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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Prospect Watch: Max Kranick is Nearly Perfect on Short Rest; Oneil Cruz 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 (Austin Meadows, Colin Moran, Nick Kingham, 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 – DNP

2. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 1-for-4, SB

3. Shane Baz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

4. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Altoona – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – 3-for-7, 2B, RBI, BB, SB

6. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona –  DNP

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

8. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – 2-for-4, RBI, SB

9. Jordan Luplow, LF, Pirates – In Majors

10. Luis Escobar, RHP, Altoona – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, BB

14. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – DNP

15. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-4, BB

16. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI

17. Nick Burdi, RHP, Altoona – DNP

18. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

19. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

20. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-2, 2 RBI

21. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – DNP

22. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-1, 2 BB

23. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO

24. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Altoona – DNP

25. Mason Martin, 1B, Bristol – 0-for-4

26. Conner Uselton, OF, Bristol – 2-for-3, RBI, BB

27. Cody Bolton, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

28. Steven Jennings, RHP, Bristol – DNP

29. Max Kranick, RHP, West Virginia – 6 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO

30. Domingo Robles, LHP, West Virginia – DNP


Indianapolis lost game one of a doubleheader 2-1 to Buffalo.

Brandon Waddell got the start and went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits and four walks, with four strikeouts. He threw 64 of 105 pitches for strikes and did not have his usual ground ball pitch working, posting a 5:6 GO/AO ratio. Waddell now has five straight starts in which he hasn’t allowed more than two runs. Dovydas Neverauskas finished off the game with 1.1 scoreless innings, though he did allow an inherited run to score, which proved to be the difference in the game.

The offense had six singles and two walks, with only Kevin Kramer reaching base more than once. He had a single and a walk. Kevin Newman picked up his 26th stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

In game two, Damien Magnifico got his first start since 2014 and he might get another some time soon. He tossed five shutout innings on one hit and two walks, striking out three batters. Jesus Liranzo followed and threw two hitless innings for the save in the 2-0 win.

Kevin Newman went 2-for-3 with a single, double (his 25th), walk and an RBI. Jason Martin had two walks and a run scored. Erich Weiss played first base and had an RBI single in his return from a rehab stint in Morgantown.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 4-3 over Binghamton.

Luis Escobar made his third start for Altoona on Sunday. He went six innings in each of the first two games, but was limited to four innings today due to a high pitch count early. Escobar allowed just one run, but he served up four hits and walked three batters in his brief outing, so he was working around trouble. He struck out two batters and threw 42 of 76 pitches for strikes. Logan Sendelbach followed with two scoreless innings. Sean Keselica allowed two runs in two frames and Tate Scioneaux recorded his sixth save.

Will Craig drove in two runs on two sacrifice flies, giving him 84 RBIs on the season. Bryan Reynolds had two hits, an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his 25th double, walked and scored two runs. Cole Tucker hit a single, scored a run and stole his 28th base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton had their Saturday game with Florida suspended in the middle of the fourth inning with the Marauders up 10-0. Those stats have now been wiped out because they couldn’t play on Sunday and the two teams don’t meet again this season. The final three games of the series were canceled. Dario Agrazal lost three shutout innings and Adrian Valerio and Hunter Owen each lost homers.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia won 7-0 over Asheville.

Max Kranick got the start on short rest, although his last outing was purposely limited with today’s start in mind. He may need to do that more often after what he did to the team with (by far) the best offense in the South Atlantic League. Kranick kept them completely off of the bases through the first five innings, then after allowing a hit in the sixth, he picked the runner off. He faced the minimum of 18 batters, picking up six strikeouts and posting a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. Elvis Escobar followed and pitched well, giving up just one hit in three scoreless innings, while striking out two batters.

Six Power hitters had two hits in the game. Oneil Cruz hit a homer to lead-off the game and added an RBI single later. The homer was his 12th of the season and just his second one since June 23rd. Robbie Glendinning hit a two-run homer and a double. Fabricio Macias hit two doubles, scored twice and picked up an RBI. Calvin Mitchell had two singles, a walk and a run scored.

Prior to the game, Ben Bengtson was placed on the DL with concussion symptoms, though he expects to be back soon. It’s a 7-day DL trip in the minors and he was backdated three days. Rodolfo Castro was also placed on the DL. He should be back in a week. He’s dealing with a minor back injury and just general soreness.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown lost 7-1 to Brooklyn.

Mike LoPresti got the start and went five innings, allowing three runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk, with two strikeouts. He threw 45 of 68 pitches for strikes and had an 11:1 GO/AO ratio. Miguel Hernandez was next and and he gave up four runs over three innings, though only two were earned. Cody Smith handled the ninth.

The offense managed to avoid a shutout by pushing a run across the plate in the ninth. Luke Mangieri singled, went to second on a wild pitch and third on an error, then scored on a Brett Kinneman single. The Black Bears had just three other hits in the game, including a single by Jin-De Jhang in his second rehab game, a double from Edison Lantigua and a single by Mangieri. Travis Swaggerty went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He’s hitting .268/.349/.454 in 25 games.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol won 7-4 over Elizabethton

Dean Lockery was a late addition to the lineup when Chase Lambert was scratched. Lockery had the big hit in the game, connecting on a two-run homer, his second of the season. Eddy Vizcaino also drove in two runs during a rare start. Conner Uselton had an RBI single, to go along with another single and a walk. Sherten Apostel hit his fifth double. Christian Navarro tripled and scored two runs.

Will Kobos got the start and went 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on five hits (two homers), three walks and he struck out three batters. Argenis Romano was out next and he saw his 1.07 ERA go up by allowing one run in 4.1 innings, sending it all the way up to a 1.21 ERA. Romano got the win and the game was called early due to rain in the top of the ninth.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates have off on Sundays

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 have off on Sundays

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

The DSL Pirates2 have off on Sundays

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview for both teams here.

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John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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