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Saturday, December 3, 2022

Prospect Watch: Looking at Adrian Sampson’s Path to the Majors


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 – DNP

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – DNP

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS, Altoona – 0-for-3

6. Josh Bell, RF, Altoona – 1-for-4

7. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – Disabled List (7/7 Update)

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates – 1-for-4

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – DNP

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

14. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 2B

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – DNP

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, GCL Pirates – 0-for-3

17. Trey Supak, RHP, GCL Pirates – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

18. Buddy Borden, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

19. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – 1-for-3, BB

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP


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Top Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-5, 2B, HR, SB

Home Runs: JaCoby Jones (16), Tony Sanchez (7), Raul Siri (4), Carlos Munoz (2), Jeff Roy (1)



Box Score

Result: Columbus 5, Indianapolis 4

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tony Sanchez, C – 1-for-3, HR, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jaff Decker, LF – 2-for-4

Brent Morel, 3B – 2-for-4, SB

Andrew Lambo, RF – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Tony Sanchez hit his seventh homer of the year tonight. He now has a seven game hitting streak, with four doubles and two homers in that stretch. Andrew Lambo hit his 14th double of the year. Adam Wilk gave up two earned runs in five innings, with no walks and three strikeouts. He has a 4.26 ERA in 117.1 innings. Wilk has been good this year against lefties, with a .224 BAA coming into the game. He probably won’t help the Pirates as a starter, but could provide them with lefty relief depth.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 3, Bowie 0

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 9.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Dan Gamache, 3B-2B – 1-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Josh Bell, RF – 1-for-4

Stetson Allie, 1B – 1-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Adrian Sampson came two outs away from pitching a complete game no hitter. I wrote about the outing here. Sampson has easily been the biggest breakout pitcher in the system this season. He’s got the upside to potentially become a middle of the rotation starter in the majors, with a nice three pitch mix. With the way his season has been going, that could come as soon as the middle of the 2015 season. He should start in Indianapolis next year, and if he keeps this up, he’d be a depth option for the rotation by mid-season. The thing is, the Pirates might even have trouble fitting him in the rotation. They currently project to have Gerrit Cole, Jameson Taillon, Tyler Glasnow, and Nick Kingham, with the final three expected to join in 2015-2016. Jeff Locke has been pitching well, and could also be a member of this group. Then there’s Charlie Morton, who looks like a solid number three starter, and is under control through the 2017 season. Not everyone in this group will work out, so I wouldn’t call Sampson blocked just yet. He’s probably the fourth best pitching prospect in the system right now, and I don’t think he’d rank in the top five of the above pitchers. That’s some good depth for the Pirates to have in upcoming years.



Box Score

Result:  Clearwater 7, Bradenton 2

Starting Pitcher: Shane Carle, RHP – 6.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Max Moroff, 2B – 0-for-2, 3 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Adam Frazier, SS – 1-for-4, BB

Game Notes: Shane Carle had a rough outing in his second start for Bradenton. He gave up two runs in six innings during his first outing, but gave up six earned runs in 6.1 innings this time. A lot of the damage came in the seventh inning, when he gave up four runs, including his second homer of the night. Carle had a 3.72 ERA in 82.1 innings with West Virginia this year, along with a 47:9 K/BB ratio. He already has three walks in two starts for Bradenton.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 9, Rome 8

Starting Pitcher: Buddy Borden, RHP – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-5, 2B, HR, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-5

Danny Collins, DH – 2-for-4, BB

Jeff Roy, CF – 1-for-3, HR

Game Notes: JaCoby Jones went 0-for-5 last night, snapping his 17 game hitting streak. He got back on track tonight, hitting his 15th double of the year, his 16th homer of the year, and stealing his 15th base of the year. Jones is the first Pirates shortstop prospect to hit 16 homers in a season since Alen Hanson did it in 2012 at the same level. One disclaimer is that Hanson is five months younger than Jones, and currently plays two levels higher. That means Hanson was over two years younger than Jones when he was going through low-A. That said, the season Jones is having has been impressive. His bat looks ready for a call up, but it might be a wise move to have him working on his defense in low-A, then make the move to Bradenton next year. At this point he’s probably not looking at a promotion to Altoona until mid-2015 anyway, so there’s no harm keeping him down and letting him work on the area of his game that should be the more important focus at this point.



Box Score

Result: Jamestown 12, Brooklyn 7

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Eppler, RHP – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Kevin Ross, 1B – 3-for-7, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Carl Anderson, CF – 1-for-5, 2 BB, 3 SB

Jordan Luplow, LF – 2-for-6, BB, SB

Michael Suchy, RF – 2-for-6, 2B

Taylor Gushue, C – 3-for-8

Game Notes: Tyler Eppler had his worst start in seven pro outings, giving up five earned runs in five innings. Prior to this outing, he had a 3.12 ERA in 26 innings, with a 15:5 K/BB ratio. Kevin Ross raised his average to .348, although he still hasn’t drawn a walk this year. He is starting to show some power, with six doubles in his last eight games. Jordan Luplow extended his hitting streak to eight games. Carl Anderson stole three bases, giving him 11 in 14 attempts this year.



Box Score

Result: Danville 7, Bristol 5

Starting Pitcher: Mervin Del Rosario, LHP – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tomas Morales, C – 2-for-5, 2 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Eduardo Figueroa, CF – 2-for-5

Jerrick Suiter, 1B – 0-for-2, 3 BB

Nick Buckner, DH – 0-for-3, 2 BB

Jon Sandfort, RHP – 4.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Jon Sandfort has a lot of promise and upside with his arm, but hasn’t been putting up the results this year. He’s been struggling lately, and has been coming out of the bullpen over his last two appearances. On the season he has an 11.42 ERA in 17.1 innings, with a 15:3 K/BB ratio. He’s not giving up many walks or homers, but is getting hit a ton, with a .452 BAA. Nick Buckner lost his seven game hitting streak, but picked up two walks and has an .855 OPS in his last ten games.



Box Score

Result: Tigers 7, Pirates 3

Starting Pitcher: Mitch Keller, RHP – 3.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Carlos Munoz, 1B – 2-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Trey Supak, RHP – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: The second round picks for the Pirates went today, continuing to piggyback on the same day. The outings this time weren’t as good as the previous two appearances. Keller gave up two runs in three innings, while Supak gave up three runs in four innings. Both pitchers had good strikeout numbers. Carlos Munoz hit his second homer of the year. He’s a very interesting first base prospect, mostly due to his amazing ability to get on base. He’s got a .447 OBP, thanks to his advanced plate patience and a 6:17 K/BB ratio. He’s a big kid, and if he can get some power out of his frame, he could be a prospect.



Box Score

Result: Rangers 5, Pirates 4

Starting Pitcher: Nestor Oronel, LHP – 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Raul Siri, 2B – 1-for-4, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Edison Lantigua, LF – 2-for-4, 2B

Luis Perez, SS – 3-for-4

Game Notes: The Pirates lost 5-4 on Friday to drop to 18-24 on the season, as the league takes off the weekend for the DSL All-Star game. The Pirates will have two representatives in the game, second baseman Raul Siri and starting pitcher Yeudy Garcia. Siri gave the Pirates an early lead with a two-run homer in the first inning.His .969 OPS is the fifth best in the league. Shortstop Luis Perez had a strong day, collecting three hits and driving in two runs. Edison Lantigua had two hits, including his tenth double. He received the third highest bonus among international players last year, signing for $275K. Lantigua goes into the All-Star break with a .292 batting average, 14 extra-base hits and 20 walks in 32 games. – John Dreker

You can check out the DSL Pirates week six 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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Time to see if Jones can handle A+ pitching – 40+ games to go – should be able to get 100+ ABs. Think he is a bit behind schedule – but if he has a decent run he might be able to make the leap to Altoona next year.


Oh, I forgot to mention, Locke probably will be sent down when Cole returns, only because of the options deal, certainly won’t have anything to do with what they think of him, I can’t see them sticking him in the Pen and glad I am not the one that would have to tell him to head to Indy, maybe someone will go on the DL before that decision has to be made or maybe a trade.


Which is another reason that trading for Ian Kennedy or any other starter makes little sense – if you have to send the guy who is pitching the best on your staff to the farm because of “other” issues why would you complicate this situation even more?


Sampson reminds me of a right handed version of Jeff Locke. Speaking of Locke, I would not exclude him from any future Pirate rotation, the Pirates (Huntington) likes him a lot.

Lee Young

Siri gave the Pirates an early lead with a two-run homer in the first inning.

The ‘voice’ is now a Pirate prospect??? KEWL!!!!

Lee Young

JCJ… At this point he’s probably not looking at a promotion to Altoona until mid-2015 anyway, so there’s no harm keeping him down and letting him work on the area of his game that should be the more important focus at this point.

Agree completely. Will be interesting to see how his defense looks by the end of the year.


I just noticed, silly me, that Brandon Cumpton is not on your top 20 list, and Sampson is number 11 on the list. If Sampson is significantly better than Cumpton, who has shown that he can have success at the major league level, then Sampson a better prospect than I had realized. That is pretty darn good prospect depth at starting pitching.

Lee Young

I saw Sampson last week. I am no scout, but he has a helluva changeup.


Ah. That explains it. I always had the impression that they had pretty similar upsides.

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