Prospect Watch: Three Hits Each For Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco


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 – 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI

2. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

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

4. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 3-for-4, HR, BB, 2 SB

5. Nick Kingham, RHP, Altoona – DNP

6. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

7. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

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

9. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-3, 2 BB

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-4, RBI, BB, SB

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

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

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

19. Brandon Cumpton, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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: A.J. Morris, RHP –  7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, SS – 3-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 SB

Home Runs: Stetson Allie (8), Alen Hanson (4), Jaff Decker (2), Elvis Escobar (1)



Box Score

Result: Gwinnett 6, Indianapolis 5

Starting Pitcher: Vance Worley, RHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jaff Decker, LF – 1-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Gregory Polanco, RF – 3-for-4, 2 2B, RBI

Chris McGuiness, 1B – 1-for-3, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Vance Worley looked like he was going to have another strong outing since joining Indianapolis, but a four run fifth inning put a damper on his night. He gave up four runs over six innings, one more run than he allowed in his first two starts combined. Gregory Polanco and Jaff Decker led the offense for Indianapolis. Decker hit a three-run homer in the eight inning and Polanco had three hits, including two doubles. He finished the game as the leader in all of baseball(minors and majors) with 63 base hits. It was his 19th multi-hit game this season and the 12th time he collected at least three hits in a game. Tyler Waldron took the loss by giving up a game-tying homer in the eighth inning and a walk-off homer in the ninth.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 3, Richmond 0

Starting Pitcher: A.J. Morris, RHP –  7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, SS – 3-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 SB

Other Notable Performers:

Stetson Allie, 1B – 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Willy Garcia, RF – 1-for-3, 3B

Game Notes: Altoona broke free of their three game losing streak tonight, topping Richmond 3-0.

AJ Morris had another impressive outing tonight. The right hander went seven scoreless, allowing only six hits and walking one. He recorded an impressive 11 groundouts, leading to four double plays for the Altoona defense. Morris displayed impressive control tonight, only throwing 19 of his 77 pitches for balls. Tonight’s outing qualifies Morris for the ERA race, with his 1.46 mark placing 3rd in all of Double-A.

Stetson Allie had a quality day at the plate, hitting a line drive shot to left in the 1st inning for his 8th homerun on the season. Allie also picked up a single in the 6th, as well as the Curve’s only walk on the night in the 8th inning. The offensive star of the game however, had to be Alen Hanson. Hanson picked up three hits in four plate appearances, including his 4th homerun in the 6th inning. He also swiped two bases, his 9th and 10th of the year, in the 3rd inning. Both stolen bases happened on the same pitch, as Hanson stole 2nd on the pitch, followed by 3rd before pitcher Ty Blach stepped on the rubber. Gift Ngoepe had a rough night, failing to reach base in four appearances, striking out twice. – John Kokales



Box Score

Result: Dunedin 5, Bradenton 1

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.1 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Adam Frazier, SS – 3-for-4

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

Taylor Lewis, LF – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Chad Kuhl’s stat line didn’t reflect how well he pitched tonight. The sinker ball pitcher was working 90-94 MPH with his fastball, getting a ton of ground balls, with a 10:4 GO/AO ratio. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning due to some poor defense. Eric Wood had an error on an easy ground ball, and Taylor Lewis took a horrible route on a double that ended up just over his head in left field to bring in the run. Kuhl also allowed an earned run in the fifth inning on a sacrifice fly, after giving up two singles and a walk.

The damage for Kuhl came in the seventh inning. He hit the second batter of the inning, then gave up a double and a walk to load the bases. That ended his night, and brought on Jhondaniel Medina. Medina had a rough night, and it started with a bases clearing double to add three more runs on to Kuhl’s total. In the eighth inning, Medina gave up a few hard hit outs, and showed no control, hitting the backstop with one pitch, then skipping a pitch to home plate on the next offering. Medina walked two in a row before Bryton Trepagnier came in to close out the inning. He was working 93-94 MPH, and has looked good at times this year, but tonight wasn’t his night.

Offensively, Adam Frazier had a nice night, picking up two singles. Max Moroff brought in the only run of the evening for the Marauders, with an RBI double. Moroff showed off his plate patience, which is almost too patient at times, by taking five pitches in a row to work a full count. He swung at the sixth pitch for a double, tying the score at 1-1 at the time. Jeff Roy showed off his speed with a bunt single tonight. Scouts had the lefty at 3.82 and 3.95 on two different runs to first base on Friday. That’s plus-plus to elite level speed.  – Tim Williams



Box Score

Result: Delmarva 11, West Virginia 4

Starting Pitcher: Justin Topa, RHP – 2.2 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Elvis Escobar, CF – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, RF – 0-for-3, 2 BB

Reese McGuire, C – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

Game Notes: Power starter Justin Topa struggled mightily with control, lasting only 2.2 innings. Topa hit the leadoff man on the 1st pitch, followed by a free pass allowed for Mike Yastrzemski to put the Shorebirds up 3-0 with one swing of the bat. Topa was victimized in the inning by an error by Wyatt Mathisen who you can see is still adjusting to his new position at 3rd base.

In the 5th JaCoby Jones pulled the ball down the left field line for an RBI single. Jones drew a walk in his prior at bat due mainly to the starter losing his command of the strike zone, but otherwise he had a disappointing evening — grounding into a 1st pitch double play, killing any hope of a rally in the 7th, and chasing a pitch out of the zone to strikeout in the 1st.

In the 6th, Henry Hirsch — a flame throwing right-hander — touched 95 on the gun. He provided strong relief, prior to a solo homer to start the 6th by Shorebirds backstop Chance Sisco. Brett McKinney followed up the strong outing with one of his own, allowing only weak contact spotting a fastball consistently in the 93-94 MPH neighborhood, and giving the Power the chance to rally in the 8th.

In the 8th, Reese McGuire was finally rewarded for his strong approach at the plate going opposite field with a double sliced down the line in left. McGuire looked locked in at the plate tonight, tattooing the ball to right on three occasions, but also showed plate discipline all evening including an extended at-bat in the 5th to extend a potential two out rally. McGuire also gave his team a quality effort behind the plate and on the base paths as well. His read later in the inning on a solid piece of hitting on a ball hit into right off Danny Collins bat allowed the Power to score, cutting into the lead. The rally ended as Erich Weiss and Wyatt Mathisen, two of the hotter hitters on the club, had their quiet nights continue.

Elvis Escobar showed the power stroke again to right to the leadoff the 9th with a blast. It was the second explosive showing of pop off of Escobar’s bat, who banged a double off the wall to start the scoring threat in the 5th. However, it was not going to be enough as the Power bullpen allowed five in the top half of the frame to making it an eight run deficit at the time in which Elvis did indeed leave the building.  – Blain Smith

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.

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The current Pittsburgh Pirates are not the best team the organization can put on the major league field…sad, actually.

Scott Kliesen

Had the pleasure of seeing Polanco in person last night for the first time. Pirates need him up more than Obama needs a tele-prompter. Maybe it’s his size, but he looks like a man amongst boys out there. He demonstrated patience at the plate and capitalized when he saw pitches to his liking. Even his groundouts was a hard hit ball. Can’t wait for his arrival to Pittsburgh!

Worley pitched much better than the stats indicate. He was very clean through 4. In the 5th he gave up a lead-off HR, and then was victim of several seeing eye singles and a truly horrible throwing error by CF.

Lastly, Daniel Schlereth looked good as a lefty out of the pen. Clean inning w 2 strikeouts. If Wilson or Watson go down, he appears to be a good arm to take their place.


Yep. Looks like there is still a lot for Polanco to learn and prove at AAA. I wonder if by the time they call him up he’ll be hitting .400.

It is a fallacy to think one player will completely change a team and I am not going to suggest that the Pirates would be in 1st place with Polanco here…but it would be a lie to say the team would not be greatly improved with him on the 25-man. And now it really is only about the money…

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