Prospect Watch: Irwin Throws Four Shutout Innings In Return, Holmes Struggles


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. Rankings are from the pre-season rankings, and links to each prospect writeup can be found by clicking the player names below. Players who weren’t in the original top 20 are linked to their player page on the site.

1. Gerrit Cole, RHP, Indianapolis (2-1, 2.31) – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Altoona (2-3, 3.03) – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

3. Gregory Polanco, CF, Bradenton (.295) – DNP

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Bradenton (.247) – DNP

5. Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

6. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (.264) – 0-for-3, BB

7. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia (.220) – DNP

8. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, West Virginia (1-0, 1.80) – DNP

9. Kyle McPherson, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 19.29) – Triple-A DL

10. Nick Kingham, RHP, Bradenton (2-2, 3.04) – DNP

11. Clay Holmes, RHP, West Virginia (1-2, 3.91) –  4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

12. Dilson Herrera, 2B, West Virginia (.280) –  0-for-4

13. Tony Sanchez, C, Indianapolis (.254) – 1-for-5, 2B

14. Bryan Morris, RHP, Indianapolis (0-0, 1.42) – In Majors

15. Wyatt Mathisen, C, West Virginia (.182) – 1-for-4, Run

16. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Bradenton (0-0, 5.16) – DNP

17. Vic Black, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 2.87) – 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

18. Andy Oliver, LHP, Indianapolis (1-1, 3.34) – DNP

19. Jin-De Jhang, C, Extended Spring Training

20. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Altoona (2-0, 0.30) – DNP



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Top Pitcher: Phil Irwin, RHP (1-0, 0.90) – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jordy Mercer, 2B (.333) – 2-for-5, 2B, BB, 4 RBI

Home Runs: None



Jordy Mercer drove in four runs tonight
Jordy Mercer drove in four runs tonight

Box Score

Result:  Indianapolis 9, Lehigh Valley 6

Starting Pitcher: Phil Irwin, RHP (1-0, 0.90) – 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jordy Mercer, 2B (.333) – 2-for-5, 2B, BB, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Josh Harrison, SS (.351) – 2-for-3, 2B, SB, 2 RBI, 2 BB

Ivan De Jesus Jr, 3B (.390) – 3-for-4, 2B, BB

Game Notes: Phil Irwin returned to the mound after an 18 day layoff and threw four shutout innings, giving up just a single, while walking two and striking out three. He threw 60 pitches, 37 went for strikes. Irwin last pitched on 4/16 for the Pirates. Since then, he has been out with arm fatigue. Brandon Cumpton followed Irwin with two runs over four innings for the win. Eric Cordier came on with a seven run lead in the ninth, looking to close it out, but he gave up four runs in 2/3 of an inning and Vic Black had to come in for the save, his seventh of the season. Indianapolis picked up 26 base runners from 14 hits, 11 walks and a hit batter. Ivan De Jesus Jr is 9-for-15 in his last five games. Jordy Mercer has 19 RBI’s on the year. Indianapolis has won seven in a row and they have a 6.5 game lead in their division



Box Score

Result:  Akron 4, Altoona 1

Starting Pitcher: Jameson Taillon, RHP (2-3, 3.03) – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Adalberto Santos, DH (.375) – 2-for-4, 2B, Run

Other Notable Performers:

Jeff Inman, RHP (1.29) – 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Jameson Taillon took the loss today, though his overall numbers were a step up from his last two outings. He had allowed eight runs over 11.2 innings in his previous two starts, but he held Akron to only two earned runs on seven hits and a walk. They scored a third run on a Jarek Cunningham error. Taillon threw 92 pitches, 61 for strikes. Altoona had a rough day at the plate. They managed just three hits, two by Santos, while striking out 17 times. Every Curve batter struck out at least once. Jeff Inman hasn’t allowed a run or a walk in his last six outings, a total of 11.1 innings pitched. Former Pirates farmhand Quincy Latimore, went 1-for-3 and was hit by a pitch against Inman.




Bradenton was rained out. The will make the game up tomorrow as part of a doubleheader.



Box Score

Result: Greensboro 8, West Virginia 1

Starting Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (1-3, 6.00) – 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Stetson Allie, DH (.352) – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, SS (.217) – 2-for-3, BB

Ryan Hafner, RHP (3.79) – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Clay Holmes has had control problems this year, but he was hurt early in today’s game by extra base hits, giving up five runs over the first two innings on six hits. His control issues popped up in the fourth inning, when he gave up three runs on two walks, two hit batters and a double. Pat Ludwig, Bryton Trepagnier, Ryan Hafner and Kyle Haynes followed Holmes with five perfect innings. Stetson Allie had the only extra base hit for the Power and Jonathan Schwind drove in the only run.

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Vince Riedy

Cumpton is listed as the probable pitcher for Sunday but pitched four innings Friday night. Does this mean Liriano is pitching Sunday?


After listening to the Cards announcers rave about their farm system, you have to wonder why the Pirates don’t push their farm more than they do.
I believe it is a mistake to play down guys like Mercer. Players in the farm system are also trade chips and the more you play them down the less they have in value. Players like Mercer and Hague can hit, of course they won’t hit in Pittsburgh because they won’t get a reasonable chance to hit, but the way the Pirates handle them, other teams look at them like they have no value.


One more comment about where I get this thought process. Huntington was asked about Mercer and all he did was dance around what he needed to to, instead of taking his shot and putting a little bit of hype on the kid. The Pirate PR Dept. needs to quit worrying about the Post Gazette and the media in Pittsburgh grading out everything they do and push these players. I realize that if one of these kids has a bad day stats are plastered all over the place and if they have a good day it is plastered nowhere.


The media doesn’t impact the Pirates decisions on player movement. The problem is Barmes is getting paid 4 million and plays great defense (you’re crazy if you think otherwise). They traded for McDonald, he’s going to get an opportunity to prove trading for him was a sound move. McDonald has 23 at bats this year, that’s nothing. You don’t make a knee jerk decision and move a guy this quick, it’s not a video game. Mercer just needs to keep doing what he’s doing and he will be here sooner rather than later. Don’t get me wrong, I want him up here as bad as you guys but I think it’s going to take some time is all.


Well said. I think Barmes glove has been worth the lack of offense, but the errors are a concern. If the errors continue, Mercer would deserve a shot to prove himself.

Lee Young

If Stetson Allie had gone to college and was ‘raking’ like this, I wonder what round he’d go in. 1st? High 1st? 2nd? Comp?

We may yet get our $2 mil worth?




If Stetson Allie was in the Astro organization, he would be an Astro by now.

Lee Young


Lee Young

What has happened to Clay Holmes?

Vince Riedy

I was at the game and Irwin’s stuff had a lot of movement. His curve ball was especially nasty. Cumpton came in and worked at 91-92 mph and hit 97 and devastating all but one one inning. Mercer drove the ball with authority which makes me wonder why he isn’t the Bucs starting shortstop even though he played 2nd base tonight.

Lee Young

I have lonnnnnnnnng been on the Mercer bandwagon.

I still think he could be a JJ Hardy clone.


Count me as on the Mercer bandwagon; his stats look good.


I dont think the pirates view Mercer as anything more than a possible MLB utility player. His defense is not in Barmes’ league, but its possible league average. Harrison has been playing a great deal of SS lately, maybe the pirates envision JHay as being their UT guy and Mercer as a Hague type of a player. Or maybe they just dont care much for OKState dudes.
Mercer has looked better this season though. Hes taking some walks which is always a good sign for any maturing player.

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