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Friday, December 2, 2022

Prospect Watch: JaCoby Jones and Matt Hague Lead a Night of Home Runs


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, GCL Pirates – DNP

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – DNP

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 1-for-4, BB

6. Josh Bell, RF, Bradenton – DNP

7. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – DNP

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates – 2-for-3, BB, SB

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia Power – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – DNP

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

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

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 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: Orlando Castro, LHP – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Hague, 3B – 3-for-4, 2B, HR

Home Runs: Matt Hague (12), JaCoby Jones (9), Jordan Steranka (6), Keon Broxton (5), Gift Ngoepe (5), Enyel Vallejo (1), Danny Arribas (1)



Box Score

Result: Toledo 5, Indianapolis 3

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Matt Hague, 3B – 3-for-4, 2B, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Michael Martinez, 2B – 2-for-4

Jose Tabata, RF – 1-for-3

Game Notes: Adam Wilk pitched around trouble through the first two innings, but it caught up with him in his final four innings of work. Wilk, who was consistently in the mid to high 80s, allowed a run in each of those final four innings. While he stretched out eight hits, Wilk also struck out eight hitters. His season high is nine, but he struck out six in back to back starts on June 10 and 15.

Following Wilk, Josh Kinney struck out four hitters in two innings of work in relief. Josh Wall also worked a scoreless inning with strikeout.

Matt Hague added his 12th double and 12th home run of the season. Chris McGuiness added a single. Since June 21, McGuiness is 13-for-37. – Ryan Palencer



Box Score

Result: Bowie 4, Altoona 3

Starting Pitcher: Joely Rodriguez, LHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jarek Cunningham, 3B – 3-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, CF – 1-for-4, HR

Elias Diaz, C – 2-for-3

Kelson Brown, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B

Gift Ngoepe, 2B – 1-for-4, HR

Game Notes: Keon Broxton hit his fifth homer of the year. Gift Ngoepe also hit his fifth homer of the year. Ngoepe’s career high is nine homers in 2012, although he hasn’t hit more than five in any two seasons outside of this year and that 2012 season. Broxton was the player of the month in May, but went on an extreme cold streak, with a .370 OPS during the month of June. Joely Rodriguez got back to his hot and cold season, following a great outing last time with a poor outing this time out. Ryan Beckman and John Holdzkom combined for three perfect innings with five strikeouts.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 5, Fort Myers 4

Starting Pitcher: Orlando Castro, LHP – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Eric Wood, 3B – 3-for-4, 3 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Jose Osuna, DH – 2-for-3, BB

Jordan Steranka, 1B – 1-for-3, HR, BB

Game Notes: Adam Frazier saw his hitting streak end at 13 games, while Raul Fortunato ended his at 12 games. Jordan Steranka hit his sixth homer of the year, and his fourth in his last six games. Eric Wood added three doubles, giving him 12 this season. Orlando Castro pitched another gem, giving up one run on one hit in six innings. In his last three starts he has given up one run on eight hits in 19 innings, with a 13:0 K/BB ratio.



Box Score

Result: Hickory 11, West Virginia 6

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 6.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-4, HR, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Chris Diaz, 3B – 2-for-5

Harold Ramirez, CF – 2-for-4

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 2-for-4

Erich Weiss, DH – 2-for-3, BB

Kawika Emsley-Pai, C – 2-for-4

Game Notes: West Virginia had a big night on offense, with six players having multiple hits. JaCoby Jones led a late comeback, hitting a three run homer to tie the game, for his ninth homer of the year. Harold Ramirez had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 23 games. Edwin Espinal extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a two hit night. The hitting was needed, as Luis Heredia had a bad outing, with nine hits and two homers. John Dreker wrote last week about how Heredia has been going the wrong direction with his development.



Box Score

Result: Williamsport 6, Jamestown 3

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Eppler, RHP – 4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jordan Luplow, LF – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Carl Anderson, CF – 2-for-4

Michael Fransoso, DH – 2-for-4

Tyler Filliben, SS – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Dan Gamache and Nate Baker continued their rehab, with Gamache playing seven innings and Baker throwing two innings in relief. Both are on pace to return to Altoona when their rehab is up. Carl Anderson had his sixth multi-hit game in his last nine games. He’s got a .338 average on the season, but isn’t adding much power, leading to an .812 OPS. That’s not bad for a top of the order hitter, but you’d like to see more power from a college guy in the lower levels. Jordan Luplow has been hitting for some power, and has a .371 average and a 1.096 OPS in his first ten games. Tyler Filliben had his fourth straight two-hit game.



Box Score

Result: Bristol 8, Pulaski 1

Starting Pitcher: Jon Sandfort, RHP – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Enyel Vallejo, CF – 2-for-5, 3B, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Pablo Reyes, SS – 2-for-5, 2B

Danny Arribas, C – 1-for-5, HR

Nathan Tomaszewski, 1B – 2-for-3, BB

Junior Lopez, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Jon Sandfort bounced back from a horrible outing in his last start to give up one run on four hits this time around. He struck out six and walked one, giving him a 13:1 K/BB ratio in 12 innings. Junior Lopez piggybacked with Sandfort, and threw five shutout innings, giving up one hit and striking out five. Lopez has a 3.48 ERA and an 8:0 K/BB ratio in his first 10.1 innings in pro ball. Enyel Vallejo hit his first homer of the year, and now has an .806 OPS in his first eight games in Bristol. Danny Arribas also hit his first homer of the year.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 5, Yankees 3

Starting Pitcher: Jose Batista, LHP – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Henrry Rosario, CF – 2-for-4, 2B, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-3, BB, SB

Sam Kennelly, DH – 3-for-4

Game Notes: Cole Tucker is off to a nice start at the plate, going 9-for-25 with a double in his first seven games. He had two hits today, extending his hitting streak to six games. Tucker has also shown a good ability to get on base, with a .484 OBP so far. He stole his second base of the year today. The guy he’s stealing playing time from is Sam Kennelly, who started today as the DH and added three hits. Kennelly is 6-for-15 with four walks, and should get time in the middle infield and at DH this season. The struggling Michael De La Cruz sat out for the second game in a row.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 9, Angels 8

Starting Pitcher: Nestor Oronel, LHP – 2.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Luis Perez, 2B-SS – 3-for-3, 2B, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Eliezer Ramirez, DH – 3-for-4, BB, SB

Jeremias Portorreal, RF – 2-for-4, BB

Game Notes: The Pirates won a thriller against the Angels on Tuesday, tying the score with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, then winning on a walk-off hit in the tenth. Eliezer Ramirez followed up his two hit game off the bench on Monday, with three hits, three runs scored and two RBIs on Tuesday. His two-out single in the ninth tied the game. The Pirates almost won the game in the ninth, as Jeremias Portorreal was thrown out at home plate on the hit by Ramirez. In the tenth, Yunelky Adames drove in Raul Siri with the game-winning run. Adames now has 24 RBIs on the season. Starter Nestor Oronel got hit around in his two innings of work, but Carlos Bustamante followed him with one run over four innings to keep the game within reach. Mister Luciano picked up his first career victory. Infielder Luis Perez had three hits, drove in three runs, drew two walks and had a sacrifice fly. Portorreal had two hits, a walk and drove in a run. – John Dreker

You can check out the DSL Pirates week four 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.


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Hague to me is a capable bench guy to replace Gaby next year, and fill in at 3b on an as needed basis. Gaby isn’t 30 bombs either I’ll note, he’s expected to pop a few here and there. Ike is the primary 1b, and would be next year also.

Tony Sanchez needs a change of scenery. Kind of along the lines of the Grilli situation, he’s probably feeling done with Milb… just IMO. Hard to trade him while he’s playing like this though. It makes you believe that just if Russ decides to bail next year, Chris might be the primary catcher with Tony as the rarely played backup, or someone else from another roster somewhere.


Anyone have any info on Jon Sandfort’s velocity so far this season?


Well they say that once you hit bottom, the only way you can go is up, and I think Tony Sanchez hit rock bottom last night. For a catcher who when drafted was touted for his defense, he has shown little of that. Last night had to be the worse.

On a pitch out, with the runner going, Sanchez threw the ball into center field. The runner ends up scoring.

Then the coup de gras: While intentionally walking a batter, the runner on second breaks for third, and Sanchez sends this throw into left field. Needless to say, runner scores.

Now I am only listening to the game, and perhaps there were other factors at play, but listening to the announcer, he made no attempt to try and excuse either play. And when the only thing they could talk about was his “quality at bat” in drawing a walk, you know he is having a rough go of it.

So, as I started this comment, the only way he can go is up from here. It can’t get any worse?


Is Hague hitting both lefties and righties??? His power seems to be picking up a bit lately. Maybe a late bloomer??? Can play both 3b and 1st.


.948 OPS vs LHP, and a still respectable .787 OPS vs. RHP. But he turns 29 next month. What’s beyond a late bloomer? Could he be a cheap alternative to Gaby next year, with less confidence in his hitting but more versatility by being able to play 3B too?


I just looked at Gaby splits for this year. He’s down below .860 OPS against LHP with a .331 BABIP. Small sample size but maybe it would be a good way to save $3M.


Or a good right handed bat at the third when the roster expand at the end of this year.

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