Prospect Watch: High Pitch Count For Heredia, But He Showed Some Improvements

TOP OF THE SYSTEM

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 – Disabled List

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton – 2-for-5, 2 RBI, BB, SB

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

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – DNP

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-3, RBI

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

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 – 0-for-5, 4 K

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 – DNP

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Altoona – DNP

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – DNP

23. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – 0-for-2, BB

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – DNP

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-4

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Extended Spring Training

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 1-for-3, RBI

 

DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Austin Meadows, CF – 2-for-5, 2 RBI, BB, SB

Home Runs: None

 

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Indianapolis was off on Thursday.

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Box Score

Result: Portland 4, Altoona 1

Starting Pitcher: Zack Dodson, LHP – 6.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Josh Bell, 1B – 1-for-1, 3 BB, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-5, 2B

Keon Broxton, CF – 1-for-5, RBI

Game Notes: Zack Dodson had been the Pirates best minor league pitcher up until now, but he had a tough time on Thursday night. Dodson allowed four runs on ten hits, though there were some good signs from the game. He had nine ground ball outs, threw 51 of his 73 pitches for strikes and didn’t walk a batter.

Josh Bell reached base in all four plate appearances, collecting a double and three walks. Altoona scored their only run on a fourth inning single from Keon Broxton that brought home Dan Gamache. Max Moroff has his third straight game with two hits. He is batting .329 this season, eight points ahead of Josh Bell. For a second straight day, Sebastian Valle threw out both runners that attempted to steal against him. He also collected two hits.

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Box Score

Result: Bradenton 9, Lakeland 1

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Austin Meadows, CF – 2-for-5, 2 RBI, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Erich Weiss, 2B – 2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-5, RBI

Jin-De Jhang, C – 2-for-5

 

Game Notes: Luis Heredia made his second start and did much better than his first outing. In the first inning on Thursday, he allowed a run on a walk and a hit, needing 22 pitches to get out of the inning. He got some good defense on a nice play by JaCoby Jones, and then Jin-De Jhang throwing out a runner trying to take an extra base after a play at the plate. In the second, he gave up a double, but no runs and got another strong defensive play, this time from Erich Weiss on a grounder up the middle. According to the stadium gun, he was 87-91 MPH in the first and he hit 92 MPH in the second inning.

In the third, he walked the lead-off batter, then got a double play and a grounder to second base to get out of the inning fairly quick. The fourth started out with two hard hit balls that put runners on the corners. He struck out the next batter, but it was on a wild pitch and the runner from first moved up. He got a one-pitch pop out from the next hitter. Heredia got another strikeout to keep runs off the board, but it was another long inning with 26 pitches. That gave him 71 pitches through four innings and ended his night.

It was a much better outing than his debut when he allowed five earned runs without getting out of the first inning, so he showed some progress. It should be noted that Lakeland is not only one of the worst hitting teams in the FSL, but they also just promoted their best hitter to AA, so this may have been just what Heredia needed to take a step in the right direction.

The offense was in full force on Thursday, with 16 hits from the Marauders, as seven players collected at least two hits on the night. JaCoby Jones was the only one that didn’t get the memo to wear his hitting shoes, as he went 0-for-5 with four strikeouts. Austin Meadows had two hits and a walk, while Edwin Espinal picked up three hits. Meadows, Erich Weiss and Justin Maffei each drove in two runs. Maffei stole home plate in the fifth inning. Jin-De Jhang raised his average to .339 with two hits.

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER

Box Score

Result: Delmarva 5, West Virginia 4

Starting Pitcher: Colten Brewer, RHP – 2.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Cole Tucker, SS – 1-for-3, RBI, R

Other Notable Performers:

Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP – 5.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-3, RBI

Michael Suchy, RF – 1-for-4, 3B

Game Notes: Colten Brewer had a rough outing, which paved way for an incredible showing from Dovydas Neverauskas. He pitched five innings and the only batter that reached base was on an error. He had six strikeouts and seven ground outs. Neverauskas was a starter at the beginning of the year, but control issues pushed him to the bullpen. He has always been a pitcher that hasn’t had the results that match his potential, but he looked even better than that on Thursday.

The Power couldn’t do much on offense, with just five hits and a 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They also committed three errors in the field. Cole Tucker went 1-for-3 and he’s now hitting .341(14-for-41) in his last ten games. Connor Joe is hitting .154 through seven games.

 

  • Heredia: “According to the stadium gun, he was 87-91 MPH in the first and he hit 92 MPH in the second inning.”

    It doesn’t sound like anything special. A “soft” tossing righty with bad command?

    • Yeah, that’s damning Heredia with the faintest of praise. Close to a non-prospect at that velocity.

    • And reading thru the article there were a number of good defensive plays behind him and runners thrown out trying to advance. Not good.

    • At this point, Heredia is only a notable prospect by name value.

      If he was John Smith and signed in the12th round for slot value there wouldn’t be a single one of us talking about him on a regular basis.

  • Speaking of blocked players, if not for Diaz and Sanchez, I bet Valle would be at Indy?

    • John Dreker
      May 22, 2015 8:56 am

      He probably would, but he’s getting a chance to play often at Altoona instead of backing up one of the others. That has to be better for his progress.

  • John Dreker
    May 21, 2015 10:10 pm

    Before anyone looks at the boxscore for Altoona and sees three caught stealing for Valle and thinks I made a mistake, here is a lesson in MiLB software. Since the beginning of their site, they have made the same mistake, crediting a caught stealing to the catcher when the pitcher picks off a runner that gets thrown out at the next base. That is technically a caught stealing, but Valle had nothing to do with it, yet they ALWAYS since the beginning of time, mark it as both a caught stealing and a pick off. I don’t know why, I’ve told them about, I’m sure many others have as well. I’ve seen it so many times, that I know to check. Trust me, Valle threw out two runners and he doesn’t get credit for the third. MiLB doesn’t keep fielding stats on their site(except errors) so it doesn’t matter(for stats purposes) if they get it wrong.

    • Were they pitching around Bell or is his eye that good?

      • John Dreker
        May 21, 2015 10:20 pm

        I was following the Bradenton game and since Altoona was on the road, we didn’t have anyone there. His first inning walk was with a man on first, so probably all Bell there considering the inning/situation. In the fifth, he led off the inning, but in the seventh, he was walked after a Moroff one-out double. They may have been pitching around him, but it also brought the tying run to the plate, so probably not. I’d credit him with all three walks tonight

        • That gives Bell 21 walks against 14 K’s. I find that to be quite impressive especially considering he’s 2.6 years younger than the average player in AA. He may need more time to develop at first base and he may not be hitting homers but there’s no doubt in my mind that he can hit major league pitching.

          • John Dreker
            May 22, 2015 11:39 am

            I believe at worst, he is a Mark Grace type hitter, but he will stick around the minors at least until June next year, as they hope he shows over the fence power and gets better at first base.

            • Scary profile for a guy who won’t add any value in the field or on the bases and has serious questions about facing LHP.

              • Where are you getting that? Bell’s OPS against LHP last season was a solid .800 and he’s at .845 in a small sample size this year. As for speed, he’s not a base stealer but he’s had enough to hit 5 triples this season. For a first baseman, he should be adequate there and in the field once he fully learns the position.

                The big question on Bell is whether his current gap power develops into HR power, but his hit tool is superb and his K/BB rates keep improving. He’s never going to be peak Ryan Howard, but he can offer a lot of value with the things he does well.

                • And Gregory Polanco was a career .822 OPS hitter against LHP, until he got to the Major Leagues.

                  They say you have to scout the swing and tools more than results in the minors, especially for small sample stats like short-side splits, because the variation in talent is so much bigger than in the Major Leagues. And they’re right. I simply don’t think Josh Bell’s awkward, two-part swing is going to play from the right side.

                  As for the other parts of the game you mentioned, that is my exact point. “Adequate” defense and base running at 1B doesn’t move the needle. A guy that’s only adequate has to mash in order to be an above average player.

                  What scares me about the “Mark Grace type” comp is that Mark Grace was a generational talent at what he did. The realistic result of a “Mark Grace type” 1B – a high contact, moderate-to-low power 1B – is James Loney; and James Loney, even as a plus defender and runner for the position, is no more than a league-average player at his absolute peak. More often than not worth around a win.

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