Prospect Notes: Keller and Hayes Flip Spots

Here’s a few prospect notes from around the Pittsburgh Pirates system.

Baseball America posted an updated top 100 prospects list earlier this week and Mitch Keller moved ahead of Ke’Bryan Hayes on the list. Back in July when they did their mid-season update, Hayes moved ahead of Keller for the first time. Keller moved up two spots to #35 on the list this week, while Hayes dropped down a spot to take Keller’s previous #37 spot. Oneil Cruz is also on the list, ranking in at 62nd overall, moving up two spots.

The GCL end-of-season All-Star team was announced yesterday and it was the first league that didn’t have anyone from the Pirates. They were 6-for-6 in the previous lists, including five players on the DSL All-Star team. You can find the other five leagues in this link. The NYPL list will be the final one announced and that should happen soon.

I mentioned this last night in the Live Discussion comments, but many people probably missed it. The Arizona Fall League roster has an empty pitching spot that is designated for the Pirates, so it looks like they will be sending seven players this year, with one pitcher to be announced soon. It’s possible that it’s someone who was injured for part of the year and they are just waiting to make sure they are ready for the league. The AFL used to have a rule for injured players which said that they couldn’t have been on the injured list (technically it said “disabled list” since it was an old rule) within the last 45 days of the season. Now the league is allowing players to use it as part of their rehab process. Six Pirates have already been added to the Peoria Javelinas roster.

The U18 World Cup tournament is going on in Korea and two Pittsburgh Pirates are taking part in the action for their home country. The Pirates signed Taiwanese shortstop Tsung-Che Cheng on July 9th as one of their top international signings for the 2019-20 signing period. In five games, he is 5-for-21 with a double and a triple, giving him a .238/.273/.381 slash line. He has driven in five runs and scored four times.

Luis Tello is playing for Team Panama. He is hitting .235/.435/.294 in six games, with a double and five walks. Tello spent the 2019 season in the DSL, where he hit .273/.356/.330 in 54 games. He made this highlight reel catch earlier in the tournament.