Prospect Watch: Eduardo Vera Takes Another No-Hitter Deep Into a Complete Game Start

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, 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] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);
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2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20170830′);
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3. Shane Baz, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669358,’P’,’20170830′);
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4. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170830′);
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5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170830′);
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6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170830′);
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7. Will Craig, 1B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170830′);
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8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170830′);
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9. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170830′);
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10. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170830′);
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11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668751,’B’,’20170830′);
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12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170830′);
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13Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170830′);
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14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170830′);
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15. Steven Brault, LHP, Pirates– [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170830′);
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16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170830′);
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17. Jordan Luplow, LF, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20170830′);
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18. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170830′);
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19. Max Kranick, RHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170830′);
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20. Steven Jennings, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(675651,’P’,’20170830′);
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21. Adrian Valerio, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20170830′);
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22. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170830′);
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23. Conner Uselton, OF, GCL Pirates – Disabled List

24. Max Moroff, INF, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20170830′);
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25. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170830′);
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26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170830′);
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27. Eduardo Vera, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(622747,’P’,’20170830′);
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28. Logan Hill, LF, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664930,’B’,’20170830′);
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29.  Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170830′);
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30. Lolo Sanchez, CF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(665975,’B’,’20170830′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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Indianapolis clinched their division yesterday, then went out and beat Louisville by a 6-1 score tonight. Eric Wood hit his 16th home run of the season, matching his total from last year with Altoona. Joey Terdoslavich also homered and drove in three runs, while Erich Weiss picked up three hits and scored twice.

Drew Hutchison started and threw five shutout innings on three hits, three walks and three strikeouts. He has given up one run over 18 innings in his last three starts combined. Johnny Barbato, in his first game since returning to Indianapolis, allowed one run over three innings. Edgar Santana threw shutout ball in the ninth.

Wood, Terdoslavich and Jacob Stallings each had two hits. Weiss was the International League Player of the Week last week and is now hitting .484 in his last ten games. Kevin Newman lined out as a pinch-hitter and Barrett Barnes walked in his pinch-hit appearance.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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Altoona clinched a playoff spot yesterday, but they are still playing for home field advantage in the playoffs. They didn’t look like a playoff team on this night, losing 6-1, while striking out 14 times as a team. The Curve now have a one game lead with five games left in the season.

JT Brubaker started and got hit hard, giving up five runs (four earned) on seven hits, many of them line drives. He was hurt by two errors, but still didn’t have it on this night. Daniel Zamora followed and threw two shutout innings in his Altoona debut. That was followed by Johnny Hellweg making his third appearance since signing with the Pirates six days ago. He gave up a run on two hits in two innings.

The Curve had seven hits and four walks, but they were hurt by those 14 strikeouts, many in big spots. Their only run scored in the sixth inning on a double by Jerrick Suiter, followed by a single by Wyatt Mathisen. Suiter’s double was his 18th of the season, and he also had a walk. Mathisen had two singles and a walk. Jonathan Schwind had a double and a walk.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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Bradenton lost game one of a doubleheader by a 4-3 score. Logan Sendelbach started and allowed all four runs in his two innings of work. The Marauders stayed in the game because Yunior Montero and Miguel Rosario each put in two solid innings of relief work, combining for one hit, two walks and four strikeouts.

The Marauders got on the board in the fifth inning when Kevin Krause singled and scored on a Carlos Munoz single. They added two more runs in the sixth on a Will Craig single, followed by back-to-back doubles from Ty Moore and Krause. Moore went 3-for-3 with the double and two singles. Krause and Munoz each had two hits.

Game Two Recap: Assuming Pedro Vasquez doesn’t get promoted to Altoona when they inevitably lose players to Indianapolis after the Pirates expand their roster, this was not the best ending to a great season. In four innings, he allowed seven earned runs on 11 hits, as the Marauders lost 7-2 and got swept in the doubleheader. Vasquez was the FSL league leader with a 1.15 WHIP coming into the game, but he will now finish the season in second place. He ends up with a 3.73 ERA in 137.2 innings this season.

The Marauders had just four hits on the day and scored both of their runs in the sixth inning. Ke’Bryan Hayes brought in the first run with a sacrifice fly, then Will Craig capped their scoring with an RBI single. These two scoring plays were the only plate appearances for the Marauders with runners in scoring position

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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LAKEWOOD, NJ – West Virginia won game one of a doubleheader today by a 3-2 score behind a complete game from Eduardo Vera. He had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning, one start after he missed a no-hitter by one out. In this game, the first hit was a grounder up the middle that Adrian Valerio nearly made a fantastic play on. After that hit though, Lakewood put together three straight singles, including two line drives, which brought home two runs. Vera quickly settled down and recorded the final four outs for the win, throwing just 77 pitches.

Vera was mixing his pitches well, sitting 93-94 MPH with the fastball, hitting 96 at times. His curve was an effective pitch for strikes, sitting in the 80 MPH range, while the changeup was getting soft contact and some awkward swings, sitting 83-86 MPH. He filled the strike zone, although he did get away with some pitches up in the zone, which resulted in long fly outs. His 6:10 GO/AO ratio was really indicative of that, and not what you normally see from him.

The Power scored their runs on a two-run homer from Albert Baur in the first inning and a solo homer from Henrry Rosario in the sixth. Adrian Valerio had a single to start the game and scored on the Baur homer. He was also hit by a pitch, which looked like a payback for Vera hitting a batter in the previous inning. – John Dreker

Game Two Recap: After Eduardo Vera pitched a strong first game hitting 96 MPH, the Lakewood bats weren’t ready for Mike Wallace, who goes off-speed heavy and hit 90 MPH just once in the game. Wallace fills the strike zone with breaking balls, changeups and the occasional high-80s fastball. It’s an approach that works great in the lower levels if you have his type of control, which leads to a lot of grounders and soft contact.

The Power ended up using just pitchers on the entire night, as Wallace got the complete game on 75 pitches, 55 for strikes. He allowed just two hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. Both hits he allowed were line drives to left field by the Phillies last two first round picks, Mickey Moniak and Adam Haseley.

The Power scored a run in the second inning on two singles, a walk and a ground out by Garrett Brown. In the seventh  inning, they added an insurance run on doubles by Kevin Mahala and Garrett Brown, who drove in both runs. Adrian Valerio went 0-for-3 with a walk, but he made some great plays on defense, looking very good in both games. – John Dreker

Prospect-Watch-Morgantown

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Morgantown has seen their season fall apart down the stretch, as they lost for the seventh straight time. Just a week ago, they were in first place. Now they are in third place and 4.5 games back, after losing 3-2 to State College. Ike Schlabach started and had a great game, throwing six shutout innings on two hits and two walks, leaving with a 2-0 lead. He had three strikeouts and an 8:4 GO/AO ratio. The bullpen of Hector Garcia and Blake Weiman combined to allow runs in three straight innings, handing the Black Bears the loss.

Morgantown took a lead in the first inning, but really wasted a chance to break the game open. They loaded the bases with no outs on two walks and a single by Jared Oliva. They ended up scoring just one run and that was when Lucas Tancas was hit by a pitch. In the fourth inning, Robbie Glendinning doubled, then scored on a fielding error by the third baseman. The Black Bears had just four hits in the game, going 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position and leaving nine men stranded on base.

Prospect-Watch-Bristol
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Bristol has one game left after tonight, one chance to avoid a 50 loss season. They dropped to 16-49 on Wednesday after losing 5-2 to Burlington. Evan Piechota started and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and no walks. Chris McDonald allowed the final two runs during his three innings of work.

Mikell Granberry made his Bristol debut and had an RBI double, plus a run scored, figuring in both Bristol runs. He had an eight-game hitting streak before being promoted from the GCL earlier this week. Ryan Peurifoy had two hits and scored a run. Melvin Jimenez drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Prospect-Watch-GCL

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The GCL Pirates won 3-2, as Steven Jennings made his last start and Austin Shields finished his season strong. This was the tenth start for Jennings, who allowed one run on one hit and one walk over three innings. He finishes up with a 4.10 ERA in 26.1 innings, with 31 hits, ten walks and 13 strikeouts. Shields was even better today, throwing 3.1 no-hit/shutout innings on one walk and one hit batter. He struck out two and had a 5:2 GO/AO ratio. While Shields was injured right before the GCL season started and had a very minor setback during the early part of the season, he still managed to put in 40.2 innings of work.

Jason Stoffel made his third rehab appearance, and while it would make sense that he joins an upper level club once rosters expand, he has only put in two innings total during these outings, while giving up four runs.

On offense, Calvin Mitchell had the big hit, clearing the bases in the bottom of the first inning with a three-run double, his 11th double of the season. That’s all of the runs the Pirates would need on the day. Mitchell would walk twice later in the game. Rodolfo Castro had two hits and scored a run. Mason Martin had a single and three strikeouts in four trips to the plate, remaining tied for the GCL Pirates single-season leader in home runs with ten.

Prospect-Watch-DSL

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The DSL Pirates finished with a 36-34 record.

  • Eric Wood question. It seems as though he hasn’t been playing regularly in the second half and has seen very little time at 3B. Is he in the dog house or something?

    • He was/has been slumping, so they worked on things on the side, gave him a little break here and there, but he actually only has nine fewer plate appearances than last year. So he’s probably going to end up seeing more time this season than his breakout year.

  • I was able to watch Eduardo Vera in person a couple weeks ago. He seems to mix his pitches rather well. One thing I have noticed, his games go by quick. He’s a name I am going to be following closer next year.

  • I hope Alemais consistently hits like this.

  • Eduardo Vera has proven to be somebody to watch closely. He lost 2015 due to TJ surgery and only threw 9 innings in 2016. Right around 120 IP this year and most of that being as a SP with an excellent 3 pitch mix. Although his last 2 starts have possibly been his best in 2017, is it time to shut him down?

    Every time I see his name, the song “At This Moment” plays in my head. Like the version by the Jaggerz better than the original by Billy Vera and the Beaters

    • While his velocity was fine yesterday, he did leave a lot of pitches up and that’s what happens when pitchers are tired. He has definitely pitched enough this year, so shutting him down might not be a bad idea, but then again, we might be talking about one start if they don’t make the playoffs. One start isn’t a big deal either way

  • Any similarities of Mike Wallace to Mike Leake pitching style seems similar. Off speed strikes thrower with accuracy?

    • I have definitely seen Wallace pitch more times than Leake, so I couldn’t tell you if they are similar. It’s a ton of off-speed pitches, more than you would probably see in two games worth from the average pitcher. If I had to guess, his average pitch speed on the night was around 82-83 MPH. I saw three fastballs total over the final three innings.

  • Also it’d be really nice to see Brault come into a big league game and get people out without giving up runs. Oh well.

  • What’s the deal with Will Craig’s August? He’s still walking but he’s hitting .200 with 1 XBH

  • Listening to the Buccos on the radio, heard a live read by Brown on a mound visit for some foaming spray to relieve leg cramps… can’t remember hearing that before.

    Atta boy Bobby! Some new revenue for you!

  • Nova has not been sharp his last 4-5 starts. Fatigue? Time for a stint on the DL?

    • I would like to see him skip at least one start. He threw a lot of excellent pitches early last night that the Cubs fouled off and ran his pitch count up. I would rather see Stewart on the DL – throws a ball into CF and then gets tricked on a Little League play – embarrassing! Should have mentioned the whole thing started due to an error by Freese. Cannot hurt your pitcher and force more pitches with poor defense.

      • Time to put Glasnow/Brault into a sixth slot in the rotation to give arms the chance to stay fresh. If we are going to be trading a Nova or Cole in the offseason I would prefer to maximize their performance in quality not quantity. I’ve been a fan of going to 6 in August since Charlie Morton was “Electric Stuff”.

        • This isn’t to say I’ve “given up on him”, but Brault has been so thoroughly underwhelming that I’d rather see if Kingham’s stuff can turn a lineup over three times.

          There’s just seems to be zero upside to Brault. At best, you’re getting a #5 starter. I wish him the best, but this isn’t an organization that needs to go out of it’s way to create opportunities for potential #5 starters.

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