Prospect Watch: Solid Outing for Kingham; Meadows Leaves Game Early

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’,’20170621′);
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3. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170621′);
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4. Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170621′);
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5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170621′);
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6. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170621′);
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7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170621′);
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8. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170621′);
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9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170621′);
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10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170621′);
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11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170621′);
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12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170621′);
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13. Max Kranick, RHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170621′);
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14. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170621′);
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15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170621′);
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16. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170621′);
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17. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170621′);
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18. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20170621′);
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19. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170621′);
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20. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170621′);
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21. Stephen Alemais, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(641301,’B’,’20170621′);
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22. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(663399,’P’,’20170621′);
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23. Travis MacGregor, RHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669740,’P’,’20170621′);
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24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20170621′);
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25. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20170621′);
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26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170621′);
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27. J.T. Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664141,’P’,’20170621′);
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28. Chris Bostick, INF/OF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607471,’B’,’20170621′);
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29. Connor Joe, 3B, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20170621′);
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30. Jin-De Jhang, C, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(618085,’B’,’20170621′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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INDIANAPOLIS – Austin Meadows was dressed in street clothes inside the Indianapolis clubhouse as his teammates came off the field following Wednesday afternoon’s game.

Several teammates came over to check on Meadows, who was on his way to get an MRI completed after suffering a possible hamstring injury in the first inning.

Meadows grounded out in the bottom of the first inning and was replaced when the Indians went into the field for the second inning.

Meadows pulled up “a little with a tight hamstring,” but he did not have a clear idea if the injury was serious. He immediately told Indianapolis trainer Dru Scott about the feeling after his groundout.

“I really don’t know,” Meadows said. “It could have been a cramp, it could have been something — they just want to be cautious and go check it out. I couldn’t tell you what any of it is.”

Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett did not notice Meadows limp or pull up lame at any point in his run to first base.

“I just noticed he didn’t run as hard to first base because he usually runs really hard,” Barkett said. “That’s all I noticed. I didn’t notice something grab or anything.”

Meadows suffered a hamstring injury last season, so there’s reason to think the organization would be very cautious with his situation. The organization protocol calls for a player to have an MRI whenever any level of discomfort is felt in the hamstring.

Meadows has a slash line of .248/.313./.358 this season in 254 at-bats.

As for the remainder of the game, Nick Kingham made three mistakes and Toledo took advantage of each one. Those three mistakes led to a pair of solo homers and a double off the outfield wall in Toledo’s 4-0 win.

But wrapped around those three mistakes were a lot of positives.

Kingham allowed three earned runs on six hits in 6.2 innings, his longest outing of the season. He threw a career-high 107 pitches, striking out six and walking nobody.

“I just attacked the zone and didn’t stray away from contact,” Kingham said. “I said, ‘Here it is, I’m going to throw strikes and try to have you put the ball in play.’ It worked for the most part. I got a lot of early contact. I got a few strikeouts, which is going to happen when you’re throwing strikes. Overall, I feel like I attacked the zone and made them put the ball in play. Pretty much I encouraged weak contact instead of straying from hard contact.”

There were just enough long at-bats that kept Kingham’s outing from being uber-efficient. He needed just five pitches to work around a leadoff single in the first inning, and in the sixth inning he needed just seven pitches to work around a single that should have been a popout, but was lost in the sun in shallow left field by shortstop Phil Gosselin.

Kingham retired the side in the second inning on 13 pitches, but needed seven pitches for one strikeout. He threw 22 pitches in each the fourth and fifth inning, but had a 9-pitch at-bat with JaCoby Jones that resulted in a groundout.

His three missed pitches occurred in the fourth and fifth innings. He left two pitches up over the plate which led to home runs. Efren Navarro hit a solo homer in the fourth inning, while Brendan Ryan hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning. The other mistake Kingham made was a double by Bryan Holaday that preceded Ryan’s homer.

Kingham had 88 pitches after six innings, but went out for the seventh inning. His 107 pitches thrown were not only a career-high, but it was the first time this season Kingham had thrown more than 96 pitches.

Holaday struck out in a 10-pitch at-bat to lead off the seventh inning, and Kingham struck out Argenis Diaz in four pitches. Omar Infante singled, which led to the end of Kingham’s outing.

“I just wanted to see if he could finish the seventh inning,” Barkett said. “110 pitches is really not that many. I know everybody panics about pitch counts in this day and age, but 110 pitches for a starting pitcher is really not that many. It’s not like we stretched him. He was throwing the ball well and not showing any signs of fatigue.”

Indianapolis managed just five hits, with Jackson Williams going 2-for-4. – Brian Peloza

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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ALTOONA, Pa. – Dario Agrazal made his Double-A debut tonight for the Altoona Curve after posting a 2.91 ERA in 80.1 innings for the Marauders this season. He was selected to be a Florida State League Mid-Season All-Star before his promotion, marking the second time that he was selected as an all-star (2015, Morgantown).

Tonight, Agrazal allowed just two runs on three hits; however, he left the game after just four innings with a possible injury. Michael Ryan said it was something along his side or pec muscle.

“Right when he came in the dugout [after the fourth inning], he said that he felt something,” Manager Michael Ryan said. “We’re not going to take any chances, especially a guy that just got here that we need to get innings from in the future.”

Agrazal said that he first started feeling something beside his pec or lat when he threw between starts a couple of days ago. He first felt it creep back up in the third inning tonight and tried to continue on; however, he told his coaches that something was wrong after another inning.

Before exiting the game, Agrazal was not as sharp as he has been for Bradenton so far this season, but a lot of that can be attributed to the injury and jitters from making his debut. He walked two batters for only the third time during a start this season. His walk-to-innings pitched ratio was the best in the Florida State League, 1.13 BB/IP (10 BBs, 79.1 innings), at the time of his promotion.

He really made just one big mistake pitch to Trenton’s cleanup hitter Billy McKinney, who doubled down the right field line over Edwin Espinal’s head.

“He kept the ball down really well and mixed,” Manager Michael Ryan said. “I don’t think he threw a really bad ball all night. It was just one 0-2 pitch when they drove the run in. I thought it was a good pitch, though.”

Tate Scioneaux relieved Agrazal and went four scoreless innings, allowing only three hits. Scioneaux came into the game with the second lowest BB/9 IP ratio in the Eastern League. After allowing three runs in 1.2 IP in Hartford last weekend (starting a suspended game), he pitched a great outing tonight in relief.

“He spots his fastball in and out, and he uses his changeup when he gets ahead,” Ryan said about Scioneaux. “His changeup is key for him. It just jumps out at you. He’s just solid every time he goes out there.”

Altogether, the Curve bullpen has been so good all season, with Scioneaux, Buddy Borden, Sean Keselica, Miguel Rosario, and Montana DuRapau all near the top of league leaderboards in different relief pitcher categories.

“When you start a season, you always think to yourself that you will be as good as your bullpen allows,” Ryan said last week. “Our bullpen has been outstanding. That’s why we are in the position we are in.”

The Curve hitters were going up against a pitcher who was pitching for the Yankees just a week ago. Ronald Herrera made his MLB debut against the Dodgers last Wednesday. He had a 1.07 ERA in 50.1 IP for Trenton coming into tonight, so the Curve had their hands full.

“I love playing against a team like this because it is a real measuring stick for your team,” Ryan said. “It was a real test for us.”

The only real damage against Herrera came off of the bat of Edwin Espinal, who doubled to deep right center field to score Kevin Newman in the fifth inning. Otherwise, the Curve managed five other singles against Trenton and didn’t threaten much.

“It takes that one big play when you are playing such a great team and when you are playing a team where runs should be scarce against,” Ryan said. “If one ball doesn’t go down the first base line over top of Espinal, maybe we come out on top, 1-0. Who knows?”

*After going 5-for-5 yesterday, Elvis Escobar was scratched tonight with an elbow injury. He said that he felt it during his third at-bat yesterday.

*Yeudy Garcia has yet to start throwing after being pulled from his start last week.

*Chase Simpson was released by the Pirates today. He was slashing .176/.237/.328 in 125 at-bats this season. -Sean McCool

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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Bradenton finished out the first half with 5-4 loss to Clearwater. Taylor Hearn started this game, and while he had a some wildness, he was unhittable on this day. Hearn threw five no-hit, shutout innings and the only base runners he allowed were solo walks in the first and second inning, then two more walks in the fifth. He threw 86 pitches, with 52 going for strikes, so the control wasn’t that bad despite the four walks. Hearn had four strikeouts and a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. He lowest hit total this season prior to tonight was two hits back on May 1st. This is his third start without allowing any runs.

Clearwater couldn’t hit Hearn, but they had no trouble with two All-Star relievers. Jake Brentz and Yunior Montero combined to allow five runs on five hits and three walks in three innings. Sam Street threw a scoreless ninth.

Logan Hill had a strong game on offense, going 3-for-3 with a walk. All three hits were singles and he scored a run. Logan Ratledge hit a solo homer in the eighth inning and Jordan George followed with a two-run homer later that frame to bring the Marauders within one run. Will Craig and Ke’Bryan Hayes combined to go 0-for-8. Ratledge and Kevin Krause each hit their fifth double of the season.

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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West Virginia is off until Thursday due to the South Atlantic League All-Star break.

Prospect-Watch-Morgantown

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Morgantown won 7-2, as Sergio Cubilete made his first start outside of the DSL and picked up the victory. Cubilete was the hardest throwing starter in the DSL last year, hitting 95 MPH at times. Later in the Fall Instructional League, he was just below that velocity, mostly 91-93, hitting 94. Last year was his first season of pro ball, so the lower velocity could have been due to the innings he pitched.

On this night, Cubilete went five innings and allowed one run in the third and fourth innings. He allowed four hits, three walks and struck out three batters. Cubilete had some control issues last year as well,  though he threw 66% of his pitches for strikes in this game, so it wasn’t that bad.

Adam Oller was up next and he put in three strong shutout innings, allowing a hit and a walk, while striking out four batters. We reported at the end of April that he was just starting to throw in Extended Spring Training, missing time due to a shoulder impingement. So it’s impressive to see him built up to three innings already and put up a strong outing. Nicholas Economos struck out the side in the ninth inning to seal the win.

The big hit in this game was a bases clearing triple by Matt Diorio in the eighth inning, after the first three batters reached. He would then score on a Ryan Nagle sacrifice fly. The Black Bears started the scoring with small ball and help from Williamsport. Raul Siri walked in the first inning, stole second, move up on a wild pitch, then scored on an error. They scored two runs in the second when Nick King singled in a run, then went to third on an error, before coming home on a passed ball.

Prospect-Watch-DSL

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The DSL Pirates got a 7-4 victory in a game called in the bottom of the sixth due to rain. They picked up the win despite collecting just three hits. The Pirates were helped by four walks, three hit batters and a couple errors in a long fifth inning.

Noe Toribio stared the game and lasted just three innings, allowing four runs (three earned). He was followed up by Julio Rosario, who issued four walks in one inning of work and picked up the win. Two of the walks were in the fourth inning and another two led off the fifth. Samuel Reyes came in and stranded both inherited runners with 1.1 scoreless innings. The game was ended with one out in the sixth.

The offense scored a run in the first inning on a single, walk, balk and a wild pitch. In the sixth, the first seven batters of the inning reached base on a HBP, error, error, walk, walk, double, walk. The final two runs of the inning would score on a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly. Sherten Apostel hit the double, which scored two runs. Ruben Gonzalez and Ronaldo Paulino had the only other hits.

  • https://www.instagram.com/p/BVpSqcnF-9b/?taken-by=austinmeadows13

    This is not a good sign, is it. Meadows going to be placed on DL?

  • We’ve had this discussion before. Regardless how the MRI turns out there will always be a serious red flag associated with Meadows health. Had this discussion with Tim, hamstrings are about the most worrisome issue a young player can have because they tend to recur- which we are obviously seeing happen.

  • Now I’m starting to wonder if those 3 games he missed in a row through 2 days is related….who knows. I just hope he is ok and gets on a hot streak.

  • Meadows is gimpy and batting .248 with 4 homers. Does this mean we get to keep our surging Cutch past July?

    At the very least, if the Bucs deal Andrew, it better be a profitable return.

    • Cutch is staying put for the rest of the season. Couldn’t trade when he was at a low point, now can’t trade when he’s at the other end of the spectrum.Pirates will pick up his option, then try to trade him.

      • Au contraire, mon ami. He will be traded. His increase in production, from NH’s point of view, just makes him more valuable as trade bait.

  • I wonder if Glasnow and Meadows were packaged a mid 2015 what would we achieved! WSC maybe. I would of thrown in Hurdle if we traded CLE and they returned us Tito’s son

    • ” Packaged ” for what ? Who do you think an orginization was going to give up for 2 prospects in AA ?

  • When are we going to start talking about Wyatt Mathisen? Is his defense really bad? I know he’s a converted catcher (I think)…his bat reminds me a lot of Frazier’s with respect to making that AA jump. With Kang in question and Freese gone soon he maybe the 3rd baseman of the future. Eric Wood has power but doesn’t hit for average like Mathisen. IDK, I think the time has come to start bringing his name up.

    • His defense is average, nothing special, but he makes the plays he should. He doesn’t have power or speed and plays a high offense spot, so it’s tough to get excited. Frazier was definitely a better hitter in Altoona and even in Bradenton, plus he had speed and played more important defensive spots, so it’s hard to compare them even up.

      Mathisen will get more notice when he starts showing some power. In regard to the Wood comparison, he’s swinging for the fences out there, while Mathisen isn’t hitting the ball with much authority. Plus Wood was a better defender at third base.

    • Wasn’t Chase Simpson stealing at bats from Mathisen earlier in the year?

      I think that Mathisen played a lot of positions in high school prior to being drafted but I seem to recall him being mostly a SS. The Pirates thought that could play up at C but injuries and better catching prospects ended the experiment.

      • exactly…..Wyatt’s a nice guy, but doesn’t show the power. we hoped he would, he hasn’t………he’s sadly looking like org depth and maybe a future coach if he wants it.

  • Add Kingham to the list which starts with Brault. Where it goes, I sure don’t know, but Pirates are loaded with Pitchers. The second half may be interesting (if the bats hold up).

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