With the full-season minor league teams having every Monday off this year, we get to do weekly recaps based on the action from Tuesday to Sunday each week. Below you’ll find a list of the top hitters and pitchers for the Pittsburgh Pirates over the last week. The batters are sorted by OPS and they each had at least 19 plate appearances last week. I lowered it to 19 from 20 for this week because the drop in production is significant between those two numbers. That’s partially due to Bradenton losing two games this past week, so only two of their players reached 20 plate appearances. If I left it at 20, we would have three guys here with an OPS under .800 last week, as opposed to an .858 OPS being the lowest one below. The pitchers are sorted by ERA and they pitched at least four innings.
- Michael Chavis, Indianapolis – What a way to break into your new organization. Chavis shows up here as the top hitter in his first week, putting up a .450/.542/.950 slash line in 24 plate appearances, with four doubles and two homers. He was acquired at the trade deadline from the Boston Red Sox for pitcher Austin Davis.
- Hunter Owen, Indianapolis – Owen hit .375/.474/.750 in 19 plate appearances this past week. He has put up a .725 OPS in 64 games this year with Indianapolis, posting a low average/low OBP, but showing power.
- Nick Gonzales, Greensboro – Gonzales made it here because of Sunday. When you hit two homers, a double and walk twice in the same game, it’s going to change the entire outlook of your week. He hit .273/.407/.733 in 27 plate appearances last week, with two doubles and three homers. He went 3-for-19 Tuesday-Saturday, with a .641 OPS. So Sunday was a huge difference maker here, sending him from well off of this last to the third spot. He’s hitting .270/.353/.490 in 49 games this year. He’s one of two repeats on the hitting side from last week’s article.
- Endy Rodriguez, Bradenton – He hit .313/.421/.750 in 19 plate appearances last week, with two homers and three walks. He was considered to be the top catching prospect in a very weak system for catching, but the Pirates have added greatly to that position in the last month. Rodriguez has an .840 OPS in 71 games this year.
- Jack Suwinski, Altoona – Another brand new player makes the list with a strong first full week in the system. In 31 plate appearances, he had a .400/.467/.480 slash line. He has shown nice power this season with 16 homers, but this week was built off of singles.
- Jase Bowen, Bradenton – He hit .250/.526/.417 in 19 plate appearances, with two doubles and six walks. His season has been hot/cold, showing power/speed that comes with a low average. A .711 OPS in 69 games isn’t bad for this league.
- Jared Triolo, Greensboro – Triolo left Sunday’s game with an apparent injury, so that puts a little damper on the week. He hit .364/.391/.545 in 23 plate appearances last week. He has an .814 OPS in 76 games this season.
- Matt Fraizer, Greensboro/Altoona – It’s not often that we get mid-week promotions in this article. First is because it rarely happens, but also switching teams mid-week usually involves missing some time just for travel and such. Fraizer hit .333/.368/.556 in 19 plate appearances. I’m thinking about switching this article title to say Matt Fraizer and the other nine top hitters from last week. You can send any mail for him directly to this article because he lives here.
- Jared Oliva, Indianapolis – Oliva hit .375/.423/.500 in 26 plate appearances this year. It’s a nice sign during a very rough year that saw him get a late start due to injury. Struggle in Triple-A, then get promoted to the majors and struggle there in a limited role, before being returned to the minors. He needs the consistent at-bats in Triple-A, and you have to start somewhere, so this could be the spark.
- Rayber Romero, FCL Pirates – It’s tough for the FCL players to get on this list. Not only does the league favor pitchers, they only have five games per week, which was down to four last week for one of the clubs due to Saturday’s cancellation, though the other team had a doubleheader, so they got in five games. He hit .412/.500/.412 in 21 plate appearances last week, and he has an .813 OPS in 24 games this year.
- Adrian Florencio, Bradenton – All of the pitchers here finished with a 0.00 ERA, which is the first time that has happened. In fact, I had to go to 11 spots because of a tie in innings at the end. Florencio (pictured above) was the only one here who went six innings though, so he was the best pitcher last week. The next eight spots were tied with five innings. He allowed just one hit, two walks and struck out nine batters. He has a 2.54 ERA in 67.1 innings, with 81 strikeouts.
- Cam Vieaux, Indianapolis – He threw five shutout innings on three hits, two walks and four strikeouts. Vieaux has mostly played for Altoona this year, but he has bounced between there and Indy a few times. Between both stops, he has a 4.13 ERA in 56.2 innings over eight starts and 12 relief appearances.
- Dillon Peters, Indianapolis – Peters started on Saturday and threw five no-hit innings on two walks and five strikeouts. In four appearances with Indy since being picked up by the Pirates, he has allowed one earned run on three hits in 11 innings. Peters is one of five repeats from last week’s article, including each of the next three players on this list.
- Luis Peralta, FCL Pirates – He tossed five no-hit innings with two walks and five strikeouts. He made it here last week for one hit over five innings. With pitchers being on a weekly schedule for the most part this year, the only team he has faced is the other Pirates affiliate in the league. So it’s good that he’s been listed here twice in a row, but bad that it came against Pirates prospects, especially since they have three prior looks at him this season, and I’m sure numerous others during Extended Spring Training.
- Jared Jones, Bradenton – Jones pitched into the sixth inning, but walked the first two batters and got some help getting out of the jam. Prior to the sixth, he allowed just two hits and a walk in five frames. He had seven strikeouts in this game, which gives him 70 strikeouts in just 46 innings this year.
- Carlos Jimenez, FCL Pirates – Jimenez tossed five shutout innings on three hits, no walks and two strikeouts. He tossed five no-hit innings earlier this year and made it here last week for one run over five frames. In his other three games combined he allowed ten runs in 6.2 innings.
- Santiago Florez, Greensboro – Florez got off to a very slow start with Greensboro after his promotion. This game was a step in the right direction, with one unearned run on two hits, one walk and seven strikeouts. He had just eight strikeouts total in his first three starts in High-A.
- Po-Yu Chen, FSL Pirates – Chen tossed five shutout innings on three hits, no walks and three strikeouts (ho-hum). The top 2019-20 signing period player for the Pirates has started his career with one earned run in 21 innings, with no walks and 26 strikeouts. He has an 0.62 WHIP.
- Tanner Anderson, Indianapolis – He got a spot start and a relief appearance last week, which resulted in five shutout innings on three hits, three walks and four strikeouts. Anderson is basically the same prospect as when he was with the Pirates before, just older. He works quickly, pitches to contact and gets a lot of outs on soft contact.
- Bear Bellomy, Greensboro – Bellomy tossed four shutout innings in relief on one hit, one walk and one strikeout. He’s had a handful of rough outings mixed in with a lot of strong outings. In June he held batters to a .381 OPS. That ballooned to 1.095 in July due to two poor outings.
- Bladimir Dotel, FCL Pirates – Dotel allowed one hit and one walk over four shutout innings as well, except he picked up four strikeouts. He was here last week for four shutout innings. He’s similar to Peralta in that he has been dominating other Pirates prospects. In four outings versus other the Pirates team, he has allowed one run on eight hits in 14 innings. When he faced other opponents twice this year, he gave up one run on four hits and three walks in four innings.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.