Top Ten Hitters and Pitchers for Week 15 of the Minor League Season

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 20 plate appearances last week. The pitchers are sorted by ERA and they pitched at least four innings.

Top Hitters

  1. Will Matthiessen, Greensboro – Matthiessen followed up his walk-off grand slam in the previous week by crushing the ball again this week. He’s been hitting in big spots too, driving in 20 runs in his last 31 at-bats. He hit .391/.440/.870 in 25 plate appearances, with two doubles and three homers. He has raised his season OPS 108 points in his last nine games. His performance earned him Player of the Week honors in the former South Atlantic League.
  2. Lolo Sanchez, Greensboro – Sanchez has been streaky this year, putting together some solid games, but not overall consistent. He hit .391/.400/.696 in 25 PAs with a double and two homers last week. He has a .799 OPS in 79 games, with 13 homers and 25 steals.
  3. Mason Martin, Altoona – Martin homered this past weekend, breaking a drought that saw him stuck on 19 homers for quite a long time (only by his standards). He also added three doubles and five walks last week, which led to a .316/.458/.632 slash line in 24 PAs. In between homers, he had a .555 OPS in 18 games, so he’s someone you want to see back on this list next week.
  4. Jared Triolo, Greensboro – The top repeat from last week’s article when he posted a .936 OPS. This past week he had a .333/.409/.667 slash line in 22 PAs, with two homers. He has an .830 OPS in 81 games this year, with 12 homers and 20 steals.
  5. Matt Fraizer, Altoona – I lied last week when I said I was going to change the title to “Matt Fraizer and the other nine top hitters from last week”. He still lives here, taking up a permanent residence on this list, just changing spots to mix things up for fun. He was #8 last week and moves up three spots thanks to a .348/.375/.652 slash line in 24 PAs. He has a .986 OPS in 85 games this year, with 21 homers and 15 steals.
  6. Cal Mitchell, Altoona – Mitchell had a strong week led by four doubles and four walks. He hit .316/.458/.526 in 24 PAs. He has a .771 OPS in 84 games this season, which is tied for his career best, matching his 2018 mark in West Virginia.
  7. Tsung-Che Cheng, FCL Pirates – The Pirates were very excited when they were able to sign Cheng last year for a $380,000 bonus. This is his first action and he’s been one of the best hitters for their two FCL clubs. In 21 PAs last week, he hit .368/.429/.526, with his third home run.
  8. Nick Gonzales, Greensboro – Gonzales is another repeat from last week, which is a great sign because he only made last week’s article due to one huge game. It’s good to see that it wasn’t a fluke and he continued the hot streak. He hit .364/.391/.500 in 23 PAs. He has an .847 OPS in 54 games.
  9. Yoyner Fajardo, Greensboro – One of these days Yoyner Fajardo is going to get attention for his hitting.  All he does is hit, except he can also steal bases too. He’s a .319 career hitter in three seasons, with nearly as many walks and strikeouts. He batted .313/.450/.438 last week in 20 PAs.
  10. Diego Castillo, Altoona –  This list was basically dominated by Altoona and Greensboro, which makes you wonder about the competition they were facing. I’m sure it all works out in the end because Bradenton and Indianapolis will face easier competition some weeks. This has nothing to do with Castillo personally, just wanted to summarize the list and show it favored two clubs this week. Castillo hit .292/.292/.542 last week in 25 PAs, connecting on two homers to give him 15 on the season.

Top Pitchers

  1. Quinn Priester, Greensboro – Last week’s article had 11 pitchers who all had 0.00 ERAs. This week didn’t even come close to matching that, but the start by Priester was one of the best all season, with seven shutout innings and a career high ten strikeouts. He now has a 2.80 ERA in 74 innings, with 68 strikeouts and a 1.22 WHIP. In his last ten starts he has a 2.04 ERA.
  2. Joelvis Del Rosario, FCL Pirates – In one start and one relief appearance, he combined for one unearned run over six innings, with four hits, one walk and eight strikeouts. He has a 2.97 ERA in 30.1 innings, with 41 strikeouts and a 1.02 WHIP.
  3. Hunter Stratton, Indianapolis – Stratton retired all seven batters he faced on Sunday. He threw two shutout innings on one hit and one walk in his other outing, finishing the week with six strikeouts in 4.1 innings. He had a rough start to Triple-A, allowing five runs in his first 3.2 innings. He has 52 strikeouts in 33.1 innings this year.
  4. Sebastian Rodriguez, FCL Pirates – He moved up from the DSL mid-season this year, the only Pirates player to do so this season. He started on Monday and allowed an unearned run on four hits, with no walks and one strikeout. In the DSL this season, he had a 0.00 ERA and an 0.60 WHIP in ten innings.
  5. Bladimir Dotel, FCL Pirates – The only repeat on the pitching side from last week. He went four innings and gave up three runs, but they were all unearned. The bad part about him being here a few times now is that they have all come against the other FCL Pirates team. He has only faced other opponents twice and they scored one run in four innings. The Pirates have scored one earned run in 18 innings against him.
  6. Logan Hofmann, Bradenton – He threw four shutout innings on two hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Last year’s fifth round pick has a 2.75 ERA in 59 innings, with 76 strikeouts and an 0.98 WHIP.
  7. Luis Ortiz, Bradenton – Ortiz had an outstanding start last week, going 6.1 innings, with one run on three hits, no walks and 11 strikeouts. He now has a 3.25 ERA in 63.2 innings, with 79 strikeouts. He has allowed just three homers all season.
  8. Listher Sosa, FCL Pirates – He had an extended relief appearance that amounted to five innings, with one run on two hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He was one of the top pitching prospects for either DSL Pirates team from 2019 and this is his first time in the states. He has a 3.63 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP in 22.1 innings, with 20 strikeouts.
  9. Omar Cruz, Altoona – Rarely do pitchers make two starts in one week, and it’s obviously even more rare when they show up here after making two starts. Cruz allowed one run over six innings on Tuesday and one run over four innings on Sunday. He gave up five hits in ten innings. He had a 3.45 ERA with Greensboro before being promoted. Since then he has put up a 3.33 ERA in nine starts for Altoona.
  10. Nick Dombkowski, Bradenton – He was a non-drafted free agent signing this year, and so far he’s the only such signing by the Pirates. Dombkowski debuted with a scoreless inning in the previous week. This past week he tossed two scoreless in one game and gave up one run over two innings in his other outing.
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