A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time (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, Bristol – [insert_php]
13. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
14. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – [insert_php]
15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Pirates – [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, Bristol – [insert_php]
24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
25. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates -[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. Jin-De Jhang, C, Altoona – [insert_php]
Indianapolis lost 4-2, as three unearned runs in the seventh proved to be the difference. Antonio Bastardo started this game on the last day of his rehab assignment. He couldn’t get out of the first inning, though that was more the fault of the sun, with Jackson Williams dropping a pop up that cost him extra pitches along with Anderson Feliz being unable to catch a pop up with two outs.
After Brett McKinney finished the first inning for Bastardo, Drew Hutchison came on for relief. He was originally supposed to start, so he was actually in the bullpen warming up before Bastardo even threw a pitch. Hutchison went six innings and allowed all three runs in the seventh inning, though it took errors from Eric Wood and Feliz (again) to make that happen. Hutchison ended up throwing 13 innings this week without an earned run.
The two players who contributed to the three unearned runs in the seventh, were also responsible for the Indianapolis runs. Joey Terdoslavich led off the third inning with a single. After a Jason Rogers walk, back-to-back singles from Wood and Feliz brought Terdoslavich home. In the seventh, the Indians scored their second run almost the exact same way. Rogers walked, then scored after back-to-back singles from Wood and Feliz. Christopher Bostick had a pair of hits and Rogers drew three walks in the game.
ALTOONA, Pa. – The Curve needed two big innings this afternoon to get past the visiting Hartford Yard Goats, putting up five runs in the first and six runs in the fifth inning to get the win, 11-9.
In the first inning, a couple of walks to Pablo Reyes and Wyatt Mathisen, along with a single by Jordan Luplow, loaded the bases for Connor Joe. Joe ripped a line drive single into right center field, scoring two runs. Michael Suchy then hit a slow grounder out of the reach of Hartford’s first baseman, scoring two more runs. Suchy would come around to score on a Tomas Morales single, giving the Curve five runs in the innings.
They were sent down in order from the second through the fourth, before exploding for six runs in the fifth. Kevin Newman, Jerrick Suiter, and Mathisen all doubled, while Jordan Luplow hit another single. Tomas Morales tidied things up with a three-run blast with two outs, putting up a six-spot on the scoreboard for the inning.
Morales, Suiter, and Luplow each had two hits. Luplow is now hitting .293 this season, while Suiter is right behind him at .291 since his promotion to Altoona.
Offensively they were 6-for-10 with runners in scoring position. It was mostly a case of timely hitting today for the Curve.
“Our offense knew that they had to pick it up today, especially after the first inning,” Curve Manager Michael Ryan said. “They answered the bell. It was just a great effort.”
JT Brubaker has done a very good job of keeping the baseball in the park all season, not allowing a home run since April. He had a 0.6 HR/9 ratio coming into today’s game, and his HR/FB ratio was at 7.8%.
Unfortunately, it took three batters for Hartford to sit on two separate 95 MPH fastballs, send them out of the park, and give the Yard Goats a 3-0 before the fans even took their seats. The damage didn’t stop there for Brubaker, as Hartford lead off hitter Max White blasted an 0-2 pitch over the center field wall for a three-run home run.
Brubaker only lasted 3.2 innings, allowing six earned runs (seven total) on three home runs and three walks. He struck out four batters. He was actually lucky to have gone that long, with Connor Joe making a leaping grab at first base for the final out of the first inning with Brubaker sitting at 30 pitches already.
Before his last start at Hartford last weekend, Brubaker had gone 13 straight scoreless innings in two starts. He looked fantastic during his start in Altoona on the 13th, going seven innings while striking out ten batters. His last two outings – both against Hartford – have not been very good. It looked like he was pitching heavy fastball today, and he wasn’t able to locate it well down in the zone.
“He was just up in the zone,” Ryan said. “It’s a different outing for him if he doesn’t fall behind hitters and gets ahead. He had lead-off walks the first two innings, and you just can’t let that first guy get on. He just needs to get down in the zone more.”
We’ve talked recently about how Brubaker could emerge as another starting pitching prospect for the Pirates; however, he needs to continue to find consistency. Today was another example of that. His fastball was up around 95-96 MPH, but if he leaves it up in the zone, he remains hittable.
“If he can get strike one or get that first pitch on the ground, that’s key for him,” Ryan said.
Again, the bullpen did a very good job after the starter left the game. This time, they did allow two earned runs over 5.1 IP; however, they did a great job keeping things close. Buddy Borden was “effectively wild”, going 1.1 IP without allowing a hit, but he had to work out of a jam in the fifth when he walked the bases loaded. Tate Scioneaux was most impressive in the ninth inning, get three quick outs on six pitches for the save.
*Michael Suchy played center field for the first time this season. He has played center field four previous times in his professional career, and he is definitely the largest (6’3″, 230 pounds) man I’ve seen play the position this year.
*Edwin Espinal grounded out in a pinch hit at-bat in the eighth inning, ending his hitting streak at 11 games. – Sean McCool
Bradenton had their Saturday game suspended in the eighth inning after they took a 3-2 lead. They resumed the game at noon on Sunday and immediately lost the lead, as pitcher Daniel Zamora served up a solo homer to the first batter he faced. It was the first home run he allowed this season and the first earned run he has given up since May 4th. In the 11th inning, Jess Amedee took the loss when a Lakeland batter scored from second base on an infield hit. Amedee walked two batters in the inning and four total over 1.2 innings.
This game marked the return of Cole Tucker to the lineup after missing three weeks with a fractured thumb. He went 1-for-4 with a single and was thrown out stealing for the tenth time in 37 attempts. Logan Hill, Kevin Krause and Jordan George each had two hits. Ke’Bryan Hayes went 1-for-5 with his fifth double of the season and Will Craig had a walk and a run scored.
Bret Helton started and allowed two runs on four hits and a walk over six innings. He had three strikeouts and an 11:3 GO/AO ratio.
Game Two Recap: Gage Hinsz hasn’t pitched well since missing a start with shoulder soreness in early May. He had one game with five shutout innings, but until early this week when he gave up one run over six innings, each of his other starts left something to be desired. Hinsz built off of that six inning start on Tuesday, by throwing 5.2 shutout innings in this game and striking out a season-high seven batters. He gave up five hits and one walk, while throwing 67 of his 93 pitches for strikes. He also posted a 6:3 GO/AO ratio, so it was a solid all-around start.
The Marauders won 5-2 and had a nice game from Ke’Bryan Hayes, who had three singles, two runs scored and an RBI. He also stole his 20th base of the season in only 23 attempts. Will Craig reached base three times on two singles and a walk. Jordan George had the big day, driving in three runs on three hits, including his ninth double. Logan Hill hit his 14th double.
Geoff Hartlieb made his first appearance for Bradenton and allowed two runs in 1.2 innings. He had not allowed an earned run in his last 15 innings with West Virginia, dating back to May 15th.
CHARLESTON, WV – On the heels of three games in which the Lexington Legends and West Virginia Power combined for 33 total runs, the final game of the series began as a pitchers’ duel. The Power had notched 23 hits in the first three games but couldn’t buy offense in the finale. Their only hit through the first six innings came on a bloop to right by Hunter Owen, who was promptly picked off at first.
In fact, the Power’s only runs came via the long ball, which is fitting for a series that saw eight total Power homers (four by Adrian Valerio, three by Hunter Owen, and one by Ty Moore), and a groundout in the ninth. Today, Owen blasted a no-doubt bomb to left-center in the seventh inning. Trae Arbet and Adrian Valerio had the only other Power hits on a slow roller up the middle and a triple to the left field gap, respectively.
Coming into the game, Oddy Nunez had not allowed more than three runs in a start since April, and he hadn’t gone less than 4.2 innings since May 26. Both of those things would change.
Nunez gave up a homer to right to the first batter of the game but settled in from there. He shut down Lexington through the fourth inning, allowing only one other hit and two walks. His pitch count, which is currently at 80, rose quickly due to the fact that he threw at least two balls to 10 of the 21 batters he faced. His velocity was a bit lower than usual, though pitching coach Drew Benes said Nunez had looked good in his warmups and his throwing sessions and didn’t have an explanation for the slower velocity.
Power manager Wyatt Toregas removed Nunez after he gave up two one-out runs in the fifth inning on a double and a pair of singles. He had just walked his third batter when he left the game. He finished the day with four strikeouts and a GO:AO of 6:3.
“What you ask of your starters is to go as deep as you can and keep the game close, especially when you don’t have your best stuff,” said Benes. “He didn’t have his slider, but he still did his job well.”
Andrew Potter, making his West Virginia debut, took over for Nunez and immediately hit a batter and allowed an inherited runner to score on a grounder to third, putting the Power in a 4-0 hole. He looked completely out of control for much of his 1.2 innings of work. He walked the lead-off batter in the sixth and didn’t show much in terms of stuff. He reportedly has a fastball that can touch the mid-90s, but it stayed mostly in the high 80s today.
Dylan Prohoroff tied his season-high for innings pitched by closing out the last three innings of the game. His velocity stayed around 92 MPH, which is slightly up from where he was in instructs. (After the game he admitted that the dip in velocity was because he “had never gone three months without throwing before.”)
Prohoroff knows he got away with some pitches. He gave up six flyball outs before one landed for a run-scoring double in the ninth. “My MO is usually groundballs to shortstop or second,” he said. “Luckily it didn’t hurt me too much.”
Brent Gibbs had a particularly bad day. He isn’t very strong behind the plate, which showed when catching sinkerball-heavy Nunez. One of the wild pitches dribbled off his glove, and he allowed a lot of balls past him with the bases empty. Gibbs will go as far as his bat will take him, and that side of his game under-performed today as well. He went 0-for-3 at the plate with two strikeouts. – Abigail Miskowiec
Mitch Keller made his second rehab start with Morgantown and it was cut short due to weather. The game went into a rain delay just before the bottom of the third inning. Keller had an easy first inning, with two strikeouts and a ground out. He wasn’t as sharp in the second, starting with a lead-off single. That was followed by a two-out walk and then a hit batter to load the bases. He got out of the jam with a ground out to second base. Keller threw 28 pitches total, 19 for strikes, with 17 of those pitches coming in the second inning.
The game was suspended with a 0-0 score in the third inning due to rain. When action picked back up on Sunday, Gavin Wallace was on the mound making his pro debut. The 15th round draft pick is the brother of Mike Wallace, who is pitching out of the West Virginia bullpen. The Morgantown Wallace had a quick first inning, then ran into a little trouble in his second frame. He allowed three unearned runs, all scoring after Raul Siri committed a two-out error.
Cuban pitcher Yoandy Fernandez was up next and he continued where he left off in his season opener. He threw three innings in this game and allowed one unearned run on one hit, with Siri committing a second costly error with two outs. Fernandez struck out five in this game and now has 12 strikeouts in six innings.
Brandon Bingel had a scoreless inning in his debut and Joel Cesar picked up a save with a scoreless ninth, though he did make it interesting with two walks. Morgantown won 6-4.
The offense was provided by some draft picks making their pro debuts. Fifth round pick Deon Stafford had quite a first game, going 2-for-3 with a double, homer and a walk. Tristan Gray (13th round) had single, a double and a run scored. Bligh Madris (9th) and Jared Oliva (7th) each went 0-for-4 in their debuts, though Oliva picked up an RBI. Michael de la Cruz drove in two runs.
Game Two Recap: Morgantown lost game two by a 4-1 score on a walk-off three run homer with two outs in the ninth. Ike Schlabach started and put together a terrific outing, giving up one run on three hits in five innings. He had no walks and four strikeouts, while throwing 43 of his 65 pitches for strikes. In nine innings this week, he had a 9:0 SO/BB ratio.
Tenth round draft pick Beau Sulser made his pro debut and threw two shutout innings, giving up one hit, with no walks and two strikeouts. Shane Kemp took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits in 1.2 innings.
Jared Oliva, Bligh Madris and Deon Stafford were all in the lineup for this one, representing the 1-3 hitters in the lineup. Stafford collected his second double and scored the lone run, while Madris and Oliva each picked up their first base hits. Morgantown went 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
Bristol was winning this game 4-2 going into the eighth inning and ended up getting blown out by an 11-4 score. Jacob Taylor started and had a solid outing, allowing one run on three hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out three batters, while throwing 35 of his 64 pitches for strikes. He was around the 50% strike mark through most of the game, but still managed to limit the damage.
Errors led to six of the last ten runs being unearned, with Eumir Sepulveda being the main pitcher who took the brunt of the damage from the miscues. All five runs he allowed in 1.1 innings were unearned.
Edison Lantigua had a big game, hitting a two-run homer in the first inning and a solo shot in the sixth. He has three homers in four games after hitting just two in his first three seasons combined. Luis Benitez has five stolen bases already.
The DSL Pirates are off on Sundays