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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Prospect Watch: Luis Heredia’s Best Start of the Year; JaCoby Jones Homers


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors (Casey Sadler #16). 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 – 2-for-5

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 2-for-5, 2B, BB

6. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – DNP

7. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – 2-for-3, 2B

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates – DNP

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-4, HR, 4 RBI

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, GCL Pirates – DNP

17. Trey Supak, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

18. Buddy Borden, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

19. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – DNP

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Unsigned


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Top Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Curry, 1B – 2-for-4, HR, BB

Home Runs: Matt Hague (10), JaCoby Jones (8), Matt Curry (3)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 9, Gwinnett 4

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Hague, 1B – 1-for-5, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Chase d’Arnaud, CF – 2-for-5, 2B

Brent Morel, 3B – 3-for-4, BB

Mel Rojas, RF – 2-for-4, 3B

Jaff Decker, LF – 2-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Adam Wilk has pitched well in his last three starts, with a 3.32 ERA in 19 innings in the month of June, along with a 16:6 K/BB ratio. Matt Hague hit his tenth home run of the year. He also has a hit in seven of his last eight games. While Hague crushes left-handers (.949 OPS in 58 at-bats this year), seven of his home runs have come against right-handers this year. That has led to a .776 OPS in 148 at-bats against right-handers. Mel Rojas has been on fire since being promoted to Indianapolis, with a .333/.379/.426 line in 54 at-bats.



Box Score

Result: Reading 7, Altoona 5

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top HitterMatt Curry, 1B – 2-for-4, HR, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, SS – 2-for-5, 2B, BB

Drew Maggi, 2B – 2-for-2, 3 BB

Justin Howard, RF – 3-for-4, 2B, BB

Game Notes: Joely Rodriguez bounced back from a bad outing, giving up two runs on four hits and a walk in seven innings. The good news for Rodriguez is that he hasn’t been walking a lot of hitters this year, with just 20 walks in 70.1 innings, including three in 19 innings over his last three starts. Control has been an issue for him in the past. The downside is that he hasn’t been striking out a lot of guys, with only 36 strikeouts this year. He’s going to need to improve those numbers to remain a starter.

Matt Curry hit his third homer of the year in 78 at-bats. He’s got a .783 OPS on the season, and an .828 OPS against right-handers. Alen Hanson had another two hit night, and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. After putting up an .803 OPS in May, Hanson has a .911 OPS during the month of June.



Bradenton was off today.



Box Score

Result: Delmarva 6, West Virginia 5

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-4, HR, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, CF – 2-for-3, 2B

Reese McGuire, C – 2-for-5

Elvis Escobar, RF – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: In his three starts since returning from the DL, Luis Heredia has a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings, with a 9:10 K/BB ratio. Tonight was his best outing since returning, and his best outing of the year. He only gave up one run in five innings, and only walked two batters. It was his best walk rate since his first start of the season, when he walked two in five innings. Reese McGuire had two hits, giving him his third straight multi-hit game. Harold Ramirez had two hits, and extended his hitting streak to ten games. JaCoby Jones hit his eighth home run of the year. With Blake Taylor being named the PTBNL in the Ike Davis trade, this is the first time Pirates fans can enjoy a home run from Jones without fearing that he might be the PTBNL.



Box Score

ResultJamestown 9, Mahoning Valley 4

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Eppler, RHP – 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Michael Fransoso, DH – 2-for-4, 2 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Regalado, RHP – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Taylor Gushue, C – 2-for-4, BB

Carl Anderson, CF – 2-for-5

Tyler Filliben, SS – 2-for-3

Game Notes: Taylor Gushue is off to a great start in his pro career. In his first three games, the fourth round pick has going 5-for-13 with two home runs and a triple. Carl Anderson is also off to a nice start, going 7-for-14. Sixth round pick Tyler Eppler made his pro debut tonight, throwing three perfect innings with two strikeouts. Jose Regalado made his season debut, with three shutout innings, one hit, and two strikeouts. The right-hander is getting an aggressive push to Jamestown from the DSL. Luis Urena made his first appearance as a pitcher, giving up an unearned run in one inning.

Check out the 2014 Jamestown Jammers preview here.



The DSL Pirates were off today. You can check out the DSL Pirates week two recap here.

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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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Heredia looks to me like he is going to be a solid pitcher in the majors, some days looking like a no.1 other days looking like a 3 or 4. The body is filled out and strong, right now, just a matter of control, we can’t forget that he is still very young.


So since there is some talk about resigning Russel Martin, any chance of seeing a position change for Tony Sanchez? 1st base seems like the easiest position to learn, but does he perhaps have any other experience from his college days?


Hanson probably won’t have to worry about having the most errors in the system as long as Pedro is around. Hanson is very fluid to me and should develop into a fine SS down the road, he is still very young. Defense and power for young players usually comes last. I still thing there is a real possibility that Hanson could be a future second basemen in the majors. I don’t think they will be able to sign Walker and I would not be surprised if Hanson does not fill that spot.


Conspicuously absent from the top twenty list is a projectable 3B man, unless you consider Jacoby Jones a stealth 3B candidate. Unless the Pirates make a trade we have to expect they will move either Walker or Mercer to 3B when the lose Pedro.

Ben Swogger

Interesting point about Jones. I never thought about that. If he keeps up his power surge, it seems his bat would play. The only question would be the defense

John Dreker

I had Wyatt Mathisen 17th when we put together our new top 20 and he is starting to hit like a legit prospect, plus he will spend this entire season at age 20, which is a good age for low-A ball. I’m also willing to cut him a little break since he is learning a new position on the fly. He’s athletic enough to play it. I’ll get to see WV play four games this weekend and talk to some scouts, so I’ll have a better idea on Mathisen by the end of the weekend.


Does Wyatt have a swing that projects power in the future that he isn’t demonstrating yet?

John Dreker

He is projected to hit for power in the future, due to his ability to make good contact and he has a quick bat, plus decent size. He will fill out more as he gets older and the power should come. His three homers is actually second on WV. Someone like Reese McGuire is projected to hit 10-15 homers a season, but he has one homer as a pro in over 350 at-bats. You have to cut young players some slack in the power department until they fill it. Mathisen is holding his own at a good age for the level and that’s the important thing. Now if you want to look at someone like Erich Weiss and worry that he has just one homer this year and he turned 22 back in September, that is a legit concern.

Lee Young

Maybe it is because my expectations were so high, or maybe it is because I now compare him to Glasnow, but I don’t see Heredia becoming anything more than a back of the rotation pitcher, if that.

In his three starts since returning from the DL, Luis Heredia has a 3.95 ERA in 13.2 innings, with a 9:10 K/BB ratio. TEN WALKS?

John Dreker

Listening to Adam Marco on the radio yesterday, he said Heredia looked like a totally different pitcher. I’m willing to bet there was a little rust involved in his return game and he may have turned a corner yesterday


What’s the over/under on Hanson getting promoted to Indy? July 23 seems like a completely reasonable, albeit completely arbitrary, date.

Scott Kliesen

I’m expecting to read an article announcing Alen Hanson has been promoted to Indianapolis in the near future.

John Dreker

They usually make moves like that around the All-Star break. The Eastern League break starts July 15th. The thing with Hanson is, no matter what he does with the bat, I think the glove will still hold him back. I can see a scenario next year where people are clamoring for him to be called up and thinking it’s Super-2 related, but unless he shows more with his glove between now and then, it will be defense related. Basically, I don’t think there is a rush to get him to AAA, just letting him play everyday at the upper levels is fine for now. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Hanson come up to the Pirates at the end of the season just to get a taste of the majors. They already used an option on him sending him down this year, so it’s possible he sees some September time

Scott Kliesen

Thanks for your insight John. It’s much appreciated.

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