The Pirates made a series of moves throughout their minor league system today, likely in response to two big injuries. We already saw that Josh Harrison was placed on the 10-day disabled list, leading to Chris Bostick being promoted to Pittsburgh. Austin Meadows was also placed on the 7-day disabled list with an oblique strain in Indianapolis. This led to a need for an outfielder and an infielder in Indianapolis.
To fill that need, the Pirates promoted Justin Maffei and Anderson Feliz from Altoona. Both are organizational guys, and both have gone up to Indianapolis this year when the roster was short. Maffei will help fill out the outfield, while Feliz will provide extra infield depth.
This set of moves led to the need for an infielder and an outfielder to move up to Altoona, since like Indianapolis, the Curve will be playing in the post-season in the next week. The Pirates responded by promoting Mitchell Tolman and Casey Hughston from Bradenton to Altoona.
Tolman hit for a .267/.364/.393 line in Bradenton this year, with nine homers in 415 at-bats. He showed a good ability to hit for average and get on base, although he was too selective at times, resembling what Max Moroff showed in the lower levels. That led to some streaky performances, and lower power. The power was lowered also by the pitcher friendly Florida State League, so it will be interesting to see how he responds in Altoona.
Hughston put up a .248/.300/.393 line in 400 at-bats this year, while showing some alarming strikeout numbers. He struck out in 33.1% of his plate appearances, and didn’t see improvements as the season went on, striking out 36.2% of the time since the start of July, with a 2.2% walk rate. Hughston has some of the best raw power in the system, and is a plus defender in center field. He’s also one of the fastest outfielders in the system. But those alarming strikeout problems make all of those tools useless, and make it unlikely that he will make it beyond Double-A.