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Friday, December 9, 2022

Prospect Watch: JaCoby Jones and Adrian Sampson Continue Breakout Seasons


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 – 1-for-5, 2B

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 1-for-4, BB

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS/2B, Altoona – 2-for-5, 3B

6. Josh Bell, RF, Altoona – 2-for-5

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

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates – 2-for-5, 2B, 2 BB

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 4-for-5, 2B, 3B

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

14. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, BB

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – DNP

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 – 0-for-3, 2 BB

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP


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Top Pitcher: Cody Dickson, LHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, DH – 4-for-5, 2B, 3B

Home Runs: Andy Vasquez (9), Henrry Rosario (2), Pablo Reyes (2)



Box Score

Result: Rochester 11, Indianapolis 4

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 5.0 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Tabata, RF – 1-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Andrew Lambo, LF – 1-for-3, BB

John Holdzkom, RHP – 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Andy Oliver, LHP – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: John Holdzkom continued his impressive run with Indianapolis, and now has a 3.29 ERA in 13.2 innings in Triple-A, with a 17:5 K/BB ratio. Meanwhile, Andy Oliver went in the opposite direction, giving up three runs on two hits and three walks in one inning. Oliver has been doing a much better job with his control, walking 13 in 26.1 innings since the start of June, before issuing three walks tonight.



Box Score

Result: Reading 3, Altoona 2

Starting Pitcher: Adrian Sampson, RHP – 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Andy Vasquez, LF – 1-for-5, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, 2B – 2-for-5, 3B

Josh Bell, RF – 2-for-5, SB

Game Notes: Andy Vasquez hit his ninth homer of the year, and his second in as many days. Alen Hanson had two hits, extending his hitting streak to nine games. His triple was the 11th of the year. Josh Bell also had two hits, and now has a .366 average in 41 at-bats over his last ten games. Adrian Sampson had another good outing, giving up one earned run in seven innings. That was the fourth time he went at least seven innings with one or fewer earned runs over his last six starts.



Box Score

Result: Jupiter 5, Bradenton 3

Starting Pitcher: Jason Creasy, RHP – 6.0 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Jin-De Jhang, C – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Walker Gourley, RF – 2-for-4, BB

Jose Osuna, 1B – 2-for-3, BB

Game Notes: Jose Osuna continued his recent hot streak. He now has a 1.043 OPS in 34 at-bats over his last ten starts, and an OPS over .800 since the start of July. Jason Creasy has done a good job of limiting walks this year, with just two walks in 59 innings over his last ten outings. Lately he has struggled with limiting hits. He has given up eight runs on 21 hits in 12.2 innings over his last two outings.



Box Score

Result: West Virginia 2, Asheville 1

Starting Pitcher: Cody Dickson, LHP – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, DH – 4-for-5, 2B, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Austin Meadows, CF – 1-for-5, 2B

Game Notes: One night after hitting his 17th homer of the year, JaCoby Jones came a home run shy of the cycle. He picked up four hits, including his 21st double of the year and his second triple. Jones now has a .288/.349/.479 line in 399 at-bats this season in West Virginia, along with a system-high 17 homers. Austin Meadows continued his recent power surge with a double. He’s got two doubles and two homers in his last four games. Cody Dickson is quietly having a strong second half. After tonight’s outing, he has a 2.61 ERA in 51.2 innings over his last ten starts, with a 40:21 K/BB ratio. Tonight was the second time that he struck out seven batters in a start during that span.



Box Score

Result: Connecticut 5, Jamestown 3

Starting Pitcher: Montana DuRapau, RHP – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Taylor Gushue, C – 3-for-5, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Luplow, LF – 2-for-5, 2 2B

Elvis Escobar, CF – 2-for-4, BB

Game Notes: It wasn’t necessarily a bad outing for Montana DuRapau, but compared to his other starts, this one wasn’t the best. He’s got a 2.85 ERA in 41 innings this year, with a 33:6 K/BB ratio. Taylor Gushue picked up his 12th double of the year. Jordan Luplow hit two doubles, giving him eight on the year, with five in his last six games. Elvis Escobar has a .389/.450/.417 line in 36 at-bats over his last ten games.



Box Score

Result: Kingsport 16, Bristol 10

Starting Pitcher: Junior Lopez, RHP – 2.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B – 2-for-3, HR, 2 BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jerrick Suiter, RF – 2-for-5

Nick Buckner, DH – 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB

Game Notes: The Bristol offense scored a lot of runs thanks to nine walks, with their walk total out-numbering their seven hits on the night. PAblo Reyes hit his second homer of the year, and added two of the walks. Unfortunately, the pitching was worse than the offense. Jon Sandfort gave up six runs in one inning of work, while Jess Amedee also gave up six runs, without pitching a full inning.



Game One Box Score

Result: Pirates 4, Yankees 3

Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal, RHP – 4.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

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

Other Notable Performers:

Cole Tucker, SS – 2-for-3, 2B, BB, SB

Carlos Munoz, 1B – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Cole Tucker reached base three times in game one. Henrry Rosario hit his second homer of the year, continuing to capitalize on the playing time with Michael De La Cruz out. Most of the stats in this game were completed back in July, before the game was suspended until a later date.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Pirates 6, Yankees 2

Starting Pitcher: Nick Hutchings, RHP – 3.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Bealyn Chourio, 3B – 2-for-3, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Henrry Rosario, CF – 1-for-3, BB

Sam Kennelly, 2B – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Cole Tucker only had a walk in game two, but now has a .282/.349/.487 line in 39 at-bats over his last ten games. He’s got a .375 OBP this season. Sam Kennelly has five multi-hit games in his last eight games. Julio Vivas came on in relief of Nick Hutchings, and threw four perfect innings, with three strikeouts.



Box Score

Result: Rangers 7, Pirates 4

Starting Pitcher: Jherson Esqueda, RHP – 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

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

Other Notable Performers:

Victor Fernandez, CF – 2-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: The DSL Pirates lost 7-4 to the Rangers2 on Friday, dropping them to 28-31 on the season. Starter Jherson Esqueda allowed three runs over 4.2 innings and Mister Luciano took the loss with two runs allowed over his 1.1 innings. Jhoan Herrera had two hits and drove in two runs. Victor Fernandez had two hits, including his ninth double. Fernandez picked up his 11th stolen base of the year and Sandy Santos stole his ninth base. Santos is hitting .333 in his last nine games. Luis Perez went 1-for-3 with a walk. He is hitting .450 in his last seven games and he has a .326 average this year. With 13 games left in the season, the Pirates are facing playoff elimination, trailing by 10.5 games in the wildcard chase. – John Dreker

You can check out the DSL Pirates week nine 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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Jones looks to me like a guy that would be a good 3rd basemen, If I had him, that is where I would put him, they have some talented SS in the system, but not a lot of 3rd basemen with power.


Problem is that his bat likely doesn’t play well at any position other than SS. Adjust his stats for his age and the league he is in, and he really isn’t hitting all that well. Hopefully he can improve as he moves up.


do you think that maybe that is why the Bucs put him at SS..

Pretty good athlete – and shows some pop in his bat – not impressive at the corners – but might be able to sneak into a middle infield spot if he can get to the majors.


Is Creasy having hard contact with all these hits against him or is it not so good D-fence behind him? The game notes section said that he is giving up a lot of hits recently. Just wondering if it’s a case of pitch to contact and not so good D behind him or Creasy just getting hammered. that makes a little difference.


Will be interesting to see if the Bucs push Jones to Altoona next year – he is older than average for high A I think – would be an aggressive move – but think they have done it before

Erik Masucci

They should he’s way to old for the low A league he’s in now, which is one reason I wouldn’t consider this a breakout year. As a 22 year old major college junior draftee he should absolutely destroy that league. Most of the competition is 18-20


J. Jones is the prime reason I feel a.hanson is a leading candidate as the key piece for any trades the pirates come up with. (If any)I realize the pirates have recently moved him to 2nd, however if the right trade comes along that does not preclude him from being moved. While the middle infield prospects are not as deep as the outfield or pitching ( or catcher for that matter)it is a position of strength the pirates could deal from if they chose to do so without mortgaging the future.

Lee Young

I like what Jones is doing, but foogive me if I don’t get excited about a 22 yr old in A ball with a 30/118 W/K slash line in 445 PAs.

As he goes higher, better pitchers will eat that up.


Lee: Same for Erich Weiss who will turn 23 in Sep and is still at Lo A. We traded Morris to the Marlins for their Competitive Balance pick in 2015 which is No. 39. We traded Dickerson to the Indians for a PTBNL – what’s the chances we get their Competitive Balance Pick which would be No. 43 or 44? Dickerson has been starting regularly for Cleveland and today played CF and went 1 for 4 in their win. They also had some young LHSP drafted in later Rounds in 2013 – Sean Brady at No. 5 and Thomas Pannone at No. 9. Brady was an overaged HS kid who is already 20 – the Indians gave him over $800K, so no chance we get him, but Pannone, 20, had a year in JUCO and could be a nice fit to replace Taylor who we sent to the Mets in the Ike Davis trade. Taylor is still struggling with control 18 W in 28 IP.


Yes, Jones is a college hitter, who is older than average for the South Atlantic League.


Point granted, that’s also what makes him a more likely trade candidate. That is if the pirates go the trade route. If they do trade a player of hansons caliber it will be during the off season. Main reason being, I just don’t see anybody that the pirates need and would be available via waivers that is worth that high of a prospect.


True. At this point he is a borderline prospect. We shouldn’t forget that Hanson at the same level had a much higher OPS, had far less K’s per AB and more walks. And Hanson was 2.5 years YOUNGER at that point than Jones is now. (In fact, Hanson right now is 6 months younger than Jones and playing two levels higher.) Hanson continues to be a much better prospect than Jones.


The numbers favor Hanson – and maybe I am wrong – but the errors show a lack of focus – and the benchings show attitude problems. Jones appears to be the anti Hanson on those dimensions. So maybe Hanson is “better” – but I am not buying “much better”

Lukas Sutton

Much better is pretty easy since he is younger and facing much better talent with good results. Your issue seems to stem with his lack of focus, which leads to his troubles with errors (most of his errors come on routine looking plays) and his issues with benching (benched for lack of hustle). That is an issue to be worried about, but even with that he is a much better player right now than Jones. The power is great from Jones, but his overall work makes him a C type prospect.

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