Prospect Watch: Six Shutout Innings from Luis Escobar; Oneil Cruz Homers Twice

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, 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 – DNP

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 2-for-3, 2 BB, RBI

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

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

6. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – DNP

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – DNP

8. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – 0-for-5

9. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – Disabled list

10. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – 0-for-5

11. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 SO

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

13. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-5

16. Max Moroff, INF, Indianapolis – 0-for-3, BB

17. Kyle Crick, RHP, Pirates – In majors

18. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI

19. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-4, BB

20. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2 HR, 2 BB, 4 RBI

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

22. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

23. JT Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – DNP

24. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-4, BB

25. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – 0-for-4, BB

26. Jason Martin, OF, Altoona – 3-for-4, 3B

27. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

28. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

29. Mason Martin, 1B, West Virginia – 1-for-4, 2B, BB

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


Indianapolis lost 11-1 to Buffalo on Friday night. Alex McRae had a short outing during his season debut due to a high pitch count. He gave up just one run, but he was done after 3.2 innings. He was more efficient with his pitches on Friday, though Buffalo made him pay when he got too much of the strike zone. McRae allowed eight runs (six earned) over 5.2 innings on nine hits and two walks. He had five strikeouts and a 9:1 GO/AO ratio.

Clay Holmes came out for the seventh inning and it was clear that he was a bit rusty from pitching just once in 12 days with the Pirates. He gave up three runs on four hits and three walks, with three strikeouts in two innings.

Indianapolis had their share of base runners, but they couldn’t get the key hits. They went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Everyone except Jordan Luplow reached base at least one via hit or walk. Kevin Kramer and Erich Weiss each had two hits, Christopher Bostick had two walks. Jose Osuna collected his third double, while Eric Wood hit his fifth double and drew a walk.

**Just a prospect note because there is nowhere else to put this tidbit. Both Kyle Crick and Dovydas Neverauskas made their 31st pitching appearance tonight, which eliminates them from the top 50 list. Going by our rankings for the book in December, Bligh Madris and Alex Manasa now hold the final two spots on the top 50. Crick will be taken off of the top 30 list in tomorrow’s Prospect Watch article. The entire top 50 list will be updated next after the draft signing period has ended in July.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 6-2 over Erie. Dario Agrazal had a solid start on Friday, though it fell well short of his six no-hit innings in his season debut. He gave up two runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batter in five innings. Agrazal posted an 8:2 GO/AO ratio. He has just four strikeouts in his first 11 innings, but that clearly hasn’t affected his results. Sean Keselica and Tate Scioneaux finished the win off by combining for four shutout innings, with one hit, no walks and six strikeouts.

Jason Martin went 0-for-4 in each of his first two games with Altoona. He got on the board with three hits on Friday, including a triple. He also scored two runs. Cole Tucker reached base four times with two singles and two walks, while picking up an RBI. He is batting .370 through seven games. Elvis Escobar had the big hit for the Curve, smoking a bases loaded triple in the fourth inning. Ke’Bryan Hayes had a single, run scored and an RBI on a sacrifice fly. Pablo Reyes didn’t pick up any hits, but he had a walk, RBI, run scored and a stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton won 4-3 in ten innings over Clearwater. Luis Escobar isn’t picking up the strikeouts like last year, but he is getting the results. He went six innings on Friday night, allowing four singles, no walks and no runs. He didn’t walk anyone in his first start either. Escobar had four strikeouts tonight, giving him seven over his first 11 innings pitched. On Friday, he posted a 9:2 GO/AO ratio and threw 50 of his 77 pitches for strikes.

Angel German followed Escobar and allowed two solo homers to tie the score. He has struck out 11 batters over six innings this season. Scooter Hightower followed him and served up a solo homer to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

The Marauders had 12 hits in this game (no walks) with Adrian Valerio, Bligh Madris, Lucas Tancas and Tyler Gaffney each picking up two hits. Valerio drove in a run in the third on a double, another in the seventh on a ground out, and hit tenth inning single scored Jared Oliva with the game-winning run. Oliva had a double and two runs scored.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia won 6-4 thanks in part to an offensive outburst from Oneil Cruz. He homered twice, walked twice, scored three runs and drove in four runs. Coming into the day, Cruz had just three hits on the season. His OPS went from .521 to .860 in one day.

Gavin Wallace started and went six innings, allowing three runs on eight hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 60 of his 80 pitches for strikes and had a 9:3 GO/AO ratio. Wallace allowed three runs over five innings in his debut. Evan Piechota got the save by throwing the final three innings.

Chris Sharpe had his first big game, going 2-for-3, with a walk, RBI and two stolen bases. Mason Martin hit his third double and drew a walk. Dylan Busby had two walks and a stolen base. Kyle Watson had two hits and a run scored. Ryan Peurifoy is 0-for-13 this season at the plate after going hitless tonight.

Here’s the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.