Prospect Watch: Mitch Keller Bounces Back with Strong Start

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 or loses his prospect eligibility (Colin Moran, Edgar Santana, Kyle Crick, Max Moroff 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 – 7 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 SO

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, 2 RBI, SB

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4

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

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

6. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, RBI, BB

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – DNP

8. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – DNP

9. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – Disabled list

10. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – 0-for-4, BB

11. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton –  DNP

12. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

13. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

15. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, 2B, BB

16. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-3, 2 SB

17. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – DNP

18. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – DNP

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

20. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – DNP

21. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 2-for-3, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB

23. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – 0-for-2, RBI

24. Jason Martin, OF, Altoona – 1-for-3, BB

25. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Bradenton – 6 IP, 9 H,  4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

27. Mason Martin, 1B, West Virginia – DNP

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

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

30. Steven Jennings, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP


Indianapolis scored ten runs in the second inning and then had to hold on to that lead late in a 10-8 win over Norfolk.

The ten-run inning included six singles, three walks, a hit-by-pitch, an error and a double. Kevin Kramer was the only player in the lineup not to score a run in the inning. Austin Meadows drove in two runs, Pablo Reyes and Wyatt Mathisen each had two hits and scored two runs. Mathisen cleared the bases with the only extra-base hit of the frame.

As well as the Indians did in the second, the offense shut down with Norfolk chipping away at the lead. They had three base runners over the final seven innings and one was immediately erased on a double play. Kramer added his seventh double in the third inning and Eric Wood hit his 13th double in the eighth.

Alex McRae started and after being handed a 10-0 lead, he got knocked out after four runs and 74 pitches in the first three innings. Damien Magnifico gave up one run over three innings, then Josh Smoker made it interesting with three runs in the seventh.

Tanner Anderson pitched a scoreless eighth and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last 19.2 innings. Johnny Hellweg got the save and he hasn’t given up a run all season in 14 innings.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 5-1 over Richmond behind strong pitching from Mitch Keller and a five-run fourth inning.

Keller had a poor start last time out due to control issues. The previous time he had a bad start back in April, he bounced back with seven strong innings. He did that again tonight, though even better. Keller allowed one run on four hits and two walks, with seven strikeouts and an 8:3 GO/AO ratio in seven innings of work. He threw 63 of his 95 pitches for strikes and was hitting 97 MPH consistently in the seventh according to Curve announce Trey Wilson. Jesus Liranzo pitched two shutout innings after Keller, striking out three batters. He hit 101 MPH.

The Curve scored all of their runs in the fifth inning, with a three-run homer from Will Craig being the big hit. Craig homered Monday as well and he now has five on the season. He also doubled (ninth of the season) and drew a walk. Ke’Bryan Hayes and Jason Martin each had a single, walk and run scored. Hayes also stole his third base. Cole Tucker went 0-for-4, dropping him to .198 on the season. He is in a long 7-for-70 slump.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton lost 4-3 to Daytona in the first game of a doubleheader. Eduardo Vera was cruising along until the fifth inning when he gave up two homers and four runs. He pitched a scoreless sixth to make it seven starts in a row of at least six innings, but that fifth inning was enough for the loss. Vera had four strikeouts and threw 67 of his 99 pitches for strikes. He now has a 2.88 ERA through 50 innings.

On offense, Jason Delay and Jared Oliva each homered. For Oliva it was his fourth of the season and he also stole a base to give him seven steals on the year. It was the second homer of the year for Delay. Bligh Madris hit his second triple. Adrian Valerio had a single and two steals, giving him seven on the season.

It ended up being just one game, as game two never got started due to rain and it will be played tomorrow.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia had their game canceled on Tuesday. They don’t play Lakewood again during the first half of the season, so the game won’t be made up later.

Here’s the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.