Prospect Watch: Mitch Keller Stands Out on an Otherwise Rough Day Around the System

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 Cole Tucker), 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 – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 SO

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

3. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – DNP

4. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-3, RBI, BB

5. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-3, RBI

6. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pirates – In Majors

7. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

8. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 3B

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

10. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton – 2.2 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

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

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

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Greensboro – 1-for-3, BB, SB

15. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – 0-for-2, BB, SB

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

17. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Greensboro – DNP

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

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

20. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – 1-for-6

21. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – DNP

22. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

23. Luis Escobar, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

24. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro –  DNP

25. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Aaron Shortridge, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

28. Blake Weiman, RHP, Altoona – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO

29. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – 5.2 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO

30. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP

Prospect-Watch-Indy

Indianapolis won 4-2 over Scranton. Mitch Keller made his eighth start and went six innings, allowing two runs on three hits, two walks and a hit batter, while striking out eight. Both runs scored on a fifth inning home run. He had a 7:2 GO/AO ratio and threw 61 of 93 pitches for strikes. This was a nice bounce back start and getting knocked out in three innings against this same Scranton team six days ago. Keller now has a 3.83 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 40 innings. Geoff Hartlieb tossed a scoreless seventh, then Sean Keselica loaded the bases in the eighth with one out. Dovydas Neverauskas came out and struck out the next two hits to keep it a 4-2 game. Neverauskas picked up two more strikeouts in the ninth for the save.

Indianapolis scored one run in every inning from the second until the fifth. Kevin Kramer singled home Jacob Stallings in the second. Ke’Bryan Hayes had an RBI ground out in the third. Kramer singled home Jose Osuna in the fourth, then Hayes was back at it with an RBI double in the fifth. It was his 15th double of the season, tops for all Pirates and tops for the International League. Jacob Stallings is batting .321 in his rehab assignment, which has just two days left. Lonnie Chisenhall played right field for eight innings and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts. His last rehab assignment was ended early due to a calf injury.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

Altoona played a doubleheader today against Binghamton. In game one, they lost 7-0. Pedro Vasquez was pitching well until the sixth inning when everything went wrong. He ended up allowing six runs (five earned) with five of those runs coming in the sixth. Tate Scioneaux let two of those runs in by giving up a three-run homer.

The offense barely showed up, with two singles from Logan Hill, a single from Jared Oliva and Bligh Madris drew the only walk. Jason Delay had a six-game hit streak snapped and a ten-game on base streak snapped as well.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

In game two, Altoona lost 5-1 on a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the seventh (doubleheaders in the minors are seven inning games). Blake Weiman, who came into the night with 8.1 innings without an earned run this season, was charged with all four runs. Altoona went with a bullpen game today instead of using two starters on the same day. Joel Cesar got the start, but he was wild (loaded the bases on walks), so his day was done after one scoreless inning. Beau Sulser gave up his second run of the season, though he still has an 0.77 ERA after three innings tonight. Blake Cederlind tossed two shutout frames. He hasn’t allowed a run since April 15th.

The offense was just as bad as the first game. The only run of the day came from a very unlikely source. Beau Sulser hit a solo homer in the third inning. It was just his third pro plate appearance. The rest of the offense was three singles, one each from Hunter Owen, Jerrick Suiter and Logan Hill. The Curve had no walks and 11 strikeouts.

Here’s the boxscore

You can view the season preview here.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

Bradenton lost 8-1 on Tuesday night in an ugly game for Cody Bolton. Coming into the night, Bolton was the best starter in the system, with an 0.77 ERA and a matching 0.77 WHIP. After giving up three earned runs total in his first six starts, he surrendered five runs in the third inning tonight. The hits were not cheap either, with three doubles, a triple and a home run. Ike Schlabach was out next and gave up two runs over 3.1 innings. Samuel Reyes allowed a run, though it was unearned. He has given up just one earned run in 21.2 innings this season. Gavin Wallace threw a scoreless ninth.

The Marauders had just four hits and they struck out 14 times. On Monday, Travis Swaggerty drove in both runs in an 8-2 loss. Tonight he had the only RBI, bringing home Randolph Gassaway with a fifth inning single. Robbie Glendinning continued his season-long hot streak, going 2-for-3 with a single and his eighth double, to give him a .361 average with the Marauders. He also drew a walk and stole his second base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro lost 5-2 to first place Delmarva. Steven Jennings got the start and couldn’t build off of consecutive solid outings in which he combined to allow one run over 11.1 innings. It looked like he was on his way to a strong start, but things fell apart in the sixth. Jennings allowed five runs on two walks, two singles and a home run. In the first five innings, he threw shutout ball on three hits and a walk. John O’Reilly followed with 1.1 scoreless, giving him 3.1 shutout innings in his first three games of the season. Conner Loeprich tossed shutout ball over the final two innings.

The Grasshoppers got two hits, a walk and a run scored from Pat Dorrian. He picked up his second triple and also stole his second base. Rodolfo Castro singled, stole third base and stole home. Fabricio Macias picked up the lone RBI. Kyle Mottice reached base twice because that’s what he does. He has a .607 OBP in seven games this year and .494 career in 42 games as a pro. Lolo Sanchez had a single, walk and his 13th stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

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