Prospect Watch: Gage Hinsz Throws Five Shutout Innings; Brandon Cumpton Returns to Action

P2 Top 30

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time (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]
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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, 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. Pat Light, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

P2 Top Performers



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Indianapolis lost 2-0, as starter Drew Hutchison had a decent outing, but the Indians put together a poor showing on both offense and defense.

Hutchison went six innings in this game, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. He threw 100 pitches total, with 65 strikes and a 9:3 GO/AO ratio. He now has a 3.94 ERA in 61.2 innings this season. This is the fifth time he has gone at least six innings and he’s failed to go at least five innings in just one of his 11 starts. Angel Sanchez and Pat Light followed with a scoreless inning each to keep the score close, but Indianapolis never mounted a threat, getting shutout by Toledo starter Anthony Vasquez. Light has posted five straight scoreless appearances.

Five players for Indianapolis picked up one single each and they failed to drew a single walk while striking out seven times. The left side of the infield had a tough day with two errors from Gift Ngoepe and one from Erich Weiss. Ngoepe, Weiss, Austin Meadows, Eric Wood and Jason Rogers picked up the hits. Just one of the last 21 batters reached base and two of the five hits were infield hits.


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Altoona lost 6-2, as Yeudy Garcia had a tough outing against Harrisburg. Garcia came into the game struggling all season with his pitch count. His longest outing of the year was 5.2 innings and that remained the longest, as he got knocked out in the fifth inning after walking three straight batters. Garcia was all over the place in this one, throwing just 42 of his 86 pitches for strikes. He walked six batters, surrendered six hits and gave up six earned runs. He even got some help on defense from third baseman Chase Simpson grabbing a line drive down the line with two men on base. Then later on, Jordan Luplow made a shoestring catch out in left field before firing a strike in the air to first base to double off a runner.

The bullpen put together 3.1 shutout innings, but Altoona couldn’t mount a comeback. Miguel Rosario lowered his ERA to 0.94 with 1.1 shutout innings. He has allowed three earned runs all season and two came during his season debut two months ago today. Luis Heredia added a scoreless frame, his fourth straight shutout outing, totaling 5.2 innings.

The offense came from Jerrick Suiter, who belted his second home run of the season. The rest of the lineup had six singles and one walk. Kevin Kramer picked up an RBI single. Kevin Newman went 1-for-4 with a walk. Elvis Escobar had two hits. Yeudy Garcia may need to take up hitting after raising his ERA to 5.80 on the season. He went 1-for-2, giving him a .600 average.


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Bradenton won 2-1 over Dunedin, five days after they last played a game. After being rained out each day from Sunday through Tuesday, then having an off-day on Wednesday, Gage Hinsz finally made his start on four extra days rest. His last game included him giving up four runs in the second inning, before finishing the outing with four shutout innings. He continued that shutout stretch with five more scoreless innings on Thursday night.

Hinsz threw 88 pitches in this game, with 51 going for strikes. He allowed four hits and two walks, including at least one runner in every inning, but no runners reached third base against him. Hinsz struck out five batters. I mentioned a few times that he has really struggled since missing a start with shoulder soreness in mid-May, but he’s now thrown nine consecutive scoreless innings and was sitting 95-96 MPH during this game. So it appears he is back to where he was before the injury. His last two starts before he got hurt were 13 innings total, with two runs allowed, and the second one was a dominating effort.

The next pitcher out for Bradenton was Brandon Cumpton, who gave up one run on two hits in his only inning. The results aren’t as important as the fact that he pitched in a regular season game for the first time since September 13, 2014. Between Tommy John surgery in early 2015 and shoulder surgery in late 2015, he has been out of action for 2 1/2 seasons. Cumpton was actually with Bradenton during their last homestand, but when the Marauders went on the road, he returned to Pirate City, where he pitched in Extended Spring Training games, going as many as three innings in an outing. Cumpton actually vultured the win in this game, as he allowed the tying run, then Bradenton scored in the top of the seventh to make it 2-1. Cumpton sat 91-92, hitting 93 MPH according to the stadium gun.

Both Pedro Vasquez and Bret Helton got in an inning of work, as their starts will be pushed back four days as well.

Will Craig was the highlight on offense with three hits, an RBI and a walk. He has five multi-hit games in his last eight games played. Ke’Bryan Hayes reached on a single and a HBP. He stole his 18th base in 21 attempts.


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CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia starter Matt Anderson was in trouble from the first at-bat tonight. Anderson walked the Delmarva lead-off man on six pitches, and the runner then advanced on a stolen base and a wild pitch. He came across on a sacrifice fly to center field.

The Power took a brief lead in the bottom of the second inning, which Hunter Owen led off with his 16th hit-by-pitch of the year. Trae Arbet unsuccessfully tried to move Owen over with a sacrifice bunt, but a Brent Gibbs single and Kevin Mahala walk loaded the bases for Ty Moore. Moore, who left five runners in scoring position in the Power’s loss on Tuesday, collected a four-pitch walk to tie the game. Alexis Bastardo drove in the go-ahead run on the next pitch.

Moore has cooled off significantly recently, and you can see the frustration in his body language. When the Delmarva shortstop snagged his line drive (which would have been a double to the gap), he stalked off the field in a huff. In the seventh, he fit a flare to left field that landed in a Delmarva mitt, much to Moore’s chagrin.

Hitting coach Ryan Long is not dismayed by Moore’s recent slump. “You take the walk, you take the two line outs the other way. Those are all good signs,” he said.

As far as the shows of emotion, Long laughed it off. “It’s good. We have them. We’re human. It shows he wants to do well.”

The Power would only get one hit (a single by Clark Eagan booted by the Delmarva shortstop) for the rest of the game, exacerbating Anderson’s difficulties on the mound.

Anderson couldn’t locate his fastball with the pitch riding up in the zone to produce a ton of fly balls. In fact, in his three innings of work, Anderson failed to induce a single ground out.

The damage could have been much worse. Delmarva led off the third inning with three straight hits, but Gibbs caught Cole Billingsly getting greedy rounding second and redirected the relay to the plate to pick the runner off. Anderson walked the next batter and allowed a screaming triple past Albert to plate two more runs. Anderson bounced back with his second strikeout of the night, and Hunter Owen got his pitcher out of the jam by snagging a liner just above his head.

Mike Wallace shut down the Delmarva lineup in the fourth but had trouble with his control when steady rain started to fall in the fifth inning. Wallace likes to lean on his off-speed, but the Shorebirds started to sit on his fastball, which missed low throughout the inning. Wallace allowed the first two batters on via a single and a walk before striking out his third batter of the game. Both runners scored on a line drive triple up the first-base line. Wallace finished the inning with another strikeout, a walk, and a line out.

Wallace carried the Power through four innings, notching an impressive six strikeouts before ceding the mound to Jordan Jess. Jess allowed three base runners in his two innings but pitched quite effectively, getting three big strikeouts with runners on. – Abigail Miskowiec


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The DSL Pirates won 11-9 on Thursday, scoring all 11 runs in the sixth inning. That one inning included six singles, a double, a triple, a grand slam, three walks, four wild pitches and a passed ball. The Pirates were trailing 6-0 at the time.

Santiago Florez, a tall right-hander from Colombia who turned 17 a month ago, made his pro debut. He started and went three innings, allowing four runs on six hits and two walks, with four strikeouts. Wilmer Contreras got the win with two runs (one earned) over three innings. Francis Del Orbe allowed three runs in his 2.1 innings, though only one run was earned. Kleiner Machado came in for two outs to pick up the save.

Emison Soto hit the grand slam and also had a single to start the sixth inning. Matthew Mercedes had two hits, including his first career double. That double was the only hit the Pirates collected outside of the sixth inning. Sherten Apostel continued to impress with the bat and not the glove. He had a double, triple, walk and drove in three runs. He’s hitting .368 in five games and committed his sixth error on Thursday. Shortstop prospect Francisco Acuna had a single, walk, stolen base and two runs scored.

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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Good to see Cumpton back out there. It has been awhile but if I recall correctly he wasn’t a flamethrower before, so sitting 91-92 touching 93 is about where he was before right? If so, coming back where he was after shoulder surgery is good to hear. Hope he can help the club out soon maybe bullpen?


He was 95-96 before the injuries.


Thanks, maybe he can build back up to that…

Bobby L

It’s good to see Cumpton back in action. You have to admire the guy for his grit, sticking it out to pursue his dream. Two surgeries and 2 years away from competition and now 28 y.o. Here;s hoping he can keep up the ‘fight’. He logged 100 IP in the majors with decent results, results which the current staff could duplicate would pacify most fans.


Can someone tell me what the hell Bob Walk was talking about tonight? Is the velocity measured out of the hand now instead of halfway to the plate? He’s claiming (I think) that’s why pitchers are perceived to throw harder now.

Bill W

That’s Walkie speak for FIRE HURDLE!


Article by Dave Cameron from Fangraphs about the change of velo readings this season.


This makes Tony Watson’s declining velo even worse!

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