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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Prospect Watch: Is Luis Heredia Starting to Show Improvements?


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 – 0-for-4

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 0-for-4

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS/2B, Altoona – DNP

6. Josh Bell, RF, Altoona – DNP

7. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – Disabled List (7/24 Update)

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates – 0-for-5, 3 K

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-3, BB, SB

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – In Majors

14. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – DNP

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, GCL Pirates – 3-for-4

17. Trey Supak, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

18. Buddy Borden, RHP, West Virginia  – DNP

19. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – DNP

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP


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Top Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jacob Stallings, C – 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB

Home Runs: None



Indianapolis was off today.



Altoona was off today.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 5, St. Lucie 4

Starting Pitcher: John Kuchno, RHP – 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jacob Stallings, C – 2-for-3, 2 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Steranka, 1B – 2-for-4

Eric Wood, 3B – 2-for-3, 2B, BB

Justin Maffei, CF – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: John Kuchno had an impressive streak going where he reached the 7th inning in five of his last six starts. That changed tonight when he couldn’t make it out of the third inning, giving up three runs in the frame. He’s got a 3.49 ERA after tonight’s appearance. The Marauders were going up against Daisuke Matsuzaka, who threw three shutout innings. The Marauders offense scored five runs off the next pitcher. Eric Wood had his 23rd double of the year. He’s got an .871 OPS in 151 at-bats in the second half, with 14 doubles. Jhondaniel Medina hasn’t given up an earned run since the end of April, spanning 33 innings. He’s got 19 hits allowed in that span, and 27 strikeouts, but also 19 walks.



Box Score

Result: Augusta 2, West Virginia 1

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-3, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Edwin Espinal, DH – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Luis Heredia has been showing some much better results lately. He has a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings over his last three starts, with a 10:5 K/BB ratio. Heredia’s walk rate has been much better lately, with two walks or less in his last six outings. He has nine walks in 36.1 innings during that stretch. One of the big issues with Heredia’s injuries and his time missed the last two years is that he hasn’t had a chance to develop at one level. Guys like Nick Kingham, Clay Holmes, and Tyler Glasnow have benefitted from full seasons at West Virginia over the last few years, seeing a lot of improvements in the second half. You hope that this is what is going on with Heredia lately, as his time in West Virginia so far has been disappointing up until lately. Heredia just turned 20 on Sunday.



Box Score

Result: Jamestown 10, Aberdeen 5

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 3.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Francisco Aponte, 3B – 3-for-5, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

David Andriese, 1B – 1-for-3, 2 BB

Jordan Luplow, RF – 1-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Austin Coley made his third start since returning from an injury back in June. This was the first outing where he went three full innings, as he has been slowly building up since his return. Coley gave up two runs on six hits, but struck out five, doubling his strikeout total on the season. Jordan Luplow hit his 9th double of the season.



Game One Box Score

Result: Elizabethton 2, Bristol 0

Starting Pitcher: Jake Burnette, RHP – 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jerrick Suiter, 1B – 1-for-3

Other Notable Performers:

Jon Sandfort, RHP – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: The Bristol offense only had two hits in game one. Jake Burnette made his second rehab start with Bristol. This was one of his best rehab starts in seven appearances this year between the GCL and Bristol. It was only the second time out of seven starts where he didn’t give up a run per inning or more. Burnette is returning from shoulder surgery last year.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Bristol 4, Elizabethton 0

Starting Pitcher: Hector Garcia, LHP – 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Eduardo Figueroa, CF – 2-for-3, 2B, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-3, 3B

Luis Paula, RHP – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Hector Garcia has been having a good year, with a 3.13 ERA in 37.1 innings over ten starts, along with a 40:15 K/BB ratio. He’s a lefty in the lower levels, so he does come with a disclaimer that his stuff might not translate over to the upper levels. For now he’s looking good, and should continue getting a shot in the rotation, especially after more starts like tonight’s outing.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 6, Blue Jays 0

Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Henrry Rosario, DH – 2-for-5, 2B, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Tito Polo, RF – 2-for-4, BB

Julio De La Cruz, 3B – 2-for-5, 2B

Michael De La Cruz, CF – 3-for-4

Game Notes: Michael De La Cruz got in his second game during the month of August, picking up three hits in the process. Tito Polo continued his impressive season with two more hits and a walk. He now has a .288/.372/.472 line in 125 at-bats. Dario Agrazal has been outstanding this year in the GCL, with a 2.83 ERA in 41.1 innings, along with a 27:4 K/BB ratio. He works primarily with a 90-93 MPH fastball.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 8, Phillies 5

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

Top Hitter: Jhoan Herrera, 1B – 4-for-5, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Raul Siri, 2B – 3-for-5, 2B

Victor Fernandez, LF – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: The DSL Pirates won 8-5 over the Phillies, as two of their bigger name players returned to the lineup. All-Star second baseman Raul Siri injured his right hand last Monday and was limited to one pinch-running appearance the rest of the week. He picked up right where he left off, going 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Left fielder Edison Lantigua missed eight games due to sickness and dehydration. He went 0-for-3 in his return, getting three at-bats in the designated hitter spot before leaving the game, which was a scheduled departure. Lantigua was replaced by Jesus Ronco, who has been out since early July. He was serving in a bench role, so his loss didn’t affect the team like the other two players. Starting pitcher Nestor Oronel had a great outing, giving up an unearned run on just one hit, no walks and he hit a batter. He has been having a tough rookie season, posting a 1.71 WHIP and opponents are hitting .350 against him in 13 starts. – John Dreker

You can check out the DSL Pirates week ten 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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Aaron Shriver

What is Heredia’s velocity like these days?


MDLC getting accustomed to life in the States. It should be fun to see him and Tucker linked together. Their birthdays are 7 days apart. Both turned 18 in July making this their 17 year old seasons.

Lee Young

I have been down on Heredia, maybe more than most, but at least this may be a glimmer of hope?


I think it’s easy to lose perspective on Heredia because it seems like he’s been around for ever, but he’s always been very young for the level he’s pitched at–hell, he’s still very young for full-season A ball. He’s just turned 20; he’s got a lot of time to find himself.


exactly, plus missing so much time to injuries. It will be nice to see him get a full year in and not have to worry about rehabbing an injury in the off season. He was my preseason breakout candidate, so I am a little biased.

John Dreker

He’s the youngest pitcher on WV and only four position players are younger than him, two of them by less than a month. I think the problem is that his resume/scouting report/bonus suggested that he should be further along and better than he is right now. He was being projected as a top of the rotation pitcher, but four years after he signed, his numbers are okay in low-A ball, definitely nothing special. He has the size/arm to be a workhorse, top of the rotation starter, but he hasn’t shown that. Hopefully this is him going in the right direction, but you still have to remember that he has 32 strikeouts in 72.2 innings this year. That 4.0/9IP rate puts him 56th among the 58 Pirates pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched this year and only Joan Montero has a worse SO/BB rate(1.03) among pitches with more than 50 IP. If we are just talking about a random pitcher, then you say he has some potential due to his age/size/arm, but Heredia isn’t just a random pitcher, so he gets judged according to his bonus/hype.


It’s nice to see Jacob Stallings name popping up a lot here recently. I always liked him. I know that his bat isn’t strong but he has some good D behind the plate.

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