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 Mid-Season Update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.
1. Mitch Keller, RHP, Altoona – [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, 1B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – [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, Bristol – [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. Max Moroff, INF, Pirates – [insert_php]
25. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
27. Eduardo Vera, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php]
28. Logan Hill, LF, Altoona – [insert_php]
29. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
30. Lolo Sanchez, CF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]
INDIANAPOLIS — Tyler Eppler’s performance in this one game wasn’t going to create any long-term implications for his career.
But he’s also looking to create some momentum heading into next season.
Eppler allowed one run on six hits over seven innings, walking nobody and striking out six. He threw 61 of his 87 pitches for a strike in Indianapolis’ 10-2 win over Louisville.
That’s a much-needed start after a rough stretch where Eppler’s ERA has been hovering at 7-plus since June. He allowed eight earned runs over four innings in his previous start.
“He started off real good and kind of went through some rough patches,” Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett said. “We need him. We need him to pitch like he did (on Wednesday) to give us a chance to win (the division). Maybe this will catapult him into some much-needed confidence that he has been lacking lately.”
The season, Eppler’s first at the Triple-A level, started with plenty of promise. Eppler had a 2.45 ERA in April and a 3.23 in May; before struggling during the last two-plus months.
Eppler sat down with a pitching coordinator to look at film from when he pitched well, compared to the times where he struggled.
“I found a few small little things, like standing tall and falling forward which causes me to fly open and not allow me to get the ball down,” Eppler said. “The pitches weren’t as sharp, so making those little adjustments and I was able to be a lot more consistent and put the ball where I wanted to a lot more.”
Eppler needed 20 pitches to get through the first inning, allowing one run on two singles and a hit-by-pitch. After that, though, Eppler settled in and put together some efficient innings.
He retired eight consecutive batters at one point, needing just 11 pitches to retire the side in order in the second inning; and only eight pitches to do the same in the third inning. Eppler worked around a one-out single in the fifth and sixth innings; and a one-out double in the seventh inning.
He had not completed seven innings in eight starts, last doing so on June 11.
Louisville was forced to use relievers to pitch the entire game and it showed. Indianapolis scored five runs in the third inning and four runs in the fourth inning, with all of those runs in the fourth inning coming with two outs.
Edwin Espinal had an RBI single in the second, third and fourth innings. Austin Meadows, starting for the first time in five games due to slight oblique tightness, went 3-for-5 with a pair of RBI doubles.
Erich Weiss had an RBI single and a two-run double, while Jordan Luplow had a pair of hits. Christopher Bostick had a two-run double and Jacob Stallings added an RBI single.
And even Eppler got into the act with a single. – Brian Peloza
Altoona helped out their playoff hopes with an 8-4 victory over Hartford. Michael Suchy and Elvis Escobar led the way on offense from the bottom of the order and Cole Tucker is heating up at the top of the order. Suchy and Escobar each collected three hits. Suchy scored twice and collected his third homer, while Escobar had a double, a run scored and two RBIs. Tucker hit his first two Double-A doubles and drove in two runs. He has a five-game hitting streak and has raised his average 38 points. Anderson Feliz had a two-run homer and Jerrick Suiter had a single, walk and scored twice.
Alex McRae had not pitched in over a week due to leaving the team briefly for a wedding last week. He showed a little bit of rust in this game, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk in five innings. Sean Keselica allowed a run in his only inning of work, while Tanner Anderson went two scoreless and Luis Heredia tossed shutout ball in the ninth.
Bradenton won 9-6 in 13 innings over Daytona. Pedro Vasquez started and had a tough outing. He came into the game with the third best ERA (3.15) in the FSL, while leading the league with a 1.13 WHIP. Both of those numbers took a little hit in this game. In five innings, he allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk, striking out six batters. The bullpen of Jordan Jess, Sam Street and Yunior Montero combined to allow one run over the final eight innings.
The Marauders had 12 hits on the night, including two homers by Mitchell Tolman and a two-run homer by Logan Ratledge in the 13th inning. Tolman hit a three-run shot in the third and a solo shot in the eighth inning, giving him eight homers on the season. Ke’Bryan Hayes helped out with two doubles, giving him 15 on the season. Will Craig had two hits and drove in two runs. Ty Moore had three hits and scored twice. Surprisingly, the only player not to collect a hit for the Marauders was their best hitter recently, Stephen Alemais.
West Virginia was running away with the first game of a doubleheader on Wednesday night at home, but the top of the seventh inning still had a lot of pressure on them. Eduardo Vera got through the first six innings of the game without allowing a hit or a walk. The only blemish was a hit batter in the fourth inning and he had plenty left in the tank with just 73 pitches at that point.
In the seventh, he retired the lead-off batter on one pitch, a pop up to second base. Four pitches later, the second out was recorded on a fly ball to Ryan Nagle in left field. It wasn’t meant to be though, as a line drive to center field dropped in, just one out from a no-hitter. Another single put runners on the corners, before a fly ball to center field preserved the shutout, with the Power winning 7-0. Vera struck out six batters and threw 67 of his 90 pitches for strikes.
The Power got runs on homers from Kevin Mahala and Henrry Rosario, who was promoted from Bristol prior to the game. Adrian Valerio and Clark Eagan each had two hits, while Albert Baur had a 4-for-4 game with two doubles and an RBI. Valerio hit his 16th double, Baur now had 26 on the season. Arden Pabst was placed on the disabled list prior to the game, opening a spot for Rosario.
Game Two Recap: After winning on a two-hit shutout in the first game, the Power dropped a game in which they collected two hits and lost 3-0. Matt Eckelman got the spot start and allowed two runs over five innings. Blake Cederlind tossed a scoreless sixth and Angel German allowed a run on two hits in the seventh. Since coming over from the Dodgers, he has made seven appearances, allowing two runs on eight hits, with five walks and seven strikeouts, in 7.2 innings.
Albert Baur and Brent Gibbs singled for the only hits. Clark Eagan and Andrew Walker each reached on walks. All four runners were left stranded and only two runners made it to second base.
Morgantown scored four runs in the top of the first inning, then had to hold on for a 6-4 victory. The Black Bears attacked early, loading the bases on a Chris Sharpe single, Deon Stafford hit-by-pitch and a Dylan Busby walk. Two runs scored on an error, then another two runs scored on back-to-back singles from Sandy Santos and Julio de la Cruz. Santos would reach on a single in the sixth and score on a Brett Pope single. In the eighth inning, Pope brought home Raul Hernandez with a single for the sixth run.
Beau Sulser started and went 4.1 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and a walk. Adam Oller followed with one run on one hit and one walk in 3.2 innings, picking up the win. He now has a 1.91 ERA in 37.2 innings. Eighth round pick Blake Weiman got his first pro save with a scoreless ninth.
Bristol used four pitchers on Wednesday night and all of them allowed at least two runs in their 10-2 loss to Elizabethton. With eight games left in the season, Bristol now has a 13-45 record. Travis MacGregor started and went 2.2 innings, almost not making it out of the first inning due to his pitch count. He surrendered three runs on seven hits and three walks, throwing a total of 71 pitches. Jacob Taylor pitched in relief and allowed three runs on five hits in two innings.
It wasn’t like the Pirates didn’t have their chances to score in this game. They had nine hits and five walks. The problem was that they went 1-for-15 with runners in scoring position. Yondry Contreras had two hits, a walk and a run scored. Melvin Jimenez had two hits to give him nine hits over the last three games.
The GCL Pirates had a big day on offense in their 9-7 win over the Phillies. Mason Martin hit his eighth home run of the season, giving him the third highest total in the 50 year history of the GCL Pirates. He also walked twice and scored three runs. Rodolfo Castro had a single, double, walk, scored twice and drove in two runs. The double is his 11th of the season. Lolo Sanchez had a single, two walks, his 14th stolen base and he scored three runs.
The big hitter in the lineup though, was first baseman Mikell Granberry. By the fourth inning, he already had a single, double and his fifth triple of the season, driving in a total of four runs. He came up in the sixth looking for the cycle, but walked on four straight pitches, nearly getting hit twice. In the eighth, he flew out to medium right field.
Barrett Barnes played his third rehab game and extended himself to seven innings in the field. He went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout. Barnes batted twice as a DH on Saturday, then played five innings in left field on Monday. He should be off tomorrow, then we will either see him play nine innings on Friday, or possible back-to-back seven inning games on Friday/Saturday.
Shane Baz made his ninth start and for the second time in a row, he tossed three shutout innings. He gave up two hits and one walk, while picking up two strikeouts. He now has a 3.92 ERA in 20.2 innings, with 16 strikeouts.
The DSL Pirates were rained out on Wednesday. They will play a doubleheader tomorrow.