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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Prospect Watch: Brandon Cumpton Leads an Amazing Night of Minor League Pitching


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 – 0-for-4, 3 K

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

3. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia – Disabled List (4/22 Update)

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 0-for-3, BB

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – DNP

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 0-for-2, BB

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

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-3

10. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – Disabled List (5/7 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 (4/14 Update)

15. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-3, 2B

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

17. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, West Virginia – 1-for-2, 2B, BB

18. Jin-De Jhang, C, Bradenton – 0-for-3

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis – 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

20. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP



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: Brandon Cumpton, RHP – 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Robert Andino, SS – 2-for-4, HR

Home Runs: Robert Andino (1)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 4, Gwinnett 2

Starting Pitcher: Brandon Cumpton, RHP – 8.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Robert Andino, SS – 2-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Chris Dickerson, CF – 2-for-4, 2B

Gregory Polanco, RF – 0-for-4, 3 K

Game Notes: Though there is continued buzz about why Gregory Polanco is not in Pittsburgh, the better question may be why Brandon Cumpton is not? Cumpton has been dominant in each of his starts at Triple-A this season, boasting a 1.35 ERA. Cumpton was consistently hitting 94 and 95 MPH, as he has done much of the season. Command has been a huge part of the success for Cumpton this season. Of his 98 pitches on Tuesday night, 59 were for strikes. His two walks put him up to 10 for the season in 40 innings. His six strikeouts put him up to 21.

Polanco had a tough night at the plate, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. However the at bat that was not a strikeout, he drove in a run with a fielder’s choice. A night after his 16-game hitting streak was ended, Chris Dickerson added two more knocks. – Ryan Palencer




Box Score

Result: Akron 1, Altoona 0

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, RF – 1-for-3, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Matt Curry, DH – 1-for-4

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson had another great start in Altoona this year, throwing seven innings with one run allowed on three hits, along with a season-high eight strikeouts. Sampson has been dominant this year, with a 2.17 ERA in 49.2 innings, along with a 41:12 K/BB ratio. Earlier today, John Kokales wrote about what is working for Sampson this year. His changeup has been a big difference this year, compared to what I saw last year in Bradenton. John also wrote that he’s searching for consistency, which is something he lacked last year, especially in early innings. Sampson didn’t get much help from the offense, as Altoona combined for three hits.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 3, Dunedin 0

Starting Pitcher: Orlando Castro, LHP – 6.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jeff Roy, CF – 1-for-4, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Josh Smith, LHP – 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Bradenton’s offense didn’t do much tonight, but somehow managed three runs on two walks and three hits. Jeff Roy got one of the hits, and now has a hit in eight of his last nine games. He stole his 10th base of the season tonight. Orlando Castro continued to pitch well for the Bradenton rotation. On the season, he has a 2.90 ERA in 49.2 innings, with a 35:7 K/BB ratio. He’s taking a similar path in High-A to the one he took in West Virginia. He started off as a reliever with poor results, then returned to the rotation the following year with a lot of success. He could end up in Altoona by the end of the 2014 season, which will be the big test for his future as a prospect.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 4, Delmarva 1

Starting Pitcher: Buddy Borden, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top HitterJaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-3, 2B, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Wyatt Mathisen, 3B – 1-for-2, 2B, BB

Justin Maffei, LF – 2-for-5

Game Notes: Buddy Borden might not be this year’s Tyler Glasnow, but he is off to an impressive start, and he’s starting to become a guy to watch every start. Borden gave up one run in five innings, following his strong outing last time out where he threw six no-hit innings. On the season, Borden has a 2.18 ERA in 41.1 innings, with a 39:18 K/BB ratio. Walks have been an issue for him this year, but he hasn’t given up many hits, with a .185 BAA. JaCoby Jones recorded a stolen base for the fourth game in a row.


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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.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Oh great! I just heard Huntington sent a message to Polanco the other and told him to tone his act down because he’s making him look bad. Next thing you know 0-4 with 3ks.


It appears they are stuck with Tabata through 2016. Maybe they can squeeze him into a deadline deal with Liriano or something. I don’t know who would want the 11 mil owed to him the next 2.5 seasons. The bucs would be better off eating half of that to get rid of him. I don’t even see him as a #4 at this point. He looks like around a 1.0 WAR player at this point. Dickerson has outperformed that in his career.

Nuke Laloosh

And god knows the Pirate brass would never admit a mistake and cut ties. Especially with a former first rounder.


Who is the former first rounder you speak of? Of the the four names mentioned above, Tabata was an IFA signee by the Yankees in 2005, Liriano was an IFA by the Giants in 2000, Dickerson was a 16th round pick of the Reds in 2003. Only Snider was a 1st round draft pick, but he was taken by the Blue Jays in the 2006 draft.

Rarely, if ever, do organizations flat out say “We made a mistake” and why would the Pirates or any organization ever say something along the lines of “We definitely made a mistake when signing (insert players name)” that looks mighty unprofessional and would definitely be a major turn off to FA agents and current players alike.

And to be clear, they have cut several notable players loose when their performance warranted it: Erik Bedard (1yr/$4.5 mil), Jonathan Sanchez (minor league deal), Brandon Inge (minor leageu deal), Casey McGehee ($2.54 mil), Lyle Overbay ($5 mil), and Ryan Church ($1.5 mil), etc. So I struggle to find an example where the Pirates didn’t cut ties with someone performing at a poor clip. Perhaps, they have held on to players too long, such as Inge, but I can’t recall an incident where they held onto a player just because the money had been invested.

Nuke Laloosh

Rather than invest in proven players(Like Russell Martin), the mostly go after, the Inges, Overbays, Churchs, Sanchezs, etc., For every Liriano there are 3 or 4 Volquezs. The core is there now and ready to win. They just need some help the brass was not willing to get them this past off-season. It has to be very frustrating to many of the players and most of the fans.


Please share what proven players should have been sought after who weren’t this offseason who fell into the Pirates price range. Loney? Johnson?

Nuke Laloosh

I was speaking of Snider, but thanks for the refresher on where everyone came from. I am also aware of the players they cut loose, way too many to mention, but you can’t have 40% of your rotation giving little chance of winning. The Pirates can’t score 9 runs every game.


big difference between 1.5 and 5+ million. and a big difference between a trade where we get rid of the payroll versus waiving someone which leaves us holding the bill

Nuke Laloosh

Fact of the matter is the RF combo is hideous and Dickerson can be no worse than T-Snides


Even better than the fact that all 4 starters were dominant in their games is the fact that all 4 have been pretty much dominant all year. And to think just a week or two ago Tim was wondering where the breakout players were. If 2 of these guys can keep it up, there’s your answer right there. Though I do realize Cumpton technically won’t count because of his prior success with the Bucs and the fact that at least half his action this year should be in MLB.



Chris Dickerson just keeps putting up solid numbers. I thought I saw him a year or two ago in Altoona and he was the guy that impressed me there. With Polanco and others making so much noise, I wonder if he is quietly becoming a Pirates trump card in their deck of outfield depth or is he just another Matt Hague?



chris dickerson was never at altoona. you must be thinking of someone else. we got dickerson as a FA. hes never been in our organization before

Leefoo Rug Bug

Wabbit…Dickerson has proven, beyond a doubt, that he is a AAAA player.

Nuke Laloosh

And Snider has proven beyond a doubt that he is a AAA player.


no……he hasn’t. just a below average major leaguer.


He might be a 4A player but Dickerson’s mlb #s are decent when he has gotten extended chances.

Nuke Laloosh

Here’s a good question as well. Why isn’t Chris Dickerson up playing LF until Polanco arrives?

Leefoo Rug Bug

For one, Marte is in LF 🙂

Secondly, he’s not on the 40 man roster.

Nuke Laloosh

I meant the other LF….meaning RF!


That said, I’d rather see him on the 40-man than Decker.


Decker is 7 years younger


He’s seven years younger, but he’s not an upgrade offensively on Dickerson, and Decker has pretty much zero defensive value. Granted , we’re talking about fifthe outfielders here, but young and lousy is still lousy.

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