Top Ten Hitters and Pitchers for Week 19 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. Blake Sabol, Greensboro – This wasn’t the strongest week for hitting, and lowering the minimum PAs to 18 like I’ve done before wouldn’t have made much of a difference, so I left it at 20. Sabol had the best week of qualified players, hitting .316/.458/.737 in 24 plate appearances. He had two doubles, two homers and four walks. The 23-year-old has been playing a lot of catcher since learning the position this year, though he had some prior experience in college, so he wasn’t raw behind the plate, just rusty. He has a .927 OPS in 47 games with Greensboro this year.
  2. Lolo Sanchez, Greensboro – In 28 PAs, he hit .435/.500/.652, with two doubles and a homer. Sanchez has an .826 OPS this year, with 16 homers, 29 steals and 54 walks in 100 games.
  3. Endy Rodriguez, Bradenton – Rodriguez is the only batter to repeat here from last week’s article when he had the sixth best week. Bradenton had a makeup game added this week, so he compiled 35 PAs, hitting .387/.457/.677 with three doubles, two homers, nine RBIs and four walks. He’s hitting .294/.384/.508 in 93 games this year in a league that’s considered pitcher-friendly. Among players with 275+ plate appearances, he has the third best OPS. He ranks second in average, third in slugging, first in runs, second in hits, second in doubles, fourth in homers, third in RBIs and tenth in walks.
  4. John Nogowski, Indianapolis – He hit .353/.455/.647 in 22 PAs last week, with two doubles, a homer, nine RBIs and three walks. It seems unlikely that he gets back to the majors this year, but he might be given a chance to win a job next spring if he sticks around.
  5. Jared Oliva, Indianapolis – He hit .409/.435/.591 in 23 PAs last week, collecting four doubles. It’s been a disappointing season for Oliva, who was out early with an injury, struggled during his return, got a promotion to the majors anyway and did poorly in a bench role, then struggled when he was sent back down. He’s been better over the last month, but not being in Pittsburgh in September, even with shorter rosters, isn’t a good sign.
  6. Jackson Glenn, Bradenton – In 30 PAs, he hit .304/.467/.478, with two doubles, a triple and seven walks. This year’s fifth round pick has a .982 OPS in 24 games with Bradenton. That was after tearing up the FCL in his very brief time there.
  7. Jack Herman, Bradenton – Herman hit .263/.426/.500 in 25 PAs last week, with two doubles, a homer, seven RBIs and five walks. He had a .915 OPS in July (with some FCL time) and a .928 OPS in August, so he’s been on a long hot streak.
  8. Jared Triolo, Greensboro – Triolo hit  .333/.440/.476 in 25 PAs last week, with three doubles and four walks. After a slow May, his lowest OPS in the last four months is the .824 mark he had back in June, so he’s been doing well for quite some time. For the season, he has an .846 OPS with 27 doubles, 15 homers and 24 steals. He was also named as his league’s best defensive third baseman by league managers.
  9. Ernny Ordonez, Bradenton – He hit .333/.364/.524 last week in 22 PAs, with one double and one homer. Ordonez has basically been the starting everyday first baseman since joining Bradenton, despite some defensive skills around the infield. The bat doesn’t profile well at first base, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take on some defensive versatility later on.
  10. Hudson Head, Bradenton – He had a typical low average/high OBP week, hitting .211/.400/.474 in 25 PAs. He’s batting .210 with 67 walks and 15 homers, ranking third in the league in each of the latter two categories. He ranks 39th in average among the 41 hitters in the league with 275+ PAs

Top Pitchers

  1. Po-Yu Chen, Bradenton – What a difference a week makes. Chen was dominating the FCL in every start this year, then he got to Bradenton and started walking batters and giving up runs. After two poor performances, he tossed seven shutout innings on Sunday, with three hits, three walks and six strikeouts, showing why he was their top international signing for the 2019-20 signing period.
  2. Trey McGough, Altoona – McGough also tossed seven shutout innings, doing it on four hits, no walks and five strikeouts. His previous outing saw him throw four shutout innings, so he’s been on a recent roll. Between Altoona and Greensboro this year, he has a 3.28 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP in 107 innings.
  3. Austin Roberts, Greensboro – Roberts has had some really rough outings skew his stats this year, but he helped out that ERA this past week with two shutout performances in relief, throwing five innings, with five hits, no walks and six strikeouts. He has a 4.76 ERA in 62.1 innings, with an amazing 96 strikeouts. If you separate his two worst outings, both one inning games, he has a 3.28 ERA in his other 35 appearances.
  4. Andy Maldonado, FCL Pirates – The 19-year-old Maldonado had a terrific start last week, going five shutout innings on three hits, three walks and ten strikeouts. That set a career high for strikeouts in his brief career (20 outings), breaking the mark of seven that he put up in his previous game. Maldonado was suspended for 72 games last year, but with the canceled minor league season, all he lost was the paychecks. He was highly regarded when he signed, so this might be him putting everything together, still at a young age.
  5. Arlinthon De Dios, FCL Pirates – In two relief appearances, he combined for five shutout innings on two hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Pitching in long relief this year, he has a 3.96 ERA in 36.1 innings, with 36 strikeouts and a 1.16 WHIP.
  6. Max Kranick, Indianapolis – He didn’t get the top spot this week because we sort by ERA, but he had the best week for any pitcher. He tossed 12 innings over two starts, with one run on six hits, four walks and ten strikeouts. He gave up one run over six innings on Tuesday, and he came back on Sunday with six shutout innings.
  7. James Marvel, Indianapolis – Marvel has had a rough season this year, not looking like the prospect who worked his way through the system in 2019 to make his big league debut. That loss of stuff seemed to happen late in 2019 though, and his 2020 season was sidetracked by an arm injury. One start won’t make a big difference, but his outing last week was outstanding, giving up one run over six innings, while striking out seven batters. It’s the first time he’s gone 6+ innings with 0-1 runs this season and just the third time he’s made this weekly article.
  8. Adrian Florencio, Bradenton – He allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits, two walks and six strikeouts, in six innings of work. Florencio has been very strong all season, posting a 2.53 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP, with 115 strikeouts in 89 innings of work.
  9. Logan Hofmann, Bradenton – Hofmann gave up one run on three hits and three walks in five innings. He picked up six strikeouts. The walks are a little high for him, as he has given up 0-1 walks in 14 of his 21 appearances, but otherwise he continued a strong season in Low-A. He now has a 3.36 ERA in 77.2 innings, with 98 strikeouts.
  10. Listher Sosa, FCL Pirates – Sosa had a decent outing last week, giving up one earned run over four innings on three hits, a walk and four strikeouts. It was a nice bounce back from his worst start of the season, five runs over two innings, and it came against the same team. He has a 4.31 ERA in 31.1 innings, with 33 strikeouts.
  11. Quinn Priester, Greensboro – Priester had the top spot last week with six shutout innings, and he had the second spot in the previous week with his best career game, going six shutout innings on one hit and 13 strikeouts. This outing here was a far cry from either of those games. He gave up two runs (one earned) over four innings, allowing seven hits, one walk and three strikeouts. You know you set the bar high when one earned run over four innings is a disappointing performance.

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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