Prospect Watch: Poor Starting Pitching Leads to Losses For All Four Affiliates

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 – DNP

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Altoona – 2-for-4

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – 3-for-5, RBI, SB

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

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

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 1-for-3, 2 BB, RBI

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – 3-for-4, 3B

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – DNP

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – 1-for-5, HR, 3 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 – 0-for-4, SB

18. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

19. Cody Dickson, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis – DNP

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 2-for-5, 2 RBI

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

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – 0-for-5

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – 0-for-3

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – DNP

 

DAILY SUMMARY

Top Pitcher: Montana DuRapau, RHP – 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gabriel Brito, DH – 2-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI

Home Runs: JaCoby Jones (8), Mel Rojas Jr. (1), Felix Vinicio (1)

 

AAA: INDIANAPOLIS INDIANS    

Indianapolis was rained out on Wednesday.

AA: ALTOONA CURVE

Box Score

Result: Akron 9, Altoona 3

Starting Pitcher: Zack Dodson, LHP – 6.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mel Rojas, CF – 2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-3, 2 R, BB

Dan Gamache, 3B – 2-for-4, RBI

Josh Bell, 1B – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Altoona went down early to Akron, as Zack Dodson gave up four runs in the third. That would be a deficit they couldn’t overcome, despite some good hitting by the top/middle of the lineup. The 2-5 hitters, Max Moroff, Josh Bell, Mel Rojas Jr. and Dan Gamache all had two hits apiece, with Rojas hitting his first homer this season and Moroff scoring two runs. The rest of the lineup went 1-for-20 and three pitchers combined to allow nine earned runs in the loss. Jeff Inman allowed two runs in the eighth, the first runs he has allowed this season. He started the year with 12 straight scoreless outings, including five strikeouts over two innings in his last game.

 

A+: BRADENTON MARAUDERS   

Box Score

Result: Tampa 7, Bradenton 5

Starting Pitcher: Luis Heredia, RHP – 4.2 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 1-for-5, HR, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Harold Ramirez, RF – 3-for-4, 3B

Reese McGuire, C – 3-for-5, RBI

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 3-for-4, BB, 2B, SB

Game Notes: Tampa had no problems putting the ball in play against Luis Heredia in the first inning and the rest of his outing. Five pitches into the game, the Yankees were already up 2-0. Five pitches later, they made three outs, including a fly ball to the warning track. In the second inning, Heredia gave up a lead-off triple. On the next pitch, the runner scored on a sacrifice fly. He got an infield pop up for the second out, then gave up a first pitch single. Heredia picked up his first strikeout during a long at-bat. He threw 17 pitches in the second inning.

In the third, the first batter reached on an error from JaCoby Jones. Heredia got another long out to the warning track for the first out. Reese McGuire threw out the runner from first attempting to steal, giving Heredia two outs and no one on base. The next batter singled through infield, then moved to second base on a wild pitch. Heredia then allowed an infield single, with Jones making a great diving stop to keep the run from scoring. That was temporary though, as the next hitter dropped down a perfect bunt to make it 4-0. That was followed by a two-run double before Heredia could finally get out of the inning. He had two quick outs, but ended up throwing 24 pitches.

He came out for the fourth and got a strikeout from the first batter, which was also the first swing and miss he recorded in the game. Heredia walked the next batter, then after a stolen base, he got a pop up to left field for the second out. He couldn’t get out of the inning though, giving up an RBI double. The next batter flew out to left field. The double was the ninth hit of the game and tied the career-high in hits allowed for Heredia. Seven runs are just one short of his worst outing. Heredia threw 19 pitches in the inning, getting him to 70 in the game.

Despite the high pitch count, he came out for the fifth inning. The first batter worked the count full and after a foul ball, he picked up his third strikeout. The next batter also worked a full count before getting a fly ball to left field. That ended his game with 83 pitches and 4.2 innings, both season highs.

You could say Heredia was just facing a hot team, but Montana DuRapau and Isaac Sanchez combined to retire 13 of the 14 batters they faced(seven each), giving up just a single.

On offense, the Marauders had four players collect three hits each, Reese McGuire, Harold Ramirez, Justin Maffei and Edwin Espinal. Despite all that, the one hit from JaCoby Jones drove in three of the five runs. He hit his eighth homer of the season. He is still in a slump, as he went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts, leaving him 4-for-28 in his last six games with 14 strikeouts. McGuire stole his 11th base of the season, while Ramirez was caught for the seventh time in 15 tries.

 

A: WEST VIRGINIA POWER

Box Score

Result: Charleston 6, West Virginia 5

Starting Pitcher: Colten Brewer, RHP – 4.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jordan Luplow, 3B – 2-for-5, 2 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Pablo Reyes, 2B – 1-for-3, BB, SB

Cole Tucker, SS – 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB

Game Notes: West Virginia had the same problem all the other affiliates had today, poor starting pitching. Colten Brewer allowed six runs over 4.2 innings, putting up a pitching line very similar to the one from Luis Heredia. He has not pitched well since his career-high 11 strikeout game. Jordan Luplow drove in two runs, giving him 25 RBIs on the season. Cole Tucker had a single and two walks, after coming into the game with nine walks all year. Pablo Reyes stole his 14th base of the season. Elvis Escobar had two walks and two stolen bases. Coming into this game, he had seven walks all season and he was 4-for-15 in stolen base attempts.

 

RK: DSL PIRATES

Box Score

Result: Cubs 13, Pirates 12

Starting Pitcher: Raymond Rodriguez, RHP – 0.1 IP, 0 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Gabriel Brito, DH – 2-for-5, 2B, 4 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Felix Vinicio, LF – 3-for-5, HR, RBI, 3 R

Mikell Granberry, 1B – 1-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI

Jeremias Portorreal, RF – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 R

Game Notes: The Pirates lost a heart-breaker on Wednesday, coming back from a 9-2 deficit, only to lose in the bottom of the ninth inning on a walk-off walk. Starter Raymond Rodriguez faced six batters and five reached on walks, one on a HBP. The only out he recorded was on a wild pitch, with a runner getting thrown out at home. Brian Sousa, who signed for a six-figure bonus back in July, was supposed to start, be he felt pain prior to the game and was scratched. That is potentially the second day in a row with an injured starter that signed for a big bonus in July. Adonis Pichardo left yesterday’s game early due to a sharp decline in his velocity.

Catcher Paul Brands, who signed out of the Netherlands last month, was sent from the GCL to the DSL because four of the five catchers were injured and he ended up leaving after the second inning due to a wrist injury. There is a freeze on international signings from now until July 2nd, but Brands was eligible to play in the DSL because he is a foreign-born player.

Top prospect Yondry Contreras continued his recent slump and it’s a bad one. He is 6-for-39 with 18 strikeouts in his last ten games. Felix Vinicio is now hitting .400 after a three-hit game, which included his first homer of the season. He scored three runs. Gabriel Brito, who is one of the catchers unable to catch, drove in four runs. He was one of the top signings from last July.

  • Sorry but the Toad is taken. George Steinbrenner called Hadeki Abru that. Forgive me for getting the spelling of his name wrong.

  • I did not realize that Reese Mc had that kind of speed. Eleven steals? Is he another Jason Kendall?

    Plus, do we need to get Omar down there to teach Mr. “Tons of Upside” Ramirez how to steal bases?

    • My thoughts on Ramirez, as well.

      I just don’t get a good feeling about his speed as a big league asset. Awkward body type, injury history, discipline issues, and it appears poor instincts.

      • When you say discipline are you referring to the plate or his attitude?

        • Wasn’t he disciplined for coming into the season out of shape?

          • I thought so too and then Tim said he had a skin disease or something. John, Tim?

            • I missed the skin disease thing, but my discipline comment was related to him being held out due to conditioning issues.

              He’s going to have to work extremely hard given his body type, and this certainly wasn’t a good start. Hopefully not an issue moving forward.

              • The two guys that come to mind when being accused (fairly or unfairly) of poor conditioning are Heredia and Tabata. Possibly Alvarez? But Heredia and Tabata clearly never hit their ceiling. Do you think a wake up call or clear message fixes something like that? Still fuzzy on what Ramirez’s issues were. I guess my question to anyone is have the Pirates had a prospect who’s conditioning was questioned and hasn’t had the problem since? I know Lambo, Tony Sanchez and Hanson had attitude issues at one point and I haven’t heard anything about them for a while. My question is strictly with regards to physical conditioning.

                • he has a body type almost exactly like josh harrison if you want to make an accurate comparison, just about the same speed and instincts on the bases as well

              • have you seen him??? I just spoke to him 3 weeks ago and stood face to face with him. he has no troubles with “body type” there were no conditioning issues, other than his injury issues, there isn’t much to like

      • NMR…my feelings exactly. That is why I argued with Tim W when he wrote the “Ton of Upside” article.

        He can hit, but……………

        However, I hope that we are BOTH wrong and he DOES become a top prospect. I just don’t see it…..just a ‘feeling’.

        • Yeah, I’ll play the fence on this one but I do think you made some good points.

          To Tim’s point on upside, *IF* the body doesn’t hold him back as he matures and he can stick in center with speed on the bases then I could see an Adam Eaton with a tick more power, which could very well be a 3-4 win player. We can quibble over whether or not that represents “tons” of upside, but regardless, that’s a pretty damn good ballplayer.

          I just think the chances of everything clicking are extremely slim, and if that scenario doesn’t play out then he essentially becomes a 4th outfielder/part time starter. There simply isn’t *that* much of a difference between Ramirez and Jose Tabata through this age, and Tabby has shown us what happens when things don’t click. Very risky prospect.

          • He’s really Josh Harrison who plays outfield, and has a better arm. Pop/speed/baserunning is all about the same in my opinion, as well as the hit skill. Ramirez has better plate discipline being the big difference offensively

      • huh? disicpline issues? awkward body type? poor instincts? did i miss something that happened?

  • Drop the Toad out of the PP top 30, maybe the top 40. This guy will go back to Mexico and become a member of the worlds strongest labor union. The Mexican Teachers Association just like his parents.

  • I do think the Good Ship Heredia has taken on more water then it can handle and is sinking fast…..

    • Sad thing is…every season he’s ‘young enough to turn it around’…

      …and every season he seems to get worse.

      Can’t blame the team for taking a chance, but this just doesn’t appear to ever have the potential of panning out.

    • I just hope that he had a good financial advisor when he signed.

      I guess he can always pitch in the Mexican League?

      He is the Mexican equivalent of ZVR?

      • John Dreker
        June 18, 2015 9:07 am

        He will definitely be able to pitch in Mexico if he wants and I’m sure he will take advantage of that opportunity since it did cost him 75% of his bonus to be able to play there

        • So, he ‘only’ got $1.2 mil? 🙂

          • You have some pretty bad math there, 25% of $3M is $750,000. Hopefully you weren’t that financial adviser!

            • I was a math major in college. How DARE you doubt my answer?????

              My brain went “1/4….okay, 4 times 3 equals 12…1.2”

              🙁

              Just more proof I am going downhill faster than I thought.

    • or too many cheeseburgers. damn western diet…..

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