Prospect Watch: Solid Start for Mitch Keller; Waddell Returns to Altoona

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’,’20170731′);

3. Shane Baz, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669358,’P’,’20170731′);

4. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170731′);

5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170731′);

6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170731′);

7. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170731′);

8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170731′);

9. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170731′);

10. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170731′);

11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668751,’B’,’20170731′);

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170731′);

13Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170731′);

14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170731′);

15. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis– [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170731′);

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170731′);

17. Jordan Luplow, LF, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20170731′);

18. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170731′);

19. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170731′);

20. Steven Jennings, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(675651,’P’,’20170731′);

21. Adrian Valerio, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20170731′);

22. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170731′);

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

24. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170731′);

25. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170731′);

26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(622747,’P’,’20170731′);

27. Logan Hill, LF, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664930,’B’,’20170731′);

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170731′);

29. Lolo Sanchez, CF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(665975,’B’,’20170731′);

30. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(642607,’P’,’20170731′);

P2 Top Performers

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Indianapolis has off today.


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ALTOONA, Pa. – Brandon Waddell made his return to the Altoona starting rotation tonight, being activated from the disabled list from a forearm strain and PRP injector in mid-June. He made one rehab start with the GCL Pirates then two more with the West Virginia Black Bears, working his way up to five innings last Wednesday.

The goal for Waddell was the get six innings tonight, and he was able to get up for the sixth tonight. Altogether, he went 5+ innings and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits. He struck out three batters and walked two.

Waddell was really good through the first three innings, facing only the minimum. In the fourth inning, an error allowed the lead-off man to reach, and he came around to score after a wild pitch and sacrifice fly. Waddell still competed well in the inning.

In the fifth and sixth, his off-speed stuff started getting up in the zone, and that’s when you’d start thinking that fatigue was setting in.

“We were trying to get him through six,” Ryan said. “He had some pressure pitches that could wear you down.”

For the most part, he was able to keep the ball down and pitch inside to left handed hitters. He used his breaking ball for an out pitch.

“I thought for the first four innings, he was really sharp,” Pitching Coordinator Justin Meccage said. “He had one five inning outing [in his rehab], but in the fifth and sixth today, he crispness left a little bit, and he tried to do a little too much at times. Early on, his fastball location was really good. As he went on, he may have been trying to do a little more than he needed to do.”

Meccage went on to say that Waddell has had that issue in the past, almost over-competing later in games.

“He’s such a good competitor that he tries to do a little too much, especially when there is traffic,” Meccage said. “He’ll end up missing on some pitches or overthinking the situation instead of just trusting his really good stuff. That’s what happened at the end.”

Overall, health was the key for Waddell. He said that he felt good and strong both during and after the game.

With the loss of Logan Hill (DL) and Edwin Espinal (promotion), Ryan has said that his team will have to play “a different style” to be able to win games without the typical big bopper in the lineup.

“We talked a little bit about it today,” Ryan said. “You almost – and you hate to do it – you almost have to change the style of how you’re going to play. We don’t have Luplow here that is going to hit that three-run homer. We don’t have Espinal that seemed like he came through in every RBI situation possible. No Kramer moving guys in wins. I’m not saying we are going to go station to station, but we’ll move guys over and put pressure on the bases.”

Fortunately, they’ve still been the benefactor of the long ball from other contributors lately, and Jerrick Suiter delivered on that again tonight. Suiter hit his eighth home run of the season, matching his combined total from 2015 and 2016. This one tonight was a no doubter, too, lining a monster shot over the center field at PNG Field.

“You have to have some sort of power source in the lineup, and he’s going to be the guy,” Ryan said. “You don’t want him trying to do too much. You have to be careful with him, because when he tries to do more, he does less. Tonight, he just threw his hands at it, and he got a good pitch to hit. He had a good approach, and hopefully he can do that with some guys on base soon.”

In the second inning, the Curve put together a nice string of hits to score three runs. A single by Jordan George, followed by a Michael Suchy double and Elvis Escobar triple to deep center field got the Curve on the board.

Tanner Anderson came out of the bullpen and was great, pitching three innings without allowing a hit and striking out three batters.

“He throws his two-seamer, attacks, and puts the ball on the ground,” Ryan said. “That’s what he needs to do, as well as mix in that slider. That’s what he did as a starter, and it shouldn’t change out of the pen. Whatever gives you success, you stay with it.”

The Curve beat Erie tonight by a score of 5-3. They were only .5 game in front of the Seawolves for second in the division (the final playoff spot), so creating some separation from them is important in this series. –Sean McCool


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Bradenton won game one of a doubleheader today in the tenth inning on a walk-off single from Stephen Alemais. Mitch Keller started and went six innings, allowing one run on six hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. He was throwing a lot of strikes, but Palm Beach was doing a great job of running up his pitch count with foul balls. Besides 11 pitches in the fifth, an inning that ended with Christian Kelley throwing out a runner attempting to steal, every other inning had at least 16 pitches, putting Keller over 100 for the day. There were a few well hit balls, but he also posted a 9:3 GO/AO ratio. Overall it was a solid start, despite the trouble putting away batters early.

Sam Street followed Keller and he had no trouble putting away batters, throwing four scoreless innings on 49 pitches to pick up the win.

The Marauders had 11 hits in game one, with most of the damage coming from the bottom of the order. Stephen Alemais had four hits and a walk (he was originally credited with three hits, but an error was changed to a single after the game). Besides driving in the winning run, he also scored the first run. The 8th and 9th place hitters, Alfredo Reyes and Logan Ratledge, each had two hits. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his tenth double and Will Craig went 1-for-4 with a walk, which led to the winning run.

Mitchell Tolman left the game early and was not in the lineup for the second game. It was not an injury related departure.

Game Two Recap: Logan Sendelbach got the spot start in game two tonight and came into the day with one run allowed over his previous 26.2 innings. He then gave up two runs in the second inning tonight, en route to the 3-1 loss. Sendelbach still had a solid outing, giving up two runs over five innings. He struck out just one batter, but he had a strong 10:3 GO/AO ratio.

In was a slow game on offense, as was the case for many teams on this night. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his seventh triple of the season. That ties him with Casey Hughston for the most on the team and the third highest total in the league. That gives both players a good chance to lead the league because the leader has nine, second place has eight, and both of those players have been promoted to Double-A. With a walk to go along with the triple, Hayes was the only Marauder in this game to reach base more than once.


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West Virginia lost game one of a doubleheader by a 5-2 score. Eduardo Vera started and had some defensive issues behind him, with the team committing three errors, one of which was his own. Vera threw a six inning complete game, allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits and one walk. Three innings in a row were extended by errors, but he still managed to get through the night on 85 pitches. Vera now has a 3.27 ERA in 93.2 innings pitched, which is 33.2 innings more than his previous career high. He has a 78:11 SO/BB ratio and a 1.16 WHIP.

The Power had six hits in the game, with both Clark Eagan and Arden Pabst contributing a single and a double. For Eagan, it was his 17th double. Kevin Mahala had an RBI single and Victor Fernandez singled for the other hit.

Game Two Recap: West Virginia didn’t put up much of a fight at the plate with four singles and a walk in game two, but Matt Eckelman put together a solid spot start in the 2-1 loss. Eckelman was a starter last year with Bristol, but this was his first one of this season. In fact, Eckelman has only gone three innings in a game three times this year, topping out at 3.1 innings, and all three of those appearances were in April. On this night, he went four scoreless innings, giving up one single and walking one batter, while picking up four strikeouts. While this is his longest outing, he has topped his 40 pitch total from tonight four times this season.

Dylan Prohoroff threw a scoreless fifth inning, then Jordan Jess allowed a run in the sixth and another in the seventh for the loss. There was nothing of note on offense


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Morgantown won 6-5 despite the fact that Williamsport scored in five consecutive innings. Scooter Hightower started this game and went six innings, allowing three runs on six hits, with no walks and eight strikeouts. He did an amazing job of filling up the strike zone, with 60 of his 78 pitches going for strikes. Beau Sulser and Hector Garcia each went one inning while allowing one run. Joel Cesar closed the win out with a scoreless ninth, giving him a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings with 19 strikeouts.

Bligh Madris went 3-for-5 with his fifth double, two runs scored and an RBI. Deon Stafford had an RBI on two hits, including his seventh double. Tristan Gray had a two-run triple in the fifth inning to make it a 3-1 score. Raul Siri and Sandy Santos each had two hits and a run scored. Siri also drove in a run. Dylan Busby is 4-for-44 with 17 strikeouts in his last 11 games.

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Bristol picked up their 30th loss tonight before they played their 40th game of the season. Braeden Ogle started and went two innings, allowing one run on one hit, with no walks and two strikeouts. The Pirates decided to give him rest in his last outing, but wanted to keep him on his regular schedule, so he was limited to one inning. That was a quick inning last time out. This time wasn’t so quick through two innings, as his teammates committed two errors behind him, which helped lead to 23 pitches in the first inning and 22 pitches in the second. The Pirateees made threee eeerrors on this night and they have committed 82 total on the season, 13 more than the second worst team in the league. That’s a lot of E’s.

They lost 8-3 and had just five hits. Yondry Contreras had a single and scored two runs. Edison Lantigua didn’t play. The bullpen was bad, the lineup was bad, the fielding was bad = 9-30 record


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The GCL Pirates were postponed due to rain. They will play a doubleheader tomorrow.


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The DSL Pirates tied their game late on Monday, only to give up the go ahead run in the bottom of the eighth in a 5-4 loss to the Rangers1. Noe Toribio threw six shutout innings last week, becoming the first DSL Pirates pitcher to go longer than five innings in more than eight years. He couldn’t back up that outing, allowing four runs over four innings on Monday. Julio Rosario followed him with three shutout innings, but Randy Jimenez gave up the eighth inning run to pick up the loss.

The Pirates scored three runs in the eighth to tie the score. Jean Eusebio singled to start the inning, then moved to second on a walk to Francisco Acuna. That was followed by singles from Pedro Castillo and Samuel Inoa, with the latter bringing in the first run. After two strikeouts, the Pirates scored their other two runs on a bases loaded walk and a hit-by-pitch.

The Pirates scored their first run in the third inning when Williams Calderon tripled, then scored on a Eusebio RBI ground out. Castillo, Inoa and Calderon all had two hits, with both from Calderon being triples. Acuna had a single and two walks.

  • SufferinBuccotash
    August 1, 2017 8:49 am

    Three eee’s……I see what you did there…….

  • LLOYD looks at this as next years squad with no changes…….but there will be changes:

    1. Marte CF
    2. J-Hay All Day 2B
    3. Cutch LF
    4. Bell 1B (S)
    5. Kang 3B
    6. Polanco RF (L)
    7. Vita Bella C
    8. Mercer SS

    1. Stewy/Diaz
    2. Frazier (L)
    3. Freese
    4. Osuna
    5. Ngoepe/Moroff (L)

    1. Cole
    2. Taillon
    3. Nova
    4. Glasnow
    5. Kuhl/Williams/Hutchison/Brault (L)

    1. Rivero (L)
    2. Hudson
    3. Schugel
    4. Marinez
    5-6-7. 3 of Kuhl/Williams/Hutchison/Brault (L)

    And friends, no doubt there will be changes for the better. LLOYD is optimistic. Lineup looks impressive. Bench looks good. Rotation looks above average. Bullpen will be better than that and the AAA pitching staff will be awesome!!

    La La LLOYD

    • Kingham is missing. He’s definitely in mix for a spot on staff. Plus he has to make roster or be exposed to waivers next season.

    • You thought you could sneak Kang in there. I think Kingham Glasnow Brault negate need to pay hutch anything and the pirates will be scraping every nickle out of the sofa to address next year’s IF and resigning Nicasio (that or doing nothing).

  • Might be the Costco booze talking, but I think Little Stevie A might turn out to be the best of the middle infield bunch.

    • Robert Reznik
      July 31, 2017 10:35 pm

      Costco Booz

    • He is doing light years better now than the 223/266/380/646 he posted in 130 AB at Lo A before the promotion, but he is fighting an uphill battle against the likes of Newman, Tucker, and Valerio.

      • Oh, and that’s only the young MI’s – we also have AAA/AAAA guys like Gosselin, Bostick, Ngoepe, Moroff, and who knows who NH will identify this off season. The White Sox have Tyler Saladino who is a 28 year old MI hitting under .200. Goose 2?