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Sunday, December 4, 2022

P2Daily: Rough Night In the Pirates System Highlights Concerning Trends

Bad games happen, and over a course of a long season, it’s inevitable that the entire system will have at least one stinker of a night.

It took a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth by Wyatt Hendrie for the Bradenton Marauders to not get shutout. Had that not happened, they would have joined Greensboro and Altoona in failing to register a lone run. Even to an extent Indianapolis had their struggles, as eight of their runs were scored in a single inning.

So, having this happen every now and again isn’t really concerning, but how it’s happening should be the alarming part.

Leaving out Indianapolis, the other three full-season teams combined for just 11 hits, while striking out 31 times. While strike outs here and there are nothing, the rate at which the Pirates’ minor league teams have been is on the alarming side.

According to Fangraphs, it’s actually somewhere between ‘Poor’ and ‘Awful’. Collectively, Bradenton, Greensboro and Altoona hitters have struck out 27.9% of the time. Bradenton paces the way, with a 29.2% rate and an overall count of 778. Altoona brought it down some, with a 24.9% rate on the season.

On the pitching side of things, high walk rates have been an issue up and down the system. While on this particular night there wasn’t much the pitchers could do if the offense was completely held off the board, they still had their issues.

Pitchers (again, excluding Indianapolis) walked 17 batters while only striking out 21 batters. Striking batters out hasn’t been a problem, as the three teams collectively own a 24.9 K%, it’s been the walks (11 BB%) that has been the issue.

Again referring back to Fangraphs, the K% is considered ‘Great’, but anything over a walk-rate of 9% is ‘Awful’.

When going through a long season like baseball, ups and downs will happen, but there are certain marks to watch to see if a player, or team, is trending in the right direction. The fact that the same thing comes up when the system is struggling, that’s the concerning thing.

With half a season left, this isn’t anything to condemn them on yet. The previous issues have been going on long enough where some sort of change should be considered.

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Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.


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Went to the Curve game last night, sat right behind the dish…

  • I understand this is Preister’s first taste of AA, but I wasn’t impressed at all. Keller was much better at this stage of their careers. He’s got hitable stuff, no movement on his heater, couldn’t get Nogowski out. Nogowski took 96 on the hands and hit one 350′ + but foul. He did flash a couple of really good curves, but he needs to throw the heat less often. The fb was sitting 93-95, but real flat. He really needs to work on secondary stuff because he would get lit up in the show.
  • Henry Davis didn’t look good at all. I’m questioning if he’s 6’2, Matt Frazier and Davis hit one-two in the lineup and they were side by side taking practice swings, Frazier has a good 3 inches on Davis and Frazier is listed at 6’3. He sure as hell didn’t look like someone who was picked 1-1. They need to rework his stance, it’s one of the uglier stances I’ve seen. Frazier doesn’t appear to have the hit tool to be a major leaguer.
  • I hate to be negative and I know it’s only one game, but I’m just giving my honest opinion. This might be one of the more hyped farm teams I can remember. I heard whispers of this being the best team in all the minors. I’ve seen better Altoona teams
  • I was impressed with Andres Alvarez, he reminded me a bit of Diego Castillo. Aaron Shackelford reminded me a bit of a lefty version of Michael Chavis. Also thought Triolo looked like he could be a major leaguer

FWIW the media guide says that Henry Davis is 6’0” 210

Fraizer is 6’3” 220


Very interesting, BR and FG both have him as 6’2″ 210… I guess not that interesting🤣


Nick Gonzales is 5’9” 190


Per Priester, the hittable stuff is something I’d seen on FG with his fastball having a bad shape. Basically, no matter the velocity, it’s flat and hittable.

Does it really matter how tall Davis is?


This is just me watching Altoona live for the first time this season…more hyperbole than anything, I suppose. I’ve watched them via Milb but seeing them live, being 7′ away is a completely different perspective. I was expecting Davis to look like a young Will Smith, but he was way smaller than I expected, had a real weird stance and k’d 3 times while looking completely lost. Pitcher for Harrisburg has real good stuff, tall, slender and was hitting 96, while sitting 93-95 with good movement and command…Curve couldn’t touch him and he racked up the k’s. After the 3rd, I checked my phone to see who he was, expecting a young prospect, but he’s older and has had chances in the show. When I see a hotshot prospect, I want to see how they perform vs a player that has been there. Nogowski owned Quinn, that near miss HR was Quinn’s best fastball. Priester would throw his best curve ahead in the count and Nogiowski would spit on it and draw a walk. If you can’t get out AAAA players in AA, there’s major dev on the horizon.


Love this, I’ve sat directly behind HP and you can learn a helluva lot. Can’t wait to see these guys in late July at Bowie. I’m going to try and go in without preconceived notions. Just see what the eye test looks like.


Hanks swing has never looked pretty. Deep crouch. But he’s always made a good bit of contact, last night aside. In fact, his K rate is the same as it was in Greensboro. I wouldn’t make too much of one night with him.


Priester and Davis are among the youngest players in AA. Should we keep them in A+ and let them dominate? I like pushing the players.


I rem that was the Cole Tucker excuse


Suwinski scuffled in last year as a 22year in AA. Finished season at .750 OPS. Davis is at .700 now. Think he’ll be at .750 or better.


I’m certainly not giving up on Davis, but he doesn’t appear to be someone that will be able to help the Buccos next year.


Personally, I didn’t expect that from him in 2023. I was thinking a call up then. I love Hank; but he’s not the prospect Rutschman was as a catcher. Adley had 180 games in the minors, over 2.5 years. I think if Hank is on the same timetable, that’d be great. Wouldn’t you?


There are things to fuss about: Ukraine, American democracy, that funny feeling in your knee, etc. Poor MiLB performance ain’t one of them. Only a few of these players will make it to AA, at which point performance begins to matter.


I am sorry to say, the Pirates farm system is not as good as advertised going into 2022. Team and individual performances – with a few exceptions – have been mediocre. Fraizer, Head, Siani, Davis, Triolo, Priester, Thomas, Martin, and others have been major disappointments and their “prospect” status are in jeopardy. I still believe Priester, Fraizer, and Triolo will prove to be major leaguers, I am not convinced about any of the others I listed – and those are just the names that immediately come to mind.

Is it poor drafting, poor scouting, or poor player development – or all of the above?


Need to look at how old they are for the level. Many of your “disappointments” are among the youngest at their level.


How much did you expect out of those guys to begin with? At best, most of those guys were probably going to be fourth OFs or bullpen pieces. I’m far more worried about a guy like Nicky G than the ones you mentioned because they all weren’t likely to be much anyway. With the exception of…

Priester, who missed 2-3 months, so go easy. Also Davis hasn’t been a disappointment, unless you were expecting Johnny Bench. Which is your fault if that’s the case.

Additionally, some guys this year have either broken out or firmed up their cases as legit prospects by performing at a higher level. Bae, Burrows, Endy, Peggy have all done fairly well or better this season.

Prospects will have ups and downs. Development will never be linear, frustrating as that is.

Last edited 5 months ago by ArkyWags



Davis . . . really?


Most concerning to me is the terrible pitching at Indy, Altoona, and Greensboro – especially the relief pitching. Aside from Burrows, Torribio, Mlod, and maybe 1-2 others, who is pitching at those levels and have had performances to date to match their supposed “prospect” status? Even Priester has been bad, although I cut him some slack for coming back from an injury. Pitching has been better at Bradenton, but the hitting their is abysmal. I am not seeing a ton of reasons to optimism in 2023.There is a reasonably good chance that some combination of Quintana, Brubaker, and Crowe are all gone at the deadline – De Jong is a possibility as well, as he’s been very good this year.


Sorry you are having a bad day.


FWIW that Fangraphs article was published before the 2010 season. Pre-shifts, pre-Driveline, etc.


This is a very important point to make imo


These system-wide trends reflect the current Pirate team, sans some recent offense. The Pirate batters strike out too much, score few runs, and until recently hit for little power; and Pirate pitchers throw too many pitches and walk too many hitters. That this is happening throughout the affiliates shouldn’t be surprising. It’s systemic! Further, it seems to be an MLB issue, too.


Are you saying too many MLB hitters strike out too much? And pitchers walk too many? In comparison to what? Baseball of 30-40 years ago? If you think that, I don’t think you’re really taking into account how much the game has changed.

Last edited 5 months ago by ArkyWags

So that’s what players who aren’t going to MLB do. They strike out too much, walk too little, etc. The hunt is for the outliers with carrying skills and fixable issues. Unless Bench, Soto, or Trout comes to camp.


This does bear watching. I’ve been skeptical that all the praise for their new approach to development being a big improvement didn’t wait to see if results would follow.

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