Prospect Watch: Po-Yu Chen, Trey McGough and Max Kranick Pitch Sunday Gems

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Season preview


Starting Pitcher: Max Kranick  6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO

Notable Performances:

Tucupita Marcano 2-for-4

Jared Oliva 1-for-4

John Nogowski 0-for-3, RBI

Ka’ai Tom 1-for-2, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Game Recap: Max Kranick faced Louisville earlier this week and had a strong outing, giving up one run on four hits in six innings. He was even better on Sunday, allowing just two hits and a walk over six shutout innings, while striking out eight batters. He now has a 4.14 ERA in 54.1 innings with Indianapolis. Joe Jacques, Tyler Bashlor and Shea Spitzbarth each threw a scoreless inning in the 3-0 win. The Indians scored all three runs in the fourth inning. John Nogowski brought home Jared Oliva with a sacrifice fly for the first run, the Ka’ai Tom hit a two-run home run, his second homer for Indianapolis. Tucupita Marcano picked up two singles. Tom drew the only walk. The rest of the lineup besides those two went 2-for-24 with two singles.


Season Preview


Starting Pitcher: Trey McGough 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO

Notable Performances:

Ji-hwan Bae 1-for-4

Canaan Smith-Njigba 0-for-3

Rodolfo Castro 1-for-4, 2B

Mason Martin 0-for-4

Jack Suwinski 0-for-3, BB

Cal Mitchell 0-for-3, BB

Matt Fraizer 1-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, BB

Game Recap: Trey McGough was one of three starters today who had impressive outings. He tossed seven shutout innings on four hits, no walks and five strikeouts. He now has a 3.54 ERA in 89 innings with Altoona. McGough threw 88 pitches today, with 62 going for strikes. Yerry De Los Santos tossed a scoreless eighth, then Cristofer Melendez took over in the ninth and had a lot of trouble. He gave up two runs and left the bases loaded with a 5-2 lead before giving the ball to Nathan Kirby, who recorded the final out to get out of the jam. Altoona scored their first two runs in the third inning on a two-run homer by Grant Koch. In the fourth inning, they added two more runs on Matt Fraizer’s ninth double since being promoted. Fraizer scored the final run in the seventh inning on a wild pitch. Rodolfo Castro collected his 14th double.


Season Preview


Starting Pitcher: Santiago Florez  3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Liover Peguero 0-for-4

Nick Gonzales 0-for-2, 2 BB, RBI

Jared Triolo 1-for-4

Lolo Sanchez 2-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, BB

Game Recap: Santiago Florez ran up his pitch count in a rough third inning that saw him give up five runs, which ended his Sunday outing early. He tossed shutout ball in the first two frames before things exploded in the third. He now has a 7.56 ERA with Greensboro after posting a 1.37 ERA with Bradenton in 52.2 innings. Austin Roberts threw two scoreless innings and Enmanuel Mejia had 1.2 shutout innings. He has allowed two runs in 39.1 innings this season. Michell Miliano gave up three runs in the sixth inning. Lolo Sanchez started the Grasshoppers scoring with a two-run double in the fourth inning, his 17th double of the season and the only extra-base hit for Greensboro. Will Matthiessen followed with an RBI single. Nick Gonzales drove in their fourth run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. That would end up being all they got in a 8-4 loss. Sanchez had two hits and a walk. Gonzales walked twice.


Season Preview


Starting Pitcher: Po-Yu Chen 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO

Notable Performances:

Sammy Siani 1-for-4, BB

Endy Rodriguez 2-for-5

Jase Bowen 0-for-4

Game Recap: Po-Yu Chen ran into trouble during the second time through the lineup in each of his first two starts since joining Bradenton. On Sunday, he had no trouble going through the lineup three times. In seven shutout innings, he gave up three hits, three walks and struck out six batters. It’s his longest career outing. He lasted just 5.1 innings during his first two Bradenton starts combined. Nick Dombkowski tossed two shutout innings for the save in the 4-0 win. Bradenton got all they needed in the second inning on a Maikol Escotto RBI single. Ernny Ordonez added a run in the eighth on a single. A Kyle Wilkie ground out in the ninth added a third run, then the scoring was capped off when a wild pitch scored Francisco Acuna.

UPDATE (WTM):  Just wanted to share a few comments on Chen from watching the Bradenton game.  Obviously, he had a nice game.  There were a few loud outs, but mostly he sailed through getting quick outs.  He threw 72 pitches and, if the Marauders hadn’t had rallies in the 8th and 9th, the game would barely have gone over two hours.  The odd thing was that Chen did walk three.  Those walks came on 13 pitches total.  He only threw 23 balls the whole game, so over half of them came on three of the 27 batters he faced.  He didn’t just suddenly get wild with those three hitters.  He was seldom far off the plate.  My takeaway was that he’s a guy who stays around the plate but tries to get the hitter to hit his pitch.  When he runs into hitters who just flat-out won’t swing, he could have some problems if he’s not aggressive enough.  Of course, based on this game, maybe he’s figuring that out some.

The scoreboard had Chen at 89-90 on just about every fastball.  I can’t vouch for the gun there.  Based on John’s info, he normally throws a bit harder than that, but it’s possible he’s getting tired.  We have no way of knowing how much pitching he’s done outside of official games.  Chen stuck with the FB quite a lot and did miss some bats with it.  He moves it around, both up and down, and inside and out.  He throws a curve that looked sharp and he seemed to command it well.  He threw a slider that looked a bit flat to me.  I didn’t see a change, but Clearwater had only two LH hitters in the lineup.  The bottom line is, he’s making a tough jump late in the season.  I imagine he’ll be back with Bradenton to start next year (if he’s at Greensboro that’ll be really interesting) and I’ll be very curious to see him.

***The four short-season teams are off on Sundays

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.

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