Pirates Prospects Reports: Diaz, Sampson, Glasnow, Bell, Kingham, Meadows, McGuire

One of the best features with Pirates Prospects making the switch to a subscription site is that we now have the resources to have writers in every minor league city in the Pirates’ system, getting reports on all of the players in the system throughout the year. After every game, writers submit player notes on any of the key players that stood out to them that evening. Each week we will run an article with the best notes from the previous week. In the upcoming weeks, we will have all of the player notes added to the Player Pages, which will be undergoing some upgrades.

I wanted to make the first week free, so that everyone could see the weekly live reports we will have from every level in the system. We didn’t have any reports from West Virginia this time around, but had plenty from Indianapolis, and reports from two people for Altoona. Each report is made up of what we saw on the field, plus information we gathered from players, coaches, and scouts.

We will have these reports every week for subscribers. If you enjoyed the report, head over to the subscription page to join today for $2.99 per month or less.

Indianapolis – Ryan Palencer

Elias Diaz (4/9 – 1-for-3) – Showed off the gun for an arm that he possesses behind the plate, as he nailed an attempted base stealer on a one-hop throw to second base for the final out of the third. Along with that arm, Diaz also blocked several pitches that were in the dirt, as he showcased that defensive prowess. With the bat, he picked up a bloop single to center in the contest, as well.

Adrian Sampson (4/10 – 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR) – The fastball was erratic early, as five of first six pitches were balls. He was in the 90-92 range on the fastball and 85-86 on the curve and change. Breaking ball command was much better than the fastball. Left the fastball elevated all night and allowed a two-run home run and nearly a three-run shot. He walked the leadoff hitter in two of the first three innings. He also threw seven of the first eight for balls in the third. He pitched around a lot of danger all night due to the elevation and the lack of command.

Alen Hanson (4/10 – 0-for-4, K) – Had a hard-hit ground ball at him in the second, that he knocked down and recovered to make the play. Routine plays were the biggest beef with him at shortstop. Came in on a chopper last night and made it look easy. Also made a nice leaping catch on a line drive that resulted in a double play in the third Friday. Made a nice play to his left in the seventh. Booted a grounder hit to his left that wasn’t a terribly difficult play. At the plate, he went to 2-and-2 counts in his first two at bats, which resulted in a strike out and fly out. Fell behind two strikes on the second was ahead on the first. In the third at-bat, he attempted drag bunt that went foul, before a groundout to shortstop.

Alen Hanson (4/13 – 2-for-4, BB) – Came into the game 1-for-11 and reached base three times. Two singles including a drag bunt. Jumped on pitches early, as he only saw more than three pitches in one at bat in the contest. Hammered an elevated changeup to left in second at bat. Showed ability to field in each direction. Started a double play in the sixth with a lengthy flip to second. Made a good decision not to wait for the tag on the play. Also ranged far to his left on a put out earlier in the game.

Wilfredo Boscan (4/12 – 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR) – Worked both side of the plate effectively. Not afraid to go inside to either right-handed or left-handed hitters. Kept the ball down, hitting 89-92 on the fastball. Threw a heavy majority fastballs, but sprinkled in a low 80s change and a high 70s breaking ball. The breaking ball was the put away pitch. Did not walk a hitter, but went to a lot of deep counts early. A bit more of a deliberate worker than the other starters.

John Holdzkom (4/12 – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – Picked up an 11-pitch save two days after he labored to a 20-pitch inning. Velocity was in the mid-90s both outings, but the control was much better Sunday. Threw 10 strikes in both outings despite almost double the amount of pitches. Attacked the zone much better on Sunday.

John Holdzkom (4/16 – 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – Control issues continued. Through lots of balls out of the zone, but heavy contact when he was in the zone. Nearly all elevated and all fastballs in the mid 90s, making him very predictable. Appeared viably frustrated on a few occasions with the strike zone. Only 15 strikes in 29 pitches. Could not make it out of his one inning of work.

Nick Kingham (4/14 – 4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR) – Good left to right movement on two-seamer. Fastball velocity was consistently around 90, after 92 in first start. Command wasn’t there on the curve or change. When he missed, he missed low and out of the zone. Got too much plate a couple times, and they found bats. Went deep into counts, lifting the pitch count. Lots of baserunners with seven hits and two walks in four innings.

Altoona – Wilbur Miller

Angel Sanchez (4/15 – 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR) – Fastball was 90-92, reaching as high as 95 just a few times, with very good command. Slider and cutter were mid- to upper-80s, with command not quite as good. May not be enough separation between slider and fastball. Threw just two upper-70s curves. Kept the ball down consistently, allowing no extra-base hits or long drives to the outfield, and threw 46 of 63 pitches for strikes over six innings.

John Kuchno (4/15 – 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 0 HR) – Fastball was 88-96, usually toward the lower end. Anything over about 91 tended to ride high while the rest were down. Threw few if any other pitches. Control was erratic, but hitters helped him with a lack of patience. When the ball was up it got hit hard, but two long drives were caught.

Yhonathan Barrios (4/15 – 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR) – Fastball was 94-96, hitting 102 once according to the glitchy stadium gun. Control appeared much improved as most fastballs were called strikes or swung at. Slider was upper-80s, first couple too far off plate to induce swings, but the last couple were more effective.

Josh Bell (4/15 – 2-for-4, 2B, K) – Lined a double down the RF line batting left-handed, one of the few times I’ve seen him pull the ball. Lined a long single to deep right-center batting right-handed. Struck once, getting badly fooled by a change that bounced in the opposite batter’s box. Fumbled around with a softly hit bouncer right at him, but recovered in time to get the out.

Willy Garcia (4/15 – 0-for-4, K) – Swings at everything.

Altoona – Tim Williams

Jason Creasy (4/16 – 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 0 HR) – Didn’t have the best command of his fastball. Used the two-seam fastball more often than normal, and the pitch was running, rather than having a late sink. Didn’t lead to many ground balls on the night, despite the increased approach. Curveball was sharp and effective, getting a lot of swings and misses.

Jacob Stallings (4/16 – 1-for-4, 2 K, 2-for-6 CS) – Runners were testing him all night in on and off rain. Threw out two runners with strong throws low and to the second base side of the bag. A few throws faded to the shortstop side, and one sailed to center field. Runners were stealing on breaking ball counts, leading to less time to make the throw. A few might have been rushed.

Stetson Allie (4/16-17 – 1-for-8, BB, 3 K) – Inconsistent in right field, but looks like he has the skills to play the position. Took a bad route on a routine catch on Thursday. A ball dropped between him and the second baseman in shallow right field on Friday in a play that he should have taken command of. Ran a great route directly to a ball hit back and to his left near the wall at the foul line. At the plate his approach looks much better against left-handers, with a better ability to wait for the best pitch to drive.

Tyler Glasnow (4/17 – 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR) – Had good control of his fastball, getting ahead of hitters. Worked 93-96 MPH, mostly sitting 93-94. Got into pitcher counts and let loose the fastball high in the zone for swinging strikeouts. Dropped in curveballs in the zone early in the count and in two strike situations. Didn’t throw the changeup often. Sat 85-88. Inconsistent movement, with scout saying it looked like a batting practice fastball at times.

Josh Bell (4/17 – 0-for-4, 3 K) – Looked off balanced from the right side, especially on breaking stuff. Doesn’t incorporate his lower half at times into his swing, relying on his hands too much, which leads to him using only his upper half in the swing. That can look awkward on pitches low in the zone. Doesn’t seem to have a power stroke from the right side on a consistent basis with these swings going on. Often late with his swing due to two-part approach that starts with an open stance, then quickly closes.

Bradenton – Tim Williams

Austin Meadows (4/11-12 – 3-for-7, HR, 2 BB, K) – Good approach at the plate, working the count to his favor and staying off bad pitches. Only saw one bad swing on a breaking pitch, which came in a two strike count. Made solid contact to all fields, including a long home run over the right field bullpen. Doesn’t have a strong-arm in the outfield, and not plus speed, but runs great routes which allows him to cover a lot of ground. Profiles best as a left fielder in the future, and has the power potential and approach at the plate to work at a corner spot.

Reese McGuire (4/11, 1-for-4, 2B) – Was tested twice on stolen base attempts. Made two strong throws, beating one runner by several steps, and missing the leadoff hitter on a close call that ended up getting the manager tossed. Very fluid motion to receive the ball and release the throw in all one movement. Talked to a scout that said his arm strength seemed down in following games, but it looked good on this night. Was making solid contact with the ball, driving it deep on two occasions, and using the middle of the field.

Justin Maffei (4/11-12 – 1-for-5, 3 BB, 2 K) – Displayed strong range at both corner outfield spots. Made a highlight reel leaping catch on a hard hit ball over his head and to his right in left field. Displayed good range to the gap in right field the following night.

Steven Brault (4/12 – 4.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR) – Two seam fastball continues to look good, featuring late break that drops off the table at the plate. Changeup also had good break. Four seam fastball can get a bit flat and gets hit. He also will have some issues with ground balls finding a way through this defense. Was hurt by a grounder that went for a hit, followed by an error on a double play ball that extended the inning.

JaCoby Jones (4/11-12 – 1-for-8, HR, 4 K) – Good range at shortstop, with the ability to get to a lot of balls, including one hard hit up the middle over the bag. Needs improvement with glove work and foot work. Had a few issues fielding the ball when he was in position. Could improve with more reps, and better angles to the ball. Spoke with a scout that likes the athleticism, but doesn’t see him sticking at shortstop due to the glove work and inability to get in the right position to field the ball clean. Same scout loved his power. The power is good, but he lacks recognition on curveballs, with a few bad swings, and a few that completely fooled him for strikeouts looking.

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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Love this feature, thanks for the updates.

I’d love to see more out of Kingham and Holdzkom, although who knows what they have them working on in indy.

Also, I can’t figure out how to post as my old username instead of the first part of my email address. Any one else having this issue?

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