Prospect Highlights: A.J. Morris, Cole Tucker and More From Thursday’s GCL Game

Today we have multiple highlights from yesterday’s GCL Pirates 10-1 win over the Braves. I’ll briefly go through the players and let the videos do most of the talking, because there are a lot of players here to take a look at. All videos are courtesy of the GCL Pirates fan page.

A.J. Morris threw three shutout innings in his fourth rehab appearance. He was pitching great for Altoona and then Indianapolis, until a forearm strain landed him on the disabled list in late June. During his rehab, Morris has given up two runs on four hits and a walk, with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

Cole Tucker rips a single in this video below, one of two hits on the day. He also scored three runs and drove in a run. Tucker was in a bad slump after starting his career off fast. He has hit better recently, batting .293 with an .843 OPS in his last ten games. On the season, he has a .255/.364/.345 slash line in 110 at-bats.

Nelson Jorge, the Pirates seventh round pick this year, hit his second double of the season, which is shown in the video below. His start to his pro career has been disappointing, posting a .158/.270/.242 slash line in 95 at-bats, with 44 strikeouts. The 18-year-old(turns 19 in December) was drafted as a shortstop, but has mostly played second base.

Sam Kennelly is another 18-year-old shortstop that has been seeing more of his time at another position, splitting the second base duties with Jorge. Kennelly drove in two runs yesterday, one of them coming on the single below that scored Cole Tucker. Kennelly is hitting .302/.397/.365 in 18 games.

Finally, we have speedy outfielder Eric Thomas Jr., who is hitting .222/.300/.222 through 19 games. He was drafted in the 21st round this year, described as a raw player on the small side, with outstanding speed and he also pitched well, so the arm is solid. Thomas is old for the draft class, turning 19 back in March and he hasn’t really showed off the skills, with no outfield assists and he is 3-for-5 in steals. He will be given time to develop and hopefully he can hit enough that his plus-plus speed becomes a weapon he can use.

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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