The Boston Red Sox got things going with a RBI groundout in the first inning. From there, it was a combination of Bryan Reynolds and the young players taking things over.
Down a run and a runner on first with two outs, Ji-Hwan Bae connected on a fastball for his first career home run. In the next inning, Reynolds took a curveball to right field for his third consecutive game with a home run, and his fourth in those three games.
From there, Roansy Contreras handled the Red Sox offense with relative ease. He leaned heavily on his slider, throwing it for 38 of his 78 pitches (49%). Contreras would only strike out two batters on the evening to one walk, but he induced nine groundballs to one flyout.
Contreras was a batter away from finishing six innings and induced a groundball to short. Unfortunately, Oneil Cruz tried to uncork one of his patented harder than necessary throws, and spiked it well in front of Carlos Santana who couldn’t handle the bounce.
Contreras would leave the game having pitched 5.2 innings and a 3-1 lead. On came the very passionate Dauri Moreta who is becoming a fan favorite for his energy. With runners on the corners, Moreta went to a full count on Adam Duvall, and then struck him out looking with another animated walk off the mound.
With a jolt of energy, the offense padded their lead in the sixth. With one out, known speedster Tyler Heineman singled and then stole second base. Then with two outs, Reynolds came to the plate already 2-for-3 with his home run and a double, and singled in Heineman for a 4-1 lead.
Moreta and Rule 5 selection Jose Hernandez handled the seventh, with Hernandez coming on to face a lefty with two outs and striking the hitter out on four pitches.
In the eighth inning, Bae stamped his name on the game again with a miraculous catch in center field. Just having moved to center field after Rodolfo Castro entered the game, he tracked back to the green monster on a long Rafael Devers flyball, and perfectly timed a jump to catch the ball while falling into the wall.
JI HWAN BAE WITH THE PLAY OF THE DAY! pic.twitter.com/YBk1GNt3zv
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 5, 2023
It was quick work from there, with David Bednar handling the Red Sox while working around an error to start the inning for his third save on the short season.
Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.
I very much so like our lineup against RHP, LHP still leaves something to desire. I feel like we need a strong effort from mitch today considering much of our top pen arms threw 2 days in a row
Could NMR or someone kindly link me to where one can see the 90th percentile projections and such on Fangraphs. Been looking forever and can’t find them? Thanks in advance!
Best I can do is the 80th/20th projections from ZiPS this year.
Thanks! Very sobering to see basically a league average WRC+ for Hayes would be an 80th percentile projection.
Their greatest developmental failure, worse than any of the pitchers they saw leave and excel elsewhere. An incredible amount of untapped potential going to waste.
Not sure if you will see this but kind of crazy lately and while I haven’t followed as closely as I used to I do try to keep up with the minor system as best I can and and am doing some catch up work. I’m curious what you , Wilbur and some others think…
Long story short.. as you may remember I was firmly in the camp that NH had to be replaced. I supported a total tear down in theory and thought it was the right way to go strategicall. JMO but I was in favor of trading everything not tied down in 2020-21 etc
And I really wanted to believe that we were a few years away. But I don’t know… when I think about all the trades and draft capital we have had to work with I’m feeling underwhelmed I guess.
Endy could make a huge difference but so many of these top prospects seem to have plateaued or regressed. Nicky G, Lliover, And if not regressed seem to have missed?
I want to be hopeful though. But I dunno.. when I look out on the 1-2 year horizon for prospects that I think are good bets to make a difference I obviously have Endy.
But it it reasonable to expect someone like Gonzalez to be much more productive than Newman was last year when he finally arrives(1.3 fWAR)
And the pitching. Just one start but I haven’t been enthralled with Priester. Hoping that Ortiz or Burrows can maybe upgrade over someone such as Velazquez?
I’m obviously rambling but I guess more than anything I’m just curious what people around here think about the state of the rebuild and where we can reasonably expect to be be in a year or 2??
It’s underwhelming, while also still to be determined.
Some things you can’t help, like Gonzales and Tank battling consistent injuries (though, you technically COULD do something about Tank).
But as NMR says, when you look whole picture, there just really hasn’t been a lot of valuable developmental successes to point to. Keller looks like a clear one. Tyler Anderson and Q if you want to pick out a couple FA arms. Jack and Ortiz are TBD if last year was a flash in a pan, or are truly success stories.
I think one of the bigger dilemmas is the fact they had all these top draft picks, rather valuable trade assets (Big Joe, Bell, Marte, Taillon, etc.) and so far we have a closer and Ro to show. Was Malone a misread of medical reports? The stuff is clearly there, but the body isn’t. Did they miscalculate how well they could develop Peguero? Bell trade was a huge miss. Taillon trade may finally pay some dividends this season. Musgrove trade could prove to be biggest return if Endy really turns out.
Ironically, I’m starting to have somewhat similar feelings to this roster as I do with the Pens. In that even all these years later, the team is STILL afloat from Ray Shero’s talent acquisition (Jarry when he’s good, Guentzel, Rust). GMJR and now Hextall have done nothing but tinker the roster with existing assets, only for the team to finally be flatlining without any influx of any in-house talent.
Yesterday’s game alone: Keller, Bae, Cruz, Hayes, Castro, B-REY, and Delay. All NH. The top 3 pitching prospects we’re waiting for: Priester, Burrows, and Ortiz? All NH.
My biggest issue is we’re in GMBC’s fourth season, and we’re STILL waiting for any sort of prospect success story that was attributed to this necessary tear down.
Half of the Cardinals 2020 draft should be in the majors this season. Brewers 2020 first rounder is hitting walk-off HRs. Ben needs some personal acquisition and developmental success story’s to show the tide is turning.
Thanks! Pretty sobering reading this but I appreciate your input and agree with your perspective.
hey brother not rambling at all, just catchin up!
I’d say you’re in pretty good company; not a complete failure, but underwhelming relative to the cost of so many seasons of truly awful baseball.
I think it comes down to them using the playbook from a decade ago in a league that has changed considerably. The teardown model simply does not have the same success rate as it did back then when you now have SO many teams doing it all at once. Just isn’t THAT much talent to spread around.
And with the notable exception of Mitch Keller, they also haven’t really shown any ability to make guys better. That was their core mission!
I’ve given up on the superteam idea that I think made the teardown so attractive. Just ain’t gonna happen. But if they can pivot to a model like the Brewers and Indians, I think they have a shot to put some competitive teams out there over the next decade.
Thanks for the response. Yeah I’m really hoping we see some good teams in PIttsburgh again soon!
I’m also hoping we see some nice surprises on the farm this year.
Not to look for the bad in a great start, but…
He’s down a tick or 2. I didn’t see anything above 95. What I did like is 31% FB usage and 14% CB usage.
Yeah I saw his velo down by like 1-2mph? To be honest I did not watch the WBC nor spring training so closely so .. was this also the same case during the WBC appearance? I might start worrying if this is the same for the next start
His velo decline started well before the WBC.
Should I start panicking now?
No. His slider is on point.
Now his only plus pitch. Hard to find many above average starters with one plus pitch.
May have changed in 3 years, but 94 MPH grades out at 60, which is Plus. Which, that could also then lead into a discussion of what exactly makes a pitch “plus”. As we’ve already talked about how shape of a fastball is becoming a more sought aspect. Wonder how Ro’s stuff ranks on Stuff+
I think average starter velo was around 94 last year, so I do wonder how that could be a 60 since it doesnt seem like he has super impressive movement
Yeah that’s wayyyyy outdated; averaged 4seamer from a RH started was ~94mph last year.
Lol good thought!
Fangraphs gave him a 60 on his fastball and his curve. Slider graded out 55.
His fastball is down 1.6 mph from his debut and when he throws it, it generally gets hit hard.
This is what worries me about him long term. If he finds a way back to the fastball velo with his slider and a passable curve, he could be a real 2-3 starter. If not, hes probably more a 4 on a good team
Over/under 1.5 fWAR
Damn, great line…I don’t know that he’ll throw enough innings to reach 2 WAR, but I think he’ll be a 2 WAR-quality pitcher.
That’s the 50 FV he had as a prospect.
It was a nice catch by Bae, but miraculous?!?
Thank God for YOu Tube highlights. Comcast went blank on us.
Hey Puerto Rican…..did Bae flash enough glove for you last night in CF and 2b?
Saw one commenter on PG called him Sae Hae Bae, lol.
Tennesseans! Ok, he had a great game, still feel the way I feel about him,even that play was kind of lucky, but it was a good play
“Kinda lucky’ and just ‘good’? You been out on that PR Sun too much again??
Bae > Bay
Just another JBae? 🙂
Kind of interesting little factoid here. The game in which Smith-Njigba charged the mound in the Arizona Fall League was against pitcher Josh Winckowski. The same Winckowski who pitched 3 innings last night… And unfortunately, struck out CSN for the 4th consecutive time.
No fisticuffs this time.
My most encouraging takeaway, among others, from this game is the strike throwing. I hope it becomes a fairly regular thing for the staff as a whole.
Stay in and around the zone, and if a batter yanks one now and then at least there aren’t a couple of freebies scoring with him. If your stuff is marginal, so be it, but you aren’t helping your cause by giving free runners (who you then have to pay attention to) and pitching behind in counts. Not to mention the fact that the team can get a lot more miles out of their collection of arms if guys aren’t having to throw 20, 25, 30-pitch innings all the time.
Alright, go ahead and offer Reynolds 8/115 opt out after 6 years, get him locked up. Bae and Moreta bring nice energy to the team. Bae had Cutch fired up after the catch at the wall. Santana, Choi, Smith-Njigba, Castro, and Hayes hopefully figure something out. Reynolds and the occasional Cruz only is not going to be sustainable (I know SSS so far). Why spring training stats don’t mean anything…Hayes looks completely different against pitchers actually game planning and not working on stuff for the season.
It sounded like Reynolds wanted opt out earlier so I’m not sure adding 1 year and more money would change his mind though… but I’m on your side; opt out needs to be at the very least after year 5.
Hayes struggling is so frustrating because to me he doesn’t seem like he’s completely lost. First 2K of the season started off with questionable calls, and he is still hitting balls hard. He just keeps hitting it to the ground…
The good news is that his batted ball data is still looking promising. Still hitting the ball hard, and more importantly, his launch angle (in very very small sample size) is up 3 degrees from last year. They’ll start to drop for hits eventually.
My brother in christ he does not yet have a single hard hit fly ball.
But also, last night, he had a 99.4 MPH lineout with 22 LA, 94.4 MPH flyout with 41 LA, and 99.1 MPH flyout with 24 LA.
The gif game has been stepping up to extraordinary levels recently lol
It’s always on point during the season lol
Yeah, I know he wanted one after 4 years, but that is ridiculous. That’s why I think a bit more money and after 6. Get him through his more than likely most productive years and he can opt out and try one last time for a new contract to finish out his career. Hayes doesn’t look completely lost just not there yet. I am hopeful for him.
You have to assume this is being considered and we will see what happens, but if it was as simple as $10 more to move the opt out you would think it would be done.
They seem to have a very nice blend of positive personalities, and a boatload of talented young position players and pitchers. Early production from Bae, CSN, Oviedo, and Contreras are a very positive reflection of that depth of talent in the system.
I wonder how anxious the Pirates will be to make that phone call to the Agent of Bryan Reynolds? And we better start developing a chart on which youngsters to try to sign early. Maybe a study of the Atlanta Braves success in getting their talented young players signed to extensions would be in order. Of course that would actually require a financial commitment from Pirate ownership.
I was hoping that Castro would be the first extension to try, but now it looks like Contreras or Bae could be that first guy – the positive example to the others. After that gets accomplished then Oneil Cruz.
Boatload? That’s awfully generous of you.
I think he meant a small boat. Maybe a canoe.
Or a dinghy.
we kid emj
Hyperbole. CSN is striking out over 60% of the time.
Dammit I tried so hard to stay awake but just couldn’t. I knew Roansy would have the first SP win of the season though!! 🥳
Glad seeing Reynolds staying hot. Bae.. I just cannot root for the guy for his awful characteristics but that was a splendid catch. Does anyone actually prefer him playing OF than 2B? I think he benefits more from his speed in the outfield.
That’s why at least when I’m talking about Bae, I generally want to keep it strictly about his play on the field. I don’t condone what he did, and it’s a topic that can quickly fall into a rabbit hole. I will say though, from my short time at spring training, there wasn’t a player that was more enthusiastic about greeting fans and signing autographs.
All that said, I’m pro-OF for Bae as I think his speed gives him range that the Pirates don’t have with other non-true CF options. Unfortunately, Reynolds is currently the only OF hitting, and Castro isn’t hitting. So, it’d be nice if Bae was more slid into either OF or 2B due to needing to get ABs for a player hitting at the other spot.
Before last night’s game, I was beginning to think that a wholesale change at 2b would provide a nice jolt, exchanging Castro and Bae for Mathias and Marcano……
I’ll accept Mathias for Castro. I have to be honest that I’ll have a bias against Marcano until proven otherwise.
I know and I get it!
I know he’s young but he’s just got bad characteristic to me. His private instagram was leaked in Korea and it showed that he posted a news article about him getting suspension for DV and wrote that he should “think positive … think of this as a holiday …” Really showing remorse, huh?
So I’m glad at the very least he’s nice to the fans in person. It’s the least he can/should do.
That being said, I’m curious how Swaggerty/Nick Gonzales would change the scene. I feel like we have a lot of AAA/AAAA talents for OF and 2B. My bet is on Swaggerty for OF but I am unsure about 2B.
There are sh*t bags in all walks of life. Ppl suck. I’m willing to accept that Bae was really young when this happened, and ppl make mistakes. I’m not going to crucify the kid; I’m going to root for him playing for the Pirates.
I remember that. I was actually talking to Murphy and Cody last night about you lol I mentioned how active you used to be on here up until those reports and hadn’t seen you around much since.
I’m hoping Swags and Nicky G put this slow start behind them in short order. More so Swaggerty as he’d be a more likely candidate to see a promotion sooner than later.
Actually that is so true because that happened around when I moved to France.
Stupid time difference. I love the afternoon games because it is just perfect here (for example, today’s game starts at 7:35pm) so I’m more active during the beginning of the season than the end. 😊
With the shortened game times (thank god for the pitch clock) though, I’m expecting to watch more games this season haha
Fantastic! Looking forward to you hopefully being around some more.
Which, btw, I’m also wondering where Tedwins has been. Especially after a game like last night since he was very high on Bae, athletically.
Ted is the first person I think off when Bae does good, Lee a close second!
What is it that bae did that makes him hard to root for?
Biggest that I recalled was domestic abuse, girlfriend.
Talent to play excellent D at both 2B and CF, and then the bat and footspeed at the plate. Glad the FO decided to give he and Castro the 2B/Utility jobs.
Bae reminds me of a LH hitting, taller version of Mookie Betts, who was a primary 2B and then moved to 2B/CF by the Red Sox in the Minors. His play at 2B in MLB was limited by the presence of Dustin Pedroia. Coming up from AAA, Bae hit for average, with a VG 48BB/80K rate and was 30 of 38 in SB. The power could develop – again, like Betts who did not develop real game power until he started playing in the majors.
It’s never a good idea to compare a young player to an mvp candidate. That’s incredibly unfair. Bae looks like he could be a nice player and I like that he has some different skills that could help this team in numerous ways. But it’s good policy to wait until a player has more than 14 games in the majors before making crazy comps.
It’s ok to get excited, but to compare him to a future HOF’er is a bit much.
Hahahaha! He is running like a 35% k rate, in other words it is way to early!
Right. Bae is an exciting player. But man, I learned my lesson about young guys when I thought Polanco was Dave Parker 2.0. I was a charter member of that club and won’t let my heart be broken like that again.
I don’t see Bae’s potential as high as Mookie Betts but I wouldn’t mind that.. 🙂
Right now I see Bae as a good 8,9 hitter with the style of hitting he does. If he reaches the bases, he can run & score with Cruz and Reynolds behind him.