Prospect Watch: Rodolfo Castro Hits Two Home Runs; Cody Bolton Debuts for Altoona

P2 Top 30A 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 Bryan Reynolds), 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 and Stephen Alemais), 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 – DNP

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, BB

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, GCL Pirates – 2-for-3, BB, SB

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – DNP

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 2B

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

8. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – DNP

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

10. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-3, BB

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Altoona – 4.1 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 SO

12. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Bristol – DNP

13. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Morgantown – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-5

15. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – DNP

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

17. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bradenton – 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 SO

18. Michael Burrows, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

19. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – DNP

20. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – 2-for-4, BB

21. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

22. Luis Escobar, RHP, Indianapolis – 2.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO

23. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

24. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

25. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Altoona – DNP

26. Aaron Shortridge, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Blake Weiman, LHP, Indianapolis – 1.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO

28. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

29. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

30. Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Altoona – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO


Indianapolis lost 2-1 to Columbus. Starter Cam Vieaux only lasted 4.2 innings, but it wasn’t due to a lot of damage being done against him. He gave up one run on five hits, with two walks and five strikeouts. He left with 94 pitches, 55 going for strikes. Vieaux has a 3.89 ERA through 30.2 innings in six Triple-A starts. Luis Escobar followed with 2.1 scoreless innings, picking up four strikeouts. Blake Weiman allowed a run in the eighth, then recorded the first two outs of the ninth before Montana DuRapau got the final out.

The Indians got their only run on a home run from Trayvon Robinson, his third of the season. Kevin Kramer had two hits, including his 20th double. Cole Tucker had a single and a walk. Logan Hill hit his third double since joining Indianapolis.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona lost 6-2 to Richmond. Cody Bolton made his Double-A debut and looked outstanding until he started closing in on his pitch count limit. Bolton missed two weeks in late May/early June, then came back with three innings in his debut, followed by four innings in his last start with Bradenton. He was going either five innings or 75 pitches tonight and he reached that pitch limit first with one out in the fifth. Bolton dominated for the first four innings, picking up six strikeouts and facing the minimum. He allowed a single, but then picked the runner off first base.

Bolton gave up two singles and two walks in the fifth inning, leaving with the bases loaded. Joel Cesar came on and allowed all three inherited runners to score. For Bolton, it was still a nice looking start, with no hard contact and a lot of swinging strikes. After Cesar finished the fifth, Austin Coley came on in the sixth. He allowed two runs over two innings. Jesus Liranzo threw a scoreless eighth.

The Curve had a 2-0 lead early in the game and Mitchell Tolman scored both runs. He had a single, double and two walks. Robbie Glendinning had two singles and both of them scored Tolman. The rest of the lineup combined for four singles and a walk, with Jerrick Suiter picking up a hit and the walk. Cody Bolton collected his first pro hit (pitchers don’t bat below Double-A)

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton won 7-3 over Jupiter. Gavin Wallace got the start in place of Cody Bolton and tossed four shutout innings on seven hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Since his ERA was at 7.97 in mid-May, Wallace has given up just two runs over his last 22 innings, lowering him to a 4.25 ERA. Hunter Stratton came out for the fifth and the plan was for him to go multiple innings, but he lasted just two outs. Stratton allowed three runs on three hits and two walks, while throwing 34 pitches. Braeden Ogle followed and stranded two inherited runners in the fifth, then tossed two more shutout innings. Nick Mears handled the final two innings and picked up five strikeouts.

The Marauders got a pair of solo homers from Rodolfo Castro, his first two since joining Bradenton. He had 14 homers with Greensboro. Castro also drove in a third run with his 15th double of the season. Dylan Busby also hit his 16th home run, a two-run shot in the sixth inning. Adrian Valerio had two singles, his sixth double and he stole two bases, giving him nine steals on the season for Bradenton. Calvin Mitchell has hit a rut similar to Travis Swaggerty, who had the night off. Mitchell had his fifth straight game without a hit (0-for-19) and he has 20 straight games with at least one strikeout.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro won 9-2 over West Virginia. The top eight batters in the lineup each reached base 2+ times in this game (sorry, Zac Susi). Fabricio Macias had a big game, going 4-for-5 with his 12th double and three RBIs. Mason Martin hit his 20th home run of the season and two more RBIs gives him 69 on the seasons, tops in the league. He also had a single, walk and two runs scored. Ji-Hwan Bae was 2-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored. Michael Gretler hit his eighth double and drove in two runs. Jack Herman had two singles and an RBI.

Conner Loeprich got the start and went five strong innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts. That’s a career high in strikeouts for Loeprich, who has mostly pitched in relief as a pro. Cam Alldred allowed one run over three innings, before Yerry De Los Santos retired the side in order in the ninth.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown lost 4-2 to Batavia. Braxton Ashcraft made his third start and allowed four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks, picking up just one strikeout. He went four innings, posted an 8:3 GO/AO ratio and threw 45 of 66 pitches for strikes. Ashcraft has a 5.27 ERA in 13.2 innings. Francis Del Orbe followed with two shutout innings. Tenth round pick Cameron Junker took over in the seventh and tossed a scoreless frame, followed by Michael LoPresti, who handled the eighth without a run.

Seven players picked up one hit each and four batters drew one walk. Cory Wood and Jared Triolo each had a double and a walk. Dean Lockery had an RBI single in the ninth and the other run scored on a balk. The Black Bears struck out 14 times, went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position and committed three errors. Third round pick Matt Fraizer went 0-for-2 in his pro debut. He started in center field and played six innings.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol won 11-6 over Elizabethton. Luis Ortiz tossed five shutout innings in his season debut, which was also his pro debut. His second start began well, but he ended up lasting just 3.2 innings, giving up four runs on six hits, with three walks and three strikeouts. He was followed by Samson Abernathy, who gave up two runs in 1.1 innings, recording all four outs on strikeouts. Trey McGough followed with two perfect innings for his first pro win. Bear Bellomy threw shutout ball over the final two frames.

Chase Murray (13th round pick) had a strong pro debut, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Francisco Acuna went 2-for-4, with his third double and three RBIs. Jean Eusebio reached base four times with two hits and two walks. Josh Bissonette and Eli Wilson each had two hits and an RBI. Ernny Ordonez had a double, two walks, two RBIs and three runs scored.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates lost 6-3 in 11 innings to the Rays. Oneil Cruz played his second rehab game and extended from five innings in his debut to seven innings today. He went 2-for-3 with two singles, a walk and a stolen base. Cruz didn’t record a single chance in the field after getting just one in his first game. Sammy Siani, the 37th overall pick this year, went 1-for-5 in his second pro game. He also went 1-for-5 in his debut. Both hits have been infield hits. Juan Pie went 1-for-5 with a single. Angel Basabe went 2-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. He also stole his second base. Emilson Rosado had a triple, walk and run scored. Yoyner Fajardo had a single and a sacrifice fly.

Estalin Ortiz got the start and went 3.2 innings, allowing three runs on four hits and four walks, with seven strikeouts. Julio Rosario followed with 1.1 scoreless innings, then Saul de la Cruz tossed shutout ball in the sixth. Hai-Cheng Gong took over in the seventh and threw a shutout inning, followed by two scoreless frames from Yandy Vega. CJ Dandeneau threw a scoreless tenth, then gave up three unearned runs in the 11th for the loss.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 lost 5-3 to the Rangers1. Andy Maldonado made the start and control issues led to three runs over 3.2 innings. He walked five, gave up two hits and had three strikeouts. Raul Mora allowed an unearned run in his 2.1 innings. Jordy Ortega gave up a run in the seventh, and Wilkin Valdez retired the final six batters in order.

Sergio Campana ($500,000 bonus) went 2-for-5 with his first double and an RBI. He has a five-game hitting streak after opening his career by going 1-for-18 at the plate. Luis Tejeda ($500,000) collected his fourth double and scored a run, but he also committed two errors. Jhan Polanco hit his first home run. Luis Tello went 1-for-3 with a walk and run scored.

Here’s the boxscore.

The DSL Pirates2 moved to 19-3 with an 8-4 over the Royals2. Jommer Hernandez had a big day on offense, collecting a double and two triples, while driving in three runs. Hernandez struggled last year after signing for a $250,000 bonus, but he’s now hitting .306 with an .883 OPS. Randy Romero went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBIs. He stole three bases, giving him 14 steals on the season. He’s hitting .359/.417/.563 in 21 games. Romero was one of our winter player features, where he talked about using his speed to help get noticed. Rayber Romero (no relation to Randy) went 2-for-3 with a walk, HBP and his ninth stolen base.

Starter Felipe Mezquita allowed four runs (three earned) on three hits and three walks, with three strikeouts in three innings. Johan Montero followed with two no-hit frames. Miguel Toribio finished out the game strong, tossed four shutout innings on one hits and two walks, with five strikeouts.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.