A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time (Max Moroff), 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 Mid-Season Update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.
1. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
3. Shane Baz, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
4. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – [insert_php]
5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
7. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
9. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
10. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]
11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php]
13. Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php]
15. Steven Brault, LHP, Pirates – [insert_php]
16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
17. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
18. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
19. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
20. Steven Jennings, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
21. Adrian Valerio, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php]
22. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
23. Conner Uselton, OF, GCL Pirates – Disabled List
24. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
25. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
27. Logan Hill, LF, Altoona – [insert_php]
28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
29. Lolo Sanchez, CF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
30. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
INDIANAPOLIS — There weren’t too many options on the bench.
Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett didn’t have to strategize much in his team’s 3-1 loss to Rochester on Thursday, playing the final eight innings without an available position player on the bench.
Kevin Newman’s early departure due to an injury created a trickle-down effect that led to Jacob Stallings playing his first professional game at first base.
Newman left the game with a large, nearly baseball-sized knot on his left shin he suffered on a foul ball. He stayed in the game initially and singled, but was taken out after reaching base.
There was some discussion between Newman, Barkett and trainer Dru Scott, but the decision was made to remove the newly promoted shortstop out of the game. An x-ray was negative and Newman might be out 2-3 days, Barkett said.
“I knew I was going in, I just didn’t know where,” Stallings said. “When he said first, I was a little relieved. I didn’t know if guys needed to play a different spot.”
Stallings played one game at first base while at UNC, so he had minimal experience at the position.
“It was fun but the first three innings were pretty nerve-wracking,” Stallings said. “I’m always telling them I can play every position, so at least I didn’t make myself look like an idiot out there.”
Eury Perez pinch-ran for Newman, but did not remain in the game due to having a bruised knee suffered when he ran into the outfield wall the night before. Jordan Luplow was still taking a roster spot up, but he’s being officially promoted to the Pirates on Friday.
And to make that long story a little shorter, multiple other players shuffled around and forced Stallings to step in at first base.
Clay Holmes was solid in three of his four innings, but was nearly taken out of an outing for for the third time this season due to reaching the 35-pitch limit for an inning. He needed 34 pitches to work through the third inning, though he only allowed one run.
He threw 44 of his 72 pitches for a strike, and has not thrown more than 80 pitches in his last five starts.
“I thought he did really good and it was a step in the right direction,” Barkett said. “I thought he had really good stuff tonight. He had some pitches were elevated in the zone and battled some traffic in the third, but was able to come back in the fourth and looked good. At this stage of the season with some of the fatigue he’s had I thought that was enough.”
Holmes has battled shoulder fatigue recently, which is a main reason he hasn’t had higher pitch counts. He’s also dealt with command issues, allowing six walks in two of his previous four starts; and another three walks on Thursday.
Indianapolis loaded the bases with nobody out in the ninth inning on singles from Stallings, Phil Gosselin and Joey Terdoslavich. The Indians could only manage one run out of that situation, coming on Danny Ortiz’s one-out RBI sacrifice fly. That was sandwiched in between an Elias Diaz and Eric Wood strikeouts. – Brian Peloza
ALTOONA, Pa. – Throwback Thursday was in full swing tonight in Altoona, as Casey Sadler started for the Curve for the first time since August 24, 2013. His last professional start was on June 21, 2015 for Indianapolis, and he was lit up for 10 runs in 4.1 innings. Of course, that would be Sadler’s last appearance of the season, and he proceeded to have Tommy John surgery a few months later.
Not only did Sadler get his first start sine 2015, he was able to complete five innings of work for the first time since pre-Tommy John surgery. He has added one inning of work in each of his last four outings, working his way up to five tonight.
Results were mixed for Sadler, as he allowed three earned runs on five hits, but he ultimately wasn’t hit that hard other than a third inning solo home run by Trenton’s Ryan McBroom. The two runs he allowed in the second were a result of him slipping on the turf while trying to field a bunt to the first batter then a trapped ball in the outfield by Michael Suchy. Trenton ended up doubling down the right field line to score both runs, but Sadler still performed well throughout the inning.
Otherwise, Sadler retired his final seven batters to get through the fifth.
“He kept the sinker down tonight,” Manager Michael Ryan said. “McBroom hit a good pitch. Every pitch that they hit hard or scored runs on were quality pitches. You just have to tip your hat sometimes.”
The plan is to keep Sadler in the starting rotation for now, as the organization wants to get him built up and get more innings.
The Curve’s offense was helped by the long ball tonight, as Connor Joe and Edwin Espinal both went deep for the home team. Joe hit his fourth homer of the year. It was his first bomb since May 27th after a terrible month of June and a stint on the disabled list that took up most of July.
Espinal, for some strange reason, has still been hitting bombs in Double-A, and he tied up the game in the sixth with a three-run bomb. It was his 15th homer of the season. Luckily for Curve fans in attendance, they got to see Espinal hit a home run in his last game before being promoted to Triple-A.
Other than the two homers, the Curve offense was quiet tonight. They struck out eleven times against Trenton pitching.
“They’ve got some unbelievable arms – whether it’s in the rotation or in the bullpen,” Ryan said. “We just tried scratching some runs out against them.”
The starting defense was a little strange tonight with Cole Tucker getting a night off and Wyatt Mathisen a little banged up. Edwin Espinal made his first start at third base since Opening Day, and Pablo Reyes got a once-every-few-weeks start at shortstop. Connor Joe, fresh off of the disabled list, made the start at first base. In the outfield, the Curve will adjust to life without Logan Hill, as he went on the disabled list with a broken hand.
After the sweep in Reading, the Curve dropped the first game of the series against Trenton tonight, 5-4. It was a solo home run in the eighth inning against Brandon Cumpton that did them in against the best team in the league.
“We knew coming in where they are in the standings and what their record is,” Ryan said of Trenton. “It just showed tonight how great of a team they are.” -Sean McCool
Bradenton won 8-1 over St Lucie, as Cam Vieaux started and most of the lineup contributed. Vieaux went six innings on this night, allowing one run on six hits and three walks. He had a 2:5 GO/AO ratio, but that didn’t matter on this night, as he struck out eight batters. That’s one short of his career high in strikeouts, but three more than he recorded in any start this season. Geoff Hartlieb and Sam Street combined to retire the final nine batters of the game in order.
Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his second home run of the season. He also added a single, walk and scored three runs, plus he stole his 24th base in 28 attempts. Mitchell Tolman had three singles, a run scored and an RBI. Jordan George, Christian Kelley, Logan Ratledge and Casey Hughston each collected two hits. Kelley drove in two runs. George had a double, triple and a walk. Hughston collected his seventh triple. Will Craig had a quiet night comparatively, going 1-for-5 with an RBI single. Stephen Alemais did not play after leaving yesterday’s game early when he hurt himself on a swing.
West Virginia lost 6-3 to Hagerstown. Mike Wallace couldn’t match his brother’s performance (see Morgantown), going six innings, while allowing three runs on six hits and no walks, striking out three batters. Besides throwing a lot of strikes, he also had a 9:1 GO/AO ratio. Dylan Prohoroff gave up three runs in the seventh, accounting for the difference in the game. Matt Eckelman tossed a scoreless eighth.
Clark Eagan hit two sacrifice flies, one in the seventh and one in the ninth. The other Power run was a gift. Ryan Nagle walked, then scored on a throwing error and a fielding error back-to-back. Eagan has driven in 11 runs in his last five games. Garrett Brown continued his recent hot streak, going 1-for-3 with a walk. Kevin Mahala’s triple was the only extra-base hit.
Morgantown won a quick 2-1 game over Auburn on Thursday night. Gavin Wallace started on the same night his brother was starting for West Virginia and the younger Wallace won round one of the sibling rivalry. He tossed five shutout innings, giving up three singles and no walks, while striking out three batters. Wallace posted a 9:0 GO/AO ratio on a night that relievers Nicolas Economos and Beau Sulser each went two innings and had a 2:0 GO/AO. Sulser allowed the only run and vultured the win when the Black Bears scored in the ninth inning.
This was a very quiet game for the Morgantown offense, with four hits and a walk. Jonathan Schwind played his second rehab game and hit a double, scored a run and drew the lone walk. Tristan Gray had an RBI double in the ninth after Bligh Madris reached on a two-base throwing error. Robbie Glendinning added an RBI single. Jared Oliva singled for the only other hit.
Bristol has wasted a few strong starts recently because they can’t hit the ball. They lost 2-0 on Thursday and dropped to 8-27 on the season. It’s the worst record in all of baseball. It would be one thing if the team had prospects who were given an advanced placement, but the hitting group has one player who fits that mold (Yondry Contreras) and one prospect at the appropriate level, Edison Lantigua. Contreras didn’t play on this night and Lantigua went 1-for-4 with a single. The team went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and had a 0:12 BB/SO ratio.
Hunter Stratton started in front of his hometown fans, a packed crowd of 467 on free admission for students night. He threw five shutout innings, though he did walk four batters and hit another. Stratton now has a 1.67 ERA over his first seven pro starts. Ryan Valdes took the loss by allowing one run over his two innings, while Kyle Watson’s tenth error contributed to the unearned run on Chris McDonald’s record. McDonald has put up impressive stats in long relief, including a 1.74 ERA, a .213 BAA and a 1.73 GO/AO ratio.
The GCL Pirates lost 8-6 to the Braves today and the young hitters got a special challenge for the first couple innings. The opposing starting pitcher was Kyle Wright, the fifth overall pick in this year’s draft and considered by many to be the best college pitcher this year. He is building up in the GCL, so the Pirates saw him for two innings and did as bad as you would expect. Victor Ngoepe had the only hit off of Wright, a single to second base. Calvin Mitchell drew a walk, which was part of his strong day. Mitchell also had a pair of RBI doubles in this game, as well as a ninth inning single.
Mason Martin had an RBI double, giving him 14 RBIs in 12 games. He also walked, grounded into a double play and struck out twice. Rodolfo Castro drove in two runs with his seventh double of the season. Lolo Sanchez had a single, double and scored two runs.
Yeudry Manzanillo started and allowed two runs over four innings. Things went bad in this game in the seventh inning for the Pirates. Jake Webb pitched a scoreless sixth, but the first five batters of the seventh inning reached against him before he was removed. Four of those runs scored, one being unearned due to his own throwing error.
The DSL Pirates lost 1-0 to the Rays2, wasting a strong pitching performance from Oliver Garcia. In 5.1 innings, Garcia allowed one run on seven hits and a walk, while striking out three batters. Through ten starts this season, he has a 1.64 ERA. This was the most hits he has allowed in a game this season, and somewhat surprisingly, he hasn’t got through a game without a walk yet, despite issuing just 14 walks total. Pablo Santana followed Garcia and retired all eight batters he faced.
As you can imagine, there wasn’t much offense, but the Pirates did have their chances thanks to nine walks. The had just three hits total, all of them singles. Part of the problem, besides the lack of clutch hits, was them getting thrown out stealing three times. Kyle Simmons had a single and two walks. Williams Calderon had three walks. Sherten Apostel and Samuel Inoa each went 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.