Prospect Watch: Strong Starts from Taylor Hearn, Aaron Shortridge and Steven Jennings

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 – 4 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 SO

2. Cole Tucker, SS, Altoona – 0-for-4

3. Shane Baz, RHP, Bristol – DNP

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

5. Kevin Newman, SS, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, RBI

6. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Altoona – 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 SO

7. Lolo Sanchez, CF, West Virginia – DNP

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

9. Jordan Luplow, LF, Pirates – In Majors

10. Luis Escobar, RHP, Altoona – DNP

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

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

14. Adrian Valerio, SS, Bradenton – DNP

15. Calvin Mitchell, OF, West Virginia – DNP

16. Oneil Cruz, SS, West Virginia – DNP

17. Nick Burdi, RHP, Bradenton –  DNP

18. Dario Agrazal, RHP, Altoona – DNP

19. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

20. Will Craig, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-4, 3B, RBI

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

22. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – DNP

23. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP

24. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Altoona – DNP

25. Mason Martin, 1B, Bristol – 1-for-2, 3 BB

26. Conner Uselton, OF, Bristol – 0-for-3, 2 BB

27. Cody Bolton, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

28. Steven Jennings, RHP, Bristol – 6 IP,  4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

29. Max Kranick, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

30. Domingo Robles, LHP, West Virginia – DNP


Indianapolis won 6-4 over Charlotte.

Mitch Keller made his third start for Indianapolis, hoping things would go better than the first two starts that left him with a 13.50 ERA. It did go better, but still wasn’t a strong outing. Keller gave up two runs on three hits and four walks in four innings, leaving early due to his pitch count. He was nearly replaced in the second inning when he threw 26 pitches and gave up the two runs. The positives in this game were his seven strikeouts and his changeup getting terrific results against lefty and righty hitters. Keller has 43 walks already this season in 102.2 innings, well ahead of his previous career high of 32 walks in a season. He has 20 strikeouts in just 12.2 innings with Indianapolis, but he also has a 10.66 ERA, with 19 hits and ten walks allowed.

Josh Smoker threw a scoreless fifth inning, then gave way to Alex McRae, who was trying to close the game out on his normal day to start. He got through three innings fine, giving up one hit and two walks, but not runs. Things fell apart in the ninth when he allowed three hits and two runs, but Jesus Liranzo stranded two inherited runners to send the game to extra innings. Liranzo tossed 2.1 shutout innings total to get the win.

Jose Osuna had the big hit early, with a two-run homer in the first inning. It’s his fifth home run with Indianapolis. He also walked twice in this game. Kevin Kramer had two hits, an RBI and a run scored. Kevin Newman had a single and an RBI ground out. Austin Meadows had a walk, run scored and his ninth stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona lost 6-5 to Reading in the first game of a doubleheader.

Taylor Hearn got the start and pitched brilliantly, going six shutout innings on three hits and two walks, while striking out nine batters. He threw 62 of 95 pitches for strikes and had a 5:2 GO/AO ratio. Hearn now has a 3.03 ERA, with 105 strikeouts in 98 innings, and he’s holding batters to a .196 average. Tate Scioneaux followed Hearn and made things interesting before a rain delay halted play with two outs. He gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. Play resumed over two hours later and Reading’s first batter tied it up off of Matt Eckelman to send it to extra innings. Altoona took a 5-4 lead in the eighth, but Eckelman allowed two unearned runs for the loss.

Alfredo Reyes had two hits and drove in two runs on offense. He also committed the error in the eighth that allowed both runs to score. Jordan George had two hits and a run scored. Will Craig hit an RBI triple. His first triple of the season and his 77th RBI. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit his 24th double, walked and drove in a run.

After a second rain delay, game two was canceled, since the two teams don’t meet again this season.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton had off on Sunday.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


West Virginia had their game canceled today due to rain. They do not play Lexington again this season, so the game will not be made up at a later date.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown won 4-0 in the first game of a doubleheader.

Aaron Shortridge had his best pro outing earlier this week with one run over five innings and nine strikeouts. It took just six days to top that performance. He threw five shutout innings on Sunday, giving up just two hits and no walks, while striking out seven batters. He now has a 2.89 ERA and 37 strikeouts in 28 innings as a pro. Shortridge had a 6:1 GO/AO ratio and threw 59 of 75 pitches for strikes. Cam Alldred took the final two innings and the only runner that reached base was on an error.

Zack Kone had the big hit in this game, driving in his first two runs as a pro with a double. He also walked and scored a run. Travis Swaggerty went 1-for-3 with a walk, run scored and his third stolen base. Connor Kaiser went 2-for-2 with a single, double, walk and run scored. He stole two bases to give him six steals on the season. Mike Gretler had a single, double and an RBI. Edison Lantigua drove in a run with his third triple.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

In game two, Michael Flynn got the start, trying to build on his last start which was four shutout innings. He went further in this game and set a new best for strikeouts. Flynn went five innings, allowing a run on four hits and a walk, while striking out six batters. He had a 4:2 GO/AO ratio (was a 2.31 GO/AO coming into the game) and threw 55 of 83 pitches for strikes. Francis Del Orbe followed him and allowed one run in his only inning, as the Black Bears lost 2-0.

The offense was bad in this one, with 12 strikeouts in the seven inning contest. They did have some chance to score, but couldn’t push a run across. Zac Susi hit his second double and Raul Siri hit his first triple. Both players also drew walks. Nick Valaika had two hits. Melvin Jimenez had a single and a walk.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.



Steven Jennings got the start and put together his best career performance. In six innings, he allowed two runs (one earned) on four hits and no walks. He struck out three batters, posted an 11:2 GO/AO ratio and he threw 58 of 86 pitches for strikes. It’s the first time he has gone six innings in a start. He now has a 4.41 ERA in 32.2 innings this season. Allen Montgomery came out for the seventh and gave up two runs (one earned) in two innings. Austin Shields got roughed up in the ninth and need Joe Jacques to finish the inning. Shields allowed four runs (two earned) on two hits and three walks. The Pirates committed five errors, leading to four unearned runs.

On offense, Mason Martin continued his big week, going 1-for-2 with three walks. Jonah Davis continued his big season with two doubles, to give him 19 extra-base hits in 22 games. Francisco Mepris had a single, two walks, an RBI and a run scored. The rest of the lineup failed to get a hit, though they did combine for six walks, including two each from Conner Uselton and Chase Lambert.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates are off on Sundays.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 are off on Sundays.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

The DSL Pirates2 are off on Sundays.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview for both teams here.