The Scottsdale Scorpions sent Tyler Glasnow to the mound on Saturday afternoon, going up against Peoria, who was throwing Kyle Zimmer out there as his mound opponent. Recent scouting reports on the AFL, called Glasnow and Zimmer the two best looking pitchers in the league. Zimmer left the game after just one inning and pitch tracker had his fastball slower than normal, so the hyped match-up didn’t last long. Josh Bell and Dan Gamache were both in the starting lineup, as Scottsdale lost 4-3 in 11 innings to move to 5-6 on the season. They are off on Sunday.
Glasnow started the first inning by allowing an infield single. One pitch later, he allowed a line drive single to center field. Glasnow walked the third batter, but not before he picked off the runner at second base. He threw a wild pitch on a curve ball in the dirt after the walk, to advance both runners. On a 95 MPH fastball, Glasnow got the fourth place hitter to line to right field, which ended up being a double play with the lead runner out at home. He gave up two hits, a walk and threw a wild pitch, yet didn’t allow a run. He was 93-95 MPH with his fastball and threw four curves(76-79), three going for balls and one called strike.
The second inning started with a ground out to Dan Gamache on the first pitch. He got the second batter to strike out looking on a curve. Glasnow threw his first change-up this at-bat, resulting in a foul ball. He picked up his second strikeout to retire the side in order, this time swinging on a 93 MPH fastball. Glasnow threw just ten pitches in the inning, but again had trouble with the curve, throwing one of four for a strike.
Glasnow allowed a sharp single to center field on a curve to begin the third inning. He got the next batter swinging on a 93 MPH fastball. The third hitter reached on a bunt single, the fourth hit allowed by Glasnow. That batter was quickly erased on a double play started by Gamache to end the inning. Glasnow threw 15 pitches that frame, 11 of them were fastballs. That was the end of his outing. His fastball was mostly 93-95 MPH and he threw just one change-up all game. He threw a total of 38 pitches, 22 for strikes.
Josh Bell was at first base again and batting fourth. He came up in the first with two outs and a man on third base. Bell battled, fouling off three pitches, but he ended up grounding out to second base to end the inning. Bell also ended the third inning with a ground out to second base, this time with a man on second base. In the sixth inning, he hit his fourth double of the AFL season and came around to score Scottsdale’s second run. In the eight inning, Bell grounded out to second base for the third time.
If Bell had a game plan to ground out to second base as much as possible, he accomplished that goal with his fourth ground ball to second in the tenth inning. He ended the day 1-for-5 with a double and run scored. In the field, he committed his third error, a grounder in the seventh inning. He handled 14 other chances in the field cleanly.
Dan Gamache moved over to second base on Saturday, as he continues to flip between third base and second in the AFL. In his first at-bat, he flew out to center field. Gamache struck out in the fourth inning. He flew out to left field in his third at-bat, then walked in his fourth plate appearance. Gamache struck out again in the tenth inning. He was having a busy game in the field with great results until a throwing error in the seventh inning that led to a run. It was his first error of the AFL season.
Angel Sanchez made his second appearance in the AFL, coming into the league as a late addition. He followed Glasnow in the fourth inning and allowed one hit, a single to the lead-off batter. He got the last batter on a strikeout swinging with a 93 MPH fastball. His fastball was in the 92-94 MPH range and he went heavy with curves. Sanchez’s second inning lasted just seven pitches before he retired the side. He got two ground balls to Gamache and one back to him. Sanchez needed just 22 pitches for his two innings of work, 16 going for strikes.
Scottsdale continued to run out Pirates pitchers, calling on Adrian Sampson for the sixth inning. He had a quick inning, getting two grounders to Gamache and struck out the third batter to retire the side in order. That was the end of the day for Sampson, who has been on a limited pitch count out of the Scottsdale bullpen. He threw 12 pitches, nine for strikes and his fastball topped out at 92 MPH.
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.
With so much game info, can I assume it’s plenty warm and sunny in Phoenix?
PITCHf/x and game tracker do the job. Just following the game online. Not every game has PITCHf/x, so there isn’t as much to write about.
What do you make of Glasnow’s struggles with his secondary pitches? He’s clearly supremely talented and his talent shines through on his fastball, but he’ll need secondary pitches too (although I guess Lance Lynn doesn’t need them haha)…just more seasoning, and it will come or what is the issue with the secondary pitches?
He is usually pretty good with the curve, which is a plus pitch just like his fastball. I think he just needs seasoning. His control was really bad at the start of last and improved slightly. He was even better this year, with a few hiccups mixed in. I think worst case is Pirates fans will just have to deal with the occasional blips, but he is extremely hard to hit when he is on. I’m pretty surprised he only threw one change-up all game, he definitely needs to work on it and the AFL is the perfect place for it.
I’ve seen Glasnow only twice personally and both times he was lights out, so I cannot speak to personally witnessing him being off. With that said I’ve seen his curve mentioned as only above average and spotty. I also am a little worried that he only has one secondary pitch, although the change is at least something he is working on/developing (although similar to you I am wondering why he isn’t using it more in the AFL). I think the command will have to improve dramatically if he’s going to be a dominant MLB starter because I am worried about the secondary stuff. Again, there is plenty of time for him and the results are amazing and hopefully will continue to be as he continues his way up the ladder…just want to see the change up being worked on, and some continued command improvement. Maybe he can get away with the fastball heavy approach, others have. Just would like to see more consistency and more from the secondary pitches (or he could just keep blowing teams out every time I show up. Haha).
“Glasnow only threw two-thirds of an inning because of his pitch count, but he would have kept going had the home plate ump not blown the called third strike to his last batter. He was 93-97 with great downhill plane from his 6-7 frame, and his curveball at 79-80 mph was plus with tight rotation and depth.” – Keith Law
KLaw makes it seem like his curve has a chance to be a plus pitch.
not a huge fan on Keith Law… he also said that Marte was never going to have success in the MLB. I will take John’s word, my own, and others before his anymore. He loves the big market prospects
Speaking for all Pirate fans, please never say this again.
Why? Because Keith law always under ranks our prospects in my eyes?
No, because literally none of what you said is true, and it makes you look like a whiny homer.
Law said that he didn’t believe Marte would be an above average big league hitter, citing the K/BB issues. And he would’ve been correct if Marte would not be posting BABIPs in the top 5% of all Major Leaguers. You don’t project something like that.
and yeah by watching Marte through his minor league years I could see that he was talented enough of a hitter and worker that he would be able to be successful.
Oh, well then, now that you mention it I’m sure there are Major League organizations beating down your door. How can you resist?
Law also stated at one point he doesnt believe Cole will be more then a #3 pitcher and Taillon also. It seems as though Law has always held something against Pirates prospects. I am not a homer… I am a man who looks indepth at prospects and watches them. I believe Law often points out and makes flaws out to be bigger issues then they are. I also believe Law is to high on players who come from big markets. Im sorry you disagree with my opinion, but you sound like a typical baseball fan who believes Keith Law is fact
No, I’m a baseball fan that doesn’t get butthurt when a guy critiques a prospect in the organization I root for.
Every fanbase, even the big markets, have guys like you who think people like Keith don’t like their team. Since that makes so much sense.
im not butt hurt i simply state that i do not agree with laws opinion all the time… an used marte as an example as to why
And if that was all you stated, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
Keith-Law-hates-my-team has never given validity to any arguments, just detracts from them.
As I said in my very first comment I’m not a huge fan of Keith law. I did not saying I hate him or he hates the pirates 😉
These AFL updates are fantastic! Keep em coming
Does it look like Josh has a future at 1st base or is this just an experiment at this point?
He has played a handful of games in the AFL, plus a few games in the Instructional League, so the position is brand new to him still. It’s going to be his position next year, the off-season work is just his introductory class to 1B
This is exactly why any discussion about Bell helping the Pirates in any major capacity next season is extremely premature. He’s not the prospect that Polanco is, in my opinion, despite how good of a prospect he is…and as we saw with Polanco the position change plus the move to MLB is drastic. Even if Bell hits all winter, the position change and everything factored in…he’s a 2016 help, not 2015.
I would agree with that. With a new position, the only way I see him getting out of Altoona next year(before August) is if his bat forces him out.