Morning Report: Hitting Leaders Through the Month of April

With the month of April in the books, it’s time to look at the top minor league hitters for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Below you will find the top five hitters in each category from Opening Day on April 4th through April 30th. If one of the affiliates doesn’t have a top five player in a category, I added their best hitter in that category at the end of the list, along with their rank in the system. I used a minimum of 50 plate appearances for average, OBP, slugging and OPS. I also left off triples because only three players had more than one.


  1. Jake Elmore, Indianapolis, .390
  2. Trayvon Robinson, Indianapolis, .386
  3. Bryan Reynolds, Indianapolis, .367
  4. Lolo Sanchez, Greensboro, .337
  5. Cole Tucker, Indianapolis, .333
  6. Daniel Amaral, Bradenton, .320
  7. Hunter Owen, Altoona, .313


  1. Robinson, Indianapolis, .455
  2. Reynolds, Indianapolis, .446
  3. Elmore, Indianapolis, .424
  4. Tucker, Indianapolis, .415
  5. Amaral, Bradenton, .404
  6. Sanchez, Greensboro, .398
  7. Owen, Altoona, .380


  1. Reynolds, Indianapolis, .735
  2. Owen, Altoona, .663
  3. Dylan Busby, Bradenton, .657
  4. Rodolfo Castro, Greensboro, .645
  5. Robbie Glendinning, Altoona/Bradenton, .592


  1. Reynolds, Indianapolis, 1.181
  2. Owen, Altoona, 1.043
  3. Busby, Bradenton, 1.025
  4. Robinson, Indianapolis, 1.016
  5. Tucker, Indianapolis, .994
  6. Castro, Greensboro, .969


1T. Owen, Altoona, 17
1T. Connor Kaiser, Greensboro, 17
3. Fabricio Macias, Greensboro, 16
4T. Castro, Greensboro, 14
4T. Mason Martin, Greensboro, 14
6T. Tucker, Indianapolis, 13
6T. Busby, Bradenton, 13
6T. Chris Sharpe, Bradenton, 13


  1. Elmore, Indianapolis, 30
  2. Bligh Madris, Altoona, 29
  3. Sanchez, Greensboro, 28
  4. Calvin Mitchell, Bradenton, 27
  5. Owen, Altoona, 26


  1. Ke’Bryan Hayes, Indianapolis, 10
  2. Elmore, Indianapolis, 9
  3. Logan Hill, Altoona, 8
  4. Madris, Altoona, 7
  5. four tied at 6, including Lucas Tancas, Brandenton and Castro/Martin, Greensboro


1. Busby, Bradenton, 8
2T. Owen, Altoona, 7
2T. Will Craig, Indianapolis, 7
4T. Castro, Greensboro, 6
4T. Martin, Greensboro, 6


1. Kaiser, Greensboro, 21
2. Sharpe, Bradenton, 15
3T. Martin, Greensboro, 12
3T. Zack Kone, Greensboro, 12
3T. Hayes, Indianapolis, 12
7T. Hill, Altoona, 9


1. Martin, Greensboro, 37
2. Brett Kinneman, Greensboro, 33
3. Owen, Altoona, 29
4. Busby, Bradenton, 28
5T. Hayes, Indianapolis, 26
5T. Kone, Greensboro, 26


1. Sanchez, Greensboro, 7
2T. Sharpe, Bradenton, 5
2T. Amaral, Bradenton, 5
2T. Tucker, Indianapolis, 5
5T. Jared Oliva, Altoona, 4
5T. Travis Swaggerty, Bradenton, 4
5T. Oneil Cruz, Bradenton, 4


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates were off yesterday, as they travel home for a weekend series against the Oakland A’s. Joe Musgrove will be on the mound tonight. He allowed one earned run over 6.2 innings in his last start and has gone at least six innings in every start this season. Oakland will counter with left-hander Brett Anderson, who has a 4.35 ERA in six starts and 31 innings. He has a 1.48 WHIP and 18 strikeouts. Anderson’s last two starts were against the Toronto Blue Jays. He allowed a total of eight runs over seven innings.

The minor league schedule includes the first meeting between Greensboro and West Virginia since the Pirates switched affiliates this winter. The two teams will meet a total of 21 times this season. Alex Manasa gets the start, his first home start since April 6th. He gave up two runs over seven innings in his last outing. Bradenton was rained out yesterday so they will try again to send out Aaron Shortridge, who looks to bounce back from his first poor start. He gave up three runs over five innings, after allowing three runs total in his first four starts. Altoona will go with Yeudy Garcia for his second start. His last start five days ago was his first starting assignment since June 14, 2017. Alex McRae goes for Indianapolis. He has allowed four runs or more in four of his five starts.

The full 2019 Pirates Prospects Prospect Guide is now available, up to date as of April 3rd, with every player in the minor league system. Includes full reports on the top 50 prospects, reports on over 150 other players, as well as looks back at the recent drafts and international signing classes.

MLB: Pittsburgh (14-14) vs A’s (14-19) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Joe Musgrove (1.54 ERA, 31:7 SO/BB, 35.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (14-12) vs Louisville (10-17) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex McRae (7.13 ERA, 22:8 SO/BB, 24.0 IP)

AA: Altoona (13-13) @ Richmond (10-14) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (1.84 ERA, 13:3 SO/BB, 14.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (17-9) vs Lakeland (9-15) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Aaron Shortridge (1.93 ERA, 19:4 SO/BB, 28.0 IP)

Low-A: Greensboro (16-10) vs West Virginia (17-8) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex Manasa (2.86 ERA, 29:5 SO/BB, 28.1 IP)


From Indianapolis on Wednesday, Ke’Bryan Hayes drives in two runs with his league leading 11th double

We have mentioned that James Marvel has an improved curveball this season, which is helping lead to his success. Here’s a look at one of the better ones from Wednesday


5/1: Connor Kaiser placed on injured list. Kyle Mottice added to Greensboro roster.

4/30: Starling Marte activated from injured list. Jason Martin optioned to Indianapolis.

4/30: Chase Lambert promoted to Bradenton. Raul Siri added to Greensboro roster. John Bormann assigned to Extended Spring Training.

4/30: Pirates release Ben Bengtson

4/30: Jose Osuna assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

4/28: Oneil Cruz placed on injured list. Deon Stafford activated from injured list.

4/28: JT Brubaker placed on injured list. Dario Agrazal promoted to Indianapolis. Angel German added to Altoona roster.

4/27: Chris Archer placed on injured list. Pirates recall Michael Feliz

4/26: Stephen Alemais placed on injured list. Adrian Valerio promoted to Altoona. Gavin Wallace added to Bradenton roster.

4/23: Nick Burdi placed on injured list. Pirates recall Steven Brault.

4/23: Brandon Maurer placed on injured list. Montana DuRapau added to Indianapolis roster

4/23: Kevin Newman sent to Indianapolis on rehab. Nick Franklin assigned to Indianapolis

4/23: Oneil Cruz assigned to Bradenton.


Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus one trade of note that would seem backwards based on today’s standards. On this date in 1947, the Pirates traded outfielder Al Gionfriddo to the Brooklyn Dodgers for five players. The odd part of the deal is the fact the Pirates paid out at least $100,000 (possibly $125k according to one source) to the Dodgers as part of the deal. By the 1949 season, only one of the players was left in a Pirates uniform, pitcher Kirby Higbe. One of the players the Pirates got back made his name in baseball as a manager years later, infielder Gene Mauch.

Five years after that deal, the Pirates traded pitcher Bill Werle to the St Louis Cardinals for veteran pitcher Red Munger. The trade didn’t do much for one of the worst teams in franchise history, as that 1952 club finished with a 42-112 record. Munger was 0-3, 7.18 in four starts and one relief appearance for the Pirates.

The two players born on this date are first baseman Ivan Cruz (1999-2000) and catcher Chris Cannizzaro (1968). You can read a mini bio for each player in the link above.

On this date in 1882, second baseman George Strief hit the first home run in franchise history. It was the first of five homers he hit during his five-year career. It came off pitcher Will White, who would win 40 games that season and he allowed just three homers all year. White is the brother of Deacon White, who played for Pittsburgh in 1889 and was elected to the Hall of Fame in December of 2012.