Prospect Watch: Stellar Triple-A Debut from Brubaker; Teams Combine for Eight Homers

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 – DNP

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – 3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 2-for-5, HR, RBI

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

5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Altoona – 0-for-4, BB

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

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – 5 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

8. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – 1-for-5, 2B, RBI

9. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – Disabled list

10. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, 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 – 0-for-4, BB

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

17. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-4, HR, RBI, HBP

18. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – 4-for-6, 3 2B, RBI

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

20. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona –  DNP

21. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

22. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-4

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

24. Jason Martin, OF, Altoona – 2-for-4, RBI

25. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Mason Martin, 1B, West Virginia – 0-for-4, BB

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 won 7-1 over Louisville behind three homers and an outstanding Triple-A debut from JT Brubaker.

Brubaker was promoted from Altoona after his last start, which was easily his worst outing this season. He only allowed two runs, but a high pitch count limited him to four innings. His first Indianapolis start couldn’t have played out any better, as he tossed six shutout innings on six hits and one walk. Brubaker had two strikeouts, and a 6:3 GO/AO ratio, while needing just 78 pitches to get through his night. His season ERA is 1.54 through 41 innings.

The game went into the sixth inning scoreless before the Indians broke things open. Jordan Luplow hit a two-run homer in the sixth. Eric Wood added a solo shot in the seventh and Wyatt Mathisen added a two-run shot in the eighth. The other two runs were driven in by Austin Meadows, who had three hits on the night, including his seventh double. He also stole his sixth base. Kevin Newman hit his ninth double, a single and drew a walk. Jacob Stallings also hit his ninth double.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona got a strong start from Taylor Hearn and the first home run of the season from Cole Tucker in their 5-4 victory over Reading.

Hearn has been struggling since reeling off two strong starts to begin his season. He bounced back tonight with a solid outing, allowing one run on one hit and two walks in five innings. He threw 50 of his 81 pitches for strikes, had a 6:6 GO/AO ratio and three strikeouts. Hearn now has a 5.17 ERA, with 32 strikeouts in 31.1 innings. Reading made it a game with three runs off of Logan Sendelbach, but Jesus Liranzo shut down the opposition for two innings to collect the save.

On offense, the Curve got the scoring started right away with a Cole Tucker single, a wild pitch and a Jason Martin single in the first inning. They added a run in the fourth inning on back-to-back singles from Martin and Logan Hill, followed by a Christian Kelley ground out. Altoona scored three in the fifth on a Cole Tucker inside-the-park homer, then a walk, hit-by-pitch and a two-run double from Jordan George. Tucker, Martin and Hill each had two hits. George also had two walks.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton lost 7-5 to Palm Beach on Thursday night. Oddy Nunez got the start and had his issues throughout his five innings of work. He gave up five runs on eight hits, one walk and two hit batters. It was his second poor outing in a row, which has caused his ERA to go from 1.90 to 4.09 through 33 innings. Two unearned runs scored off of Mike Wallace in his three innings, while Angel German threw a scoreless ninth.

The Marauders had an early 3-1 lead thanks to three runs in the second inning. Two singles and an error loaded the bases for Jared Oliva, who drew a walk. That was followed by a two-run single from Adrian Valerio. In the eighth inning, Tyler Gaffney cut into the deficit with a two-run homer, his second of the season. Gaffney had two of the eight hits by Bradenton, including the only extra-base hit. He was the only Marauder not to strike out on the night.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia bats had a big night in their 13-2 win over Hagerstown. Rarely can a team have five players combine to go 2-for-24 on the night and still cruise to a one-sided victory. That’s what happened tonight, as Oneil Cruz, Calvin Mitchell, Dylan Busby and Kyle Watson combined for 12 hits, with seven of them going for extra bases. Cruz had a huge night with four hits, three of them being doubles. He had just two doubles this season coming into the game. Busby hit his fourth homer, one day after collecting two homers. Mitchell hit his fourth homer and Watson added his third.

The Power saw unusual control issues from starter Domingo Robles, who had five walks in his first six starts, but they still got a terrific outing from him. He gave up two runs on three hits and four walks in six innings. Robles struck out two batters and posted an 8:6 GO/AO ratio. He now has a 3.82 ERA through seven starts, with 30 strikeouts in 33 innings. Beau Sulser and Joel Cesar combined for three shutout innings to finish out the night.

Here’s the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

  • Wonder if Busby has finally figured it out? He has power and K issues but this recent spurt is encouraging.