Prospect Watch: Tough Night All Around for Pitching; Cruz Finishes Month Strong

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, Indianapolis – 2.2 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

2. Austin Meadows, CF, Pirates – In Majors

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4

4. Shane Baz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Altoona – 2-for-5, 3B, RBI

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

7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – DNP

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

9. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – 1-for-3, 2 BB

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

11. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

12. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

13. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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

16. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – 2-for-4

17. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – DNP

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

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-4, RBI, HBP

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

24. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, RBI

25. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Mason Martin, 1B, Bristol – 1-for-3, BB

28. Conner Uselton, OF, Bristol – DNP

29. Cody Bolton, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

30. Steven Jennings, RHP, Bristol – 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO


Indianapolis lost 10-9 to Columbus.

Mitch Keller’s first Triple-A start was supposed to be exciting for Pirate fans, but it quickly turned into a disaster. He allowed four earned runs in the first, followed by three more in the second and another in the third before being removed mid-inning. In 2.2 innings, he gave up eight runs on ten hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. The earned run and hit totals both represent new career highs. Keller threw a total of 70 pitches, with 48 going for strikes. It his last four starts with Altoona, he gave up two earned runs over 26 innings.

Jesus Liranzo followed Keller and stranded an inherited runner. He then gave up one run over the next two innings. Dovydas Neverauskas tossed two shutout innings with three strikeouts. Josh Smoker handled the eighth in order, then allowed a walk-off homer in the ninth.

The offense put up 17 hits on the night and drew four walks. Jackson Williams was almost the hero when he hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth to tie the score. He also had a single, double and two runs scored. Adam Frazier had three hits and drove in two runs. Kevin Newman had two singles, a walk and an RBI. He scored two runs. Jordan Luplow had two singles, a walk and two RBIs. Kevin Kramer had two singles and a walk before being ejected in the sixth inning. Jerrick Suiter had two hits, a walk and three runs scored. Pablo Reyes hit two doubles.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 7-5 over Akron in ten innings.

Ke’Bryan Hayes, Will Craig and Christian Kelley each had two hits. Hayes hit his fifth triple, scored twice and picked up an RBI. Kelley had a double, RBI and a walk. Craig drove in his 56th run. Bryan Reynolds had two walks, a single and three runs scored. Jordan George drove in two runs. Stephen Alemais had a walk and a sacrifice fly.

This was not a good day for starting pitching as you will soon find out. Tate Scioneaux started in Mitch Keller’s spot and allowed four runs over three innings. It was the second start for Scioneaux, who took his first turn during a doubleheader. Logan Sendelbach was out next and he tossed two scoreless. Montana DuRapau allowed a run on three hits in two innings. That was followed by two scoreless from Geoff Hartlieb, then with a 7-5 lead in the tenth, infielder Logan Ratledge came on for the save and picked up the final three outs, with one walk and one strikeout.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton lost 10-3 to Dunedin.

Oddy Nunez made his first start after his no-hitter and for a short time, it looked like he could pull off some magic again. He didn’t allow his first hit on Saturday until the fourth inning, making it 11 straight innings without a hit. Then things fell apart, with Dunedin putting up five runs in that fourth inning, knocking Nunez out of the game. Evan Piechota allowed four runs in 2.2 innings and Jake Brentz threw shutout ball over the final four outs.

The offense was led by Arden Pabst, who had two singles, his 11th double and a run scored. Bligh Madris had just one hit, but it was a big one. He cleared the bases in the sixth inning with his ninth double, accounting for all of the Bradenton runs. Adrian Valerio and Albert Baur each had two hits.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia won 12-4 over Hagerstown.

Oneil Cruz closed out a strong month with four hits, including his 16th double. He drove in two runs and scored two runs. Lolo Sanchez was hitting .345 over his last ten games coming into tonight. He went 2-for-5 with an RBI and his 12th double. Jesse Medrano had three hits, two runs, an RBI and a walk. Chris Sharpe had a single, double, walk, RBI and two runs scored. Raul Siri drove in his first two runs with the Power.

Hunter Stratton started on Saturday, and while he allowed just one earned run in 4.1 innings, he walked six batters and threw more balls than strikes. Stratton walked six batters two starts ago as well, then bounced back with no walks over six innings last time out. Drew Fischer followed and allowed two runs in 2.2 innings.

Then it was time for the pitching debut (sort of) of southpaw Elvis Escobar, who has been making the switch to the mound over the last month after hitting 94 MPH during a mop-up appearance with Altoona. Escobar pitched two shutout/no-hit innings tonight, walking one and striking out three batters. He was hitting 95 MPH.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown lost 8-4 to Mahoning Valley.

Alex Manasa pitched well in his first two starts despite scouting reports from Extended Spring Training saying that he was having a lot of trouble down there. He gave up four runs over 5.1 innings last time out, then tonight Manasa allowed six runs on nine hits over three innings. Nicholas Economos followed and gave up one run over four innings. John Pomeroy allowed a run in his only inning and Juan Henriquez handled the ninth in order.

The Black Bears had just five hits and a double by Daniel Amaral was the only extra-base hit. They did however, walk eight times, including three by Brett Kinneman. Edison Lantigua had a single, walk and scored two runs. He stole his second base, while Amaral stole his sixth base. Robbie Glendinning had a walk, hit and an RBI.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol lost 9-3 to Princeton.

Steven Jennings looked good in his first two starts until late in the games. Late being relative to his pitch limit each time. That was not the case in start number three on Saturday when he allowed four runs (three earned) on six hits and one walk in four innings. He had three strikeouts and a 5:4 GO/AO ratio. Adonis Pichardo followed and had even more trouble, giving up five runs in two innings. Luis Diaz and Will Gardner each tossed shutout innings.

Mikell Granberry had the big hit for Bristol, hitting a two-run homer in the eighth, his first of the season. That was the only extra-base hit for Bristol. Granberry also added a single. Dean Lockery had two hits. Mason Martin had a single, walk and run scored.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates were off on Saturday.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 lost 5-4 to the Indians/Brewers.

Juan Pie went 3-for-4 with a walk, run scored and his second stolen base. He’s hitting .342 through 20 games. Yoyner Fajardo had two hits, an RBI and a walk. He’s batting .375 through 20 games. Daniel Rivero went 1-for-4 and he’s hitting .360 through 22 games. Carlos Arroyo had a single, double and an RBI.

Lefty Yoelvis Reyes started for the first time as a pro and went 4.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and five walks, with three strikeouts. Arlinthon De Dios allowed two runs in 1.1 innings before Enrique Santana shut things down for the final 2.1 innings.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

The DSL Pirates2 lost 7-6 to the Mariners.

Angel Basabe returned to the lineup for the first time in 12 days, missing time due to a shoulder injury. He had a seven-game hit streak when he got hurt and added to that streak on Saturday, going 1-for-3 with a single, hit-by-pitch and run scored. Edgar Barrios, Germin Lopez and Bryan Mateo each had two hits. The big hit came from Eduar Ramirez, who hit a three-run homer in the fourth inning, his first home run as a pro.

Starter Angel Suero allowed just one run over his previous three starts combined, but after cruising through five innings today, he gave up five runs in the sixth. Two of those runs scored off of reliever Xavier Concepcion, who also allowed an earned runs of his own in 2.2 innings. Oliver Mateo tossed a scoreless ninth, picking up two strikeouts.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview for both teams here.