Prospect Watch: Connor Joe Looks Good in Pro Debut


A look at how the current top 30 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, 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 30 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from early season update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Altoona – DNP

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, BB

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 2-for-3, 2 R, HBP

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-4

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis –  Disabled List

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 3B

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 3-for-5, SB

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, 3B

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Extended Spring Training

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Extended Spring Training

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 3-for-5, RBI

14. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

15. Trey Supak, RHP, Extended Spring Training

16. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Extended Spring Training

17. Barrett Barnes, OF, Bradenton – 1-for-5, 2B

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – 0.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Altoona – 3-for-5

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 0-for-1, 3 BB

23. Connor Joe, 1B/3B, West Virginia – 1-for-4, BB

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 2-for-4

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – DNP

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Extended Spring Training

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 2-for-2, RBI, BB, HBP



Top Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, RF – 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Home Runs: Elvis Escobar (1)



Box Score

Result: Pawtucket 6, Indianapolis 1

Starting Pitcher: Charlie Leesman, LHP – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Alen Hanson, 2B – 2-for-4, 3B

Other Notable Performers:

Elias Diaz, DH – 1-for-3, 3B

Gorkys Hernandez, CF – 1-for-3

Game Notes:  In the place of injured Nick Kingham, replacement starter Charlie Leesman also left after a single inning with a perceived injury. Leesman struck out a pair of hitters in the first before leaving. Adam Miller saw his first action in a few weeks in relief of Leesman and tossed two innings, while showing some wildness. Miller walked three hitters, allowed three hits and three runs.

Brad Lincoln also struggled with command, has he also allowed three hits and three runs runs in a pair of innings in relief of Miller. Deolis Guerra worked two scoreless innings, while allowing one hit, one walk, and stuck out another. Brent Morel took the mound to save the bullpen and threw a scoreless eighth, giving up one walk.
Alen Hanson picked up two hits and was retired on two bunt attempts. Along with Hanson’s triple, Elias Diaz also picked up a three-bag knock. For Hanson, it was his third triple of the season and he has yet to collect his first double. Gustavo Nunez drove in the only run, scoring Hanson on an RBI ground out. – Ryan Palencer


Box Score

Result: Altoona 7, Bowie 4

Starting Pitcher: Chad Kuhl, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 1-for-5

Willy Garcia – 3-for-5, 2 R

Josh Bell, 1B – 2-for-3, 2 R, HBP

Game Notes: Going into the game, Chad Kuhl told his catcher Jacob Stallings that he wasn’t feeling his greatest tonight. In the first two innings of the game, it seemed as if it could be a quick night for Kuhl because his pitch count was high, and a lot of hits were getting through the infield. Kuhl walked two in the first and struggled with his command. In the second, Kuhl was not the beneficiary of luck when two ground balls were barely out of the range of shortstop Gift Ngoepe. With the bases loaded, Kuhl threw a changeup that stayed up in the zone that was unloaded for a triple. Kuhl gave up four earned runs in the second inning, but battled through a high pitch count to give his team six innings. After the second, he settled down and got a lot of ground ball outs. He finished with two walks (both on the first inning) and four strikeouts.

Kuhl said that his changeup and slider both felt really good tonight. His changeup was resulting in a lot of swing and misses to lefties. He used his slider when he had two strikes, which helped him record four strikeouts.

John Kuchno came in the game in the seventh and couldn’t throw a strike. After a walk and a sacrifice bunt, Kuchno settled down and got two ground balls to get out of the inning. Barrios came in to get the save in the ninth, and he struggled with his command as well; however, he was able to strand runners at second and third to get the save.

Stetson Allie came up big with a line drive double with the bases loaded in the sixth inning to score three and start the comeback for the Curve. It was Allie’s only hit of the night. Willy Garcia had a three hit night with no strikeouts, and each hit was a hard hit ball. His second single was a ball hit to the right field wall, but the runners in front of him had to hold up because of a chance of it getting tracked down. It could have easily been a triple.

Catcher Jacob Stallings got on base four times going 3-for-3 and a HPB. Stallings, who is not known for his speed, also had a stolen base and advanced after the throw got away. He was then able to score on a Keon Broxton single.

Max Moroff extended his on-base streak to 27 games with an infield single in the sixth, and Josh Bell had two singles, a walk and a HBP. – Sean McCool


Box Score

Result: Bradenton 7, Brevard County 6

Starting Pitcher: Cody Dickson, LHP – 0.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jose Osuna, RF – 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

JaCoby Jones, SS – 3-for-5, RBI

Austin Meadows, CF – 2-for-4, 3B, RBI, BB

Game Notes: Cody Dickson has looked very good at times this year and other times he has looked bad. On Monday we saw the bad side, as he recorded just two outs before being pulled due to a high pitch count. Dickson gave up five runs in the bottom of the first after the Marauders put five runs on the board in the top of the inning. Felipe Gonzalez went 4.1 scoreless innings for the win and three relievers closed the door for Bradenton.

The offense came up big early, but couldn’t put together much after the first despite continuing to collect hits. They ended up with 14 hits in the game, with everyone except Edwin Espinal collecting at least one. Jose Osuna had the big hit in the first inning, clearing the bases with a double. JaCoby Jones had three hits, scoring once and driving in a run. The RBI was his 20th of the season, tops on the team. Austin Meadows had two hits, including his first triple. He also walked once and scored two runs. Wyatt Mathisen had two hits for the third game in a row.


Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Charleston 1

Starting Pitcher: Austin Coley, RHP – 6.0 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Taylor Gushue, C – 2-for-2, RBI, BB, HBP

Other Notable Performers:

Jordan Luplow, 3B – 0-for-1, 3 BB

Cole Tucker, SS – 3-for-5, SB

Connor Joe, 1B – 1-for-4, BB

Game Notes: Austin Coley continued an impressive stretch of starts, while keeping his strikeout count high. He was 88-92 MPH, mostly using his two-seam fastball to generate ground balls. The pitch was allowing him to get ahead of hitters, along with his changeup, which showed good command tonight. He used that combo to set up his curveball, which was generating a lot of strikeouts tonight. He now has 28 strikeouts in his last 22 innings. Coley had a shoulder injury last year, which led to a drop in his arm slot from overhand to high three quarters to reduce the stress on his arm. He looks to be adjusting to the new mechanics well, showing advanced fastball command for this level, and strong command of his curveball. The changeup is a bit behind the other two pitches, and that has been a focus for him the last few starts. Tonight was a great opportunity for that, since Charleston had plenty of left-handers in the lineup.

Connor Joe made his pro debut tonight, going 1-for-4 with a walk. The lone hit was a single through the right side of the infield on a hit and run. Joe was out on a line drive to center field in the first, and showed some nice bat speed in his final at-bat. He turned on a pitch and hit it foul with some power, which impressed one scout in attendance. Joe’s main highlights tonight were on defense, where he showed off some nice athleticism. He made two diving stops on grounders down the line, with one going foul. The other he stopped for an out. Here was a video of his first hit.

Connor Joe (@callmeweaponx) gets his first pro hit on a hit and run. -Tim #Pirates

A video posted by Pirates Prospects (@piratesprospects) on

Cole Tucker broke out of his mini slump today, picking up three hits, including one from the right side. He showed quickness down the line, although one scout commented that he gets out of the box slow. Tucker spent the weekend working with hitting coordinator Larry Sutton, along with West Virginia hitting coach Keoni DeRenne, and it looks like he might be getting back on track after a mini slump last week. – Tim Williams

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After not playing for nearly a year, Joe plays one game yesterday and then sits today? Really? Is that being cautious with his back or what?


Austin Coley continues to pile up some gaudy numbers with a K/W per 9 of 9.3/0.7. He is probably older for this level (he will turn 23 in July) – possible promotion to Hi A if this continues?

Starling Marte is quickly becoming a clutch hitter for the Pirates and leads the team in RBI’s. The Pirates have scratched their way back to .500, and still waiting for a few players and pitchers to come up to expectations.

Travis P

Any discussion on long term (or even short term) worry about Joe’s injury popping up again or are they as confident as you can really be about a full recovery?

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