Prospect Watch: Strong Starts from Cam Vieaux, Max Kranick and Alex Manasa

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, Pirates – In Majors

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 1-for-4, BB

4. Shane Baz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Altoona – DNP

6. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, BB

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – DNP

8. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – 3-for-4, 2B, RBI

9. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

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

11. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

12. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

13. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-2

16. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – DNP

17. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – DNP

18. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-5

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, BB

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

24. Jason Martin, OF, Altoona – 0-for-5

25. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis –  1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO

26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Mason Martin, 1B, Bristol – DNP

28. Conner Uselton, OF, Bristol – DNP

29. Cody Bolton, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

30. Steven Jennings, RHP, Bristol – DNP


Indianapolis lost 5-4 to Columbus.

Tyler Eppler, who has been one of the most consistent pitchers this season in the system, got the Friday night start. He almost got knocked out of the game in the first inning, allowing four runs. Eppler ended up settling down and surrendered one more run over the next four innings before his night ended. In total, he allowed five runs on nine hits, with no walks, two strikeouts, a 6:3 GO/AO ratio and 60 of his 83 pitches going for strikes.

Brandon Waddell was out next and pitched one quick scoreless inning. This was likely part of the program the Pirates used last year, which gave starters rest by using them out of the bullpen once in place of a start. It was very unpopular among the starters we talked to last year, but this might be the first time we are seeing it this season. Jesus Liranzo pitched 1.1 scoreless with four strikeouts, while Josh Smoker recorded the final two outs.

The offense did a terrific job of getting on base and an absolutely awful job of getting runners across home plate, with numerous wasted opportunities. They went 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position and stranded 16 runners. Ryan Lavarnway had the big day, going 2-for-2 with a home run and three walks. Jose Osuna had three hits, while Max Moroff and Jordan  Luplow each had two hits and a walk. Osuna hit his 18th double. Luplow hit his 19th double.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 10-1 over New Hampshire.

Cam Vieaux got his second start for Altoona after allowing one run over seven innings in his Double-A debut.  He repeated that feat on Friday, this time giving up five hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Vieaux threw 70 of his 94 pitches for strikes. Enny Romero moved his rehab assignment up to Altoona with Bradenton on their All-Star break. He tossed a scoreless eighth inning. Bret Helton finished the game for the Curve.

Altoona got a lot of help from the defense, with six of their runs being unearned. Bralin Jackson has been on fire recently and he had his best game tonight. He raised his average to .316 by hitting two doubles and a homer, driving in four runs. Will Craig couldn’t make it four games in a row with homers, but he did have two singles, score twice and he drew a walk. Stephen Alemais had a single, double, two runs, two RBIs and his seventh stolen base. Cole Tucker had a single, walk and scored twice. Bryan Reynolds had two hits, including his fifth double.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton has off for the FSL All-Star break

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia won 8-2 over Delmarva.

Max Kranick made his fifth start, trying to rebound from two down outings after starting strong in his stint with the Power. He did just that, throwing five shutout innings, with six hits, no walks and three strikeouts. Kranick threw 60 of his 85 pitches for strikes. After the game, he said he had success throwing his slider harder than before, sitting 84-86 MPH. Sergio Cubilete was out next and he allowed one run over two innings, as did Matt Seelinger, who struck out four batters.

Lolo Sanchez had a rare strong game, going 3-for-4 with a double, run scored and an RBI. Rodolfo Castro had two hits, including his eighth double, and he drove in two runs. Oneil Cruz had two hits, two runs and his fifth stolen base. Brett Pope drove in two runs, while Chris Sharpe drove in three runs with a bases clearing double and two walks.

Ben Bengtson lost his 15-game hitting streak but nearly kept it the hard way. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch, striking out in his only official at-bat. Without an official at-bat, the streak would have continued, but now it’s just an on base streak.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown lost 9-8 in ten innings in their season opener.

Alex Manasa got the start in the opener. We didn’t get good reports from Extended Spring Training, so he was apparently saving his best stuff for the regular season. Manasa went six innings, allowing one run on five hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. He threw 47 of his 78 pitches for strikes.

Juan Henriquez was out next. He was a July 2nd signing, who is already 21 years old, but he’s debuting three levels above most of the other July 2nd players. He gave up two runs in his only inning. Miguel Hernandez allowed three runs in his 1.2 innings to tie the score. The last two runs charged to Hernandez were with Francis Del Orbe on the mound. He’s a 19-year-old, who made the jump from the DSL this year. Del Orbe had an 8-6 lead in the tenth, but he allowed three runs in the bottom of the inning for the loss.

The offense had 12 hits, with two each from Raul Siri, Jhoan Herrera, Edison Lantigua, Melvin Jimenez and Paul Brands. Siri’s hits were both doubles and he also walked once. Lantigua had a walk, RBI and a stolen base.  Michael de la Cruz didn’t have any hits, but he scored twice and stole three bases. Brett Kinneman drove in two runs in his pro debut. Luke Mangieri had an RBI single in his debut.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here. (Coming soon)


The DSL Pirates1 won 5-2 over the Indians/Brewers.

Starter Jesus Valles put together an outing that will be hard for any DSL Pirates1/2 pitcher to top this year with their limited pitch counts. He went six shutout innings on two hits, no walks and seven strikeouts. Jordy Ortega tossed a scoreless inning after him, while Andres Arrieta allowed two runs over the final two innings.

Juan Pie had two hits and drove in a run. He now has a .364 batting average. Ronaldo Paulino had the big hit with a three-run triple with two outs in the fourth inning. Daniel Rivero is hitting .317 now after his first double of the season. He also had a walk and an RBI.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

The DSL Pirates2 won 7-3 over Colorado.

Willy Basil started and allowed one run over five innings on two hits and one walk, while striking out six batters. He has a 2.03 ERA over three starts, with 17 strikeouts in 13.1 innings. Christian Charle allowed one earned run over two innings, followed by Estalin Ortiz, who didn’t allow a run or hit in his two innings.

Pedro Castillo wasn’t in the starting lineup, but he ended up with the biggest hit, connecting on a grand slam in the second inning. It was his second homer of the season. Angel Basabe hit his second triple and also walked. Juan Mena and Edgar Barrios each had two hits and an RBI.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview for both teams here.