BRADENTON, Fla. – The two A-ball teams were playing the Yankees’ prospects today at Pirate City, with Max Kranick and Gavin Wallace on the mound. Lolo Sanchez almost crushed a home run, and missed it foul by a few feet. Oneil Cruz got some action at shortstop. Felipe Rivero tossed a scoreless inning, plus some bonus batters. Alex Manasa, last year’s over-slot 11th round pick, went two innings.
I’ll have an article tomorrow morning on Kranick and Wallace, discussing some things they’re working on. For now, here are some videos from today’s action.
First up is Max Kranick, who ran into a bit of trouble today, and didn’t make it out of the third inning of work before hitting his pitch limit. Kranick was showing some good velocity earlier in the game, hitting 94 and sitting around 91-93 MPH. He was looking better in the second inning, which includes the video below. I talked to Kranick afterward about a new slider he’s been working on, and will have more on that tomorrow morning.
Today was my first time seeing Gavin Wallace, the younger brother of Pirates prospect Mike Wallace. Gavin was taken in the 15th round last year, and could be in the rotation for West Virginia this year. He’s got a good mix of pitches, relying on a sinker that has some good movement, along with a changeup and a slider. The slider is more of a slurve, which is a new-ish pitch for him, after changing the grip and changing the movement of the pitch to make it more consistent. I’ll have more on him tomorrow as well.
I got to see Alex Manasa last year in Bristol, and he showed some promise for a guy who hasn’t been pitching that long. He spent more time as a position player, prior to being drafted in the 11th round last year. It looks like he’s being prepped for a long-relief role in West Virginia, with the chance to get some starts. Due to the lack of experience, I could see the Pirates limiting his workload this year by having him pitch out of the bullpen for most of the year, with the chance to move to the rotation by mid-season, similar to what they did with Yeudy Garcia a few years ago.
Finally, here are two quick clips of Oneil Cruz, wrapped into one video. The first part is him hitting a single. The second part is the 6′ 6″ infielder charging in and fielding a grounder at shortstop.
Finally, a rather strange video of something I’ve never seen at Pirate City before. There was a swarm of bees that made their way from right field on field four, all the way over to the concourse, and into the parking lot. The bees stopped both games momentarily, while everyone hit the ground to avoid them. I took a video, which barely caught the end of it. This was after turning around and seeing people running and dropping to the ground, only to look up and see a literal cloud of bees.
Both games at Pirate City were momentarily delayed today due to a pack of bees.
I'm here for your Arrested Development jokes. pic.twitter.com/Ig8LkYtJFa
— Tim Williams (@TimWilliamsPBN) March 16, 2018