cole will get the ball tonight, making his 15th start. Cole allowed one run over seven innings in his last start. He also allowed one run over seven innings against the Brewers back on May 6th. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Matt Garza, who has a 4.17 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP in 49.2 innings. He faced Cole in that May 6th game and also allowed one run over seven innings.

In the minors, Morgantown begins their season with Mitch Keller on the mound making a rehab start. Altoona is off today. West Virginia is on their All-Star break. They are sending three players to the All-Star game, Ty Moore, Trae Arbet and Cam Vieaux. We will try to update if Bradenton announces their starters early enough today (done). The Altoona starter for tomorrow’s game could be Dario Agrazal, who will be promoted to the Curve for his next start.

MLB: Pittsburgh (31-38) @ Brewers (38-33) 7:40 PM
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (4.54 ERA, 20:69 BB/SO, 83.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (38-30) vs Toledo (29-37) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Drew Hutchison (3.93 ERA, 28:52 BB/SO, 68.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (37-30) vs Trenton (46-23) 7:00 PM 6/20 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

High-A: Bradenton (36-28) @ Clearwater (36-31) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Bret Helton (3.88 ERA, 18:43 BB/SO, 48.2 IP)

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

Short-Season A: Morgantown (0-0) vs Mahoning Valley (0-0) 7:05 PM
Probable Starter: Mitch Keller (NR)

DSL: Pirates (6-7) vs Dodgers2 (11-1) 10:30 AM (season preview)

HIGHLIGHTS

Here is a two-run homer from Eric Wood on Saturday night. His seventh home run of the season. He hit his eighth on Sunday.

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

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

Ten former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including two very good pitchers. Here is a quick list of the first eight, starting with the most recent. Catcher Dusty Brown (2011), first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz (2008), pitcher Willis Roberts (2004), outfielder Butch Davis (1987), shortstop Johnnie LeMaster (1985), third baseman Fernando Gonzalez (1972-73, 1977-78), pinch-hitter Don Gutteridge (1948) and pitch-hitter Harry Daubert (1915). You can read about all of these players in the link above.

Two others who put in more significant time. Jerry Reuss pitched for the Pirates from 1974-78, then returned during the 1990 season. He went 61–46, 3.52 in 158 games for Pittsburgh. The Pirates traded him to the Dodgers right before the start of the 1979 season. He pitched 22 seasons in the majors and won 220 games. You can read much more on Reuss here.

Bill Swift pitched for the Pirates from 1932 until 1939 and he won at least 11 games in each of his first five seasons with the club. He finished with a 91-79, 3.57 record in 164 starts and 141 relief appearances with Pittsburgh. As a rookie in 1932, he walked 1.09 batters per nine innings, which is the lowest total for a Pirates pitcher since that season. You can read a full bio on Swift here.

  • jason f (exo)
    June 19, 2017 12:16 pm

    What do we all think about Eric Wood going forward? With Kang’s MLB career possibly/probably over and Freese being another year older we’re going to be in need of a third baseman, on at least a part-time role. Is Mr. Wood gonna be a major league ball player? His average is lower than you would want, .090 spread in OBP is solid and he seems to be still hitting home runs and doubles when he does make contact.

  • A 4 game road series at Milwaukee. Why do I feel like this is a make or break series? They’ve sucked at Milwaukee the last few years. If they lose this series, they could be as many as 11 games under .500 which is just too much to overcome this far into the year. I hope I’m wrong.

  • I may have missed this but why is Kevin Krause not batting more? Injury, late start, too many prospects not enough positions, etc.

    • He missed a few weeks with a hamstring injury so he has been playing fairly regularly. It’s mostly about upside. If he was even a semi-decent defensive catcher, then he would be playing more.

      • I thought they officially closed the book on his catching days and was being viewed as an OFer at this point.

        • John Dreker
          June 19, 2017 4:50 pm

          He has caught this year, but only once since returning from the hamstring injury.

  • ScottinMass
    June 19, 2017 9:40 am

    What is the benefit of having Keller pitch for WV instead of Bradenton? Results aren’t all that important, it’s his health. Throwing 40 pitches for WV or 40 pitches for Bradenton is his next step. Just a little confusing to me.

    • Lesser competition. Most guys start at lower levels when they miss that much time. They want to make sure they get their work in and don’t get knocked out of the game early. If Extended Spring Training games didn’t stop this past week, he wouldn’t even be at Morgantown

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