Prospect Watch: Strong Starts by Cody Bolton and Brad Case; Craig, Polanco and Tucker Lead Indianapolis to Win

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 (Kevin Newman, Nick Burdi and Pablo Reyes), 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 (Travis MacGregor), 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 updated 2019 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Mitch Keller, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, RBI, SB

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 3-for-5, 3 Runs, SB

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – 0-for-4

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-5

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Pirates – In Majors

7. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Indianapolis – DNP

8. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, HR, RBI, BB

9. Jason Martin, OF, Pirates – In Majors

10. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 1-for-4

12. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton – 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO

13. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

14. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

15. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Greensboro – 3-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 SB

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

17. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Greensboro – DNP

18. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – 1-for-7

19. Michael Burrows, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

20. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – DNP

21. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – 0-for-5

22. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

23. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – 1 IP, 0, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO

24. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

25. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 SO

26. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Aaron Shortridge, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

28. Blake Weiman, RHP, Altoona – DNP

29. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

30. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – 1.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

Prospect-Watch-Indy

Indianapolis won 9-7 over Charlotte. Eduardo Vera got roughed up in the first inning, but managed to last five innings and leave with the lead. After giving up three runs in the first, Vera settled down with one run over the final four innings. He didn’t have his usual above average control, which led to four walks. He threw 53 of 91 pitches for strikes and posted an 8:5 GO/AO ratio.

Brandon Waddell and Brandon Maurer followed and they lost the lead, combining to give up three runs in the seventh. Maurer got the win after Indianapolis scored twice in the bottom of the seventh. Dovydas Neverauskas moved his rehab up to Indianapolis and retired all six batters he faced for the two inning save.

Will Craig continues to show power, connecting on his sixth home run of the season. He also added a single and a walk, pushing his OPS up to 1.284 this season. Gregory Polanco moved his rehab to Indianapolis. He went 2-for-5 with two singles, two RBIs and two stolen bases. Elias Diaz also continued his rehab and caught nine innings for the first time, so he could be returning to the majors soon. He went 2-for-5 at the plate. Cole Tucker had a big day, with three singles, three runs scored and his fourth stolen base. Jake Elmore had three hits and drove in two runs.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

Altoona got swept in a doubleheader on Saturday by Akron, a team that had just one win coming into the day. The Curve barely showed up in the 7-0 loss in game one. Scooter Hightower started and allowed two runs over 4.1 innings. Sean Keselica followed him in the fifth and surrendered five runs, though all of them were unearned. Beau Sulser threw shutout ball over the final two innings.

Altoona had just four hits and no walks in the first game. Bralin Jackson hit a double. Logan Hill had a single. Jerrick Suiter had a single and a double.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

In game two, Pedro Vasquez got the start and it was a solid one. He gave up two runs over five innings and left with the lead. Tate Scioneaux followed and couldn’t retire a single batter. He served up five hits and a walk, with all six runners coming around to score. Angel German had his share of trouble too, failing to get through the sixth. He gave up two runs on two hits and two walks. Jake Brentz was the third pitcher of the inning and he stranded two runners, then threw a scoreless seventh. All four of his outs were strikeouts.

The offense was better in this game, but couldn’t overcome ten runs from Akron. Hunter Owen hit his third homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fourth. He also added two singles and a walk, driving in a total of three runs. Bligh Madris had two singles, his fourth double, and two runs scored. Logan Hill had his fourth double, two walks and two RBIs. He also scored a pair of runs.

Game two boxscore

You can view the season preview here.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

Bradenton won 4-1 over Dunedin on Saturday night. Cody Bolton got the start and looked extremely impressive. He was blowing hitters away with a fastball that was sitting 94-96 MPH, while keeping them off balance with a hard slider and a changeup that were both getting swinging strikes. He allowed one run over six innings, giving up three hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts. The walks weren’t bad, as he was around the plate all game. He threw 54 of 82 pitches for strikes and had a 6:3 GO/AO ratio.

Bolton hit 97 MPH in his first start (I missed about 10-15 pitches tonight, so it’s possible that he did it again). He was followed in this game by one shutout inning each from Joel Cesar, Luis Escobar and Drew Fischer, three guys that have all hit 97 MPH this year as well.

The Marauders got some help from the Dunedin defense, which led to two unearned runs. Daniel Amaral and Dylan Busby each hit their first triple and scored a run. Amaral was 2-for-2 with a walk, HBP and his second steal. Busby went 2-for-3 with a HBP. Chris Sharpe and Raul Hernandez each drove in runs. Calvin Mitchell hit his first double of the season.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro won 5-0 over Charleston, as Brad Case pitched a gem. He threw six shutout innings on four hits (all singles) with no walks and seven strikeouts. He worked around three errors to keep Charleston out of the scoring column. Case was coming off of his season debut in which he allowed one run over 5.2 innings. He had a 6:2 GO/AO ratio on Saturday night and threw 61 of 91 pitches for strikes. Cam Alldred had four strikeouts in two scoreless innings, while Conner Loeprich worked around a hit in the ninth to complete the shutout.

Lolo Sanchez had a big game, raising his average to .345 on the season by going 3-for-4 with two RBIs. He stole two bases, giving him three steals on the year. Chase Lambert didn’t pick up a hit, but he walked twice, scored a run, drove in a run and stole two bases, including a steal of home in the third inning. Ji-Hwan Bae moved from shortstop to second base in this game and had a rough night at the plate. He went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, leaving six runners on base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

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