Prospect Watch: Big Games From Siri and Valerio in GCL Season Opener


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 – 0-for-2

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 0-for-3

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 1-for-2

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

7. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – Disabled List

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – DNP

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – 0-for-3

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-2

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 0-for-1, BB

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 – 0-for-2

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-3

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

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

23. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia – DNP

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 1-for-2

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – DNP

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – DNP



Top Pitcher: Wilfredo Boscan, RHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Top Hitter: Raul Siri, 2B – 3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI

Home Runs: Danny Arribas (1), Raul Siri (1)



Box Score

Result: Gwinnett 2, Indianapolis 0

Starting Pitcher: Wilfredo Boscan, RHP – 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K

Top Hitter: Steve Lombardozzi, 2B – 1-for-3

Other Notable Performers:

Keon Broxton, LF – 1-for-3

 John Holdzkom, RHP – 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Game NotesWilfredo Boscan was a replacement into the starter role for a late healthy scratch in Chris Volstad. With this, Boscan had one of his strongest outings of the season. It was the first time that he made it through the sixth inning since May 10. While Boscan had been working elevated in the zone in his outings lately, he did a much better job of getting the ball down on Monday night. The results followed as he had eight ground ball outs to five fly ball outs.

John Holdzkom relieved Boscan and continued his strong work since returning from the DL. In his past outing, Holdzkom allowed a run. However, outside of that, Holdzkom has allowed just the one run and four hits in five outings since returning on June 9. More importantly, he has not walked a hitter and struck out nine, as he is regaining some of last season’s form.
Indianapolis was only able to muster a pair of singles and just those two base runners, as Gwinnett start Manny Banuelos was just one above the minimum in a complete game shutout. – Ryan Palencer


Game One Box Score

Result: Harrisburg 7, Altoona 2

Starting Pitcher: Zack Dodson, LHP – 6.2 IP, 12 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas Jr., CF – 1-for-3, 3B, RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Adam Frazier, CF – 1-for-2, BB

Stetson Allie, RF – 1-for-3, 2B, R

Josh Bell, 1B – 0-for-3

Game Notes: Altoona lost 7-2 in the opener of a doubleheader against Harrisburg. Zack Dodson nearly went the distance, running into some trouble in the seventh, as his pitch count went over the 100 mark. He ended up with seven runs allowed on 12 hits, but he threw a lot of strikes(64 out of 103 pitches) and had 11 ground ball outs. Utlity fielder Andy Vasquez pitched for the second time this season and recorded the final out.

The Curve had four hits and a walk in the game, and they didn’t score until the bottom of the seventh with the game well out of hand. Stetson Allie had a one-out double, which was followed by a Mel Rojas Jr. triple. He would score on a ground out by Edward Salcedo. Max Moroff had his 12-game hit streak snapped.

Game Two Box Score

Result: Altoona 4, Harrisburg 3

Starting Pitcher: Thomas Harlan, LHP – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gift Ngoepe, SS – 1-for-1, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, HBP

Other Notable Performers:

Sebastian Valle, C – 1-for-3, 2B

Dan Gamache, 1B – 1-for-3, 2B, RBI

Game Notes: Altoona took game two behind strong pitching from Thomas Harlan, who allowed one run over five innings. This was just his second start of the season. John Kuchno threw a scoreless sixth and Jeff Inman got the save despite allowing two runs in his only inning of work. The offense was led by Gift Ngoepe, who reached base all three plate appearances and he drove in two runs. The Curve only had five hits in the game, but four went for extra bases. As mentioned in the first recap, Max Moroff broke his hit streak in game one and he ended up going 0-for-5 on the day.


Box Score

Result: Charlotte 2, Bradenton 0

Starting Pitcher: Tyler Eppler, RHP – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Wyatt Mathisen, 3B – 1-for-2

Other Notable Performers:

Reese McGuire, C – 1-for-2

JaCoby Jones, SS – 0-for-1, BB

Game Notes: The Marauders lost 2-0 in a game that was called early due to rain. Tyler Eppler started and actually threw the shortest complete game possible, going four innings with two runs allowed. In what was his second start of the season, he retired the first ten batters he faced, before giving up two runs on four hits. In his first outing, he had two strong innings before giving up three runs in the third, so he made some progress. He missed two full months with elbow soreness, so you expect there to be some bumps along the way.

Bradenton had just two hits on offense, singles from Reese McGuire and Wyatt Mathisen. JaCoby Jones walked once and also struck out for the 81st time. Austin Meadows and Jin-De Jhang returned to the lineup after missing time due to minor injuries. Edwin Espinal was named the FSL Player of the Week for last week.



West Virginia is currently on their All-Star break.


Box Score

Result: Williamsport 7, Morgantown 4

Starting Pitcher: JT Brubaker, RHP – 2.2 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Danny Arribas, 3B – 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, 2 R

Other Notable Performers:

Kevin Newman, SS – 1-for-3, BB

Kevin Kramer, 2B – 1-for-4

Casey Hughston, CF – 0-for-4, RBI

Game Notes:  Sixth round draft pick JT Brubaker made his pro debut and had a real tough time, giving up five runs over 2.2 innings, with four of those runs coming in the third inning. He gave up a double and a two-run homer among his six hits allowed. Brubaker threw 41 pitches in the game, 29 for strikes.

Danny Arribas provided the offense with a solo homer and an RBI ground out. Third round draft pick Casey Hughston made his debut and went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, though he did drive in a run. Kevin Kramer and Kevin Newman both singled and Newman drew a walk. He is 2-for-12 in three games, while Kramer is 3-for-11 in three games.



Box Score

Result: Pirates 8, Blue Jays 5

Starting Pitcher: Luis Escobar, RHP – 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Raul Siri, 2B – 3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Adrian Valerio, SS – 2-for-4, 2B, BB, 3 R, 2 RBI

Michael de la Cruz, CF – 2-for-3, R, SB

Wes Freeman, RF – 0-for-5

Game Notes: The GCL Pirates opened their season with an 8-5 win, after going down 5-0 in the fourth inning. Starter Luis Escobar had a rough GCL debut, facing five batters before he was pulled from the game. He gave up three runs, with the big hit being a two-run homer.

This game featured a rehab appearance from Jared Lakind and the first outing from Robert Stock, who the Pirates purchased from an independent team earlier this season. He was originally a catcher, then switched to pitching in 2012. Both pitchers threw a shutout inning. Mister Luciano picked up the save with a scoreless ninth.

On offense, the Pirates got big games from two players that were in the DSL last year. Shortstop Adrian Valerio batted lead-off and had two hits, a walk and scored three runs. Second baseman Raul Siri(pictured above) had three hits, including a three-run homer in the seventh inning. Michael de la Cruz had two hits, a walk and stole a base.

Wes Freeman played his first game since 2012 and had a tough time, going 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He was a 16th round draft pick in 2008 out of high school. After fizzling out at High-A ball in 2012, Freeman retired. He decided to try to make a comeback this year, but his season got derailed by a knee injury at the end of Spring Training. No 2015 draft picks participated in this game.

You can view the GCL season preview here.


Box Score

Result: Yankees2 7, Pirates 5

Starting Pitcher: Adonis Pichardo, RHP – 4.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Huascar Fuentes, 1B – 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Mikell Granberry, C – 2-for-4, BB

Jeremias Portorreal, RF – 2-for-4, 3B, RBI

Paul Brands, DH – 2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R

Game Notes: The Pirates signed five pitchers to six figure deals last year during the international signing period. That’s a bit unusual for them, as the majority of their big bonuses have been on hitters. I got a chance to see two of the pitchers today, with Adonis Pichardo ($105,000) and Roger Santana ($100,000) piggybacking against the Yankees.

When Pichardo signed, we heard reports that he reached 92 MPH, and we’ve heard further reports since then that he has hit higher. In his last outing, his velocity was down in the low-80s. It was up a bit today, sitting in the 86-88 MPH range. We’ve received reports that he’s still not at 100%, so there could be room for improvement. He’s got a bit of a hitch in his leg kick, which could add deception in the future. His arm is quick, although not exactly an easy motion. He showed some good feel for a changeup, and mostly worked with a two-seam fastball.

The actual stuff was better than the results, as the fielding quality makes it difficult to judge players by the numbers. There was only one error recorded for the Pirates, although I saw about four or five plays missed in the first two innings that would have been routine plays in A-ball.

Santana was the more impressive pitcher today. He struggled in his first inning, taking over for Pichardo with runners on base and giving up a few runs. I’m not clear on the stat line. He was credited for three runs in the box score I received, but at least two of those should have gone to Pichardo, since he left the runners on. Either way, Santana looked much better working from a clean inning. He was quick and efficient, getting a seven pitch inning in the eighth that allowed him to return for the ninth. He has easy arm action and a nice curveball that he commands well. He finished the day with a strikeout on the curve, putting it in the dirt for a swinging strike after catcher Mikell Granberry tapped the plate with his glove. The fact that he can bounce the pitch off the plate on command, while also throwing it for strikes at times, is a great thing.

Offensively, the Pirates featured a lot of bigger bonus guys from the last few years. Jeremias Portorreal had a big hit, picking up a triple in the second inning to score Granberry from first, after the catcher reached on a single. Portorreal also showed off a strong arm in right field, throwing out a runner at third. The Pirates added three more runs in the second when Huascar Fuentes hit a homer. He’s 23 years old, so his success does come with the age disclaimer. Paul Brands, who recently signed out of Holland, has been playing in the DSL until he gets a visa to join the GCL in the United States. He looked very patient in comparison to a lot of the free swinging hitters at the level. One of those free swingers was Yondry Contreras, who received $400,000 last year, and was swinging at everything, including striking out on a pitch high in the zone and in the other batter’s box. It’s only one game, but he’s had some horrible strikeout issues this year, and this would explain part of that. – Tim Williams

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Austin S

Idk who covered the Curve but I was there and I saw Gift make a sensational play. There was a blooper to left field he ran back, dove, and caught it. It was amazing to say the least.

Austin S

Oh ok, that makes sense now. I was gonna say that play he made would’ve been hard to keep out of the recap.


John looking awful prescient in his GCL preview after Game 1.


It will be interesting if Valerio can hit…because if so he’ll become the best SS prospect in the system…a system that has been loading up at SS. I don’t remember where it was but I read last year that Valerio has Andrelton Simmons-type range at short. Interesting that he’s the same age as Tucker…he’s better defensively and if the bat comes around you found yourself another top 10 prospect at short.

Blaine Huff

I worry that, if I don’t root for a guy named Mister Luciano, I might wake up with a horse head next to me.


John: An interesting watch will be the progress of Shortstop Adrian Valerio in the GCL. Only 18 and a switchhitter, he has been described as one of the best defender’s at SS in the entire system. If the bat comes along, there will be some serious decisions to be made at that position over the next few years. Good start with a double, triple, 2 RBI’s. Is he still 5’11”, 160?


I tell you what, if he can hit like he did last year as he moves up through the system he’s going to be the best SS prospect in the system in a year or two. His defense is better than everyone we just drafted AND better than Cole Tucker’s. If he can hit, even average, he’s the best SS prospect in the system.


Huntington’s ability to *not* draft a true stud shortstop of the future is almost getting to the funny stage.

First there was the great Manny Machado debate; no explanation needed.

Now I cry a little inside every time I read another glowing report on JP Crawford, who is the best shortstop prospect in baseball and will likely be Major League ready next spring while Reese McGuire goes 1-4 with another single.

Huntington even drafted Trey Turner, before the cap was put in place, and promptly fail to sign him.

Certainly not some overarching criticism of his tenure or anything, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that any one of those moves would’ve changed the complexion of the organization.


The truly amazing thing, NMR, is how we are billed as a team that builds from within, but we, actually, are a team built on very savvy pickups. Melancon, Burnett, Liriano, and even Morton…Caminero, Kang, Cervelli and Martin before him. Sean Rodriguez. Our roster isn’t full of elite prospects who have come up through our system. I would, actually, characterize our development as average at best. Polanco isn’t ready (as you’ve made clear)…Hanson should have been able to stick at short. It just seems we are mis-billed, honestly. We have a “top” farm system but do not get a lot of high-end talent out of it to the major leagues right now.


You and I might’ve been having this conversation recently, but I don’t think there’s any argument against.

I generously give the organization an incomplete grade at this moment, but the next two seasons will just about write the book on exactly how successful the Huntington administration has been to date with the anticipated arrival of the top three arms, two bats, and Polanco sinking or swimming.


I am with you on Machado AND Crawford.

I was rooting for both of them to get picked.


The Tre Turner non-signing was almost more damning than missing on the first two picks…because we actually drafted Turner.


Thanks everyone.

Blaine Huff

Forgive my internet ignorance…is there an official team site?


Yeh…it is called Pirate Prospects, 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

Blaine Huff


Brian Bernard

Really wondering why Keller, Supak, and Hinsz aren’t out there on one of these teams being that they were highly thought of arms. Shouldn’t they?

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