Prospect Watch: Strong Outing from Mitch Keller; Sammy Siani Makes His Pro Debut

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 – 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 SO

2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Indianapolis – DNP

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, SB

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, GCL Pirates – 1-for-3

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – DNP

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, RBI, BB

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

8. Jason Martin, OF, Pirates – In Majors

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

10. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – DNP

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Bristol – DNP

13. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Bradenton – DNP

15. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – DNP

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

17. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

18. Michael Burrows, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

19. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – 1-for-4, 2B

20. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – DNP

21. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

22. Luis Escobar, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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 – DNP

28. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

29. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO

30. Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Altoona – DNP


Indianapolis won 3-1 over Louisville. Mitch Keller made his first start back in Triple-A and it was a strong performance. He went 7.1 innings, allowing one run on six hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. He allowed a solo home run and also hit a batter, just his fifth hit batter in the last two seasons. Keller was efficient in every inning, throwing a ton of strikes.

His pitch count in the boxscore says 93, but I tracked every pitch and there were 94, which is only mentioned for the numbers I’m giving. He threw 52 fastballs, 26 curves, ten changes and six sliders. That’s a normal mix of fastballs to off-speed pitches for him, BUT he started mixing his pitches earlier in the game than usual, and he threw a lot more curves than he has recently, getting away from using the slider as much as recent starts.

Keller left with two men on base in the eighth following a rain delay. He was probably done at that point anyway, but the rain sealed the deal. Tyler Lyons came on when the game resumed and recorded the final two outs of the eighth, stranding two inherited runners. He got the first two outs of the ninth as well, before Montana DuRapau took over and recorded the final out.

The big hit of the game was a two-run homer by Steven Baron. Cole Tucker stole his ninth base. Kevin Kramer had an RBI single and a walk. JB Shuck had a single and a walk. Hunter Owen had a rough night, going 0-for-3 with three strikeouts before being hit on the hand with a pitch, which caused him to leave the game early. He is 2-for-16 with two singles, no walks and seven strikeouts in his first four games with Indianapolis.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 5-2 over Richmond. Brandon Waddell made his second start for Altoona and allowed two runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out four batters. He gave up one run over four innings in his debut last week. Waddell threw 57 pitches, with 32 going for strikes. He posted an 8:0 GO/AO ratio. Beau Sulser followed with a nice performance to lower him to a 1.17 ERA. He tossed three shutout innings on one hit and two walks, with four strikeouts. Angel German came on in the eighth and tossed a scoreless frame, then Matt Eckelman picked up his 11th save.

It was a team effort for the five runs on offense. Brett Pope had two hits, including his fourth double. He also scored a run and stole two bases, giving him five steals on the season. Robbie Glendinning hit his first triple with Altoona and scored a run. Bligh Madris had a sacrifice fly. Bralin Jackson and Mitchell Tolman had RBI singles. Beau Sulser and Chris Sharpe had RBI ground outs. Jared Oliva hit his 12th double.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton had off on Monday

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro won 7-3 over West Virginia. Alex Manasa wasn’t much of a strikeout pitcher last year, but an improved slider and an uptick in velocity has led to more of them this season. On Monday night, he reverted back to the pitch-to-contact guy who filled the strike zone and it was an outstanding performance. Manasa gave up one unearned run on six hits, with one walk and no strikeouts over seven innings. He needed just 68 pitches to get through his night, with 48 going for strikes. John O’Reilly followed with a scoreless eighth, before serving up a two-run homer in the ninth.

Mason Martin drove in three runs on an RBI ground out and a two-run single. He leads the league with 65 RBIs. Kyle Mottice reached base four times on a single, double and two hit-by-pitches. Michael Gretler had a single, double (his seventh), an RBI and two runs scored. Jack Herman had a single, walk, two runs scored and an outfield assist. Fabricio Macias picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly and he also added his 11th double. Pat Dorrian had an RBI single, a walk, and his eighth stolen base.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown had off on Monday

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol had off on Monday

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates won their season opener 4-3 over the Twins. This game marked the pro debut of 37th overall pick Sammy Siani, as well as the return to action of Oneil Cruz. Siani batted lead-off and went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts. His lone hit was on a bunt fielded by the catcher and likely was a sacrifice attempt. Siani reached on a poor throw and later came around to score. Cruz played shortstop for five innings and went 1-for-3 with an infield single and a strikeout. He had two plays in the field, one went for an infield hit and the other was a grounder he handled.

The lineup was loaded with prospects, and that was after a late change (possibly an MiLB lineup error) saw Juan Pie not in the game. infielder Norkis Marcos went 1-for-4 with a run scored. Angel Basabe went 1-for-4 with a triple and a run scored. Yoyner Fajardo was 1-for-4 with an RBI. Emilson Rosado was also 1-for-4 with an RBI. Outfielder Carlos Canache went 1-for-4 with a triple. He was an international signing last August who was making his pro debut today.

Enmanuel De Los Santos made his U.S. debut a successful one by throwing five shutout innings on two hits, with one walk and four strikeouts. Matt Eardensohn and CJ Dandeneau each tossed a scoreless frame. Bryan Torres came on for the last two innings and gave up three ninth inning runs, forcing Angel Suero to come into the game for the final out.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 won 17-2 over the Brewers/Indians co-op team. The Pirates had 26 base runners in the game and went 10-for-23 with runners in scoring position. Eight of their 16 hits went for extra bases. No one had a huge day at the plate, partially due to the Pirates clearing off their bench midway through the game. Sergio Campana ($500,000 bonus) went 1-for-3 with a single, walk, three RBIs and two runs scored. He also stole his second base. Luis Tejeda ($500,000) went 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and an RBI. Franrielis Bastardo ($260,000) hit his third home run. Juan Jerez ($380,000) went 2-for-2 with his sixth double, along with a walk, run scored and two RBIs. Rafael Escalante hit a double and triple off of the bench.

Valentin Linarez started and went four innings, allowing just an unearned run on two hits and two walks, with six strikeouts. Antonio Gonzalez allowed a run over four innings and broke his string of six strikeouts in every appearance by “only” striking out five batters. He has 23 strikeouts in 15.1 innings. Argenys Dominguez lowered his ERA to 22.85 with a scoreless ninth.

Here’s the boxscore.

The DSL Pirates2 moved to 17-3 on the season with an 8-7 win over the Mariners. This game wasn’t close most of the way until the bottom of the ninth inning. Carlos Jimenez started and allowed one run on six hits in three innings. He had no walks and six strikeouts. He was followed by Domingo Gonzalez, who has been dominating in his second season. He went five innings on two hits and no walks, with eight strikeouts. In 21 innings, he has allowed one run on 11 hits, with two walks and 29 strikeouts. Wilbur Martinez took over in the ninth with an 8-1 lead and allowed four hits and two walks, while retiring just one batter. He left with an 8-4 score and the bases loaded. Joel Blanco finished off the win, though all three inherited runs scored.

Third baseman Alexander Mojica ($350,000), who still has six weeks before he turns 17 years old, hit his fourth home run. He went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs. Mojica is hitting .354 with a 1.221 OPS. The Pirates should look into signing more of his relatives, unless he’s the last of the Mojicas. Speaking of relatives, Mario Jerez spent much of this spring in the U.S., but he made his season debut in the DSL today and went 0-for-3. He’s the older brother of Juan Jerez, who was mentioned above in the Pirates1 recap. Randy Romero had two stolen bases to give him 11 on the season. Dariel Lopez ($400,000) had two hits, including his eighth double.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.