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Friday, December 9, 2022

Prospect Watch: Willy Garcia Continues Power Surge, Austin Meadows Heating Up


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 – 3-for-4, 2 2B

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – DNP

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 – DNP

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 0-for-4

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

14. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-5, 2B

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 – 1-for-4, BB

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP


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Top Pitcher: Gerrit Cole, RHP – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas, DH – 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, BB, SB

Home Runs: Willy Garcia (17), Gift Ngoepe (9)



Box Score

Result: Indianapolis 10, Rochester 0

Starting Pitcher: Gerrit Cole, RHP – 6.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas, DH – 3-for-4, 2B, 3B, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Chase d’Arnaud, CF – 2-for-5, 2 SB

Andrew Lambo, RF-LF – 2-for-5, 2B

Tony Sanchez, C – 3-for-3, 2 BB

Brandon Cumpton, RHP – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Game Notes: Gerrit Cole made his third rehab start with Indianapolis, and the numbers looked much better than the last time around. His velocity was still down a tick, working in the low-to-mid 90s, rather than the mid-to-upper 90s range where he usually sits. Last time he said his velocity was lowered intentionally. The key with Cole’s rehab will be how he feels following this start, as he said he felt “brutal” after the first outing. Brandon Cumpton pitched an inning in relief for the first time this season with Indianapolis, and could be moving to a bullpen role for the Pirates. Mel Rojas had his second straight three hit game. He’s got a .947 OPS in his last ten games. Andrew Lambo hit his 18th double of the year.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 13, Reading 2

Starting Pitcher: Tom Harlan, LHP – 5.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Willy Garcia, RF – 3-for-5, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Drew Maggi, LF – 3-for-5

Keon Broxton, CF – 2-for-4

Gift Ngoepe, SS – 1-for-4, HR

Game Notes: Willy Garcia hit his 17th homer of the year. That’s one more than he hit last year in the FSL, and in 74 fewer at-bats. His career high in a season was 18 in 2012 with West Virginia, where he had 84 more at-bats. Garcia also has 26 doubles on the year, which beats the career high of 21 that he set last year. Overall his power has been way up this year, which is encouraging when you consider the difficult jump he made to Double-A. Gift Ngoepe hit his 9th homer of the year. That matches his career high of nine homers, set in 2012 in Bradenton over the span of 456 at-bats. He has 374 at-bats this season for Altoona.



Box Score

Result: Bradenton 2, St. Lucie 1

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Justin Howard, LF – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

Jin-De Jhang, C – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Game Notes: Chad Kuhl has a 3.43 ERA in 131.1 innings this year, with an 84:35 K/BB ratio and a 1.76 GO/AO ratio. He bounced back from a poor start last time, which was mostly due to defensive problems behind him. Kuhl had the ground ball working for him tonight, with a 10:3 GO/AO ratio. He’s got a 2.47 ERA in 54.2 innings over his last ten starts. Max Moroff hit his 27th double of the year, which is nine more than he hit in a full season in West Virginia last year. Moroff currently leads the Pirates’ minor league system in doubles.



Box Score

Result: Asheville 5, West Virginia 3

Starting Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Austin Meadows, CF – 3-for-4, 2 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Wyatt Mathisen, 3B – 1-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Austin Meadows is starting to really heat up at the plate in West Virginia. He hit two doubles today, giving him four doubles and two homers in his last six games, with hits in all six games. It’s a small sample size, but he has a .351/.390/.489 line in 94 at-bats this season, thanks in large part to an OPS over 1.000 in his last ten games. These are the types of numbers you hoped for out of Meadows this season before his injury limited his time in West Virginia. He will most likely return to West Virginia next year, but if he keeps this up, he might move up to Bradenton at some point, rather than spending the usual full season in low-A.



Box Score

Result: Aberdeen 10, Jamestown 4

Starting Pitcher: Alex McRae, RHP – 3.1 IP, 11 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 2 HR

Top Hitter: Michael Suchy, RF – 2-for-4, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Carl Anderson, DH – 2-for-4

Kevin Ross, 1B – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

Game Notes: Alex McRae had his worst start of the season tonight, giving up eight runs in 3.1 innings. Prior to this, he only had one start where he gave up more than three runs. He gave up two home runs, after giving up just one in his first 45.1 innings. He also walked two and struck out none, after having a 33:7 K/BB ratio on the year. Overall, this just wasn’t his night.



Bristol was postponed due to rain.



The GCL Pirates were off today.



The DSL Pirates were off today.

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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Looks like Cumpton will eventually fill out the major league bullpen. It shows how little management thinks of Andy Oliver and Mazzaro.


No- it shows how much management thinks of roster flexibility given we are still a player down. Oliver and Mazzaro have none since they have no options and aren’t on thr 40 man, you’ll see them both on Sept. 1st


If McGuire and Jones are moving up to Bradenton so will Meadows. He won’t be back in West Virginia next year as he needs to be challenged on offense or defense.


Get Meadows some AB’s in fall/winter ball and if he stays healthy through spring training, Bradenton should be where he goes

Matt Beam

Rojas make next yrs team out of ST?


Without a change to the Super 2 rules, I would doubt it.


We won’t be concerned about a “non-impact” player like Rojas for Super two status. Much like they weren’t worried about Walker a few years ago.

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