Morning Report: Highlights of Alen Hanson, Josh Bell, Austin Meadows and More From Friday

Today’s morning report consists of highlights from Friday’s Fall Instructional League game. The Pittsburgh Pirates “defeated” the Phillies with a lineup that consisted of Alen Hanson, Austin Meadows and Josh Bell in the top three spots. Dario Agrazal Jr started the game and he was followed later by Shane Carle, Angel Sanchez, Jerry Mulderig and Jake Burnette. The other Pirates team played a road game against the Blue Jays.

Josh Bell at first base today (Photo Credit: Mike Farnham)
Josh Bell at first base today (Photo Credit: Mike Farnham)

We have videos courtesy of the Fall Instructional League fan page, with more videos from Friday down in the highlight section. We will have more videos from this game over the next few days, basically until we get more FIL videos. For the complete list of rosters and the Pirates FIL schedule, check out the link here. Josh Bell, Elias Diaz and Dan Gamache were all in the lineup today. In just over a week, they will be heading to the Arizona Fall League, along with pitchers Tyler Glasnow, Adrian Sampson, Nick Kingham, Thomas Harlan and Joely Rodriguez. The AFL starts on October 7th. Some of the other players will be heading to winter ball in various places over the next couple weeks.

As for the game on Friday, the Pirates had their bats working in the first inning. After Alen Hanson grounded out to first base, Austin Meadows started the Pirates on their way to nine runs on the day. First up in the highlights is a drive the other way by Meadows for a triple. The camera follows Meadows around the bases, so you get a sense of his speed, which looks about average.

Meadows was followed by Josh Bell, who was batting left-handed and he too went the other way. Bell jumped on the first pitch he saw and picked up the RBI while recording a stand-up double.

Willy Garcia was in the clean-up spot and he continued the trend of going the other way for an extra-base hit. Garcia drove home Bell with the second run for the Pirates and the second triple of the inning. Elias Diaz was the next batter and he walked on four pitches(I don’t think we need to see that video).

In the second inning, Tito Polo led off and grounded out. He was out on the play, but the reason I’m posting this video is so you can see his speed down the line.

We have another extra-base hit as Alen Hanson drives one to the fence in his second at-bat. Jose Osuna(who was batting ninth) scored the run.

Hanson was followed by Meadows, who drew a walk, showing a good eye on one close pitch. Josh Bell was up next and the Pirates tried a double steal. Hanson was safe, but Meadows was thrown out. Bell struck out swinging to end the second inning.

The next video is one of interest on defense. With Agrazal pitching, the batter hits a slow bouncer to Alen Hanson, who throws on to Josh Bell with the stretch at first base.

How about a second play from that combo that works out much better and is a much more difficult play for Hanson.

If you haven’t had enough of extra-base hits from top prospects, here is a stand-up triple from Alen Hanson.

The final video is the third plate appearance for Austin Meadows. He drives in Hanson with a sacrifice fly. Josh Bell followed him with a first pitch ground out to second base.

We will have more videos from this game, including an at-bat from Michael de la Cruz, in the highlights section over the next few days.

Pirates Game Graph


Source: FanGraphs

Playoff Push

Pittsburgh: The Pirates clinched a playoff spot on Tuesday night. They are one game behind St. Louis for the NL Central lead. They are two games ahead of San Francisco for the first Wild Card spot. Pittsburgh holds the home field advantage if the two teams should finish tied, so they clinched at least a home field advantage in the Wild Card game.

Today’s Schedule

Today’s Starter and Notes:  The Pirates won 3-1 over the Reds on Friday night. Francisco Liriano is scheduled to pitch this afternoon. He has made 28 starts this season, including four against the Reds. He has a 4.32 ERA against Cincinnati in 25 innings this year. In his last start, Liriano threw six shutout innings. He has given up one run in 26 innings this month. You can read the DSL season recap here complete with scouting reports for each player and the top ten players to watch list can be found here. The Indianapolis season recap and top ten. The Altoona season recap and top ten. Bradenton recap and top ten and the West Virginia recap and top ten.

MLB: Pittsburgh (88-72)  @ Cincinnati (74-86) 1:05 PM
Probable starter: Francisco Liriano (3.32 ERA, 170:76 K/BB, 157.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (73-71)

AA: Altoona (61-81)

High-A: Bradenton (78-61)

Low-A: West Virginia (54-81)

Short-Season A: Jamestown (35-40)

RK: Bristol (22-46)

GCL: Pirates (20-40)

DSL: Pirates (34-36)

Highlights

From the Fall Instructional League today, Dario Agrazal Jr. warming up in the bullpen before his start. Agrazal hits 91 MPH with his fastball from a clean and easy delivery that he learned from his father, who was a long-time pitcher in Panama and is now a respected pitching coach.

The second video from the bullpen is lefty Cody Dickson, who spent the entire season in the West Virginia rotation. He did not pitch on Friday.

Recent Transactions

9/24: Pirates claim Chaz Roe from New York Yankees. Place Charlie Morton on 60-day disabled list.

9/16: Pirates activate Charlie Morton from disabled list.

9/8: Pirates release Ernesto Frieri.

9/7: Michael Martinez and Chris McGuiness clear waivers and were outrighted to Indianapolis.

9/2: Pirates recall Gregory Polanco, Jeff Locke, John Holdzkom, Casey Sadler and Bobby LaFromboise.

9/2: Chase d’Arnaud added to 40-man roster and promoted to Pittsburgh. Michael Martinez designated for assignment.

9/1: Pirates recall Gerrit Cole and Tony Sanchez. Stolmy Pimentel activated from the disabled list

9/1: Pirates designate Chris McGuiness for assignment. John Holdzkom added to 40-man roster.

This Date in Pirates History

Seven former Pittsburgh Pirates players have been born on this date, including a member of the 1909 World Series champs.

Alan Storke played infield for the Pirates from 1906 until 1909. He wasn’t around during the World Series, as Pittsburgh traded him to the Cardinals in August for third baseman Bobby Byrne. Storke was dealt to the Reds the following February, right before tragedy struck. During a lung operation in March, he passed away at the age of 25. He hit .255 in 218 games for the Pirates.

Vin Mazzaro, pitcher for the 2013-14 Pirates. He had a 2.89 ERA in 84 innings over 62 appearances with the Pirates. Despite the success, he was let go after the 2014 season. He pitched a total of eight seasons in the majors, seeing time with five teams.

Pedro Ciriaco, shortstop for the 2010-11 Pirates. He hit .333 in 31 games. He played with five teams over six seasons in the majors, hitting .268 in 272 games.

Dave Wickersham, reliever for the 1968 Pirates. Had a 3.48 ERA in 20.2 innings over 11 appearances. He won 68 games over ten seasons in the majors, beginning his career with the Kansas City Athletics and ending with the Kansas City Royals.

Dick Hall, pitcher for the 1955-57 and 1959 Pirates. He had a 4.57 ERA in 23 starts and 21 relief appearances. Hall pitched 175.1 innings for Pittsburgh and 1,259.2 innings over his 16-year career.

Dick Lanahan, lefty pitcher for the 1940-41 Pirates. In eight starts and 39 relief outings, he had a 4.35 ERA. Pirates sold him to the White Sox in May, 1941, though he never played in the majors again after leaving the Pirates.

Marty Lang, lefty pitcher for the 1930 Pirates. In two games, he had a 54.00 ERA, giving up 10 runs in 1.2 innings. Spent eight seasons in the minors.

Doug Baird, utility player for the 1915-17 Pirates. Hit .223 in 316 games, spending time at five different positions. Was traded to the Cardinals in June, 1917 for pitcher Bob Steele.

On this date in 1992, the Pittsburgh Pirates won their third straight National League East title. Danny Jackson helped the Pirates to a 4-2 win over the Mets, as they moved to 93-63 on the season. Jay Bell drove in two runs and Barry Bonds collected his 101st RBI of the season. Here’s the boxscore.

  • Looks like they really settled Josh Bell’s swing down. That seemed to be the big knock on him but he looks pretty quiet in the box now.

    • His batting stance has changed a lot to the point it seems different every time I see it. He did hit that double, but the rest of the game wasn’t good. Two strikeouts swinging and a ground out on the first pitch. He was up there hacking yesterday

  • I remember Dick Hall. He had one of the funkiest pitching motions that you’ll ever see!!

    • Hall is one of the oldest living former Bucs at 84 today. Bobby Shantz, who was mentioned yesterday, turned 89. A handful of former players are in their 90’s

  • Thanks John, Great Stuff! Are you at the games or are you picking video up elsewhere. Want to make sure I meet you.

    • The videos are from the person that runs the Facebook page listed above. He also did the GCL videos we used throughout the year. I’m just the video coordinator. He sends me the lineups prior to the game, I give him the best video targets. I’ll probably be there during Spring Training, maybe even the winter mini-camp or both.

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