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 — This performance was complete.
Tyler Glasnow has put together numerous impressive pitching lines at the Triple-A level, but several of those were because his stuff was good enough to overcome mediocre command.
That wasn’t the case against Durham on Monday. Glasnow had excellent command of quality pitches, throwing seven shutout innings against a lineup that featured three of the Tampa Rays’ top-5 ranked prospects.
Glasnow allowed two hits and two walks, striking out 12 batters in six innings in Indianapolis’ 1-0 loss to the Bulls.
He threw 69.3 percent of his 88 pitches for a strike. That’s the highest strike percentage Glasnow has had in a start since throwing 71.1 percent of his pitches for a strike in his final start of the 2015 season, also with Indianapolis.
“I wanted to come out and be aggressive,” Glasnow said. “I think that is what I was lacking in the big leagues, getting into that aggressive mentality.”
That aggressive mentality is the result of an adjustment with his delivery, as Glasnow has worked to speed it up as much as possible. He’s going with a shorter leg lift now.
“I’ve thrown like that all through the minor leagues and I got away from it last year, and this year a little bit,” Glasnow said. “A lot of it was I was just slow unathletic in the big leagues. It felt really good timing-wise, but I was slow and nothing was really coming out with any zip. And I couldn’t throw a curveball.”
Neither of those two pitches were a problem on Monday. Glasnow threw several excellent curveballs and struck out Willy Adames, the Rays’ top-ranked prospect, swinging at a 100 MPH fastball. Glasnow consistently hit 98 MPH throughout the game.
“That was a major league outing,” Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett said. “That outing would work in the big leagues any day of the week and twice on Sunday. He was attacking with his fastball and it had late life. The breaking ball was a weapon. He was in the zone and just did a great job.
This was the type of performance people have yearned to see from Glasnow. He simply went after hitters and force them to make good contact.
Durham couldn’t. Adames (No. 1-ranked prospect in Rays’ organization), Jake Bauers (4) and Casey Gillaspie (5) combined to go 0-for-8 against Glasnow with five strikeouts and a walk.
“I think if he can stay on the attack and really try to use his stuff and go at people, instead of trying to be perfect, I think that’s what we’re looking for,” Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett said. “I think even in Pittsburgh they may be looking for the stuff to come out and attack, and then that gives us his best chance to have command. He’s not going to be Greg Maddux. Power pitchers normally aren’t.”
Glasnow only allowed two hits against Durham, one on a bunt single and another on a soft line drive to left field. And he only allowed two walks, which goes back to that aggressive mindset.
“We wanted to take the hitter out of the box, and not worry about what the hitter wants to do, but worry about what we’re trying to do and execute the pitches we want to throw,” Indianapolis catcher Jackson Williams said. “A kid like him, if he does that, the sky’s the limit. You see the stuff he throws – 98 to 100, one of the best curveballs I’ve ever caught. He mixed in some good changeups tonight.”
Indianapolis managed just four hits against Durham, stranding 12 runners on base. The Bulls walked nine batters in the game, including walking the bases loaded in the second inning on three walks, but Williams struck out looking and Justin Maffei struck out swinging.
Durham catcher Michael McKenry, a former Pirates player, had an RBI single in the ninth inning for the game’s only run. – Brian Peloza
Altoona’s bats were quiet on Monday, wasting a strong outing from Alex McRae in a 2-1 loss. You rarely see complete games in the minors unless the games are shortened, but McRae had one on this night. He went eight innings and gave up two runs on four hits, a hit batter and two walks, striking out seven batters. Both runs scored in the sixth when he gave up three of the four hits he allowed. The only other hit was a third inning single. McRae threw 62 of his 98 pitches for strikes and posted an 8:2 GO/AO ratio. He now has a 3.58 ERA in 88 innings.
The offense really sputtered in this game. Elvis Escobar’s eighth inning double was the only extra-base hit and he scored on an infield single by Jordan Luplow. The Curve had just three hits the rest of the game and they went down in order during five of the nine innings. Wyatt Mathisen, Edwin Espinal and Jin-De Jhang each went 1-for-4, while Kevin Newman and Connor Joe drew the only walks.
Bradenton has off today.
West Virginia lost 2-0, wasting a strong performance by starter Eduardo Vera. He threw six shutout innings, giving up four hits and two walks, while striking out four batters. Vera had a 6:2 GO/AO ratio and threw 52 of his 81 pitches for strikes. He faced just 20 batters (two over the minimum), getting two double plays and catcher Arden Pabst threw out two runners trying to steal. The walk total was odd to see because he had just four walks in 52.2 innings prior to this outing. Vera now has a 2.91 ERA on the season.
Matt Eckelman followed Vera and allowed both Augusta runs in his only inning of work. The Power had four hits and two walks in the game, but it didn’t look like they were going to have trouble early. The first seven batters of the game had three singles and a walk. From that point on (no outs in the second and two runners on) all they had was a seventh inning single and an eighth inning walk. Alexis Bastardo and Trae Arbet both had tough games with three strikeouts apiece. Carlos Munoz singled twice and was the only Power hitter to reach base multiple times.
Morgantown lost in ten innings as a walk-off walk broke a 0-0 tie. Sergio Cubilete threw six shutout innings with five hits and no walks. He had two strikeouts, a 9:4 GO/AO ratio and threw 51 of his 75 pitches for strikes. Eighth round pick Blake Weiman made his pro debut with two no-hit innings, striking out three batters and issuing one walk. Adam Oller didn’t allow a hit either in his 1.1 innings, but an error, followed by a hit batter and two walks, led to the loss.
On offense, they had just four hits and one walk, so there weren’t many scoring chances. Julio de la Cruz doubled for the only extra-base hit. Seventh round pick Jared Oliva went 1-for-4 in the lead-off spot, playing center field. Ninth round pick Bligh Madris drew the only walk. Lucas Tancas, who was taken in the 26th round, went 0-for-4 in his debut. Raul Siri and Andrew Walker had the only other hits, but Siri was thrown out stealing and also committed the costly error in the tenth inning.
Bristol lost 4-2 to Greeneville, as four 2017 draft picks made their pro debut in this game. Hunter Stratton (16th round) started the game and had some trouble in his debut, allowing two runs on four hits in two innings. He didn’t strike out anyone or issue any walks. Next up was 11th round pick Alex Manasa, who received a $155,000 bonus, which is slightly ($30,000) over slot. He also gave up two runs in four innings. Manasa allowed two hits, one being a two-run homer in his second inning of work. He walked two and struck out one batter. Evan Piechota, who was signed as a non-drafted free agent last year, finished the game with five shutout innings.
On offense, 23rd round pick Ben Bengtson had a memorable debut, going 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored. He scored on a two-run homer from Henrry Rosario. Nick Valaika (24th round) didn’t have quite the memorable debut in the two hole, playing shortstop. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout. Center fielder Yondry Contreras went 2-for-4 with two singles.
The GCL Pirates opened up their season on Monday afternoon with 2-0 victory over the Tigers East (Tigers have two GCL affiliates). Calvin Mitchell, who the Pirates took with the 50th overall pick in this year’s draft, made his pro debut in this game. He went 1-for-4 with an eighth inning single. He flew out to left field, flew out to right field and grounded out to first base in his other three at-bats.
Roger Santana started this game and had a terrific outing, giving up four singles over five shutout innings. The lefty spent the last two seasons in the DSL after signing for a six figure bonus in July of 2014. He had no walks, four strikeouts and a 7:4 GO/AO ratio.
Austin Shields pitched the sixth and had some control issues, which is part of the reason he is still in the GCL. Shields had some arm tightness back at the end of May and was briefly shut down. He was showing excellent control before the injury, but has been wild since he returned to action. Shields was slated to start the season with Bristol, but he will need to get stretched out first and display better control before that happens. Max Kranick is also still in the GCL for now after he was briefly shut down for shoulder soreness. Neither player missed significant time (5-7 days each), but both were reset in their progress and have to build back up. Kranick is expected to make at least one GCL start before he goes to Bristol.
After Shields walked two in his scoreless inning, Samuel Reyes took over and threw three scoreless innings for the save. The younger brother of Pirates prospect Pablo Reyes, Samuel was pitching in the DSL until being promoted over the weekend.
The offense was led by three of the best DSL players from last year. Jeremias Portorreal has a single, triple, run scored and an RBI, contributing to both runs. Shortstop Rodolfo Castro had a single, double, walk, stolen base and an RBI. Kevin “Lolo” Sanchez had a single, triple, run scored and a stolen base. Mitchell and Cristopher Perez had the only other hits.
Catcher Raul Hernandez caught the first five innings as he makes his return from his second hamstring injury of the year. He missed a lot of time during Extended Spring Training, returning for just a week between injuries. While he isn’t listed as a rehab player, he will be promoted once he’s able to catch full games on back-to-back days.
The DSL Pirates won 4-3 in ten innings on Monday, scoring the walk-off run on a bases loaded walk. Santiago Florez started and had a strong outing, giving up just one hit over five shutout inning. He retired the first 12 batters he faced before allowing a lead-off double in the fifth. He retired the next three batters on fly balls to end his day. Florez actually had more outs in the air and didn’t strike out a single batter, so it wasn’t exactly the way you want to see someone pitch, but you take those results every single time.
The Pirates scored three runs in the seventh inning, giving them a 3-1 lead at the time. They had just two singles in the inning, but got some help from a hit batter, two walks, a stolen base and a passed ball. In the tenth, they started with a man on second base (new rule for extra inning games) and quickly loaded the bases with two walks before Kyle Simmons drew the walk-off walk.
Sherten Apostel walked three times in this game. Pedro Castillo and Simmons each drew two walks. Simmons also had a single and scored a run. The Pirates had just five hits, all of them singles. Jean Eusebio returned to the lineup after leaving Friday’s game early due to heat related muscle cramps. He went 0-for-4 with a walk. Larry Alcime has been out two weeks with hamstring tightness, but expects to be back this week.
The opposing starting pitcher might be my new favorite baseball name: Yefferrson Yannuzzi