Prospect Watch: Rocky Start to Taillon’s Triple-A Career; Meadows and Bell Homer


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 mid-season rankings, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player page.

1. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis (0-1, 5.25) – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 HR

2. Gregory Polanco, CF, Altoona (.263) – 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB

3. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, West Virginia (8-3, 2.50) – DNP

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona (.208) – 1-for-3, BB, SB

5. Austin Meadows, CF, GCL Pirates (.315) – 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

6. Josh Bell, RF, West Virginia (.283) – DNP

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona (3-3, 3.02) – DNP

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power (4-3, 3.57) – DNP

9. Reese McGuire, C, GCL Pirates (.328) – 0-for-4, RBI

10. Dilson Herrera, 2B, West Virginia (.272) – DNP

11. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia (.261) – Low-A DL

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

13. Stetson Allie, 1B, Bradenton (.238) – 0-for-1, 4 BB, SB

14. Wyatt Mathisen, C, West Virginia (.185) – 2-for-2, 2 BB (GCL Rehab)

15. Clay Holmes, RHP, West Virginia (4-5, 4.27) – DNP

16. Stolmy Pimentel, RHP, Indianapolis (2-4, 3.30) – DNP

17. Vic Black, RHP, Indianapolis (2-2, 2.37) – DNP

18. Harold Ramirez, CF, Jamestown (.311) – 0-for-3, BB, SB

19. Blake Taylor, LHP, GCL Pirates (0-1, 1.32) – DNP

20. Jin-De Jhang, C, Jamestown (.272) – 2-for-4



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Top Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (5-5, 4.03) – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Austin Meadows, CF (.315) – 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Home Runs: Justin Howard (5), Josh Bell (10), Austin Meadows (3)


Jameson Taillon hasn't had the best results in his first two starts, which is similar to what happened with Gerrit Cole.
Jameson Taillon hasn’t had the best results in his first two starts, which is similar to what happened with Gerrit Cole.


Box Score

Result: Toledo 5, Indianapolis 4

Starting Pitcher: Jameson Taillon, RHP (5.25) – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Robert Andino, SS (.242) – 2-for-5, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Felix Pie, CF (.247) – 2-for-4, 2 SB

Andrew Lambo, RF (.277) – 1-for-4, BB

Game Notes: In his first two starts with Indianapolis, Jameson Taillon has given up seven earned runs in 12 innings, with a 13:7 K/BB ratio. His curveball was getting some strong reports tonight from Indianapolis broadcaster Will Flemming.

To put this in perspective, Gerrit Cole gave up three runs in six innings in his Triple-A debut, then was hammered in his second start in the playoffs. He also struggled for a few starts at the beginning of this year before settling down and finally making the jump to the majors. The extra time in Triple-A for Taillon this year will be good, as it will allow him to make the necessary adjustments and get ready to arrive in Pittsburgh by mid-season 2014. Felix Pie stole two bases tonight, giving him 37 on the season. Andrew Lambo has drawn a walk in each of his last four games.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 5, Harrisburg 4

Starting Pitcher: Nate Baker, LHP (5.86) – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gregory Polanco, CF (.263) – 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, SS (.208) – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Justin Howard, 1B (.333) – 1-for-3, HR, BB

Game Notes: Justin Howard hit his fifth homer of the year, giving Altoona the go-ahead run in the eighth inning. Gregory Polanco picked up two doubles, giving him ten in Altoona, and 27 on the season. That’s a new career high, as he hit 26 in 437 at-bats last year with West Virginia. Nate Baker made his third start for Altoona. In those starts he has a 3.63 ERA in 17.1 innings, with a 12:7 K/BB ratio. He has struggled in the bullpen this year, with a 6.80 ERA in 41 innings, along with a 38:31 K/BB ratio. The high walks have been a problem in both roles. He seems to be moving back and forth between roles, pitching out of the bullpen a few days before each of his last few starts. Click here to read Scott Sypien’s live game report.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 8, Charlotte 5

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP (3-3, 2.50) – 5.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, RF (.266) – 1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Stetson Allie, 1B (.238) – 0-for-1, 4 BB, SB

Dan Gamache, 2B (.268) – 2-for-4, 3B, BB

Game Notes: Willy Garcia hit his 15th homer of the year, and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Prior to today’s game he had a .314/.365/.543 line in 188 at-bats since the start of June, with ten homers. This gave him his 11th homer in that span. Stetson Allie walked four times tonight. His strikeout rate in Bradenton has been a horrible 37.5%, but his walk rate has been good, at 15.5%. Joely Rodriguez has a 2.50 ERA in 50.1 innings with Bradenton, along with a 31:12 K/BB ratio.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Lakewood 2

Starting Pitcher: Clay Holmes, RHP (5-5, 4.03) – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, RF (.282) – 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Dilson Herrera, 2B (.271) – 1-for-5, 2B

Eric Wood, 3B (.263) – 2-for-4, 2B

Walker Gourley, 1B (.328) – 2-for-4, 2 2B

Game Notes: Check out John Dreker’s live game report.



Box Score

Result: Jamestown 3, Tri-City 2

Starting Pitcher: Isaac Sanchez, RHP (3.56) – 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Edwin Espinal, 1B (.277) – 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Jin-De Jhang, C (.272) – 2-for-4

Harold Ramirez, LF (.311) – 0-for-3, BB, SB

Game Notes: Harold Ramirez picked up his 20th stolen base of the year. Jin-De Jhang picked up two hits on the night. He has struggled recently, dropping his season line to .272/.338/.392. Edwin Espinal also picked up two hits, including his fourth double of the season. Espinal has a lot of raw power potential, but that hasn’t shown up in games, with just a .026 ISO on the season.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 5, Yankees 2

Starting Pitcher: Neil Kozikowski, RHP (1.50) – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Austin Meadows, CF (.315) – 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Wyatt Mathisen, DH (.600) – 2-for-2, 2 BB

Nick Buckner, RF (.227) – 1-for-3, 3B, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Wyatt Mathisen played two games in a row for the first time in his rehab. In his last two games he has gone 5-for-5 with three walks. Austin Meadows picked up three hits and his third homer of the year. 2013 8th round pick Neil Kozikowski now has a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings over his first four starts, with seven strikeouts and no walks. The Pirates gave Kozikowski a $425,000 bonus, which was over-slot, despite the fact that he wasn’t ranked highly by the national outlets coming into the draft. So far he has looked good, working with an 88-91 MPH fastball and using his changeup frequently.

  • ” Espinal has a lot of raw power potential, but that hasn’t shown up in games, with just a .026 ISO on the season.”

    What this means is he hits light tower HRs in batting practice, but wouldn’t recognize a curve ball even if you told him it was coming…. 🙂 🙂


    On Kozilowski: “So far he has looked good, working with an 88-91 MPH fastball and using his changeup frequently.”

    So what’s different between him and other soft tossers (like Castro) who are getting “A” ball hitters out with soft stuff? Am I missing something?


    • Kozikowski is just out of high school, and is 18. Orlando Castro is 21.

      To put it in perspective, when Tyler Glasnow and Nick Kingham were out of high school, they were also mostly sitting 88-91. In fact, Glasnow was sitting that range last year in Spring Training.

      It’s rare for an 18 year old to throw mid-90s. Kozikowski has the frame to add velocity going forward. He’s at a good starting point now. Some guys come in out of high school throwing mid-80s. Bryton Trepagnier was that way his first few years, and now can hit 93-94 out of the bullpen. So 88-91 isn’t good if you’re 20-21 like Castro, but if you’re 18 it’s a good starting point.

  • I don’t like the fact that the hitter can see the ball throughout Taillon’s motion. I suspect this will get exposed eventually.