Prospect Watch: Leandro Pina and Mason Martin Lead GCL Pirates to Victory

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 (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] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20170722′);

3. Shane Baz, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669358,’P’,’20170722′);

4. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170722′);

5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170722′);

6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170722′);

7. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170722′);

8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170722′);

9. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170722′);

10. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170722′);

11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668751,’B’,’20170722′);

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170722′);

13Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170722′);

14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170722′);

15. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170722′);

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170722′);

17. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20170722′);

18. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170722′);

19. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170722′);

20. Steven Jennings, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(675651,’P’,’20170722′);

21. Adrian Valerio, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20170722′);

22. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170722′);

23. Conner Uselton, OF, GCL Pirates – Disabled List

24. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170722′);

25. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170722′);

26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(622747,’P’,’20170722′);

27. Logan Hill, LF, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664930,’B’,’20170722′);

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170722′);

29. Lolo Sanchez, CF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(665975,’B’,’20170722′);

30. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(642607,’P’,’20170722′);

P2 Top Performers

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Indianapolis lost 2-1 to Gwinnett, as they got strong pitching from the bullpen in place of Steven Brault. Before the game, Brault was scratched as the starter so he could join the Pirates. That meant that Indianapolis needed the bullpen to work overtime and four pitchers combined for a solid overall job. Johnny Barbato got the start and went two innings, allowing a run. Edgar Santana went three innings and also gave up a run. It was an extended outing for him, but he worked quickly through the first two innings. Brett McKinney tossed two scoreless frames and Dan Ruzler made quick work in the eighth.

There wasn’t much offense with just six hits, all of them being singles. The only run scored in the eighth when Jacob Stalling singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, third on a fly out and scored on a ground out. Danny Ortiz had the only two-hit game, while Erich Weiss had a single and a walk. Jordan Luplow was 1-for-4 and Kevin Newman went 0-for-4 in his third game in Indianapolis.


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Altoona lost 5-2 to Bowie in a game twice delayed by rain. Cody Dickson and Casey Sadler pitched four innings each, with Sadler continuing on despite a delay in the middle of his outing. He gave up two runs and struck out five batters.  He threw 59 pitches on this night, which is his most since returning from Tommy John surgery. His four innings is also a high, topping two outings of three innings each.

The Curve got a solo home run from Logan Hill, his second in 18 games with the team. Edwin Espinal drove in Jerrick Suiter on a sacrifice fly for the second run. Suiter reached on a triple, his only hit of the night. Both Hill and Espinal each drew a walk, while striking out twice. Cole Tucker played his third game for Altoona and went 0-for-4 with a walk. He is 1-for-13 so far for the Curve.

Altoona began the day in a tie for second place in their division, but after tonight’s loss, they now sit in fourth place. The top two teams in the division make the playoffs. The season wraps up on September 4th.


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Bradenton lost 4-3 to Clearwater on Saturday night. Cam Vieaux started and went seven innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and two walks, while striking out three batters. It was the second time he has gone seven innings since joining Bradenton last month. Sam Street and Jess Amedee each threw a scoreless inning, with Amedee picking up three strikeouts.

Jordan George extended his hitting streak to 18 games with his eighth home run of the season. He also added a double, giving him a .297 average through 64 games. Casey Hughston had two hits and a run scored before leaving for a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. Kevin Krause hit for him and doubled. That was followed by walks to Mitchell Tolman and Ke’Bryan Hayes to load the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning. Unfortunately for the Marauders, Will Craig struck out and Jordan George flew out to right field to end the game. Stephen Alemais went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his third game with Bradenton.


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West Virginia won 16-2 and got big days on offense from two players you wouldn’t expect. Both Clark Eagan and Trae Arbet collected four hits and drove in four runs. Eagan had a chance for the cycle in the eighth inning, needing a double, but instead he drew a walk. Arbet collected three doubles, including two in the fifth inning when the Power put ten runs on the board. They had a little help, as Lexington recently called up Tyler Fallwell from the Appalachian League and he has now been smacked around twice in limited relief outings. He gave up nine of the runs in this game.

Arbet started the season off strong, but prior to this game, he was hitting .167 since May 26th, with four walks and 41 strikeouts. Eagan had a .453 OPS in June and it was at .560 in July prior to this game, so neither has been hitting well for a long time.

The big day on offense overshadowed a strong outing by James Marvel. He went seven innings, giving up two runs on seven hits and a walk, with five strikeouts. The one odd part about him pitching well is that he is a ground ball pitcher and he had a 6:9 GO/AO ratio in this game. Matt Anderson tossed a scoreless eighth and Ronny Agustin had a scoreless ninth, striking out the side.

Adrian Valerio went 1-for-3 with a run scored before leaving this game in the fourth inning with an ankle injury, that will need further tests to evaluate. He injured it on a ground ball he fielded and stepped on the second base bag for the force out.


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Morgantown was postponed due to rain.

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Bristol lost 5-4, as the bullpen couldn’t follow a solid start by Hunter Stratton. This is the sixth start for Stratton and his has yet to allow more than two runs. On this night, he went 4.2 innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. He also posted a 5:0 GO/AO ratio. Stratton reached his pitch limit one out short of being able to pick up a decision. He now has a 2.05 ERA in 22 innings.

Evan Piechota and Hector Quinones followed Stratton and allowed two runs each. All three pitchers served up a home run. Quinones (32nd round pick) was making his debut with Bristol after beginning his pro career in the GCL.

On offense, Henrry Rosario hit a two-run homer and his seventh double. Johan De Jesus and Melvin Jimenez each drove in a run. Kyle Watson had two hits, but also committed his ninth error in 14 games. Yondry Contreras and Edison Lantigua each went 1-for-5 with a single.


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The GCL Pirates played a doubleheader on Saturday after a rain out on Friday. Game one featured something you never see, to the point I had to check afterwards to make sure it really happened. Leandro Pina went six innings in his start, allowing one run on four hits, with no walks and two strikeouts.

While I didn’t check every boxscore, I did go through game recaps for the top starters and leaders in innings for the GCL Pirates on their MiLB pages and couldn’t find a start over five innings since Jhonathan Ramos did it in 2009. The Pirates have capped their GCL pitchers, even the ones out of college, at five innings or 75 pitches since then. I only found one example each in 2008 and 2009 of a player going longer. Word from Pirate City today was that Pina cruised through the first five innings on a very low pitch count, so he came out for the sixth. I’m sure a low pitch count has happened many times since 2009, but the Pirates seem to be a little more lenient with pitchers and their pitch counts this year.

Game one of the doubleheader was won by the Pirates 4-1, with Mason “Babe Ruth Jr” Martin hitting his fifth home run in his last five games. He also singled and reached on a hit-by-pitch. He is hitting .400/.561/.967 in his first nine games. He leads the league with his five homers and while he hasn’t played enough to qualify for league leaders, his OPS is 417 points higher than the leader. Victor Ngoepe had three hits and an RBI. Lolo Sanchez had two hits and an RBI.

Game Two Recap: The Pirates lost game two by a 6-2 score against the Phillies. Pirates 19th round pick Jacob Webb pitched two scoreless innings in relief. This was the fourth appearance for the 18-year-old righty, who has allowed two runs over six innings. David Lee and Vince Deyzel each allowed three runs in the loss.

Jeremias Portorreal hit his third home run of the season. The boxscore says it was his second, but they still haven’t updated their errors from Thursday when he hit a grand slam and didn’t get credit for it. Rodolfo Castro had a single, walk and run scored. He is batting .324 through 19 games. Victor Ngoepe had a single and has now reached base in ten games straight.

Sixth round pick Cody Bolton was originally scheduled to start today, but with weather issues two days this week, he was pushed back to Monday.


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The DSL Pirates won a pitching duel with the Dodgers2 by a 1-0 score, with that lone run scoring in the bottom of the eighth inning. Osvaldo Bido started for the Pirates and allowed two hits and one walk over five innings against one of the best teams in the DSL. He was pitching great during Spring Training, but the results have not been there during the season until this game. Bido throws harder than any pitcher on the staff, yet he had a 7.18 ERA coming into this game. Luis Arrieta recorded the win with four scoreless frames, allowing one hit and one walk, while striking out four batters. All three Dodger2 hits were doubles.

The Pirates didn’t have much of a game on offense, but all they needed was one run and they got some help in the eighth. Three straight walks and a sacrifice fly from Larry Alcime provide the run. The Pirates had just two hits, both singles and one didn’t leave the infield. The big play of the game was Jean Eusebio throwing a runner out at home plate to end the sixth inning.

Sherten Apostel continues to get pitched around recently due to his offensive show. He was walked three times and singled in his only official at-bat.

  • Newman and tucker both are having hard times adjusting with the bat to the their new leagues. Hope they can show improvement soon. Not sure Newman can replace Mercer without having some gap power which he is not truly showing at this point.

  • Michael Sanders
    July 23, 2017 7:59 am

    So when will Mason Martin be added to the top 30? 🙂

  • Kennewick Man!

  • PittsburghKid
    July 23, 2017 12:49 am

    One of my favorite parts of the deadline is not just the trades that happen but also the hypothetical trades. I put together a mock deadline through a game, Out Of The Park Baseball 18, and while its not great its decent (the trade engine). Im not going to claim to be good at this but i think that its a good way to start a conversation on the topic. Im going to post this on the next few articles to hopefully get more people to see it so sorry if it annoys anyone.


    Trade 1 – Pirates get Jed Lowrie – Athletics get Elvis Escobar and Gage Hinsz


    Trade 2 – Pirates get Pat Neshek – Phillies get Max Moroff and Larry Alcime


    Trade 3 – Pirates get Ben Revere – Angels get Max Kranick and Garrett Brown


    Trade 4 – Pirates get Derek Holland – White Sox get J.T. Brubaker and Michael De La Cruz


    Trade 5 – Pirates get Joe Smith – Blue Jays get Dario Agrazal, Kevin Kramer, and Clark Eagan


    Rotation – Gerrit Cole – Jameson Taillon – Ivan Nova – Chad Kuhl – Derek Holland


    Bullpen – Felipe Rivero – Juan Nicasio – Pat Neshek – Tony Watson – Joe Smith – Daniel Hudson – Trevor Williams


    Lineup – C Francisco Cervelli – 1B Josh Bell – 2B Jed Lowrie – 3B Josh Harrison – SS Jordy Mercer – LF Starling Marte – CF Andrew McCutchen – RF Gregory Polanco


    Bench – Chris Stewart – John Jaso – David Freese – Adam Frazier – Jose Osuna / Ben Revere


    *Note – Teams retained varrying amounts of salary in order to make finacials work for Pirates


    The trades for Smith and Neshek help shore up a shaky bullpen and hopefully give some nice set up options to add to Nicasio. Holland can be this years Happ/Nova but a little more of a wild card. Lowrie can stabilize third by letting Harrison to move over and give Freese som emore time off. Revere kinda causes a problem in the bench but can fill in for Polanco while hes on the DL and gives a true outfielder to replace Marte in the playoffs.


    I thought about selling off pieces but it doesnt really make sense. Making a run at the playoff would mean Nicasio, Cutch, JHay and Cole would have to stick around. Watsons value to a run would be more than what would be aquired for two months of him and Freese, who i think is the best candidate to be sold, seems like too much of a leader as well as a good vet bat of the bench.


    This is just a starting point please understand that and provide imput as to what you think could happen.

    • Disclaimer: These are opinions from someone who would still rather sell short term pieces than acquire any.

      Trade 1: Pirates need a third baseman far greater than someone to shift JHay to third. I could see the Bucs being a darkhorse contender to get Moustakas or Eduardo Nunez in free agency if the price is right. Also I think you have to replace Lowrie, Mercer and Harrison in the same off-season in that scenario.

      Trade 2: Beyond Rivero, the bullpen looks shaky at best for the future. I could see the Bucs spending their biggest prospect capital in a single deal this deadline to get a controllable reliever, maybe Maurer or Hand from San Diego, not a rental like Neshek who can leave with Watson and Nicasio.

      Trade 3: Ben Revere for cash or player to be named, maybe… but definitely not for Kranick and something else. I don’t think outfield is a huge need but a low key move to get a true 4th outfielder makes sense.

      Trade 4: Derek Holland really isn’t going to do anything much better than Williams/Kuhl/Brault/Glasnow/whoever else at the back of the rotation. At this point, they’re all guys who can win games but are gonna lose games too. Generally speaking I’d stay away from rentals if I were NH, especially if they aren’t significantly better than current options.

      Trade 5: Assuming they go for it this year and keep Nicasio and Watson, adding Joe Smith sounds great but similar to Lowrie, Mercer and JHay all having the same walk year, so do Watson, Nicasio, and Smith and it’s a year sooner with quality relievers starting to get big contracts in free agency and command serious prospects in trades, when searching for replacements for next year. Plus Kramer is on the DL still I think.

      Just my opinions and intentionally a bit harsh because I wanted to play devil’s advocate. Hope any of it helped.

      • PittsburghKid
        July 23, 2017 3:04 am

        This is exactly the kind of response I was looking for. Personally I think Lowrie would be more than just a guy to push Harrison, he’s a guy with another year of control and I put the part about pushing Harrison over because I feel that’s a better defense than the other way around. Mercer wouldn’t be too bad to replace as he’s not great and Newman will be ready before he’s gone. Another point about Lowrie is he can play a few positions unlike moustakas who will probably be out of the price range, and as for Nunez I like the idea but I’d rather bid with prospects than dollars to get the players I want if I’m the pirates. Moving on to the part on not needing a rental reliever I looked at guys like Joe Biagini and Hunter Strickland but I can’t see the Pirates paying up for those guys, I feel like keeping guys like Nicasio and getting guys like Smith to try to extend would be a more realistic scenario. I completely agree with the part on Revere, what I posted was just what I could make work. The Holland trade was more out of expectation than my opinion, I bet NH goes for another low cost rental starter and it seemed they liked Holland enough over the off-season to try and pick him up whether or not he’s an upgrade. Finally I get your point with the reliever walk years, Nicasio looks to be in line for a decent pay day but I don’t think that will be the case for Watson and Smith. Watson has been used a ton the past few years and I think teams will be wary about that especially considering his year and ineffectiveness in high pressure situations and Smith if I recall correctly, which I’m not sure I am, is having a good but not spectacular year and was pretty good last year and the year before and the Jays good him for just 3 mil. Thanks for the response you brought up some great points hope to see more like it.

    • LLOYD loves this dude!!!

  • Valerio was pulled in his game apparently. Hugwatch?

    • John Dreker
      July 22, 2017 7:54 pm

      No, happened after a fielding play in the middle of an inning. Probably a bad bounce or possibly a collision on a force at second base. I’ll have an update if possible after the game.

      • Hmmm thanks. Hope he’s not hurt then

      • Santana went 3 innings? Are they stretching him out for long relief or is that situational?

        • piraterican21
          July 22, 2017 8:54 pm

          It was a bullpen game due to Brault’s called up, He threw 29, Barbato 30, it seem it was a preset pitch limit.

        • John Dreker
          July 22, 2017 9:01 pm

          Probably has a lot to do with needing innings tonight. Plus the first two innings were fairly easy, needing seven pitches and then 15 during an inning when there was an injury timeout for Gwinnett and no long at-bats. Since Santana’s spot didn’t come up in the batting order, he probably stayed out for another inning.