A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time, 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, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [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 won 3-1 over Gwinnett, as Clay Holmes battled through control issues to get the win. Both teams scored in the first inning. Indianapolis got on the board first with a two-run homer from Eric Wood, his 11th of the season. In the bottom of the first, Gwinnett scored on a triple and a wild pitch. Holmes walked the next two batters before recording his first out of the game, then ended the inning on a double play. That was all of the scoring until the top of the ninth when Eury Perez added a solo homer.
Holmes lasted five innings despite having runners on base in every inning and issuing six walks. He limited Gwinnett to just two singles after the lead-off triple, so he was able to allow just one run. He threw 79 pitches, with 42 going for strikes. Holmes had just two strikeouts, but he posted an 8:1 GO/AO ratio. He lowered his ERA to 3.75 through 72 innings.
While Eric Wood had the big hit, Eury Perez had the big day. He went 4-for-4 with three singles and that ninth inning home run. He also stole two base to give him 19 on the season. He’s batting .340 through 37 games this season.
Dan Runzler made his return to the Indianapolis bullpen after being injured during his June 3rd appearance. He recorded three outs on strikeouts, but also gave up two hits and Dovydas Neverauskas had to come out for the last out, picking up his ninth save in the process.
Altoona won game one of a doubleheader by a 6-5 score on Saturday night. Austin Coley started and allowed four runs over five innings. In his previous four games, he allowed four runs over 23.1 innings. Akron scored a pair of runs in the first and a pair in the fifth, while running Coley up to 96 pitches.
Altoona took the lead in the top of the sixth, with Jerrick Suiter hitting a two-run homer, his sixth of the season. Out came Yeudy Garcia, who had one of the ugliest saves you’ll see. In two innings, he allowed one run on two hits, four walks and a wild pitch, while throwing 59 pitches. That was good enough to hold the one-run lead in the seventh and seal the victory.
Pablo Reyes, Logan Hill, Edwin Espinal and Tomas Morales each had two hits. Both Hill and Morales collected two doubles, giving them four on the season. Morales drove in two runs, while Reyes scored twice. Espinal hit his 24th double and drove in his 54th run. Kevin Newman had an RBI single, but was thrown out trying to go to second base, which ended the second inning.
Game Two recap: Altoona used a four-run sixth inning to defeat Akron by a 5-1 score and sweep the doubleheader. Sean Keselica started and threw three shutout innings on three hits and a walk. Tate Scioneaux was out next and he added two scoreless frames. Brandon Cumpton threw a scoreless sixth, but ran into trouble in the seventh due to some wildness. He loaded the bases with one out, then got a ground out to second base that Pablo Reyes made a nice diving stop on, getting a throw off to second base from the ground for the force out. Cumpton was removed after that play and Montana DuRapau got the save with the help of a fine defensive play from Edwin Espinal on the last out.
Speaking of Espinal, he hit his tenth home run of the season, a solo shot in the fourth inning. In the sixth, singles by Logan Hill, Jerrick Suiter and Jin-De Jhang brought home a run. Altoona would then score three more runs on an error and two wild pitches. The three singles accounted for half of Altoona’s hits. Besides the Espinal homer, Logan Ratledge and Kevin Newman each added singles. Newman went 1-for-4 with a single in each game. In addition to his single, Suiter also had a walk, a stolen base and he threw a runner out at home.
Bradenton won 5-4 over Tampa on a walk-off single by Mitchell Tolman. The Marauders had Pedro Vasquez on the mound and he allowed just two runs over six innings, but it was not his best outing. He served up ten base hits, as well as two walks, with Tampa collecting four doubles against him. Vasquez came into the game with the sixth best ERA in the FSL and he dropped down one spot in those rankings with his 2.52 mark at the end of the night. He also ranked sixth in WHIP prior to the game and those 12 base runners in six innings dropped him down to ninth best in the league.
Geoff Hartlieb followed Vasquez and gave up two runs in the eighth to tie the score. Logan Sendelbach followed him and picked up the win with two scoreless frames.
Besides the game-winning single, Tolman also added a two-run homer in the second inning, his fifth of the season. John Bormann had three hits, including a double.Will Craig had two hits, including his 22nd double of the season. Alexis Bastardo went 0-for-4, but still had two stolen bases, a run scored and an outfield assist, cutting down a runner at home plate in the third inning.
West Virginia lost 2-0, as Eduardo Vera pitched a strong game, but Bryse Wilson of the Rome Braves was even better. Vera allowed two runs over seven innings, though this wasn’t a typical game for him. He came into the day with just six walks all season, while averaging nearly a strikeout per inning. Vera finished with two walks and just one strikeout. He was getting his outs in another way on this day, posting an incredible 15:1 GO/AO ratio. He was doing a good job of pounding the strike zone, with 65 of his 87 pitches going for strikes. He now has a 2.76 ERA in 71.2 innings.
The Power didn’t bring any offense in this game. They had five hits, no walks, and the only extra-base hit was Clark Eagan’s 13th double. They had just two at-bats with runners in scoring position all game and only stranded two runners, thanks to Brent Gibbs getting picked-off and two players hitting into double plays. No one had more than one hit. Adrian Valerio had the night off.
MORGANTOWN, WV – Morgantown took advantage of some bad Batavia defense to run up a 9-3 score against the Muckdogs.
Black Bears starter Scooter Hightower allowed three runs, all unearned, over five innings. He gave up three hits and didn’t walk anybody, while striking out two. Hightower threw a fastball, change and curve, with none of the three being a real swing-and-miss pitch. His fastball wasn’t overpowering, but he generally kept it down and moved it around. Despite the lack of walks, Hightower’s command was spotty. That led to some hitters counts that Batavia didn’t really take advantage of, along with three hit batsmen. Hightower benefited from some loud outs, including two line outs with multiple runners aboard.
Hightower finally allowed one run in the fourth. The leadoff batter reached when Dylan Busby couldn’t come up with the ball on a short hop. The play went for an error and produced a run on a two-out single. Two more runs followed in the fifth. The first two batters reached on a throwing error by shortstop Brett Pope (the play should have been ruled an infield hit and an error allowing the runner to advance, but was scored as a two-base error). A hit batsman and sacrifice put runners at second and third. One scored when Jared Oliva, playing center, couldn’t make a diving catch of a looper beyond second. The second came on a sacrifice fly.
Morgantown had some loud outs of their own, especially in the early going. Deon Stafford lost a HR when the Batavia left fielder reached over the fence for his first-inning drive. Busby led off the second by driving a ball to the fence in center. Busby swung the bat well all night, later lining a pair of doubles into the left field corner.
The Batavia starter left after four innings and the Black Bears jumped on his replacement for two runs in the fifth, one on a Jose Barraza RBI double, the second when Lucas Tancas singled in Barraza. Morgantown then blew the game open with six in the sixth after the first two batters reached on errors. Busby then drove in two with his first double. A pair of walks, a wild pitch and a looping double down the left field line by Pope produced three more runs. The last scored when the second baseman failed to catch a popup. Morgantown got its final run in the seventh as Busby doubled again and scored on a double by Tristan Gray.
Apart from Busby, who had three long drives in the game, Gray and Oliva hit the ball hard most times up. Gray went 2-for-3 with a walk, while Oliva had a couple hard-hit outs and only one hit plus a walk in four ABs. Pope had a nice play on a slow bouncer early in the game and Oliva showed good speed in center while tracking down several drives. One runner tried (successfully) to steal on Stafford; the throw wasn’t strong and ended up in center.
Eighth round pick Blake Weiman followed Hightower with a pair of 1-2-3 innings, striking out three. Weiman showed good command of a fastball, curve and change. He kept the fastball down and, although it’s not an overpowering pitch, it had enough life to produce some swings and misses. The curve appeared to be Weiman’s best pitch. Matt Seelinger, a 28th round pick, followed Weiman. Seelinger threw mostly fastballs, showing a loopy curve just a small number of times. He generally kept the fastball, which had just decent velocity, low in the strike zone and away from the middle of the plate. – Wilbur Miller
Bristol had a 3-2 lead going into the ninth, but dropped a 5-3 decision, giving them a 4-13 record on the season. Travis MacGregor started and gave up a lead-off single to start the game. Of the next 14 batters he faced, the only two who reached base were on fielding errors. In the fifth inning, he allowed a walk and a single to the first two hitters, then a run scored on a sacrifice fly, which marked the end of his night. MacGregor went 4.2 innings, allowing one run on two hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Despite the success he had, he left due to his pitch count getting up to 82 in the fifth inning. MacGregor had a 7:4 GO/AO ratio. He has a 3.14 ERA in 14.1 innings over four starts.
Bristol committed four errors on the night, but all three runs off of Miguel Hernandez in the ninth inning were earned runs.
On offense, the Pirates had just five hits, but all five went for extra bases. They got doubles from Kyle Watson, Paul Brands, Ryan Peurifoy and Luis Benitez. Brands also added a solo homer in the seventh inning, his second of the season. Yondry Contreras went 0-for-3 with a walk, while Edison Lantigua struck out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth.
BRADENTON, Fla. – Pirates’ first round pick Shane Baz didn’t have a good second pro start today. He was scheduled for two innings, but had his outing cut short due to poor control that led to three walks and one hit batter.
Baz threw 39 pitches in 1.2 innings, with only 19 strikes. His velocity was down today, sitting 95-96 in his last outing, but only 90-93 today. That could have been because he was pitching from the stretch the entire day. He gave up a leadoff single in the first, putting him from the stretch right away. He also issued a leadoff walk in the second, seeing the same result. The control problems weren’t an impact of pitching from the stretch though, as he was working deep into counts with both leadoff batters.
After the leadoff single, Baz got two quick outs, before seeing his control issues come into play. He gave up his first walk of the day, then hit a batter in the lid of the helmet with his first pitch. After a visit to the mound, Baz settled down and got the following strikeout:
The second inning was similar to the first. Baz gave up the leadoff walk, but got two outs, and looked like he was going to escape the inning. He then threw a wild pitch and walked his final batter, before being lifted for Dany Hernandez.
Baz now has two outings under his belt, with both of them being cut short. One of them was outstanding, showing good velocity, and strikeouts on both his slider and curve. The one today wasn’t a good one, which you’ll have. Hopefully the next outing will at least allow him to finish his scheduled inning total.
Speaking of Hernandez, he gave up a single that led to the only run for Baz, but settled in after that, showing off a nasty 92-93 MPH sinker. He’s reportedly hit 95-96 MPH in the recent past, but doesn’t really need it with the movement he showed on his pitches today. This was his debut after turning 26 years old last month. He signed at a late age after playing pro ball in Cuba. He left for the Dominican, where he trained for two years. The Pirates signed him after seeing him hit 95 MPH, and he hasn’t pitched until now because he had to go to Haiti to get his working visa extended. Hernandez was only signed for $30,000, and is older, but looks to be a live arm. I’d treat his placement in the GCL more as a rehab appearance to get him back in the mix, than a sign of his talent. (John Dreker with the assist on the background on Hernandez)
Lolo Sanchez had the best day at the plate, going 1-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base, which was his fifth of the year. However, poor base running prevented him from scoring two runs on a low offensive day for the Pirates. He reached on a walk in the third, then moved to second on a wild pickoff attempt. Two batters later, Felix Vinicio double off the right field wall. Sanchez tagged up at second, rather than going half way down the line. As a result, he only made it to third on a double off the wall, rather than scoring. The next two batters struck out and popped out to prevent the run. – Tim Williams
The DSL Pirates won 7-4 on Saturday, as third baseman Sherten Apostel continued the power breakout we have been waiting for since he signed. When Apostel signed for $200,000 in 2015 at age 16, he was 6’4″, 200 pounds, with huge raw power. He has filled out a little since signing, but in his first 72 games in the DSL between last year and this year, he had one career homer. Things have changed in a big way this week.
On Wednesday, he hit his first home run of the season. On Thursday, he doubled his career home run total. In Saturday’s game, he hit two homers for the second time in three days. To recap, that was one home run in his first 266 at-bats, and now five in his last 16 at-bats. Apostel has been a big bat in the lineup all season, driving in 33 runs in 28 games, but the added power is turning him into what the Pirates saw when they signed him.
Top prospect Jean Eusebio went 1-for-6 in the game, but that one hit was his first career triple, which drove in a run. Samuel Inoa had a single, walk and two runs scored. Larry Alcime was 1-for-4 with a single and an RBI. Emison Soto and Rayvi Rodriguez each had two hits.
Starter Oliver Garcia threw five no-hit innings, giving up two unearned runs due to two walks, a hit batter and an error. He has limited the opposition to five earned runs on the season in seven starts. After Saul de la Cruz had control issues in his 3.2 innings, Kleiner Machado threw 1.1 scoreless frames for the win.