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, Pirates – [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 had a 7-1 lead when Thursday’s game went into a rain delay in the bottom of the fifth. They resumed play 41 minutes later and by the time the game was over, they added another 14 runs to their lead. The Indians finished the night with seven homers and 35 runners reaching base.
Tyler Glasnow started and remained in the game even after the delay. He went 5.2 innings, allowing one run on five hits and two walks, while striking out seven batters. He threw 63 of his 94 pitches for strikes. He’s been doing a much better job of throwing strikes lately, and doing it while throwing upper 90s heat. This game didn’t have any wildness, but he was up in the zone a lot with his fastball. That resulted in a lot of swinging strikes at pitches between the belt and the letters, as well as Columbus hitters getting under the ball with poor results. Glasnow has a 1.84 ERA in 29.1 innings with 49 strikeouts since joining Indianapolis.
On offense, it would be easier to list who didn’t homer in this game. Starling Marte was one of those players, going 0-for-3 while picking up an outfield assist in his five innings in left field. Danny Ortiz had the big game with four hits, including two homers. He scored three runs and drove in four runs. Jacob Stallings was right there with Ortiz, going 3-for-3 with three walks. His hits included two doubles and a home run. Jordan Luplow had two walks and three hits, including his third homer since joining Indianapolis.
Eric Wood hit his tenth homer, Christopher Bostick connected on his seventh home run and Joey Terdoslavich rounded out the home run brigade with his third of the season. Justin Maffei didn’t even play half of the game and he still had two hits, a walk and three runs scored.
ALTOONA, Pa. – Alex McRae took the hill tonight after a tough outing in Erie last time out, where he allowed six earned runs and ten hits in five innings. McRae has had an up-and-down season so far, with stretches of very good starts and scattered bad starts. Overall, however, he has been a horse for the Curve, ranking third in the Eastern League with 93 innings pitched.
Tonight, McRae definitely didn’t have his A-stuff, but his 5+ IP, 6 H, and 2 ER line definitely should’ve been better. He simply didn’t look extremely sharp, but he still got a decent amount of ground balls. In the sixth inning, McRae allowed a lead-off single but then an error and seeing-eye slow grounder got him in a bind. He was lifted with the bases loaded that inning.
“I don’t think he really located where he wanted to tonight and that led to a lot of pitches,” birthday boy Michael Ryan said. “His pitch count got up. There were some plays behind him that we could’ve made, but he’ll be the first to admit he didn’t have his best stuff tonight. He still battled, though.”
Admit he did when I asked McRae about the start, saying that he isn’t used to having control issues like he had to fight through tonight.
“[Morales] did a great job back there tonight to help me get through it,” McRae said. “Overall, we got the win, so it’s all good.”
His pitch count was inflated thanks to a long at-bat in the fourth inning, where Binghamton’s Luis Guillorme fouled off eight pitches and stood in for 13 total before flying out to center field. Late in the at-bat, you could almost see McRae start to get frustrated, but he kept his cool and executed to record the out. That was an at-bat that stuck out to me, as it showed poise even when a player doesn’t necessarily have his best stuff.
“If he doesn’t get that out, that would’ve probably been it for him,” Ryan said. “It bought him an extra inning.”
Tate Scioneaux relieved McRae in the sixth inning and couldn’t hold two of the three runners he inherited, including walking in a run. He then worked a clean seventh inning. Jake Brentz was a little on the wild side, but it was effective, as he didn’t allow a run in the eighth.
In the ninth, things didn’t come as easy. Montana DuRapau got the ground ball he wanted, but a fielding error by Kevin Newman put the runner at first. After a long double and a couple singles, DuRapau ended up with the bases loaded and one out. Two runs had already scored to cut the Curve lead to one, but DuRapau shut things down and got two outs, ending on a strikeout swinging.
“It was a tough error,” Ryan said. “[DuRapau] did his job there and got the ball on the ground. The inning is easier for him if we make the play. He made pitches when he needed to. He was the right guy at the right spot on the bump.”
Offensively, Jerrick Suiter is on an absolute tear. After going 3-for-3 with a home run and walk last night, Suiter went 4-for-4 (all singles) tonight. That gives him eight straight plate appearances where he has reached base.
“He’s been working really hard in the cages and not trying to do too much,” Ryan said about Suiter. “He’s a big strong kid who is staying towards the middle of the field. He’s in a good spot.”
Suiter was promoted to Double-A early in the season, and it definitely was more because of his age (24 years old) rather than his High-A numbers. He was struggling in Bradenton before being promoted to Altoona, only hitting .237 with a .630 OPS for the Marauders. Since he arrived in Altoona, he has a .315 average (46-for-146) and an OPS over .850. He also has five home runs this season, matching a career high set last year in Bradenton.
“He’s on his legs a little more, using those instead of his upper body,” Ryan said. “[Hitting Coach Kevin] Riggs has done a great job with him as far as hitting work in the cage. He has good balance and everything you need to be a power hitter.”
After going 0-for-4 last night, Kevin Newman rebounded with doubles in his first two at-bats. Newman had been on a 14 game on-base streak – which ended Tuesday – where he was hitting .367 with a .956 OPS. Elvis Escobar added two hits, one of them a two-run home run in the third inning. Escobar has showed a steady bat of late, hitting .343 in the month of June. Wyatt Mathisen added two hits, as well, raising his average to .293 on the season. – Sean McCool
Bradenton lost to Palm Beach for the second night in a row in extra innings. On this night, they lost on a walk-off bunt single with two outs in the 12th inning. Gage Hinsz started and put together a solid outing, giving up two runs on six hits and a walk in six innings. He had three strikeouts, a 6:3 GO/AO ratio and threw 57 of his 87 pitches for strikes. He has lowered his season ERA in each of his last four starts by allowing a total of five runs over 24.2 innings. Sam Street allowed one run over four innings, before Yunior Montero took the loss in his second inning of work.
The offense put together 13 hits, including four doubles from the top of the lineup. Cole Tucker went 3-for-6 with his 13th double and his 32 stolen base. He also scored two of Bradenton’s three runs. Mitchell Tolman went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a walk and two RBIs. Tolman had just four doubles in his first 63 games, despite having three triples and four homers. In his last eight games, he has collected six doubles. Will Craig went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a run scored and a HBP. He has two hits in each of his last three games. Christian Kelley had two hits, an RBI and a walk. Casey Hughston went 0-for-6 with four strikeouts.
West Virginia had their game suspended in the third inning on Wednesday. They were trailing 6-2 at the time and starter James Marvel had allowed all six runs. The game resumed tonight and West Virginia mounted a comeback before losing 8-5.
Matt Anderson was on the mound when they resumed play. He had some control issues that limited him to 2.1 innings, in which he allowed one run on two hits and three walks. Anderson picked up five strikeouts. Jordan Jess threw two scoreless frames, then Matt Eckelman allowed a run in his only inning of work.
On offense for the Power, Adrian Valerio went 2-for-4 with his ninth double. He scored a run and picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Albert Baur had an RBI and three singles, giving him a .303 average. Victor Fernandez was the only player in the lineup not to pick up a hit, though he did contribute an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Garrett Brown had a single, scored two runs and put down two sacrifice bunts. He’s batting .300 since joining the Power on June 26th.
Morgantown won 5-0, as Ike Schlabach had his best career outing and Gift Ngoepe homered during his rehab assignment. Schlabach had an odd outing his last time out. After throwing nine total innings in his first two starts while posting a 9:0 SO/BB ratio, he walked four batters and didn’t pick up any strikeouts in his last game. His control was much better in this game, as he threw six shutout innings on two hits and one walk. Schlabach threw just 75 pitches and he picked up four strikeouts. This was just the second time he threw six innings in his career.
Tenth round draft pick Beau Sulser was out next and he picked up five strikeouts in his two innings. Joel Cesar closed out the win with a scoreless ninth, striking out two batters.
Gift Ngoepe played his second rehab game and went 2-for-4 with a single, solo homer and two runs scored. He was 0-for-3 with a strikeout and an error in his first game. He left after seven innings in his first game, then after a day off yesterday, he played nine innings in this game. Tristan Gray hit his first pro homer, a three-run shot in the first inning. The 13th round pick is batting .313 in his first nine games. Seventh round pick Jared Oliva went 0-for-5, dropping him down to a .189 average.
The important thing you need to know about Bristol’s game on Thursday night is that Yondry Contreras picked up three hits, including his first double of the season. Edison Lantigua also had two walks and an outfield assist. So the prospects had a decent day, but that’s about it.
At the end of four innings, Bristol had a 3-2 lead. Hunter Stratton threw 3.2 innings and gave up two runs, with both of them being unearned. After him, things got ugly. Adonis Pichardo gave up eight runs total, with four of them being unearned runs. Alex Manasa, the 11th round pick, allowed three runs in 2.1 innings, surrendering seven hits. He was followed by Henrry Rosario and Nelson Jorge, who you may know from such roles and being position players their entire career. They combined to allow four runs in 2.1 innings. When it was all over, Kingsport had a 17-3 win and Bristol committed five errors while stranding 13 runners on base.
CLEARWATER, FL – Steven Jennings, the 42nd overall pick in the 2017 draft, made his pro debut today up in Clearwater against the Phillies. The outing was a solid one, with Jennings throwing two shutout innings, striking out two batters and allowing two hits.
Jennings only needed 27 pitches in his two innings, pounding the strike zone with 21 strikes. His fastball was sitting 89-92 MPH, showing good control as he moved the pitch around the zone, and showing a little bit of a cut. He also mixed in a few curveballs, showing the ability to throw the pitch for strikes, sitting 83-84 with the offering.
Jennings worked quickly and stayed ahead, using primarily his fastball, with only seven curves, and no changeups. He also induced a lot of ground balls, with his four outs that weren’t strikeouts all coming on the ground.
Here is video of his first inning:
Calvin Mitchell, taken in the second round, hit a nice double today. Mitchell has an easy, compact swing, but is able to generate a lot of power. That was shown in the double, which he laced down the line, showing off his speed to easily make it to second.
Stephen Alemais continued his rehab, going a full nine innings and hitting a double today. He also made a few plays in the field, getting ready on both sides of the ball for his return to West Virginia next week.
Jesse Medrano, a third baseman taken in the 31st round, appears to be the leader of the infield. Medrano was a college senior, and was drafted in the 31st round. He’s easily the oldest and most experienced player on the field at age 22, but seems to be in the GCL for the leadership role. His manager, Bob Herold, has been shouting out to him during the game, encouraging him at times to take charge of the infield and to get everyone in position. With such a young and inexperienced infield, it makes sense to have someone like Medrano out there leading the way. He also shows off some good defense, so it’s clear he knows what he’s doing. – Tim Williams
The DSL Pirates lost a 16-15 slugfest to the Cubs1 on Thursday. Samuel Inoa continued his incredible start to the season by going 3-for-5 with a double, triple and a walk to give him a .422/.518/.688 slash line through his first 18 games. He falls just a few plate appearances short of qualifying for the league leaders, but his average, OBP and slugging would all lead the league. Sherten Apostel also continued his recent success by hitting two homers and driving in five runs. He had two career homers prior to this game, hitting one last year and one on Wednesday. He has now driven in 30 runs in 26 games.
This was a back-and-forth contest, with the Pirates taking a five-run lead in the top of the seventh, then losing it when the Cubs scored three runs in both in eighth and ninth innings. After all of the hitting in the contest, the final run scored on a bases loaded walk with two outs.
Ronaldo Paulino hit his third home run of the season and scored three runs. Jean Eusebio had a single, walk, RBI and run scored. Kyle Simmons had two hits, two runs scored, two RBIs, a walk and a HBP. There were a total of 50 baserunners in the game