Prospect Watch: Four Shutout Frames for Clay Holmes; Oneil Cruz Hits Fourth Homer

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 (Colin Moran and Edgar Santana), or loses his prospect eligibility (Kyle Crick and Dovydas Neverauskas), 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 our 2018 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Mitch Keller, RHP, Altoona – DNP

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, 2B, HBP, SB

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 1-for-2

4. Shane Baz, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Altoona – 1-for-3, RBI

6. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – 2-for-3, 2B, BB, SB

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – DNP

8. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – 0-for-3, BB

9. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – Disabled list

10. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, SB

11. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO

12. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO

13. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, RBI, SB

16. Max Moroff, INF, Pirates – In Majors

17. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 SB, BB

18. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI

19. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB, SB

20. Nick Burdi, RHP, Pirates (disabled list) – DNP

21. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – DNP

22. JT Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – DNP

23. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-2

24. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – 2-for-4, RBI

25. Jason Martin, OF, Altoona – 0-for-2, 2 BB

26. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – 6 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

27. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

28. Mason Martin, 1B, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB

29. Conner Uselton, OF, Extended Spring Training – DNP

30. Cody Bolton, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP


Indianapolis sent Clay Holmes to the mound for his first start of the season on Friday night. He is still on a limited pitch count due to barely pitching over the first two weeks of the season in Pittsburgh. Holmes was able to go four shutout innings on two hits and no walks, with three strikeouts and a 4:2 GO/AO ratio. He threw 30 of his 50 pitches for strikes. Tyler Jones and Dovydas Neverauskas each threw two shutout innings, as Indianapolis won 4-1. Neverauskas had four strikeouts and picked up the save.

The offense pushed four runs across the plate despite 16 strikeouts on the night, and that was without batting in the ninth. Kevin Newman was the spark plug, scoring three runs. He had a single, his fourth double, a walk and his second stolen base. Austin Meadows also added his fourth double and Jacob Stallings hit his fifth double. Kevin Kramer and Jose Osuna each had a single and an RBI. The Indians went 5-for-5 in stolen bases.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona lost 6-3 to Richmond on Friday night. Starter Brandon Waddell came into this game with one run allowed over his first two starts. Richmond was able to top that with two runs in the first, then they added another in the second. All three runs scored on home runs. After the first two innings he settled down and threw four shutout frames. Bret Helton followed and gave up three runs in the seventh, then Jesus Liranzo retired all six batters he faced, three by strikeout.

The Curve scored all three of their runs in the third inning and it started with a Brandon Waddell walk and a Cole Tucker hit-by-pitch. A wild pitch then a ground out by Stephen Alemais scored the first run. Tucker scored on a Ke’Bryan Hayes single and Hayes would eventually score the third run on a Wyatt Mathisen sacrifice fly. Tucker left shortly after the hit-by-pitch, but it was just precautionary and he should be ready to go tomorrow.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton lost 4-3 on Friday night. Starter Luis Escobar came into his third start with one run allowed over 11 innings, while posting a 7:0 SO/BB ratio. He was having a terrific outing until the fifth inning. He didn’t allow a run in that inning, but it was a long frame in which he gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. He served up two singles in the sixth before being pulled and both runs would score off of reliever Jess Amedee. Escobar gave up two runs on six hits, two walks and a hit batter.

Amedee allowed a run of his own, then after a shutout frame from Bo Schultz, Jordan Jess took the loss with a run in the ninth.

Tyler Gaffney had a big night, as he extended his on base streak to ten games. He went 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and his third stolen base. Gaffney also picked up an outfield assist. He’s hitting .324 through his first 37 at-bats. Adrian Valerio is up to ten RBIs on the season after driving in two runs in this game. He also stole two bases, giving him three steals on the year.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia won 6-5 over Asheville on Friday night. Starter Gavin Wallace made his third start for the Power and matched his first two starts. In all three outings, he has given up three earned runs. He went six innings on Friday, with four hits, no walks and three strikeouts. He threw 56 of 78 pitches for strikes, while recording a 7:3 GO/AO ratio. Blake Weiman was up next and he had 8.2 shutout innings to start the season. That streak was broke in the ninth inning with two runs, but he held on for the three inning save.

Oneil Cruz, Mason Martin, Calvin Mitchell and Deon Stafford provided the big bats on offense. Cruz hit his fourth home run, a two-run shot in the eighth inning. He drove in three runs total, also adding a single, walk and a stolen base. Stafford went 3-for-3 with a run scored. Martin had a single, double, walk, RBI and two runs scored. Mitchell had two doubles, giving him four on the season and nine extra-base hits through 15 games.

Here’s the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

  • Hey John, when I saw WV had played Asheville, I got interested, thinking I would take a trip over the mountain to Asheville when they came to town. It doesn’t look like they will go to Asheville this year, but will play them again at home. Is this just a scheduling snafu? I can head up from Knoxville to Bristol, but not much of interest there this year.