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 (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] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);
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2. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20170622′);
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3. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170622′);
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4. Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170622′);
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5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170622′);
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6. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170622′);
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7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170622′);
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8. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170622′);
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9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170622′);
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10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170622′);
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11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170622′);
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12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170622′);
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13. Max Kranick, RHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170622′);
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14. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170622′);
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15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170622′);
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16. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170622′);
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17. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170622′);
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18. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20170622′);
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19. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170622′);
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20. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170622′);
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21. Stephen Alemais, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(641301,’B’,’20170622′);
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22. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(663399,’P’,’20170622′);
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23. Travis MacGregor, RHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669740,’P’,’20170622′);
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24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20170622′);
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25. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20170622′);
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26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170622′);
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27. J.T. Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664141,’P’,’20170622′);
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28. Chris Bostick, INF/OF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607471,’B’,’20170622′);
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29. Connor Joe, 3B, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20170622′);
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30. Jin-De Jhang, C, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(618085,’B’,’20170622′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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Indianapolis was rained out.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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Altoona was rained out.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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Bradenton lost 2-1 on Thursday night, as Pedro Vasquez made his first start since the FSL All-Star game. Vasquez started the All-Star game over the weekend and allowed two runs over two innings.  In this game, he took the loss by allowing two runs over six innings. He gave up five singles and walked three batters, which is his new high for the season in free passes. Vasquez had just two strikeouts and a 4:8 GO/AO ratio, so this wasn’t a typical day from him despite the fact he limited the damage to two runs. He now has a 2.27 ERA in 61.1 innings this season.

Brandon Cumpton pitched the final two innings, giving up a single and a walk, while striking out two batters. He has given up three runs on 11 hits and four walks in nine innings since joining Bradenton.

The only Bradenton run scored in the eighth inning on an Alfredo Reyes homer, his second of the season. The Marauders had their chances with eight hits and three walks, but they went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Will Craig had two singles and a walk. He is hitting .291/.394/.426 in 63 games. Mitchell Tolman had a single and a walk. Logan Ratledge and Jordan George each had two hits.

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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CHARLESTON – The West Virginia Power and Lexington Legends duked it out as rain fell on the first night of the second half. The teams combined for six homers and 14 total extra base hits. A stiff wind blowing out in the early innings certainly helped the bats, but Luis Escobar’s poor fastball location gave Lexington an assist as well.

In the early innings, Escobar couldn’t locate any of his pitches and relied solely on batters chasing bad pitches (which they did). He tossed his curve better, particularly after a visit from pitching coach Drew Benes in the fourth inning.

Escobar has often had control issues, but it was encouraging to see him pull things together after giving up three runs in the second. He took a couple MPH off his fastball, which usually sits 94-95, and had better control then. He got two huge strikeouts to end the fourth inning with runners on second and third in what was a tie ballgame at the time.

Escobar left after 4.2 innings. He was credited with five earned runs on five hits, three walks, and two wild pitches. Reliever Ronny Agustin actually allowed the fifth run, which put the Legends ahead at the time, by giving up a double to score his inherited runner.

“I would have liked to see him attack that situation differently, rather than laying in the changeup first pitch,” said Power manager Wyatt Toregas.

Agustin settled in nicely after the double. He struck out six batters in 2.1 innings. His fastball had good life, and both the curve and the changeup served as strikeout pitches.

Adrian Valerio led the offensive onslaught, slugging two homers to left field. While impressive, the offensive surge is likely an abnormality; he hit two home runs in all of 2016. Ty Moore and Hunter Owen each added a homer. Owen now has six on the season, trailing Trae Arbet by one for the team lead.

Valerio went 2-for-20 when he returned from his latest injury. He now wears a batting helmet that shields his left cheek from further damage and noted that it was “uncomfortable.” “It took a while to get used to,” he said, but now that he has, he has gone 4-for-9 with a double and two homers in his last two games.

Carlos Munoz, Brent Gibbs, and Clark Eagan all had a double while Arbet and Alexis Bastardo recorded a triple each.

Toregas said, “To come back off the All-Star break with the energy and the confidence we had was definitely good to see.”

By the time Matt Eckelman took the mound, the Power had staked a 9-5 lead and needed only six outs to complete West Virginia’s hot start to the second half. Eckelman, like Augustin, gave up a double to his first batter. The runner would later score on a grounder to first.

Geoff Hartlieb stepped in to pitch the ninth inning. Hartlieb hasn’t allowed an earned run since May 15, and he took care of business again tonight. He allowed a lead-off single, committed a balk, gave up a walk, and secured the 9-6 win.

After Hartlieb earned his sixth save, he found out he is being called up to Bradenton, joining Cam Vieaux who got the call earlier in the day. Vieaux’s spot in the rotation will pass to Blake Cederlind, who will start tomorrow.

“Good teams have good bullpens,” Toregas said of his staff. “They shut it down late whereas we continued to pound at their bullpen.” The West Virginia pitchers combined for 16 strikeouts and struck out each Legend batter at least once. – Abigail Miskowiec

Prospect-Watch-Morgantown

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Morgantown won 3-1 over Williamsport and flirted with some team history in the process.

Scooter Hightower had a career day, throwing five no-hit, no-walk innings, striking out ten batters. The only runners were on a hit batter and a fielding error. Pasquale Mazzocoli was out next and he threw two perfect innings, including striking out the first four batters he faced. Williamsport finally got a hit with one out in the eighth, as Andrew Potter allowed a line drive single. He was very wild, and that led to a run to make it 3-1.

Hard-thrower Joel Cesar pitched the ninth and gave up a double to the first batter. That was followed by a strikeout, a fly out and a pop out to end the game. Cesar pitched just two games in the DSL last year before getting injured. Despite the inexperience, he still jumped over two levels this year thanks to a fastball that hits 97 MPH and a slider that looks like a plus pitch at times.

The 23-year-old Hightower was making his fifth career start, now in his third season of pro ball. He went at least five innings in four games back in 2015 for Bristol, but he didn’t go past four innings last year and hasn’t come close to a game like this one. His previous career best for strikeouts was eight, though they came during a game in which he allowed three runs. Despite starting game four of the season, Hightower actually pitched in relief during the opener. In that game, he retired all three batters he faced, two by strikeouts.

Prospect-Watch-Bristol
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Bristol lost their season opener 6-5 in 13 innings to Johnson City. The Pirates had a 5-4 lead going into the bottom of the ninth, but an error led to the tying run. In the 13th inning, Argenis Romano allowed a solo homer for the walk-off.

Domingo Robles started and allowed one run over five innings. He gave up a solo homer in the second inning, while limiting Johnson City to just one single the rest of the game. We got strong reports from Extended Spring Training on the 19-year-old southpaw. He added a tick to his velocity, going from 88-90 MPH, to 90-91 this year, and he improved his control. He had no walks, three strikeouts and an 8:2 GO/AO ratio.

Brian Sousa was out next and he had his issues, as his long relief outing was limited to two outs due to reaching his single inning pitch limit. He walked two batters and allowed three runs on two doubles and a triple. Eumir Sepulveda was solid in relief of Sousa, throwing 1.1 scoreless innings, but then Miguel Hernandez came out and he had trouble throwing strikes, matching Sousa with two outs. Evan Piechota gave up an unearned run in the ninth, then Romano threw two scoreless innings before the homer.

Edison Lantigua had a nice game with a solo homer and a double. He was the only Bristol player not to strike out. Jhoan Herrera had a solo homer and two walks. Luis Benitez had two hits and three stolen bases. The Pirates couldn’t pick up one hit with runners in scoring position all game.

Prospect-Watch-DSL

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The DSL Pirates lost 6-3 in ten innings on Thursday. Oliver Garcia made his fourth start and allowed one run over five innings. He gave up four hits, one walk and had six strikeouts. Garcia has allowed two runs over 20 innings of work this season. Following Garcia, Yerry De Los Santos and Saul de la Cruz each gave up one run. Angel Vasquez took the loss after allowing three runs in the tenth inning. The DSL starts extra innings with a runner on second base and that run gets charged to the pitcher, so that is included on the line for Vasquez. He did get some help however, as right fielder Emison Soto cut down a run at the plate to end the inning.

On offense, the Pirates had just four hits, but they had plenty of chances to score runs thanks to seven walks and a hit batter. They went 3-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded nine runners. Matthew Mercedes hit his third double of the season and scored a run. Emison Soto had two walks and stole his seventh base. Top prospect Jean Eusebio had a walk, a run scored and a stolen base. Samuel Inoa went 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI. Pedro Castillo had a single and a sacrifice fly.

Shortstop prospect Francisco Acuna is in an 0-for-22 stretch after an 0-for-3 in this game, though he does have five walks during that time.

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Can Scooter Hightower turn himself into a sleeper prospect at this point. He seems old for the level even if he dominated last night.

  2. Happy to see Cumpton pitching reasonably well. If that continues, what’s his potential future? Bullpen in majors? Same question for Casey Sadler. I don’t see either of them as future starters, taking up spots for true prospects.

  3. Abigail: I think Adrian Valerio is announcing his presence with authority. 5 doubles, 3 HR in only 86 AB and a slash of .279/.319/.442/.761 OPS. Fielding at SS at a .948 clip and will play all of 2017 as a 20 year old – get together with the other P2 folks and get him in the Top 20. Nice situation having he and Cole Tucker just ahead of him at Hi A and Tucker is still only 20 – and with better offensive and defensive numbers at SS.

    • You can’t forget Alemais is currently injured but he is right there in the mix behind Tucker too.

      • I hope the Pirates make that decision early on by committing Valerio to SS. I doubt they saw Tucker and Valerio advancing as quickly as they have at SS when they drafted Alemais. Both have shown the ability to hit and both are very gifted in the field.

        With Tucker possibly out the rest of the year, it may not be a bad idea to accelerate Valerio to Hi A for the second half of the season, and leave him there for at least the first half of 2018 while Tucker advances to AA.

    • I think the key here is “only 86 AB.” He has only played 22 games due to the injuries, and with a sample size that small, it wouldn’t take much of a slump for his numbers to regress to his career averages coming into 2017 (.237/.276/.322). Calling for him to jump 20 spots in the rankings this early would be like evaluating a player simply on their numbers in April. The positive to take away here is the injuries haven’t seemed to affect him at all. If he continues this level of offense over the next 65ish games in the season, I’m sure we will reevaluate his place in the rankings.

  4. “Good teams have good bullpens” said Toregas. Now, how do you get to that point? If you’re the GM for the PBC look for 4 leaf clovers, rub a rabbit’s foot while meeting with your scouts and analysts,cross your fingers and put them behind your back while you tell the public that the PBC continues to scour the market but finds it’s too soon to trade and above all, tell the majority owner that the bottom line remains positive.

  5. Secondly, to the writer that does the in depth reports on the Pirates……sorry, for the life of me, I can’t remember his name(getting old), could you please write something up on what the Pirates did to get the much improved results from Jhan Marinez. Minor adjustment, pitch selection, or simply getting the results his advanced stats indicated he would.

  6. I guess this is as good a place as any to bring this up. He does still currently maintain rookie eligibility, so here goes.
    Can someone, anyone at all, please buy Jose Osuna an infielders glove and stand him at 3B. Hit about 500 grounders to him daily until the start of next season and then hand him the position. I fail to see the reasoning for not having him in the line-up, but since someone believes that Adam Frazier is a superior outfielder, find a place to play him.
    I realize he is going to have limited mobility at third, but he is a good enough first baseman, and has the arm to play the outfield, not a great arm, but passable, he should, with enough reps, be able to not embarrass himself at third. As a matter of fact, if I am him, when he goes to play for his winter league team, I would ask to play 3B. I realize he would need the Pirates approval to 1) Play winter baseball, and 2) Work at 3B, but they would be foolish to tell him no on either count.

    • Agree with your notion that Osuna’s bat has put the Pirates in the position of needing to find a way to get him into the lineup more frequently and the 3B idea seems like a possibility. Who knows whether Kang will every be back and there’s not really any prospect pushing for the position above Hayes.

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