On Monday, Baseball America released their lists of the youngest players in each league throughout the minors on Opening Day. The Pittsburgh Pirates were not well represented on the top three lists by level, but once you get to the South Atlantic League, then they stack up well compared to league average.
At both Indianapolis (International League) and Bradenton (Florida State League), the Pirates didn’t have any players make the top ten youngest players for the league. The youngest player lists are also usually pretty good prospect lists, so it looks good when you have some representation on each list.
The youngest player in Indianapolis is Austin Meadows, who turns 23 next month. He missed making the list by about five months. The youngest player on Bradenton is Adrian Valerio, who turned 21 last month. He’s eight months older than the tenth youngest player in the league.
Altoona has Ke’Bryan Hayes ranked sixth on the Eastern League list. Cole Tucker missed the list by five weeks, while Mitch Keller was off by four months.
West Virginia is where the list is interesting for the Pirates. Mason Martin is the fourth youngest player in the league. He’s immediately followed by Rodolfo Castro (pictured above), who is just 12 days older than Martin. They are followed by Lolo Sanchez in sixth place (four weeks older than Castro) and Calvin Mitchell is the eighth youngest player. The Power also have Oneil Cruz and Domingo Robles, who have both yet to celebrate their 20th birthdays. As a side note, Shane Baz should join West Virginia within a month or so, and he’s 15 days youngest than Mason Martin. His addition would give the Power half of the list.
According to Baseball-Reference, West Virginia has the youngest group of position players in the South Atlantic League and the third youngest group of pitchers. The average age in the league is 21.6 years old. As a team, only Greenville ranks younger than West Virginia, and that’s only by about a month.
Last year’s lists from BA included just two Pirates. Austin Meadows was the fifth youngest in the International League, while Ke’Bryan Hayes was the sixth youngest in the Florida State League. That’s an interesting coincidence when he moved up a level this season and also ranks sixth in that league.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 8-5 on Tuesday afternoon. They will now send Steven Brault to the mound for his second start and third appearance. He gave up one run over five innings in his only start. The Cubs will counter with lefty veteran Jon Lester, who threw six shutout innings against the Brewers in his last start. He gave up four runs over 3.1 innings in his season debut.
The minor league schedule includes Eduardo Vera making his second start for Bradenton in game one of a doubleheader. He allowed one run over five innings in his debut. No starter has been named yet for the second game. Nick Kingham also gets his second start and he threw five shutout innings with ten strikeouts in his debut. JT Brubaker allowed one run over five innings in his debut, while striking out eight batters.
MLB: Pittsburgh (8-2) @ Cubs (5-5) 8:05 PM
Probable starter: Steven Brault (1.13 ERA, 7:5 SO/BB, 8.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (2-3) vs Toledo (3-2) 11:05 AM (season preview)
Probable starter: Nick Kingham (0.00 IP, 10:3 SO/BB, 5.0 IP)
AA: Altoona (4-1) vs Harrisburg (2-3) 6:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (1.80 ERA, 8:2 SO/BB, 5.0 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (4-1) @ Lakeland (2-3) 5:00 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Eduardo Vera (1.80 ERA, 5:1 SO/BB, 5.0 IP) and TBD
Low-A: West Virginia (3-3) vs Lakewood (2-4) 10:35 AM (season preview)
Probable starter: Domingo Robles (12.27 ERA, 3:1 SO/BB, 3.2 IP)
From yesterday in Indianapolis, Austin Meadows makes his second catch for the highlight reel. The first was an over-the-shoulder catch as a center fielder, while this is one coming in on the ball in left field.
— Indianapolis Indians (@indyindians) April 10, 2018
4/10: Bryan Reynolds placed on Altoona disabled list. Jason Martin activated from DL.
4/5: Pirates claim Jesus Liranzo from Los Angeles Dodgers. Placed on Altoona disabled list.
4/2: Kevin Siegrist placed on suspended list for Indianapolis.
4/2: Pirates place Joe Musgrove on DL; Recall Clay Holmes
3/31: Pirates release Clark Eagan
3/29: Pirates placed AJ Schugel on disabled list.
3/28: Pirates release seven minor league players, including Barrett Barnes and Cody Dickson
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
There have been four former Pirates born on this date, including the famous wall-crasher Turner Ward (see video below). He turns 52 today. The other players include:
Hank Schenz, infielder for the 1950-51 Pirates. Schenz served in WWII before he made his Major League debut. He played six years in the majors and hit .222 in 83 games for the Pirates.
Red Smith, 1917-18 catcher. Hit .156 in 26 games for the Pirates, his only Major League experience. His minor league career spanned from 1910 until 1928. There have been four players in Major League history, who were known by the name Red Smith.
Pop Corkhill, 1891-92 outfielder. He was a star outfielder for the Reds before coming to Pittsburgh. He hit just .200 with the Pirates, ending his ten-year career in the Steel City.