For an in depth review of yesterday’s games please check out our minor league wrap-up which can be found here. West Virginia has off today as the South Atlantic League plays their All-Star game. Brandon Cumpton, Jameson Taillon and Daniel Grovatt will represent the Power in the game. West Virginia will resume their regular season schedule on Thursday night and the SAL resets the team records for playoff purposes in the second half. The Power finished 5 games back in the 1st half title chase.
Nate Baker gets his 12th start tonight for Bradenton. He also has made three relief appearances. On the year he has a 3-4 4.31 record in 64.2 IP. He has walked 24 batters and struck out 46, the latter stat right on pace with his 2010 season strikeout rate. His groundball rate is also the same as last year. Despite these two important stats being exactly the same as last year, the results have been very different. His ERA last year was right at 3.00 between WV and Bradenton.
Another stat Baker has improved on is his home runs allowed. Last year he posted an impressive 9 HR’s allowed in 133 innings but this year he has allowed just one home run all year and that was in April. He has also lowered his ERA each of the last two months from 5.57 at the end of the April to it’s current level. Nate faced today’s opposition in his last start on June 8th going 6 innings while allowing three earned runs and getting a no decision.
Rudy Owens makes his 14th start tonight for Indianapolis. He gave up 5 runs in 5 innings in his last start and has walked four batters in each of his last two starts. For more info on Owens and his season please check out our article showing the struggles of the Pirates top pitching prospects from Sunday night.
AAA: Indianapolis (35-37) @ Lehigh Valley (43-27) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Rudy Owens (6-5 5.00)
AA: Altoona (34-35) @ New Hampshire (41-27) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Michael Colla (4-2 3.54)
High-A: Bradenton (28-40) VS Jupiter (32-36) 6:00pm
Probable starter: Nate Baker (3-4 4.31)
Low-A: West Virginia (35-33) @ Hickory (40-28) 7:00pm 6/23
Probable starter: all star break
Short Season A: State College (1-3) VS Auburn (3-1) 7:05pm
Probable starter: Joely Rodriguez (0-0 0.00)
Rookie: GCL Pirates (1-0) VS GCL Blue Jays (0-1) 12:00pm
VSL: VSL Pirates (18-12) VS VSL Tigers (11-18) 11:00am
DSL: DSL Pirates (11-5) VS DSL Yankees2 (9-8) 10:30am
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.