Prospect Watch: Adrian Sampson Leads a Great Night of Pitching; JaCoby Jones Grand Slam


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors (Stolmy Pimentel #13). 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. If a player is out for the season (Jameson Taillon #2, Clay Holmes #12), he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 20 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2014 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Gregory Polanco, CF, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, BB

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (5/30 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 1-for-6

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 1-for-6, 2B

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 2-for-4

8. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power – Disabled List (4/22 Update)

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – DNP

10. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – Disabled List (5/30 Update)

11. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – DNP

12. Blake Taylor, LHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

13. Cody Dickson, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

14. Barrett Barnes, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (5/30 Update)

15. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-5, 2B, HR, BB

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, Extended Spring Training – DNP

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia – 0-for-4, BB

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton – 0-for-4

19. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

20. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-5



The 2014 Prospect Guide is now available, and is the perfect resource to follow the minor league system during the 2014 season. You can order your copy on the products page of the site.



Top Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 8.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, DH – 2-for-5, 2B, HR, BB

Home Runs: JaCoby Jones (7)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 11, Scranton/WB 6

Starting Pitcher: Jay Jackson, RHP – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top HitterBlake Davis, 2B – 3-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 1-for-3, BB

Jaff Decker, LF – 1-for-5, 2B

Game Notes: Indianapolis had some strange events tonight. Casey Sadler threw his warmup pitches, but then was replaced before the game by Jay Jackson. No word on why he was replaced, although we’ll update with any information if it becomes available. Jackson pitched four shutout innings, and then the Indians broke things open in the fifth with an eight run inning. Brent Morel and Tony Sanchez both left the game in the middle innings. Like Sadler, more updates will come, if available. Earlier today, it was announced that Chris Dickerson went on the DL, while Andrew Lambo had surgery.




Box Score

Result: New Hampshire 1, Altoona 0

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 8.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas Jr., CF – 2-for-2, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, LF-CF – 2-for-5, 2 SB

Game Notes: After the game, Mel Rojas was promoted to Indianapolis.

Live Report: The slumping Curve fell to the New Hampshire Fisher Cats tonight with a 1-0 final score.

There was an excessive delay in the top of the 7th inning, as the last out of the half inning put the game under protest. The play in question occurred on a Mike Crouse single, in which Andy Burns slid into home. New Hampshire disputed Elias Diaz’s positioning, and whether he blocked the plate before receiving the ball.

The big story for the Curve had to be Adrian Sampson. The starter continues to impress, notching his 4th straight quality start. Sampson worked eight shutout innings, by far his longest outing on the year and the first Altoona eight inning performance since Dave Bromberg in 2013. Sampson displayed fine control tonight, throwing 53 of his 81 pitches for strikes, and walking none. He also held New Hampshire to six hits, struck out five, and generated nine groundball outs. Quinton Miller followed Sampson, working two scoreless. Ryan Beckman entered in the 11th, and worked a scoreless inning, but gave up what ultimately became the game winning run in the 12th on a Jorge Flores run scoring single to right.

Altoona’s offense had a rough night to say the least. As a whole, the team struck out 16 times, while only appearing on base 11 times — eight via hit and three walks. Matt Curry continued his cold streak in impressive fashion, striking out five times in five at-bats. The only real bright spots on the night offensively were Mel Rojas Jr, and Keon Broxton. Both Rojas and Broxton reached base three times, coming through two hits and one walk for each player. Both Rojas and Broxton picked up stolen bases as well, Rojas swiping one, while Broxton collected two. – John Kokales



Box Score

Result: Tampa 3, Bradenton 2

Starting Pitcher: John Kuchno, RHP – 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, RF – 2-for-4

Other Notable Performers:

Walker Gourley, 1B – 2-for-4

Game Notes: John Kuchno had his best start of the year, throwing seven shutout innings. Kuchno was following up a start where he allowed five earned runs in 2.2 innings of work. This start was the third time in 11 starts where Kuchno has walked fewer than two batters, and only the fourth time where he has struck out more than three batters. On the season, Kuchno has a 4.09 ERA in 50.2 innings, with a 30:27 K/BB ratio. He gets an extreme ground ball rate, with a 2.96 GO/AO ratio this year, and an 11:3 ratio tonight. It was for that reason that he only needed 75 pitches in seven innings. Josh Bell had two hits tonight, and both came off a left-hander. He has been doing better against lefties recently, getting his OPS up to .672. He also has a seven game hitting streak.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 6, Greensboro 2

Starting Pitcher: Shane Carle, RHP – 5.2 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, DH – 2-for-5, 2B, HR, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Justin Maffei, CF – 2-for-5, BB, SB

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-6, 2B

Erich Weiss, 2B – 2-for-5, BB

Reese McGuire, C – 1-for-6, 2B

Game Notes: West Virginia went to extra innings tonight, and won in 12 innings thanks to a huge boost from JaCoby Jones. The shortstop, playing DH tonight, hit a grand slam for his seventh homer of the year, giving West Virginia a 6-2 lead and the eventual win. Jones also picked up his tenth double of the season. The home run was his second in the last three games. Reese McGuire picked up a double, extending his hitting streak to 19 games. Erich Weiss had two hits tonight, and now has a .351/.478/.405 line in 37 at-bats over his last ten games. Shane Carle has been pitching great this month, with a 2.72 ERA in 36.1 innings, along with a 14:3 K/BB ratio and a 1.90 GO/AO ratio.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Is the one year mark one year after the draft or one year after the player actually signed? I’m hoping the former but thought it was the latter

Nathan Swartz

No way it’s Jones, not giving them another IF prospect. Either gonna be Dickson or Borden. Of course ALDERSON said it is a significant prospect. What else is he gonna say?
I like Jones and Borden to stay.

I know Blake Taylor is still in EST. Any words on him so far?

Monsoon Harvard

I don’t want to hear anything more about JaCoby until after the ptbnl to the Mets for Ike Davis is announced.
Every time I read about JaCoby a sick feeling of fear comes over me.
At least the draft is this week, we will finally find out who it is.

Actually I believe it is Buddy Biancalana. No, actually I’m leaning towards Cody Dickson or Blake Taylor.


I think it’s definitely one of the second-tier pitching prospects. With the Bucs’ shortage of IF prospects, I doubt they would have offered Jones. Also if they knew he was going to the Mets, I think they’d end the SS experiement and simply let him do his time in the OF while they let someone else get the SS experience.


I’m hoping the PTBNL is Max Rossiter, haha. Actually I believe it’s Buddy Borden. Just my guess

Ron Zorn

Tim, any thoughts on why the records of our minor league teams is so poor? I know all about the metrics and why winning at the minor league level isn’t important (Sounds condescending, isn’t my intention). But pure common sense also says, if you have a great system, you have the better players. Better players should mean better records. Just curious of your thoughts.


A few thoughts:

1. Two of the four teams are not doing well – West Virginia and Altoona – but the other two are OK. Overall record is 100-116 (. 463).

2. Eight of the Pirates’ top prospects have spent significant time on the DL – some for virtually the entire season: Taillon, Glasnow, Meadows, McGuire, Barnes, Ramirez, Heredia, and Lambo.

3. I have a sense (and Tim could comment a lot more on this) that the Bucs’ approach to developing its younger pitchers may hurt the short-term results of many of them – taking away certain pitches and forcing pitchers to throw the change. Other organizations may have an approach that allows more immediate results.

Lee Young

I’m just praying that the PTBNL is NOT JCJ.

Matt Beam

Rojas hopefully goes to Indy to replace El Coffee is a couple of weeks


Jacoby Jones is a better prospect than Austin Meadows

I hope he is on the fast track – certainly top 5 next year!


Now he is as he is actually playing…

Scott Kliesen

Prisoner of the moment post. We haven’t even seen what Meadows is capable for one game yet. Take a deep breath and exhale. Plenty of time in the season to play for all of us to see how these two players compare to each other.


No he isn’t. Not even close. Meadows is 3 years younger and yet is at the same minor league level.


Great point…


Fast track to the NY Mets maybe as the player to be named…


PTBNL will be Chase D’Arnaud


I doubt it. Alderson said it was a “significant prospect” Hard to describe Chase with those words.


Neil kezowslki or whatever his last name is he is my guess

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