Prospect Watch: Shane Baz Throws Three Shutout Innings

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’);
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2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20170802′);
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3. Shane Baz, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(669358,’P’,’20170802′);
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4. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170802′);
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5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170802′);
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6. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170802′);
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7. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170802′);
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8. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170802′);
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9. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170802′);
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10. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170802′);
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11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668751,’B’,’20170802′);
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12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170802′);
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13Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170802′);
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14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170802′);
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15. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis– [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170802′);
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16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170802′);
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17. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20170802′);
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18. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170802′);
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19. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170802′);
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20. Steven Jennings, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(675651,’P’,’20170802′);
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21. Adrian Valerio, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20170802′);
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22. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170802′);
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23. Conner Uselton, OF, GCL Pirates – Disabled List

24. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170802′);
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25. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170802′);
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26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(622747,’P’,’20170802′);
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27. Logan Hill, LF, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664930,’B’,’20170802′);
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28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170802′);
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29. Lolo Sanchez, CF, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(665975,’B’,’20170802′);
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30. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(642607,’P’,’20170802′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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Indianapolis lost 6-3, as Clay Holmes had his start limited to just 11 pitches due to rain in the bottom of the first inning. Holmes retired the first two batters on grounders before the game went into a delay that lasted 58 minutes. Tyler Eppler was out next and he looked great for the first 3.1 innings. In the fifth, things fell apart and he gave up four runs. He also surrendered a run in the sixth before exiting. Edgar Santana allowed a run in his only inning. Johnny Barbato tossed a scoreless inning.

The Indians had 12 hits, including three with runners in scoring position, but they managed just three runs. They actually held a 3-0 lead going into the fifth before things went south for Eppler. Joey Terdoslavich had three hits, while Edwin Espinal, Danny Ortiz and Christopher Bostick each had two hits. Bostick hit his 28th double, while Ortiz hit his 22nd double. Espinal is 7-for-22 in six games since being promoted. Gift Ngoepe hit his fourth double, but also struck out in his other three at-bats.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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ALTOONA, Pa. – In true retro form, Casey Sadler started tonight’s game for the Curve, then he was relieved by Brandon Cumpton in the sixth inning. It felt like 2012 or 2013; instead, it was two guys on the comeback trail from Tommy John surgery on the mound during a playoff push for Double-A Altoona.

Casey Sadler went five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits (all singles). He struck out two batters without walking anyone.

Sadler got his pitch count up quickly, as he threw 84 pitches in five innings of work. He had been adding an inning of work during each of his last four outings, but throwing a lot of pitches in the second and third innings kept his innings total at five tonight.

His first inning was dominant. It was one of the first times this season where I watched him and thought he looked like a Major League guy pitching to minor leaguers. The inning consisted of two groundouts and a strikeout, and Sadler looked to be locating anywhere he wanted in and out of the zone.

He allowed four straight singles in the third inning, and Erie scored two runs against him. There were a few hard hits against him, but even three or four of the singles against him were of the ground ball variety that found holes.

“Towards the end, he got a little tired,” manager Michael Ryan said. “His pitches got up a little bit, but he held them to two runs. That’s a heck of a job to hold that offense to only two runs.”

After Sadler exited the game, Brandon Cumpton came in and pitched two scoreless innings while striking out three batters. There was one ball hit hard against him, but otherwise, he looked extremely good on the bump tonight. He also did not walk a batter.

“He’s getting better and feeling better each time out,” Ryan said about Cumpton. “He’s getting the proper rest between each of his outings, and he did well tonight.”

Offensively, the Curve pretty much took the night off. Justin Maffei doubled down the right field line in the first inning, and they only managed to have two more singles for the rest of the game. Erie’s starting pitcher, Tyler Alexander, posted a 14.73 ERA in 7.1 IP over his last two starts; however, he has a 1.82 ERA in five starts against the Curve this season.

“Credit goes to Alexander,” Ryan said. “He threw the fastball away, mixed the changeup, and kept us off-balanced. We didn’t offer at anything away. We knew that’s what he was going to do, but he made quality pitches where we couldn’t do much with it.”

Alexander entered this season as MLB.com’s number four prospect for the Tigers, but he dropped to 12th in the mid-season rankings.

Ryan said that the Curve’s approach hasn’t worked well against Alexander this season. They haven’t been able to jump on first pitch strikes and take the ball the other way on a regular basis. They also did not hit well during situational at-bats tonight, including going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position.

Cole Tucker had the night off after a rough game last night, making two errors last night at shortstop. Wyatt Mathisen returned to the lineup tonight after missing almost a week’s time with a minor hamstring injury. – Sean McCool

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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Bradenton had off today.

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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West Virginia won 11-8 over Lexington on Wednesday afternoon, getting contributions from the top eight batters in the lineup. Stephan Meyer was promoted prior to the game and made his first Power start. He went seven innings in a crazy outing that included seven walks, five hits, a hit batter and him throwing more balls than strikes. Despite all of that, he gave up just four runs and made it through seven innings due in part to four double plays. Dylan Prohoroff ran into trouble in the ninth, giving up three runs and had to be bailed out by Julio Eusebio, who stranded two runners while facing a batter representing the tying run.

Adrian Valerio played his second game since returning from an ankle injury and had two singles and a stolen base, showing that the ankle is fine. Trae Arbet, who has struggled for the entire second half of the season, hit his 17th double and ninth home run, driving in five runs. Yoel Gonzalez had a big day, with three hits, including his third home run. He drove in three runs and scored four times. Andrew Walker and Albert Baur each had three hits. Clark Eagan only had a single in five trips to the plate, but he drove in a pair and scored two runs.

Prospect-Watch-Morgantown

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Morgantown lost game one of a doubleheader by a 4-1 score and didn’t put up much in the way of offense. Tenth round draft pick Beau Sulser made the spot start and lasted three innings, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk. He was followed by Hector Quinones, who was called up from Bristol for this game. He went four innings and allowed two runs on seven hits.

The only Black Bears run scored due to a wild opposing pitcher, who hit three batters and threw two wild pitches. Morgantown had just two hits in the entire a game, getting a single from Bligh Madris in the third inning and a double from Raul Siri in the fourth. Robbie Glendinning reached base in all three plate appearances, with two walks and a HBP.

Game Two Recap: Morgantown won game two of the doubleheader and did a better job on offense. Adam Oller got the spot start and allowed one run over four innings, with six strikeouts. This was his 11th appearance, most of them in long relief, and he hasn’t allowed more than one run in a game.

Yoandy Fernandez had a rare rough outing, giving up three runs in his only inning of work. Even more rare, Matt Seelinger allowed a run. He went 14 innings before giving up his first run, and the four hits he allowed are one more than he gave up in his first ten outings combined. On the bright side though, he struck out four batters in two innings and two of the hits he gave up were infield singles, one resulting in a run. He has 21 strikeouts in 15 innings.

On offense, Tristan Gray hit his fourth home run of the season. Bligh Madris had two hits and a run scored. He was finally successful on a stolen base after starting off 0-for-4 in steals. Dylan Busby drove in two runs with a single. Chris Sharpe had an RBI double and a run scored. Deon Stafford drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Sandy Santos had a single, run scored, stolen base and an outfield assist.

Prospect-Watch-Bristol
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Bristol has off today.

Prospect-Watch-GCL

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BRADENTON, Fla. – The GCL Pirates took a 2-0 lead into the seventh inning of the first game of their doubleheader with the Tigers West, but Emir Sepulveda and David Lee, and some shoddy defense, combined to allow five runs.  That led to a 5-2 loss.

Shane Baz started and completed three scoreless innings.  He gave up five hits, walked nobody and struck out one.  Baz threw his fastball mostly 94-95 mph and commanded it well, getting ahead of most hitters.  He didn’t throw his slider or curve very much, instead leaning on the fastball and getting a lot of weak contact.  The five hits may look like a lot, but three were infield hits.  One of those should have been ruled an error and another was a makeable, though tough, play.  Baz finally gave up a well struck hit to start his third inning, a double into the right field corner.  He immediately picked that runner off, then gave up an infield hit and a soft liner to right to put two on.  The Tigers ran themselves out of that threat, too, as the runner on second started early on a double steal and Baz threw him out at third.

The Pirates’ offense wasn’t much more effective, but got two runs in the third due mainly to three walks and an error.  They finished with just three hits:  a single up the middle by Calvin Mitchell, a broken bat single by Mason Martin, and a long double by Jeremias Portorreal.

Sepulveda followed Baz and kept the Tigers off the board from the fourth through the sixth.  He threw his fastball mostly 88-89, touching 90, and relied heavily on a slider.  His control came and went.  In the seventh it mostly went.  Rodolfo Castro, playing third, contributed a costly gaffe; after the first two batters reached, the batter laid a bunt down the line.  It probably would have rolled foul, but Castro picked it up and then couldn’t get a throw off.  Sepulveda hit the next batter to force in a run.  Lee then came on and let all three runners score, plus one of his own.  The last run scored when Mitchell dropped a routine fly.  Lee threw his fastball mainly at 88 mph, but he pitched “backward,” going primarily with a curve.  The pitch has good break, but Lee was wild with it at times, including two wild pitches.

A few other notes:

Lolo Sanchez showed good patience at the plate, with a walk that started the Pirates’ lone rally.  Unfortunately, he fouled a pitch off his ankle during his last time up and wasn’t able to walk well on it.  He had to be replaced and then was scratched from game two.

Mason Martin bears a strong resemblance, both in looks and build, to former Pirate minor leaguer Jamie Romak.

This was my first real look at Castro, who’s bigger than the usual shortstop.  Unfortunately, he played third in both games, with Victor Ngoepe at short.  He has enough bat that it’d be a huge plus if he could stay at short.  Castro had the one bad play on the bunt, but made a nice running pick up and throw for an out on a slow roller a couple batters later.  While Baz was in the game, he had a difficult chance on a slow bouncer and threw wildly to first.

There was a bizarre play on Lee’s first batter.  With the bases loaded, the batter lined what normally would have been a single to left.  The runners held up to see whether it would be caught, resulting in a 7-5 forceout at third (The game log at MiLB.com oddly lists it as an assist by the right fielder). – Wilbur Miller

Game Two Recap: The Pirates also lost the second game, this time 6-1.  They were never really in the game, as Yeudry Manzanillo got knocked out in the third inning.  He ended up being charged with six runs in two and a third innings, with the last two scoring after he was gone.  Manzanillo was very wild, walking three, hitting two and throwing four wild pitches.  The Tigers also found it easy to run on Manzanillo and catcher Manny Bejerano, including a successful delayed double steal.  Manzanillo’s fastball sat at 88-89.  He threw from a three-quarters angle that theoretically should be tough on right-handed hitters, especially considering that he threw a lot of sliders.  He tended to leave the pitch up, though, and he got hit hard when he got pitches over the plate.  That included a lot of the outs he got, as well as the five hits a allowed.

Brian Sousa followed Manzanillo and gave up a triple to the first batter he saw.  That brought in the last two runs charged to his predecessor.  After that, Sousa settled down, striking out the next two hitters to strand the runner at third.  Sousa in that inning sat at 92-93 with his fastball and threw a sharp slider.  His command was good, which was surprising given the severe struggles he had earlier this year.  He eventually lasted three and a third, giving up three hits and walking none.  Caudio Scotti finished with a scoreless inning and a third.

The Pirates had no real offense in game two, managing only one hit.  That was a single by Mikell Granberry.  The lone run scored on a walk to Eddy Vizcaino, a steal, a throwing error and a groundout. – Wilbur Miller

Prospect-Watch-DSL

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The DSL Pirates lost 8-4 to the Indians/Brewers in a game that included a total of eight errors. Oliver Garcia started for the Pirates and had what was easily his worst outing of the season. He gave up four runs over five innings. Garcia came into the game with a 1.64 ERA in his first ten games and had not allowed more than two runs in any start. Saul de la Cruz followed him and allowed four runs over three innings, though only one run was earned.

On offense, Francisco Acuna had two hits and scored two runs. He picked up his fourth double. Sherten Apostel hit his 11th double and drew a walk. The Pirates had a chance to tie the score in the ninth, loading the bases with one out, but Jean Eusebio struck out as a pinch-hitter and Acuna struck out to end the game.

  • Wilbur: A few of us have been wondering about 3B Sherten Apostel being promoted to the GCL – sounds like you would like to see Castro more at SS, and that would make for a strong hitting left side as they progress through the minors. Any possibility of that happening?

    • John/Wilbur: I probably missed this, but why is Oneil Cruz on the Reserve List? And, since he is listed as the Pirates No. 16 Prospect by MLB, does P2 make an effort to include Top 30 traded Prospects on the list to stay current?

      • Cruz is on the reserve list because he and Angel German are meeting the team in West Virginia. Traded players are allowed travel days and I’m sure the Pirates didn’t want to send them to Lexington just to have them bus back to Charleston the next day.

        If Cruz was in our top 30, he would be on the list above. We had an article detailing our rankings and then I talked about the difference in rankings this morning between us and MLB. He is actually one player away from being added to this list. We ranked him #32, but Moroff is ahead of him and not on the list because he is in the majors. If someone else drops off, Cruz would be added.

    • Jesse Medrano and Francisco Mepris are both injured, leaving the Pirates with three infielders for 2B/SS/3B right now. Victor Ngoepe is the best SS there, so he has been at SS. Castro has been playing 3B more due to injuries, not because they don’t like him at SS.

      Apostel will be up sometime soon. If it isn’t before the GCL season ends, then it’s next month for the Instructional league

  • I’m glad to see Altoona is taking after the big league club – getting dominated by mediocre pitching

  • rickmontgomery
    August 2, 2017 8:55 pm

    A week with no HR for Martin. And so the fireball plunges back to earth.

  • piraterican21
    August 2, 2017 8:15 pm

    keller promoted? Nice.

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