Prospect Watch: Mitch Keller Strikes Out Ten Batters in an Otherwise Tough Night

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, 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 –  6 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 10 SO

2. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4, RBI

3. Shane Baz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

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

5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – DNP

6. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – DNP

7. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – DNP

8. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – 0-for-4, BB

9. Jordan Luplow, LF, Indianapolis – DNP

10. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, BB

15. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – 2-for-4, RBI

16. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – DNP

17. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – DNP

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

19. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – DNP

20. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

21. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 2-for-3, 2 BB

22. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – 1-for-4

23. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 3-for-4

24. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP

25. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Altoona – DNP

26. Mason Martin, 1B, Bristol – 1-for-3

27. Conner Uselton, OF, Bristol – DNP

28. Cody Bolton, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

29. Steven Jennings, RHP, Bristol – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO

30. Max Kranick, RHP, West Virginia – DNP


Indianapolis lost 5-2 to Louisville.

Mitch Keller got his second start with Indianapolis tonight, trying to forget about the eight earned runs over 2.2 innings in his debut. This was a much better game for him, but far from the high standards people set for the top prospect in the system. Keller went six innings and struck out ten batters, which is his highest total since his final start last year. The problem was that he allowed five runs on six hits and four walks, so he still has a 13.50 ERA through two starts. Damien Magnifico threw a scoreless seventh and Montana DuRapau handled the eighth and ninth.

Adam Frazier in the lead-off spot had a nice game, with three singles and he drove in both runs. The three players after him, Sean Rodriguez, Jose Osuna and Ryan Lavarnway, went 0-for-13 with ten strikeouts. Rodriguez started at shortstop, his fourth position (3B, RF, 2B, SS) in four days. Jason Martin had three hits and a run scored. Kevin Kramer had a single and a walk.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona lost 8-2 to Trenton.

The Curve scored just two runs, but there were still some nice games at the plate. Will Craig had two singles and two walks. Ke’Bryan Hayes had three hits, including his 20th double. Christian Kelley had a single, double, walk, RBI and run scored. Francisco Cervelli made his first rehab appearance and went 0-for-3 with two walks and two strikeouts. The Curve went 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position, though Cole Tucker did pick up a sacrifice fly.

Bret Helton got the spot start for Altoona and things did not go well. The Curve needed innings from Helton, but he could get just four hits before being removed. He allowed five runs on seven hits and a walk. They then turned to Scooter Hightower for his Double-A debut. He gave up three runs over 3.2 innings, with no walks and six strikeouts. Sean Keselica and Yeudy Garcia each tossed two shutout innings.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton won 9-2 over St Lucie.

Oddy Nunez had a stretch of 11 straight no-hit innings broke in his last game, then saw five runs go up in that same inning the streak was ended. His start on Thursday was somewhere in between, with two runs on seven hits and three walks in six innings. Nunez had three strikeouts and threw 61 of 92 pitches for strikes. Evan Piechota got the save with three scoreless innings.

Bradenton had 20 base runners in this game, with many multi-hit performances. Jared Oliva had just one hit, but he walked three times and scored three runs. Hunter Owen had the big hit, belting a sixth inning grand slam. It was his tenth home run of the season. He had three hits and five RBIs. Adrian Valerio, Arden Pabst, Casey Hughston and Lucas Tancas each had two hits.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia had their game suspended 0-0 after three innings with Lexington.

Max Kranick got the start, coming off three straight outings (one shortened by rain) in which he threw shutout ball. He was dealing on this night, then Mother Nature stepped in again and ended his start early. Kranick threw three shutout innings, striking out six batters, while allowing one runner. The fourth started in the rain and Kranick allowed a single and hit a batter before it was called, probably a few minutes too late for the guy who got hit.

The game will be finished tomorrow. At that time, we will post the stats in the top 30 for the hitters in this game and Kranick, who will be responsible for those two runners when they resume.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown won 3-2 over Williamsport.

The Black Bears won this game in the bottom of the ninth with a single, followed by three walks, for the walk-off walk. Travis Swaggerty had one hit and it was the only hit in 12 at-bats for Morgantown with runners in scoring position. In the sixth inning, Robbie Glendinning and Swaggerty hit back-to-back doubles. Brett Kinneman had two hits and two walks. Connor Kaiser and Luke Mangieri each had two hits and one walk.

Eighth round pick Zach Spears made his third start as a pro on Thursday. He had some control issues in this one, limiting him to 2.1 innings, with two runs on three hits and three walks. Nicholas Economos took over and threw 4.2 scoreless innings on just one hit. Juan Henriquez retired all six batters he faced, three by strikeouts, to get the win.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol won 6-3 over Johnson City.

Steven Jennings made his fourth start of the season. He went three innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and three walks, with one strikeout. Jennings walked the lead-off batter in the fourth before being removed with 67 pitches, 40 going for strikes. Argenis Romano followed with three shutout innings, followed by Leandro Pina allowed one run over three frames on one hit, no walks and four strikeouts.

Jonah Davis homered in his last game, but something wasn’t right because he had just one hit. He made up for that on Thursday with a homer and a single, giving him seven multi-hit games in his first ten career games. He has at least one hit in every game and 12 extra-base hits, giving him a .444/.468/.956 slash line. Chase Lambert had a big game and he now actually has a higher average than Davis. He’s hitting .452 after three hits, including two doubles. Sherten Apostel had a single, double walk and an RBI.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates lost 4-2 to the Yankees West.

Noe Toribio started and allowed one run on three hits and three walks in four innings. Wilmer Contreras went three innings and allowed his first run of the season, although it was unearned. John O’Reilly, who recently signed as a non-drafted free agent, made his pro debut and allowed two runs on three hits in his only inning of work. He took the loss. The three pitches had just two strikeouts total.

Dylan Busby played for the first time since a beaning on May 19th. He went 1-for-2 with a double and played four innings at third base. Steven Kraft had two singles and a double. Francisco Acuna hit his first double and scored a run. Ji-Hwan Bae went 1-for-5 with an RBI. He’s batting .206 through his first ten games.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 won 6-4 over the Cubs1.

Starter Miguel Peralta allowed three runs on five hits and two walks in five innings. He was followed by Valentin Linarez, who threw three shutout innings. He has allowed one run over 12 innings and nine appearances. Enrique Santana gave up a run in the ninth, but got his first pro save.

On offense, Norkis Marcos had two hits and drove in two runs. Ronaldo Paulino homered for the second day in a row, his fourth home run. Yoyner Fajardo hit his sixth triple, which ranks second in the DSL. Juan Pie hit his seventh double and scored a run.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

The DSL Pirates2 lost 5-2 to the Giants.

On offense, Pedro Castillo returned from a groin injury suffered last week while running. He picked up two hits. Angel Basabe had two walks and a run scored. Mario Jerez hit his first pro triple and scored a run. Omar Matos had an RBI ground out and a walk.

Enmanuel De Los Santos started and took the loss, allowing three runs (one earned) over 2.2 innings. Braham Rosario gave up two runs in 3.1 innings. Eddison Polonia tossed two shutout frames and Carlos Campos retired the side in order in the ninth.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview for both teams here.