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Prospect Watch: Luis Heredia Pitches Gem, Edwin Espinal Comes Up Big at the Plate



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. If a player is out for the season (Jameson Taillon #1, 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 mid-season top 20 update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

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

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 3-for-5, 3 R

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – DNP

6. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – 1-for-4

7. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-5

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates –  2-for-5

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power –  6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – Disabled List(6/23 Update)

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, GCL Pirates – 0-for-4, BB

17. Trey Supak, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

18. Buddy Borden, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

19. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – Disabled List (6/20 Update)

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Unsigned


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Top Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edwin Espinal, 1B – 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI

Home Runs: Jordan Steranka (4), Edwin Espinal (3), Taylor Lewis (2)



Box Score

Result: Durham 8, Indianapolis 2

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 4.1 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top HitterChris Dickerson, CF – 2-for-4, 2B, R

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Tabata, RF – 0-for-3, BB, R

Game Notes: Adam Wilk had some mixed success through the first four innings, despite giving up a pair of runs on six hits. However, the wheels fell off in the fifth, as Wilk allowed four runs on four hits, while just getting one out. Prior to this start, Wilk had put together three straight quality starts and allowed just a pair of runs in five innings in the fourth.

Wirfin Obispo and Vin Mazzaro each put together another scoreless frame. Mazzaro has only allowed two runs this season in 17.2 Triple-A innings. Obispo has allowed just one unearned run in his last seven outings.

Chris Dickerson added two hits, including a double. Chris McGuiness also added a double for Indianapolis. Jose Tabata played his first game since being outrighted to AAA and he drew a walk and scored a run in four plate appearances. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Altoona 3, Binghamton 1

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 7.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, RF – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Drew Maggi, 2B – 1-for-3, HBP

Elias Diaz, C – 1-for-3, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Joely Rodriguez pitched great against Binghamton on Thursday, allowing one run on one hit and two walks in seven innings. Rodriguez had a 4.21 ERA this season through 15 starts and he has a 4.22 ERA in the month of June. Willy Garcia, Elias Diaz and Keon Broxton each had one RBI apiece. Garcia hit his 15th double and drove in his 33rd run. Alen Hanson was out for the sixth straight game. There was some disagreement on his status, with people in Altoona saying he’s suspended, and the Pirates saying he’s just working on things.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 6, Jupiter 4

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top HitterJordan Steranka, 1B – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Josh Bell, RF – 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI

Taylor Lewis, CF – 2-for-4

Jose Osuna, DH – 2-for-3, RBI, BB

Live Report: Bradenton won 6-4 on Thursday behind homers from Jordan Steranka and Taylor Lewis. Josh Bell singled in the first inning, extending his hitting streak to 13 games.  Adam Frazier now has a ten game hit streak. Chad Kuhl started and walked three batters in a game for the first time in his career, covering 29 appearances. He left trailing 3-2 in the sixth, but the Marauders came back with four runs in the seventh, three coming on the Steranka homer.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 8, Delmarva 7

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edwin Espinal, 1B – 4-for-5, 2 2B, HR, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Reese McGuire, C – 3-for-5, 3 R

Harold Ramirez, CF – 2-for-5

Game Notes:  Luis Heredia came into Thursday night’s game with a 7.71 ERA on the road this year and he didn’t look good in his last start. He had an outstanding game against Delmarva, throwing six shutout innings, giving up four hits and a walk. Heredia lowered his ERA to 3.94 though 29.2 innings. Harold Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a first inning single. West Virginia had 14 hits, with Edwin Espinal leading the way. He had four hits and drove in four runs. Espinal hit his third home run and he now has 42 RBIs on the season. Reese McGuire had three singles and scored three runs.



Box Score

ResultJamestown 6, Mahoning Valley 4

Starting Pitcher: Alex McRae, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Chase Simpson, 3B – 2-for-3, 2B, 3 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Taylor Gushue, DH – 1-for-2, 2 BB

Carl Anderson, CF – 1-for-5, SB

Tyler Filliben, SS – 2-for-5, 2 2B

Game Notes: Jamestown won 6-4 in ten innings on Thursday night. Starter Alex McRae didn’t throw shutout ball like he did in his first two outings since being draft in the tenth round this year, but he still had a pretty good outing on Thursday. McRae gave up two runs over five innings and he still hasn’t issued a walk in 11.1 innings. Chase Simpson had two hits and drove in three runs to help lead the offense. Tyler Filliben had two doubles, the first extra-base hits of his career. Reliever Sam Street made his pro debut and threw two shutout innings. He was drafted in the 16th round this year.



Box Score

Result: Johnson City 7, Bristol 5

Starting Pitcher: Jonathan Sandfort, RHP – 3.0 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Trae Arbet, SS – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Enyel Vallejo, CF – 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, SB

Nick Buckner, RF – 1-for-4, RBI

Maximo Rivera, 1B – 2-for-4, RBI

Game Notes: Jonathan Sandfort had a strong debut this season, giving up one run over five innings of work. The 2012 third round pick is still a couple months short of his 20th birthday and pitching for the first time above the GCL. On Thursday in his second start, he lasted just three innings and got smacked around, allowing seven earned runs on 11 hits in just three innings. Enyel Vallejo, Maximo Rivera and Trae Arbet each had two hits and drove in a run. Pablo Reyes had a double and scored two runs.

Check out the Bristol Pirates season preview.



Box Score

Result: Phillies 6, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Gerardo Navarro, RHP – 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Julio de la Cruz, 3B – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-5

Dan Gamache, 2B – 0-for-3

Yoel Gonzalez, C – 2-for-4

Game Notes:  The GCL Pirates dropped to 1-5 after a 6-2 loss to the Phillies on Thursday. Third baseman Julio de la Cruz drove in both runs. He is 6-for-19 with two doubles this season. Cole Tucker went 2-for-5 with two singles and his first stolen base. Alexis Bastardo, a toolsy outfielder who spent last year in the DSL, went 2-for-3 with a double and stolen base in his season debut. On the bad side, Michael de la Cruz is 1-for-20 this season, with the only upside being five walks in five games. Dan Gamache was assigned to the GCL on rehab and played his first game of the season. He played second base and was hitless in three at-bats.

Check out the GCL Pirates season preview.



Box Score

Result: Rangers2 8, Pirates 6

Starting Pitcher: Yeudy Garcia, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edison Lantigua, LF – 1-for-2, 3B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Adrian Valerio, SS – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI

Jeremias Portorreal, RF – 1-for-3, BB, 2 R

Game Notes: The Pirates lost for the ninth straight time on Thursday, dropping them to 6-17 on the season. Starter Yeudy Garcia gave up three runs(two earned) over five innings. He has had two outings in which he threw five shutout innings this year and he has the best fastball among starters for the DSL Pirates, so he is a player to watch if he can have more consistent starts. Edison Lantigua came off the bench in the eighth and had a bases-loaded in the bottom of the ninth to help pull the Pirates within two runs, but their comeback came up short. Shortstop Adrian Valerio had two hits, including his seventh double of the season.

You can check out the DSL Pirates week three recap here.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
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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