Prospect Watch: Strong Starts by Taylor Hearn and Tyler Eppler; First Triple-A Homer for Martin

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 –  DNP

2. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4

3. Shane Baz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

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

5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – 2-for-4

6. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 SO

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

8. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Altoona – 1-for-3, BB, RBI

9. Jordan Luplow, LF, Pirates – In Majors

10. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – 6 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 9 SO

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. Nick Kingham, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

14. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

15. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

16. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB

17. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – 3-for-6, 2B, 2 RBI, SB

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 – DNP

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

23. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB

24. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP

25. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Altoona – DNP

26. Mason Martin, 1B, Bristol – DNP

27. Conner Uselton, OF, Bristol – DNP

28. Cody Bolton, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

29. Steven Jennings, RHP, Bristol – DNP

30. Max Kranick, RHP, West Virginia – 3 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO


Indianapolis won 5-2 over Columbus

Tyler Eppler got the start and lasted 7.2 innings, giving up two runs on ten hits and no walks. He had five strikeouts and threw 73 of his 97 pitches for strikes. Eppler has a 3.06 ERA in 94 innings. Tanner Anderson made his first appearance since being sent back from the Pirates and he retired all four batters he faced for the save.

Jason Martin hit his first home run since joining Indianapolis, a two-run shot in the fourth inning. Jose Osuna went 2-for-2 with two walks and a run scored. Adam Frazier had an RBI single. Kevin Newman had two singles and a run scored. Sean Rodriguez went 1-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. He played third base for the second time. He is 5-for-20 in five games.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 3-1 over Trenton.

Taylor Hearn had another strong outing, which has been common for him since the end of April. He went 6.1 innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks (one intentional), with seven strikeouts and a 6:3 GO/AO ratio. Hearn threw 60 of 94 pitches for strikes. He now has a 3.35 ERA in 86 innings, with 94 strikeouts. Geoff Hartlieb relieved Hearn and went 1.2 scoreless, handing the ball to Matt Eckelman for the save.

Francisco Cervelli played his second rehab game and was the DH again. He went 1-for-2 with a single, walk, strikeout and hit-by-pitch. Jin-De Jhang returned from the disabled list after getting hit near the ear by the follow through of a swing last month. He caught the first three innings and struck out in his only at-bat. Bryan Reynolds had an RBI single, walk and a run scored. Christian Kelley had an RBI triple and scored a run. Ke’Bryan Hayes had a single and his 21st double.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton lost 5-4 to Fort Myers.

Luis Escobar started and was having one of his best outings of the season until giving up two runs in the sixth. He finished with three runs on seven hits and no walks in six frames. Escobar had nine strikeouts (new season high), a 7:2 GO/AO ratio and he threw 68 of 93 pitches for strikes. He now has a 4.20 ERA in 85.2 innings, with 79 strikeouts. Jordan Jess allowed  two runs in two innings and Angel German retired the side in order in the top of the ninth.

Adrian Valerio went 1-for-5 with his 18th double, driving in two runs. Lucas Tancas, Hunter Owen, Brett Pope and Garrett Brown each had a hit and a run scored. Pope doubled and walked, Tancas had an RBI. Brown stole his fourth base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia lost 7-6 to Lexington.

The Power completed yesterday’s suspended game before today’s regularly scheduled game.  Max Kranick started yesterday and struck out six batters over three perfect innings. Then during the top of the fourth in the rain, he allowed a single and hit a batter before the game was called. When play resumed today, Elvis Escobar threw the fourth and allowed both runners to score, ending Kranick’s shutout streak at 19 innings. Sergio Cubilete gave up four runs in three innings and Beau Sulser took the loss.

On offense, Jesse Medrano hit two doubles and drove in two runs. Raul Siri had a double, walk, RBI and run scored. Chris Sharpe had two walks, an RBI and a run scored. Ben Bengtson had a double and an RBI. Fabricio Macias had two walks and an outfield assist.

This game included something you’ve probably never heard of before. Raul Siri was sent to Morgantown today, with the stipulation that it takes place after this suspended game was completed. So he was at second base when they resumed, even though it was officially announced already that he was sent down.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

In game two, the Power won 8-7.

Oneil Cruz went 3-for-6 with his 17th double and eighth stolen base. He drove in a pair of runs. Raul Hernandez had three hits and drove in two runs. Lolo Sanchez had a single, double and run scored. Rodolfo Castro hit a two-run homer in the first inning, his eighth of the season. Calvin Mitchell had a single, two walks and an RBI.

Hunter Stratton started and allowed four runs on five hits and three walks, with five strikeouts in five innings. He has a 5.66 ERA through 55.2 innings. Samuel Reyes followed with two scoreless innings, helping send the game to extra innings. Joel Cesar pitched the eighth and each team scored a run, then again in the ninth (no earned runs as they were all the runners who start on second base in extra innings). Cesar stayed in for the tenth and the designated runner again scored, but the Power came back with two in the bottom of the inning for the win.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown lost 8-4 to Williamsport.

Alex Manasa made his fifth start of the season on Friday. He lasted 5.2 innings, giving up six runs (five earned) on six hits and three walks. Manasa had three strikeouts, a 9:2 GO/AO ratio and 56 of his 86 pitches went for strikes. He has a 6.51 ERA through 26.1 innings. John Pomeroy allowed a run in 1.2 innings. Cam Alldred recorded two outs, then Conner Loeprich gave up a run on two hits in his lone inning. He began his pro career with 6.1 no-hit/shutout innings.

Travis Swaggerty probably won’t have a game this bad for a little while. He went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and a throwing error. Mike Gretler drove in three runs and picked up his first career triple. Michael de la Cruz had a single, double, walk, two runs scored and a stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol had their game postponed due to rain.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates lost 13-12 to the Tigers West.

There was a lot of offense in this game from both sides. Jean Eusebio had an RBI single and a two-run double in the ninth that made it a one-run game with one out, but they couldn’t complete the comeback. Ji-Hwan Bae had three hits, a walk and a run scored.

Justin Harrer wasn’t doing much in the GCL, especially for a college player, until this game. He homered twice and drove in four runs. Nick Patten had three hits and drove in two runs. Patrick Dorrian had a double, walk and two RBIs.

Randy Jimenez got the start and ran into a lot of trouble in the fourth. In 3.1 innings, he allowed six runs on four hits, two walks and two hit batters. Jake Mielock, the 40th round pick, had even more trouble. He faced five batters and all five reached base, four on walks. All five runners would also score, making it an 11-0 game at the time. Hai-Cheng Gong allowed two runs over 3.1 innings. Andres Arrieta record the final out of the seventh, then Will Reed threw a scoreless eighth and Lizary Dicent handled the ninth.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 lost 10-4 to the Cubs1

Yoyner Fajardo continued to be one of the best hitters in the league, going 2-for-4 and driving in two runs. He’s hitting .369/.485/.583 in 25 games. Daniel Rivero had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Top prospect Juan Pie went 1-for-5 with a run scored. He’s hitting .320/.412/.557 in 25 games.

Yoelvis Reyes got the start and allowed three runs on four hits and two walks in two innings. Arlinthon De Dios gave up one run over three innings and struck out four batters. Starlyn Reynoso had a tough day due to poor defense and wildness. He allowed four runs (one earned) on two hits and three walks, while recording just two outs. Miguel Diaz was out next and he surrendered two runs in 1.2 innings, while Jose Amaya finished the game off with 1.2 scoreless.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

The DSL Pirates2 lost 7-5 to the Giants.

Mariano Dotel, Darwin Baez and Pedro Castillo each had two hits. Castillo, who missed eight days after a groin injury that occurred while running the bases, had two doubles, a walk and a run scored. After receiving the second highest bonus during the 2016-17 signing class of the Pirates, Castillo had a .562 OPS in 37 games. In 22 games this season, he has a .735 OPS. The problem seems to be that his strikeout rate has increased a lot, going from one strikeout every 6.64 plate appearances, to one every 4.55 plate appearances this year.

Starter Angel Suero allowed five runs on six hits and three walks in 4.1 innings. Three of those runs scored after he left, as Xavier Concepcion walked three of the four batters he faced. Eddy Vargas allowed two runs over one inning, then Oliver Mateo had 2.1 scoreless innings.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview for both teams here.