We haven’t had highlights recently from Indianapolis and Altoona with the teams on their All-Star break, so today we take a look at some highlights from Thursday night. Yesterday we focused on pitcher Yunior Montero, who has a unique story for a player in the Pirates system, and on Tuesday we took a look at four plate appearances from five-tool outfielder Tito Polo.
The first highlight is a throw from Willy Garcia to cut down a runner at home. With Josh Bell now at Altoona, it looks like Garcia has moved to over to left field and it didn’t take him long to pick up his first assist there. He obviously didn’t get momentum behind this throw due to the bounce, so you’re not seeing the best throw we’ve seen from Garcia, who has the best arm in the Pirates farm system. He already has 13 assists this season, though that is well short of the 20 he picked up last year with Bradenton.
Next up is a long homer to left field from Keon Broxton, his eighth of the year. He has shown nice improvements of his first year at AA, with an OPS that is currently 134 points higher than in 2013. Broxton has 30 extra-base hits and 14 stolen bases this year. He already has more walks than last year and he has cut down his strikeout rate. Broxton turned 24 in May, so there is still a chance he could develop into something.
Finally, we have Brandon Cumpton finishing off his outing from last night. He threw eight shutout innings and gave up just two hits. His previous season low for hits allowed while with Indianapolis was five, which he’s done three times. Indianapolis scored a run in the top of the ninth and Cumpton was able to pick up the well-deserved win for his effort. In eight AAA starts, he has a 1.50 ERA in 54 innings and has gone at least six innings in every game.
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.
The Pirates need an 80-man roster with all of the talent they have in the lower divisions 🙂
Will Willy Garcia ever get a shot wth the Pirates or should they look to move him in the next year? I know he has flaws but I live in Philadelphia and you should see the OF out here. Their minor league depth in the OF sucks too. I would think some team would want to take a shot with him. I wonder if he could get a solid bench bat or middle reliever one day because he’s already behind Bell, Lambo, Rojas, Tabata etc.
I think most teams will look at the 13/99 BB/SO ratio in under 300 at-bats and see a good reason not to deal for him, especially because his rates keep getting worse each year. Very toolsy player, but he is missing the most important thing and that’s even an ounce of plate patience. You would think someone would get into his head and tell him walks and waiting for the right pitch, are not bad things. He’s still young, so he has time, but the numbers need to start going in the other direction soon
Yeah he’s kind of Marte on steroids in that regard. I knew he was a free swinger but I’ve never seen a ratio like that.
13/99 – I let that sink in for a minute. I’m not sure what’s more troubling. The walks I guess.
Last year he was the only player in the Pirates minor league system that had 100 more strikeouts than walks. He actually had 131 more, so it wasn’t even close. Marte never did that. Garcia will probably top that difference this year, though JaCoby Jones could also top the 100 mark in difference, which is why I’m not 100% sold on him. Jones shouldn’t be doing that in low-A ball