Morning Report: Four Pittsburgh Pirates Receive Recognition from Baseball America

Baseball America named their classification All-Star teams on Monday and Tuesday. The Pittsburgh Pirates had four players listed between the seven levels.

Steven Brault made the Triple-A team with his league leading 1.94 ERA in 120.1 innings, with a .199 BAA, a 1.07 WHIP and 109 strikeouts. He was named the International League’s top pitcher. Not surprisingly, his ERA and WHIP would have led the high-offense Pacific Coast League, giving him the best ERA in all of Triple-A.

Luis Escobar was named to the Low-A All-Star team. This might be a somewhat surprising choice because his 3.83 ERA wasn’t among the top 20 Low-A pitchers and he wasn’t among the WHIP leaders, but he did lead the level with 168 strikeouts. These lists also tend to favor prospects, although Eduardo Vera should have been strongly considered over Escobar.

Mason Martin was named to the Rookie level team, which is a little more impressive than the previous two players because rookie level covers 50 teams total, while those top two are 30 teams each. Martin was the GCL MVP, leading the league in homers, OBP, slugging and OPS. Rodolfo Castro was named to the GCL All-Star team by the league, but BA went with Royce Lewis at shortstop. This is one where it feels like they put the #1 overall pick from this draft class ahead of an unknown prospect (outside of Pirates Prospects readers of course).

Sherten Apostel was named to the DSL All-Star team. The 18-year-old from Curacao was fifth in the league in OPS and second in homers, walks and RBIs. He just competed in the U18 Baseball World Cup and will head to the Fall Instructional League once they’re done cleaning up Pirate City from the storm.

** Altoona won game one of the Eastern League finals on Tuesday night. They now try to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five series and win their fifth straight playoff game tonight with JT Brubaker on the mound. He faced Trenton once this season, allowing four runs (two earned) on nine hits over five innings back on July 29th. Brubaker posted a 4.44 ERA on the season, but he improved from a 5.22 ERA before the All-Star break, to 3.51 in 11 starts after the break.

Trenton will counter with  Justus Sheffield, who did not face Altoona this season. In his playoff start during the first round, Sheffield threw the first four innings of a combined no-hitter, although he left with one hit on the board, which was changed to an error in the eighth inning. Sheffield managed to avoid Bradenton last year in the FSL and was in different leagues than the Pirates during his first two seasons, so no one of the Curve roster has faced him in pro ball.

Altoona went 5-8 in the season series between these two clubs and Trenton went 2-1 in games played in Trenton during the regular season.


(Durham won the series 3-1)

9/6: Indianapolis 3, Durham 10

9/7: Indianapolis 0, Durham 2

9/8: Indianapolis 5, Durham 0

9/9: Indianapolis 3, Durham 4


(Altoona won the series 3-0)

9/7: Altoona 2, Bowie 0

9/8: Altoona 8, Bowie 4

9/9: Altoona 6, Bowie 1

Eastern League Finals

(Altoona leads the series 1-0)

9/12: Altoona 2, Trenton 1

9/13: Game Two @ Trenton 7 PM

9/14: Game Three VS Trenton 6 PM

9/15: Game Four VS Trenton 6 PM (If necessary)

9/16: Game Five VS Trenton 3 PM (If necessary)


The Pirates trail in their division by 11 games. They are 12.5 games back for the second wild card spot.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 5-2 to the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday night. Tyler Glasnow will be on the mound making his 13th start of the season today. He allowed three earned runs over 6.1 innings in his lone start against Milwaukee this season. Glasnow last started in the majors on June 9th when he allowed seven runs over four innings against the Miami Marlins. The Brewers will counter with right-hander Chase Anderson, who has a 2.93 ERA in 116.2 innings, with 110 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP. He started against the Pirates once this season, giving up two runs on two hits in six innings on June 22nd.

MLB: Pittsburgh (68-78) @ Brewers (76-69) 8:10 PM
Probable starter: Tyler Glasnow (7.45 ERA, 29:50 BB/SO, 54.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (79-63) (season preview)

AA: Altoona (74-66) @ Trenton (92-48) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (4.44 ERA, 45:109 BB/SO, 129.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (70-62)  (season preview)

Low-A: West Virginia (69-67) (season preview)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (40-35) (season preview)

Rookie: Bristol (17-49)

GCL: Pirates (26-34)

DSL: Pirates (36-34) (season preview)


Here is a solo homer from Pablo Reyes in Altoona’s clinching game in the first round of the playoffs. Reyes hit ten homers during the regular season, two shy of his career best.


9/10: Pirates recall Tyler Glasnow, Johnny Barbato, Dan Runzler, Jack Leathersich, Jacob Stallings and Edgar Santana

9/9: Cole Tucker placed on disabled list. Kevin Kramer added to Altoona roster.

9/8: Gregory Polanco and Adam Frazier activated from disabled list.

9/7: George Kontos activated from disabled list.

9/6: Jack Leathersich added to Indianapolis. Cody Dickson assigned to Bradenton.

9/4: Pirates claimed Jack Leathersich on waivers from Chicago Cubs.

9/3: Josh Harrison placed on disabled list. Christopher Bostick recalled from Indianapolis.

9/3: Austin Meadows placed on disabled list.

9/3: Anderson Feliz and Justin Maffei promoted to Indianapolis. Mitchell Tolman and Casey Hughston promoted to Altoona


Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, including two who were traded for the same player at different times. Starting with Andy LaRoche, who played for the team from 2008 until 2010. The Pirates acquired him in the Jason Bay deal, and while he had a decent 2009 season (2.3 WAR), he couldn’t follow that up in 2010 and was cut after the season. He played 41 Major League games after leaving the Pirates and spent 2016 playing independent ball. He was teammates with his brother Adam during the 2008-09 seasons in Pittsburgh and his dad played 14 years in the majors.

Armando Rios and Denny Neagle were both born on this date and they were both traded for Jason Schmidt. Neagle was sent to the Braves in the deal that brought Schmidt to the Pirates and Rios came from the Giants in the deal that sent Schmidt away. Rios tore his ACL just two games into his time in Pittsburgh and ended up playing 76 games with the team before being released. Neagle spent five years with the Pirates, posting 43 wins and a 4.02 ERA in 697 innings. He was an All-Star and won 13 games during the strike-shortened 1995 season.

Tom Parsons was a 6’7″ right-handed pitcher who the Pirates signed as an amateur free agent in 1957. He pitched one game for Pittsburgh, making a start on September 5, 1963. Parsons allowed six runs over 4.1 innings, with the big hit being a three-run homer by Hall of Fame third baseman Eddie Mathews. The Pirates would trade Parsons to Houston in June of 1964, only to see the deal nullified when both teams returned the players in the deal. A short time later, he was sold to the New York Mets, where he pitched two seasons. Parsons turns 78 today.

On this date in 1986, the Pittsburgh Pirates faced Greg Maddux at Wrigley Field in his second big league start and won 5-2 over the Chicago Cubs. The big hit of the game was an RBI double by Jim Morrison, who put the Pirates ahead for good in the fifth inning. It was one of three hits on the day for Morrison. Exactly 18 years later, Maddux was back with the Cubs and he threw seven shutout innings in a win against the Pirates. Maddux had won his 300th career game one month earlier against the San Francisco Giants. Here’s the boxscore from the 1986 game.

  • Tom Parsons must have seemed like he was 9′ tall back in 1957!

    6’7″ people stand out now when people are collectively taller than back then.

  • By the way, John, what happened to the Chinese pitcher we signed?

  • i asked this yesterday but nobody butted in. I’ll ask it again since Reyes was mentioned here.

    what makes Kevin Kramer the #16 prospect in the system while Pablo Reyes isn’t even in the top 50?

    Reyes has hit every step of the way and they both seem to have the same defensive scouting report of: “could play SS if they had a better arm”

    is it simply the <250 PA sample of Kramer popping a .360 BABIP in AA? Is it Kramer's height, giving him more power upside? Pablo walks more and Ks less though.

    why don't we talk about Pablo Reyes more? he seems like a perfectly reasonably promising prospect.

    • Agree.

      • It has to have something to do with physical tools that have yet to produce results as far as I can see. Perhaps ability to play SS and defense overall?

        • but he *does* produce results.

          always hits .270ish. always OBPs .350ish. always slugs .400ish. always BB%s 10ish. always k%s 14ish.

          heck, the player pages even say that Pablo runs well and that Kramer does not run well.

          only difference is that Kramer has this 234 PA sample this year where he babiped .360 and slugged .500 (while striking out 21% of the time and walking 7% of the time)

          I’m not making this an anti Kevin Kramer campaign. This is a “Pablo Reyes is a top 20 prospect in the system, and nobody ever talks about him” campaign.

          • Don’t know that he’s top 20, but I agree that he should be top 50.

          • I was talking Kramer not yet producing results but having superior physical tools. (possibly leading to the higher prospect rating) The ratings arent always right and we regularly see guys that were not high ranked prospects succeed. If I recall, Harrison wasnt that highly regarded and appears to be outperforming his prospect ranking. I also think that at times Latin American players are not rated as highly without a really big breakout. I dont know why that happens though. It would be great to have the author of the article or someone else from the site answer your question.

            • Ohhh gotcha. Well, the things you bring up are exactly what i’d like to hear insights on.

              I’d love to hear John or Tim explain what is seen in Kramer that isn’t seen in Reyes.

              because all i have right now is information that says that they’re the same age, that they have posted similar numbers, except for 236 PA from Kramer with a big BABIP, and that Reyes is actually a much better runner.

              and once again, i’m not trashing Kramer as much as asking… what is Reyes missing?

  • Tom Parsons. He was one of the young hopefuls that the Pirates had along with Tommie Sisk, Steve Blass, Bob Veale, Luke Walker, and Al McBean. Blass won two games in the 71 Series and Walker started the first ever World Series night game. I guess that Parsons was sold after it was determined that he was not projecable enough and that his advanced stats were not promising enough.

  • Interesting nugget that I took from this post, No one on the Altoona Curve has faced Justus Sheffield in Pro Ball. This makes tonight’s match up a must watch.

  • How about a report on Pirate City? How did it hold up in the storm? and how did Tim hold up?

    • Pirate City had minimal damage, mostly a lot of water on the field, lost some trees, fencing fell down, nothing major. McKechnie Field was fine and Tim dodged everything, even kept his power.

  • Will Mitch Keller start in Altoona on Thursday or Friday?

  • Four all-stars among seven levels seems light. Especially when only one is above Low-A. It seems like it’s been that kind of year system wide.

    • It does seem light, but on the other hand are we worried about Keller or Tucker or Baz because they didn’t get named to an all star team?

    • It’s not light, it’s actually just about average. Each level has 15 players on the All-Star team x seven levels = 105 players total divided by 30 teams equals 3.5 players per team. That 3.5 is actually a little higher than the real number because some other clubs have two rookie league teams or two DSL teams, so there are more players in their pool. So 3-4 is average.

      I tried to word it enough so people wouldn’t think it was league All-Stars. For example, the rookie level is four leagues in one. High-A is three leagues, the others except DSL are all two leagues, although the DSL has 40 teams, so that’s a huge league by itself.

      • The pirates, given how they have to win thru draft and development, need to be better than just average.

  • Really, really rooting for a good game from Tyler.

    If he has similar problems to earlier in the year………………. 🙁

    I am cautiously optimistic.