Morning Report: Pirates Among Their League’s Hitting Leaders Throughout the System

Today we take a look at the hitters for the four full-season affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates who are among their league leaders in various offensive categories. We are 30+ games through the season for all four teams, which is close to the 1/4th mark for the minor league season. Stats are through action on May 8th, and every player who ranks among the top ten in their league is listed below.

Indianapolis

Average: Jake Elmore .398 (1st)

Hits: Elmore, 39 (3rd)

Doubles: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 12 (1st), Elmore, 11 (3rd)

Triples: Trayvon Robinson, 3 (1st)

HR: Will Craig, 9 (3rd)

RBI: Craig, 23 (7th)

OBP: Elmore, .450 (4th)

OPS: Elmore, 1.022 (5th)

Altoona

Runs: Hunter Owen, 19 (5th), Logan Hill, 17 (9th)

Hits: Bligh Madris, 32 (6th), Owen, 31 (9th)

Doubles: Hill, 8 (7th)

Triples: Mitchell Tolman, 2 (4th)

HR: Owen, 7 (2nd)

RBI: Owen, 26 (1st)

Slugging: Owen, .565 (5th)

OPS: Owen, .917 (8th)

SB: Jared Oliva, 5 (10th)

Strikeouts: Owen, 36 (5th)

Bradenton

Average: Calvin Mitchell, .298 (10th)

Runs: Dylan Busby, 17 (8th)

Hits: Mitchell, 36 (2nd)

Doubles: Lucas Tancas, 8 (3rd)

Triples: Mitchell, 2 (7th)

HR: Busby, 10 (1st), Mitchell, 5 (3rd)

RBI: Busby and Mitchell, 22 (2nd)

SB: Chris Sharpe, 6 (8th)

Slugging: Busby, .589 (2nd), Mitchell, .504 (5th)

BB: Sharpe, 15 (8th)

Strikeouts: Busby, 41 (4th)

Greensboro

Runs: Fabricio Macias 21 (4th), Rodolfo Castro, 19 (6th), Pat Dorrian, Mason Martin and Lolo Sanchez, 18 (9th)

Hits: Sanchez, 34 (5th)

Doubles: Dorrian, 10 (5th)

Triples: Sanchez, 5 (1st)

HR: Castro, 10 (2nd), Martin, 8 (3rd)

RBI: Martin, 23 (5th) Brett Kinneman, 20 (8th), Castro, 19 (10th)

Slugging: Castro, .719 (2nd), Sanchez, .532 (9th)

OPS: Castro, 1.063 (2nd), Sanchez, .914 (8th)

BB: Connor Kaiser, 21 (3rd), Martin 16 (10th)

Strikeouts: Kinneman and Martin, 45 (2nd)

SB: Sanchez, 12 (3rd)

Of note here is how many runs Greensboro is scoring. They play in a rather neutral park that doesn’t favor hitters or pitchers, so the fact that they lead the league in runs with 18 more than the nearest team is impressive. You might also remember a few weeks ago when I wrote about how Lolo Sanchez was the only guy on the team doing well. That obviously changed in a hurry.

TODAY’S SCHEDULE

Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 17-4 to the St Louis Cardinals on Thursday night. Trevor Williams will get the start tonight. He has pitched at least six innings in all seven starts this year, though he has allowed a total of nine earned runs in his last two outings combined. The Cardinals will counter with veteran right-hander Adam Wainwright, who has a 4.71 ERA in 36.1 innings this season, with 29 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP. In his last start against the Chicago Cubs, he gave up six runs over five innings. Wainwright faced the Pirates back on April 1st and allowed four runs in four innings of work.

The minor league schedule includes the third start at Indianapolis for Dario Agrazal, who was named the International League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. He gave up two runs over 13.2 innings in his two starts. Max Kranick will try to bounce back from a poor start, as he gets the ball for Bradenton. That game will follow the completion of yesterday’s game, which was suspended due to rain in the third inning. Alex Manasa goes for Greensboro tonight. He has not allowed more than three earned runs in any start this season, but he’s facing a team with a 25-5 record today. Cam Vieaux makes his seventh start. He faced today’s opponent (Erie) on April 29th and allowed one run over seven innings.

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 (17-17) @ Cardinals (22-16) 8:15 PM
Probable starter: Trevor Williams (3.74 ERA, 32:8 SO/BB, 43.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (16-16) @ Lehigh Valley (19-13) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Dario Agrazal (1.32 ERA, 13:2 SO/BB, 13.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (16-16) vs Erie (15-12) 6:00 PM  (season preview)
Probable starter: Cam Vieaux (2.67 ERA, 21:12 SO/BB, 33.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (20-12) vs Palm Beach (18-13) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Max Kranick (4.21 ERA, 23:8 SO/BB, 25.2 IP)

Low-A: Greensboro (20-11) @ Delmarva (25-5) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Alex Manasa (3.21 ERA, 32:7 SO/BB, 33.2 IP)

HIGHLIGHTS

From Altoona again because that’s the only team posting video the last few days. Here are singles from Bralin Jackson and Alfredo Reyes.

Reyes

RECENT TRANSACTIONS

5/9: Tyler Lyons designated for assignment. Pirates recall Clay Holmes and Montana DuRapau (added to 40-man).

5/9: Matt Eckelman and Luis Escobar promoted to Indianapolis. Joel Cesar promoted to Altoona. Samuel Reyes and Logan Stoelke promoted to Bradenton. Cristofer Melendez and Will Gardner promoted to Greensboro.

5/8: Keone Kela placed on injured list

5/8: JB Shuck assigned to Indianapolis

5/6: Pirates sign Sean Brady and assign him to Altoona.

5/6: Jacob Brentz promoted to Indianapolis. Erich Weiss assigned to Extended Spring Training

5/4: Jameson Taillon placed on injured list. Kevin Newman activated from injured list.

5/4: Pablo Reyes optioned to Indianapolis. Tyler Lyons added to Pirates.

5/4: JB Shuck designated for assignment. Pirates recall Dovydas Neverauskas.

5/4: Sean Keselica promoted to Indianapolis. Alfredo Reyes assigned to Altoona.

5/4: Blake Cederlind promoted to Altoona. Ryan Peurifoy assigned to Extended Spring Training

5/4: Nick Mears and Shea Murray promoted to Bradenton. Yerry De Los Santos and John O’Reilly added to Greensboro roster.

5/4: Drew Fischer placed on 7-day injured list.

5/3: Randolph Gassaway added to Bradenton roster. Michael Gretler assigned to Greensboro.

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

THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY

Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, and one trade of note, plus a little baseball history about the cities where the Pirates’ top two minor league teams play. Three of the players had brief careers with the team, including outfielder Tony Alvarez (2002, 04), pitcher Pete Schourek (1999) and infielder Al Rubeling (1943-44). The other was pitcher Russ Bauers, who played for the Pirates from 1936 until 1941. His career was derailed by multiple arm injuries, so after winning 13 games in both 1937 and 1938, Bauers seemed like he would win more than 31 games in his career, but that’s where he ended. In his six seasons with the Pirates, he had a 3.53 ERA over 553.2 innings.

On this date in 1989, the Pirates traded infielder Ken Oberkfell to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for pitcher Roger Samuels. This ended up being a one-sided trade, as Oberkfell hit .319 the rest of the way, while Samuels pitched 3.2 unsuccessful innings with the Pirates, which marked the end of his big league career.

Not many people know that Altoona was once a Major League city back in 1884. For that one season, there was a league called the Union Association, which competed with the National League and the American Association to try to win over fans. The Union Association folded after one season and Altoona has only hosted minor league teams since then, including the Pirates Double-A squad since 1999.

Indianapolis has had multiple Major League teams in their history, but none since 1914 when the Federal League shut down. Their first NL club played in 1878 and the first win in franchise history was on May 10th. Altoona’s first win was on May 10th as well, exactly six years later, and both teams won their first game while they were home. Indianapolis was called the Blues, while Altoona was known as the Mountain Citys.

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