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, Indianapolis – [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, Indianapolis– [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, GCL Pirates – [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, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
25. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Pirates – [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 — He finally got back on track.
Tyler Eppler didn’t necessarily cruise through his 3.2 innings in relief, allowing four hits and two walks.
And he allowed a lead-off walk in the ninth inning on four pitches.
But he had success putting together the most important statistic: scoreless innings. Eppler worked around any trouble and didn’t allow a run in his first three innings of relief in Indianapolis’ 5-3 win over Buffalo on Tuesday.
Dan Runzler allowed Eppler’s inherited runner to score in the ninth inning, though Eppler nearly induced a game-ending double play that Buffalo beat out by less than a stride.
That’s a big step forward for Eppler, who had a 7.17 ERA over his last ten appearances.
“I think even though I had some runners on base every inning, this was a good learning experience for me,” Eppler said. “Because the ones where I had runners on base before is when I’ve just tried to pump strikes in there recklessly, and that’s when I get hit around and give up those runs.”
Eppler’s last five appearances weren’t pretty, allowing 22 runs in 23 innings. So, the hits and walks allowed are higher than desired but he showed the ability to work around those.
“That’s a big step in the right direction for him after scuffling lately,” Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett said. “To get the lead and be able to pitch with the lead, and almost finish the game is a really nice job.”
Clay Holmes started the game and pitched five innings, allowing two runs on six hits over five innings. He threw 80 pitches and wanted to remain in the game for the sixth inning, but Indianapolis manager Andy Barkett removed him to allow Eppler a chance to pitch multiple innings in relief.
Holmes has pitched through some shoulder fatigue over the last month, not throwing more than 80 pitches in any of his last seven starts.
“I felt 100 percent and could handle whatever right now, but it’s something they want to monitor,” Holmes said. “But on my end I felt great and ready to do what I need to do.”
Holmes came into the game rested, throwing just 11 pitches over the previous 12 days. His previous start in Columbus ended after a first-inning rain delay, cutting his outing short after just 11 pitches.
“It felt good,” Holmes said. “I felt like I got a little more crisper there at the end, but it felt like I hadn’t pitched in 12 days. The rainout kind of messed things up. I physically felt great and was able to get some quick innings at the end.”
Indianapolis outfielder Jordan Luplow hit a solo home run, his sixth with Indianapolis and 22nd overall including his time with Double-A Altoona. Luplow also had a two-run single in the fourth inning.
Jacob Stallings and Edwin Espinal each had an RBI single in the fourth inning. – Brian Peloza
Altoona lost 5-4 in ten innings to Reading. This game looked like it would be a high scoring affair early, with both teams scoring three runs in the first inning. As it turned out, they would combine to score just three more runs over the next nine innings. Casey Sadler started and really settled in after a tough first frame. He went six innings, allowing three runs on five hits and one walk, with seven strikeouts and a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. Sadler retired 14 batters in a row at one point, until a two-out walk in the sixth broke that streak.
Tanner Anderson followed and showed some unusual control issues, allowing a run on four walks and three hits in just two innings. Tate Scioneaux took the loss, giving up two doubles and a single for the go ahead run in the tenth.
The Curve didn’t do much after collecting four hits in the first inning, including a triple by Pablo Reyes. They had just three hits the rest of the game. In the third inning, they scored on two walks, a wild pitch and an RBI ground out. Jerrick Suiter had two walks, a single, an RBI and a run scored. Reyes had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Jin-De Jhang had two hits, an RBI and his first stolen base. It was just his second stolen base attempt since 2015 and both have been successful.
Bradenton lost 5-4 to Lakeland on a walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth. James Marvel started for the Marauders, making his High-A debut. He allowed three runs on the third inning, but all of them were unearned due to a passed ball on a third strike by Kevin Krause. Marvel ended up going six innings, giving up those three unearned runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out six batters and posting an impressive 12:2 GO/AO ratio.
After Jess Amedee tossed two scoreless frames, Daniel Zamora came out for the save and allowed a walk and three hits for the loss.
The Marauders scored four runs, but they weren’t exactly hitting the ball well. A Logan Ratledge single in the third inning was their only hit through the first six frames. In the seventh, Will Craig walked, then scored on a Kevin Krause double. Ty Moore followed with a single to score Krause, then a throwing error, ground out and wild pitch brought in Moore. In the eighth, Bradenton got a run on a Mitchell Tolman walk, which was followed by a stolen base and a throwing error. Will Craig brought him home with a sacrifice fly. They had just three hits in the game, all mentioned above.
West Virginia won 2-1 over Lakewood on Tuesday night. Stephan Meyer made his second start for West Virginia and did much better than his first game. In that debut, he walked seven batters, which led to four runs allowed. On this night, he gave up one run over six innings on five hits and two walks, with two strikeouts. Blake Cederlind returned from the disabled list and pitched a scoreless seventh, followed by two shutout innings from Dylan Prohoroff for the save.
Clark Eagan drove in both runs for the Power, who had just five hits on the night. In the third inning, Garrett Brown and Adrian Valerio hit back-to-back one out singles. Eagan brought home Brown with an RBI ground out. In the eighth inning, Victor Fernandez walked, moved to second on a sac bunt and third on a ground out. Eagan reached on an infield single, bringing home Fernandez with the go ahead run. Albert Baur had both of the other hits, including his 20th double.
Morgantown won 7-3 over Brooklyn behind a three-run home run from Lucas Tancas. Sergio Cubilete started and went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He has three strikeouts and a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. The bullpen was strong after him, with Hector Quinones and Brandon Bingel combining for 3.1 scoreless frames.
The Black Bears got a run on a Chris Sharpe single, which was followed by a sac bunt, a stolen base and a throwing error. They scored again in the fourth as Raul Siri made it all the way to third after a throwing error on a grounder to shortstop. He would score on a sacrifice fly from Raul Hernandez. Tancas hit his three-run homer in the fifth, then two more runs scored in the seventh on a walk, single, wild pitch and a sacrifice fly.
Tancas and Hernandez each had two hits. Jared Oliva hit his fourth triple, scored twice and drew a walk. Dylan Busby had a busy day, reaching on a single, walk and HBP. He scored twice and stole two bases. Tristan Gray had a single, sacrifice fly and his third stolen base. He played shortstop for the first time as a pro and handled all six plays in the field cleanly.
BRISTOL, Va. – The Belinda family keeps haunting the Pittsburgh Pirates’ organization.
25 years ago, Stan Belinda gave up the game winning hit in game seven of the NLCS to the Atlanta Braves. On a slightly smaller stage in Bristol 25 years later, his nephew, Jacob Belinda, pitched four innings for Danville in a combined no-hitter against the Bristol Pirates.
The Pirates were no-hit in seven innings in game one of today’s double-header, losing 3-0. The hitting talent on this team is pretty weak, especially with Edison Lantigua out of the lineup (he returns in game two). Even with a full nine innings, the team didn’t have it in game one.
The highlight tonight was watching Jacob Taylor throwing 5.2 innings. The Pirates drafted Taylor in the 4th round and gave him an over-slot bonus in 2015. He only pitched two innings, then went down with Tommy John surgery. Tonight was the first time I had a chance to see him in an extended stretch.
Taylor had better control tonight than in his last outing and most of his outings, although he was only 87-90 MPH with his fastball. He has been in the mid-90s in the past, including at times last year. He was hit pretty hard at times tonight after the first two innings, and his defense didn’t do him any favors.
Chris McDonald came on and pitch 1.1 innings in relief to close it out. The tall, 6′ 4″ right-hander now throws sidearm and slightly submarine style, making that switch during Spring Training this year. He had some movement on his fastball, and got three groundouts and one strikeout on the night.
Game Two Recap
Evan Piechota pitched the second game, and went four strong innings with seven strikeouts. Piechota is an organizational guy, too old for Bristol, but able to fill in when they need innings in various roles. The highlight on the pitching side tonight was seeing 11th round pick Alex Manasa.
Manasa was an over-slot signing out of the JuCo ranks, and surprisingly was taken as a pitcher rather than a hitter, despite spending most of his time previously as a hitter. He’s new to pitching, and just getting adjusted, but seems to be adjusting well. He showed a good feel for his changeup, although it wasn’t consistent the entire night. He mostly worked with a fastball and a slurve.
Manasa’s velocity was up to 91-92 MPH, which was up from the 88 MPH range that we had him at a month ago. He was able to get his fastball down in the zone against right-handers, but was elevating and pitching away to lefties. He did get one of his three strikeouts against a lefty, so he had some success. He’s a tall pitcher with a projectable frame, comes across as very smart and open to development, and has already made some big strides in the last month with his development. It will be interesting to see how he develops, and to see if he can continue the Pirates’ successful run recently with 11th round picks.
I will note that his one run tonight, which was earned, shouldn’t have been earned at all. The first batter of the second inning hit a pop-up in the infield. The third baseman came over to field it, the shortstop called him off, then went after the ball toward the foul line as it was coming down. The only problem was that the ball came down to the right of the pitcher’s mound, opposite of where the shortstop was lunging, and to the left of the third baseman. That was ruled a double, and was one of many examples of the horrible defense that Bristol put out there tonight.
Bristol did manage some offense in game two, winning 4-1. Ben Bengtson had two hits, and Jason Delay went 1-for-2 and was hit with a pitch. Edison Lantigua returned to the lineup after a week off, missing time with a minor shoulder injury. He went 0-for-2 with a walk. – Tim Williams
The GCL Pirates lost 8-2 to the Phillies on Tuesday afternoon.
Sixth round pick Cody Bolton made his fifth start and gave up two runs for the first time in his brief career. His first four outings combined saw him give up two earned runs over 11 innings, while striking out ten batters. Bolton allowed a lead-off single, followed by a stolen base in the first inning. He then retired the next three batters in order. In the second, a one out error put a runner on first base, but Bolton faced the minimum by getting a ground ball double play.
Bolton allowed a single and a walk to start the third inning. After recording two outs, he served up a double to bring home both runs. He retired the next batter on a pop up to second base to end his day. Bolton had a 5:1 GO/AO ratio, but no strikeouts. Steven Jennings faced this same Phillies team yesterday and also failed to record a strikeout.
Samuel Reyes was out next and allowed one run over two innings. He was followed by Brian Sousa, who let the game get away in the seventh and eighth when he allowed five runs total.
On offense, the Pirates had six hits (all singles) and six walks, as well as two hit batters, but they could only push two of those runners across the plate. Mason Martin, Rodolfo Castro, Calvin Mitchell, Eddy Vizcaino and Cristopher Perez each reached base twice. Perez and Martin each drove in a run, while Martin picked up his first stolen base.
The DSL Pirates are off on Tuesday