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 –DNP
2. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bradenton – DNP
3. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – DNP
4. Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – DNP
5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton –DNP
6. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – DNP
7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – DNP
8. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – DNP
9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP
10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP
11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP
12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP
13. Max Kranick, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP
14. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – DNP
15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Pirates – DNP
16. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – DNP
17. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP
18. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Altoona –DNP
19. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona –DNP
20. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis –DNP
21. Stephen Alemais, SS, West Virginia – DNP
22. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP
23. Travis MacGregor, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP
24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Indianapolis –DNP
25. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates –DNP
26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – DNP
27. J.T. Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – DNP
28. Chris Bostick, INF/OF, Indianapolis – DNP
29. Connor Joe, 3B, Altoona – DNP
30. Pat Light, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP
Tyler Glasnow made his first Triple-A start of the season on Thursday afternoon and picked up the win in the Indianapolis 2-1 victory. Glasnow wasn’t throwing a lot of strikes, but he had just one inning where it cost him. In the third frame, he walked the bases loaded on 12 pitches. The next batter hit a long sacrifice fly to right-center, which brought in the only run for Norfolk.
Other than that third inning, Glasnow allowed one walk and two soft liners over the infield for singles. He had eight strikeouts and was getting some soft grounders for outs. He faced Pedro Alvarez three times and all three times he got him out on grounders to the right side. Glasnow threw 89 pitches, with 49 going for strikes. He hit 98 MPH multiple times and for an unknown reason, he pitched out of the stretch the entire game.
Indianapolis scored two runs in the seventh inning to win it, getting help from some poor defense. Gift Ngoepe reached on a double in which the right fielder, former Pirate farmhand Chris Dickerson, didn’t react to the ball right away, and it ended up falling just out of his reach. Eury Perez tried to sacrifice Ngoepe to third base and the catcher threw the ball away, allowing the tying run to score. Then the pitcher had a throwing error to make Perez to second, which was followed by Jackson Williams reaching on a hit when he was just trying to bunt. Perez scored the go ahead run on a double play ball
As a side note, Chris Dickerson looks like his best days are behind him. He looked a lot better in 2014 when he was with Indianapolis and leading the team in hitting. Besides the misplay on Ngoepe’s fly ball, he also looked slow in the outfield and Glasnow struck him out three times, as Dickerson was very late on almost every swing.
Dovydas Neverauskas worked a quick seventh inning for the save, picking up two strikeouts and a ground out on seven pitches. Austin Meadows reached twice on a walk and HBP. Phil Gosselin had two hits and Eric Wood hit his 16th double.
Game Two recap: Indianapolis swept the doubleheader, winning the second game by a 4-3 score. Nick Kingham started and went five innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. Norfolk did a good job of squaring up his fastball, which was also an issue during his last two starts when he got knocked out after 4.1 innings. Kingham has looked good with both his curveball and changeup during this recent stretch, but his fastball has been too hittable. His velocity is fine and he gets great downward plane, but he hasn’t been locating the pitch well.
Angel Sanchez and Johnny Barbato each threw a scoreless inning to close out the game, with Barbato picking up the save.
On offense, Danny Ortiz had the big hit with a solo homer to start the scoring for Indianapolis. It was his first homer of the season after hitting 17 in each of the last two years. In the third inning, catcher Tomas Morales doubled, then scored two batters later on a passed ball. Chris Bostick would score later in the inning on a Phil Gosselin single. In the fourth, they added their final run on Bostick single, which would score Eury Perez from second base. Perez reached on a bunt single and moved to second on a stolen base.
Altoona won 7-1 on Thursday afternoon, as Alex McRae pitched a terrific game and the bottom of the order did most of the damage.
McRae threw seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits. That one run was a solo homer in the fourth inning. He was controlling the strike zone in this game, with 65 of his 97 pitches going for strikes. That led to five strikeouts without a walk. McRae put up an 8:4 GO/AO ratio. This was a nice bounce back from a start in which he allowed seven runs on 14 hits last time out. Sean Keselica threw shutout ball over the last two innings for the save.
Altoona got two hit games from lead-off hitter Kevin Newman and each of the final four hitters in the batting order. Wyatt Mathisen had two singles to give him a .310 average. He also scored two runs. Jerrick Suiter reached all four times, with two walks and two hits, including his fourth home run of the season. Anderson Feliz and Zane Chavez each singled twice and scored a run. Chavez also picked up an RBI. Newman drove in two runs as well. He is now batting .234 through 222 at-bats this season. Edwin Espinal drove in two runs, going 1-for-3 with a single and a walk.
Bradenton got some strong pitcher from starter Dario Agrazal and a home run from Will Craig, but it wasn’t enough to beat Tampa on Thursday night. Agrazal went six innings in this game, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out six batters. He was pounding the strike zone, with 72 of his 94 pitches going for strikes. He also put up a 12:1 GO/AO ratio, so this was another solid start for Agrazal, as he goes into the FSL All-Star break with a 2.91 ERA in 80.1 innings. He has also greatly improved his strikeout rate recently. In his first 71 starts as a pro, he had just seven games with 6+ strikeouts. In his last seven starts, he has six games with 6+ strikeouts, including a career high of eight last month.
Will Craig homered in the first inning, which ended up being the only run in the 3-1 loss. It was the fifth homer of the season for Craig, who also reached on a walk. He now has a .393 OBP, which ranks sixth in the league, and an .826 OPS. Mitchell Tolman has two hits from the lead-off spot, though he also committed an error and was picked-off. Casey Hughston had a single and a walk. Ke’Bryan Hayes had an 0-for-4 night. The Marauders went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base.
West Virginia won 2-0 behind Luis Escobar in a game that included a couple noteworthy relief appearances. Escobar pitched a terrific game on this night, looking good with all three of his pitches and throwing the ball in the strike zone more often than usual. He usually looks wild out there, but can still get great results at this level due to undisciplined hitters. That wasn’t the case in this game though, as he threw 51 of 79 pitches for strikes. That led to five innings, with three hits, one walk, seven strikeouts and a 6:1 GO/AO ratio.
Escobar came out for the sixth inning and gave up an infield single, which looked like an out, but the umpire said Albert Baur’s foot came off first base before he caught the ball. Escobar walked the next batter, then was removed for lefty Ronny Agustin, who pitched in the GCL last year.
I’ve received reports on Agustin over the years, from the DSL, the GCL and even Extended Spring Training this year. I was told he had a good curveball, but that appears to be quite the understatement. The only time I ever saw him pitch live was this spring and it was an uneventful short outing. He looks like he hides the ball well with his delivery and his curve has a huge break with late movement away from a left-handed batter. You can tell a curve is good when it had two batters flinching on called strikes. The ball also fooled the umpire about four times because he wasn’t giving him any calls on great pitches. Plus catcher Brent Gibbs was having trouble catching the pitch. Gibbs isn’t the best example to use for a catcher because he’s just not that good defensively, but he dropped a couple pitches due to the late movement and inexperience with Agustin.
Agustin throws his curve mid-70s, although I saw a couple that looked harder and more like sharp sliders. While he was doubling and tripling up on curves, he would then throw his fastball, which sits 90-92, but gets on batters quickly due to his deception. The reason a 23-year-old with that kind of stuff was in Extended Spring Training until now is because he lacks control, missing badly on a few pitches, throwing two wild pitches and walking a batter during his two innings. It was still a nice debut, as he stranded two runners he inherited with no outs, and his curve is filthy. Someone to keep an eye on if the control can improve.
On the other side of the field, Matt Frawley pitched against his teammates from about 30 hours earlier. Agustin replaced Frawley on the Power roster today. Frawley looked like he had something to prove out there, mowing down six Power hitters quickly by attacking the strike zone, sending four back to the bench on strikeouts. He has been impressive all year, but this is the best I’ve seen from him. Unfortunately, it came while he is with the Yankees.
The DSL Pirates lost 6-1 in a game that was ended in the bottom of the fifth inning due to rain. Starter Noe Toribio went the distance, getting the shortest complete game possible with four innings of work. He allowed six hits and two walks, while four of the six runs against him were earned. Toribio allowed just two earned runs in his first two starts combined. The Pirates committed three errors in this game.
You would think there wouldn’t be much to mention on offense, as they picked up one run on four hits and two walks, but they had their scoring chances. They loaded the bases in the third inning with one out. Yair Babilonia scored on an RBI ground out from Sherten Apostel. In the fourth inning, they put two men on, but Babilonia grounded into a double play to end the threat. They also loaded the bases in the fifth inning before Jean Eusebio grounded out to end the inning. Apostel hit a two-out double in the first inning and was left stranded. The Pirates went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Apostel is hitting .333 through ten games, with four extra base hits. He started off extremely slow last year before finishing strong in August. After ten games last year, he was hitting .100 (3-for-30) with three singles.