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Prospect Watch: Tarpley Gets Back on Track With Solid Outing



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 – DNP

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

5. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton – DNP

6. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

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

8. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-5, 2B, SB

9. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, Extended Spring Training

11. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton – DNP

12. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia – 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

13. JaCoby Jones, SS, Bradenton – DNP

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, Indianapolis – 1-for-3

21. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

22. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – 1-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 R

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

24. Wyatt Mathisen, 3B, Bradenton – DNP

25. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis –  4.1 IP, 11 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 4 HR

26. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Tito Polo, OF, West Virginia – DNP

28. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

29Luis Heredia, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

30. Taylor Gushue, C, West Virginia – 0-for-3, BB



Top Pitcher: Stephen Tarpley, LHP – 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Tyler Moore, CF – 3-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 BB

Home Runs: None



Box Score

Result: Charlotte 13, Indianapolis 1

Starting Pitcher: Casey Sadler, RHP – 4.1 IP, 11 H, 10 R, 10 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 4 HR

Top Hitter: Keon Broxton, LF – 1-for-4, 2B, R

Other Notable Performers:

Jaff Decker, RF – 1-for-4, RBI

Game Notes: Before Sunday’s game, Casey Sadler had never allowed more than six earned runs or two home runs in a single game, dating back to 2010. This was by far his worth pro outing with ten runs and four homers. The 11 hits are one short of his career-high. Prior to this outing, Sadler had a respectable 3.50 ERA in June, but his WHIP was 1.50, well over his marks from April and May.

Utility fielder Kelson Brown pitched a scoreless inning to help out the bullpen. Indianapolis had just six hits in the game and no walks. Only two runners reached second base all game. Keon Broxton had a double and scored on a single by Jaff Decker. Pedro Florimon had a single and stole second base with two outs, but was left stranded when Decker struck out.


Box Score

Result: Altoona 7, Harrisburg 3

Starting Pitcher: Jason Creasy, RHP – 5.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Edward Salcedo, LF – 2-for-4, 3 RBI

Other Notable Performers:

Max Moroff, 2B – 2-for-5, 2 R

Mel Rojas Jr., CF – 1-for-3, 2B, BB, 2 RBI

Sebastian Valle, C – 1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI

Game Notes: Last year, Jason Creasy had some of the best command in the system, but things have changed this season. He walked four batters on Sunday, giving him 30 walks in 80.1 innings. In 2014, he had 22 walks all season, throwing a total of 148.2 innings. Despite the poor outing on Sunday, Creasy moved to 8-1 on the season because the Altoona bats have given him tremendous support and this game was no different. Edward Salcedo drove in three runs, while Sebastian Valle and Mel Rojas Jr. each contributed two runs batted in. The three of them, batting 5-7 in the order, drove in all seven runs. Max Moroff and Josh Bell each scored twice.

Moroff extended his hit streak to 12 games. He really cooled off after his 30 game on-base streak ended last month, but Moroff has picked it back up nicely these last two weeks. Altoona bats struck out 16 times in the game, with everyone in the starting lineup going down on a strikeout at least once. Rojas Jr. is hitting .348 since being sent down from Indianapolis.


Bradenton was off on Sunday for the All-Star break.



Box Score

Result:  Hickory 10, West Virginia 5

Starting Pitcher: Stephen Tarpley, LHP – 5.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Jerrick Suiter, RF – 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

John Sever, LHP – 1.1 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR

Elvis Escobar, CF – 2-for-4, 3B, RBI

Game Notes:  Stephen Tarpley made his sixth start of the season, and immediately ran into some misfortune in the first inning. After a quick groundout to start the game, the second batter was rewarded a base hit after Jordan Luplow missed a high chopper. The batter later scored after a passed ball by catcher Taylor Gushue got him to second, and a base hit to center field knocked him in. Tarpley gave up another soft hit just past Cole Tucker’s glove, but was able to limit the damage by striking out the final batter of the inning.

The next two innings were clean for Tarpley in which he recorded two strikeouts – one of the Ks coming on a nasty curve ball that the Hickory batter could not check his swing on.

Tarpley ran into some trouble in the fourth inning. After a strike out and a groundout, he gave up three consecutive singles that scored a run, but once again got out of the jam with another strike out via his curveball.

Tarpley started the fifth inning with three straight curveballs, inducing a routine groundout to third. He followed that with two quick groundouts on five pitches to end the inning.

For the second time this season, Tarpley pitched into the sixth inning. After a quick first out, Tarpley struck out the next batter with curveball that actually hit the batter in the foot, signifying just how much movement was on that pitch today. The next hitter roped a double to left field that just eluded the glove of left fielder Jeff Roy, which ended his day.

John Sever relieved Tarpley and immediately gave up a single, scoring Hickory’s third run and closing the book on Tarpley.

It was a good bounce-back outing for Tarpley, who had good command of his fastball to both sides of the plate – which sat in the low 90’s, touching 94. He also mixed in his off-speed pitches nicely, and had better command of his curve as his start progressed. Tarpley got some ugly swings on his curve all afternoon, and it looked like a great out-pitch to combine with his fastball. He struck out six batters and recorded seven ground ball outs.

Sever had his worst outing of the season, giving up seven earned runs in just 1.1 IP. Hickory hit for the cycle in the seventh inning off of Sever, including a three-run home run, two triples, two doubles, and three singles.

Offensively, the Power scored three runs in the second inning courtesy of three straight hits by Jerrick Suiter (double), Chase Simpson (single) and Elvis Escobar (triple). Michael Suchy doubled in Luplow in the fifth, but that was the extent of the damage done by the Power. Cole Tucker showed off his speed this afternoon by going 2-for-5 with a double to shallow center field and an infield single. He also stole his 19th stolen base of the season. – Pete Ellis



Game One Box Score

Result:  Morgantown 5, Mahoning Valley 4

Starting Pitcher: Dario Agrazal Jr., RHP – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Mitchell Tolman, 3B – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Kevin Newman, SS – 0-for-4

Maximo Rivera, LF – 1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI

Ty Moore, CF – 1-for-3, 2 RBI, BB

Game Notes: In Game One, the Black Bears struggled offensively for the first six innings, managing just a lone single. Trailing 4-2, entering the bottom of the seventh, third baseman, Mitchell Tolman, led off with an opposite field double, a drive deep into the left field corner.  He advanced to third on a wild pitch before first baseman, David Andriese drew a walk.  Left fielder, Maximo Rivera, followed with a single to score Tolman; moving Andriese to third.  Center fielder, Ty Moore, followed with a hard single to left, tying the score and moving Rivera to second.  With the score now tied, and runners at first and second with nobody out, catcher, Christian Kelley was called upon to sacrifice. He had already successfully bunted over a runner in a previous at-bat.  Kelley dropped down a bunt, to the third base side, and the Mahoning Valley pitcher fielded the ball cleanly, but was indecisive and threw late to third; loading the bases with nobody out.  Right fielder, Logan Hill, followed with a high bouncer to third, which went for a hit as the Bears walked off with the 5-4 win.

Mitchell Tolman, the recent seventh round pick out of the University of Oregon, was the hitting star for the Bears in the first game.  The left-handed hitting Tolman went 2-for-4 with a single and double.  He also had another quality at-bat when he hit a deep drive to right-center where it was caught on the warning track.  When asked about his approach at the plate, Tolman stated, “I look for a fastball middle-away early in the count,” and he went on to say that he was “seeing the ball very well.”

First round pick, Kevin Newman, scuffled at the plate going 0-4 with a strike out.  He also bounced a throw to the first baseman on a routine two-hopper in the first inning which went for an error.  Left fielder, Maximo Rivera, owner of one of the coolest names on the team, got turned around on a deep drive to left as well, though it was scored a double.  Second round pick, Kevin Kramer, did not start game one.

Starting pitcher, Dario Agrazal, who pitched for the GCL (Gulf Coast League) team last season, seemed to struggle through five innings giving up seven hits and a walk, which resulted in four runs, though only two were earned.  However, pitching coach, Tom Filer did not see it that way.  “He just got some pitches up, but he battled,” Filer said. Agrazal’s fastball sat in the 89-90 mph range.  He had good horizontal break on his curve ball, though he had problems throwing it for a strike consistently.  Agrazal’s fastball was very hittable.

Right-hander, Eric Karch threw the final two innings, earning the win.  Karch said, “I threw my fastball in my first inning and used my change-up in the second.”  He went on to say, “the change-up and slider are my “out” pitches.” He also affirmed that he enjoyed his role of coming out of the pen.

Logan Hill, who was just drafted out of Troy in the 25th round, turned around a fastball in the first, with the bases juiced and two out, but it was caught by the left fielder.  It was one of only a handful of hard hit balls for the Black Bears during game one. – Jamey Conlin


Game Two Box Score

Result: Morgantown 3, Mahoning Valley 2

Starting Pitcher: Hector Garcia, LHP – 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Ty Moore, CF – 2-for-2, 2 RBI, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Alexis Bastardo, LF – 1-for-2, SB

Kevin Kramer, 2B – 1-for-3, R

Game Notes:  In Game Two, the Scrappers’ starting pitcher, Jared Robinson was pounding the strike zone with 94 mph heat.  The Black Bears did a better job though of squaring up some baseballs.  David Andriese and LoganHill hit the ball hard in the second inning as the Bears got on the board with Hill doubling down the third base line.  In the third, Kevin Kramer, who started at second base, had a hard single to left field and Ty Moore lined a single to center which resulted in the Bears building a 3-0 lead.  Moore is a UCLA product.

Some shaky defense in the top of the sixth cost the Bears two runs.  A hard shot went off the glove of third baseman, Daniel Arribas, though it was scored a hit.  Later in the inning, with a runner on third and two out, Arribas was again unable to come up with a slow bouncer to third.  He charged the ball but could not find the handle, resulting in the second run of the inning for Mahoning Valley, slicing the lead to 3-2. Arribas is listed as a catcher, but he has played third base in the past.  Edgar Santana, a hard-throwing right-hander was summoned to put out the fire in the sixth then closed out the game in the seventh.  Pitching Coach Tom Filer smiled when asked about Santana’s effort.  “He comes in throwing 95 and he didn’t even use his best pitch; his breaking ball.”

Hector Garcia started game two for the Black Bears and was very effective.  He threw three innings of one-hit ball and only walked one batter.  Garcia said that he was effective because of his, “change of speeds.”

Lithuanian, Dobydas Neverauskas, recently sent down from Charleston to “get his innings,” was effective, before some defensive miscues cost him.  His fastball touched 93 mph and he threw a solid slider.

Hill, who started in RF both games, had several good at-bats in game two.  Besides his run-scoring double earlier in the game, a hard hit ball down the third base line, he also ripped a shot to center field in the sixth.  The center fielder made a nice running catch, with his back to the plate, right in front of the 400-foot marker.  Hill is a big, strong kid.  The 6’3″, 230 pounder takes his rips at the plate.  His development should be fun to watch.  The Pensacola, FL product made his way to the Pirate organization by first going to JUCO Jefferson Davis in Brewton, Alabama before moving on to Troy.

Hill said the double he hit was off a curve.  “I made an adjustment.”  The ball he ripped to center was a fastball.  This young man is very funny and engaging.  He has some Andy Van Slyke in him when it comes to interviews.  The first thing he said when he came out of the clubhouse to speak to reporters was, “Should I read from a script?”  This is another player who is easy to root for and will be fun to watch.  He went on to comment on the upcoming road trip offering, “It is a great opportunity to bond.”  This aspect should not be overlooked.  For a team that is basically just introducing itself to one another, meals together and time together are what molds a group of individuals into a unit.

After the game, Black Bears manager, Wyatt Toregas, complimented Santana who closed game two by stating that he “stepped up,” and his team’s pitching by saying, “we did a better job of executing a plan,” though, he did not elaborate on what that plan was.

The Bears, as a team, are obviously behind with the bats.  There are a lot of late swings and not many hard hit balls through the first two days.  However, that is a product of some of the players not having seen live pitching in over a month.  You can hit off a tee, you can soft-toss and hit off a machine as much as you want, but there is no substitute for live pitching.  In addition, the team was unable to take batting practice (BP) Friday or Saturday because of the rain.  The team does not have an indoor facility at the ballpark.  As the players see more live pitching, look for this area to continue to improve. – Jamey Conlin



The DSL Pirates were off on Sunday


John Dreker
John Dreker
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball. When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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