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 (Nick Kingham, Jacob Taylor), 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 the mid-season update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.
1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton -[insert_php]
4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php]
7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php]
9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php]
10. Kevin Newman, SS, Morgantown -[insert_php]
11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, GCL -[insert_php]
12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php]
16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php]
21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown -[insert_php]
24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php]
26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List
28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php]
30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php]
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Keon Broxton has been white hot for Indianapolis, reaching base for the 31st straight game. Additionally, he also score three times and earned two walks in the contest. The RBI single for Broxton was part of a three-run first inning that featured three hits and a walk. Broxton also stole his 23 base during the rally, before stealing his 24th in 27 attempts.
Indianapolis added two more runs in the fifth innings, which Willy Garcia played a huge role in with a RBI double. Garcia has joined Broxton over the past month in seeing a spike in the power numbers. On Friday night, Garcia added three hits, including his seventh double of the season. He also drove in a run and scored twice.
Along with Garcia, Gustavo Nunez has seen an unexpected uptick in power as well. To begin the season, Nunez saw a huge extra base hit drought. Friday night was his third straight game with an extra base hit, as he added his fifth double of the season. He had homered twice this week as well.
Angel Sanchez left the game after 3.1 innings of work after tossing 61 pitches. The cause for the early departure has not been disclosed just yet.
Brad Lincoln allowed just one hit and two walks, while striking out a pair in 3.2 of scoreless innings of relief. Bobby LaFromboise allowed a solo home run in his frame of work before Blake Wood got roughed up in the ninth. While he wrapped the game up, it was after he allowed four hit and three earned runs.
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ALTOONA — Tom Harlan got the call to start for the Curve after Chad Kuhl skipped his regularly scheduled start. The Curve decided to skip Kuhl’s start to give him some rest and limit his innings. He’s made 21 starts so far this season for Altoona, and his 122.1 IP is top 10 in the Eastern League.
In four starts this season for Tom Harlan, he has a 3.15 ERA in 20 innings. He only walked one while striking out four tonight. He has pitched more than five innings only once this season, a spot start on May 13th where he allowed two runs in six innings. His 79 pitches this evening were also the second most he’s thrown all year behind that May 13 start.
Obviously, the strong spot start for Harlan was extremely welcomed given that he hasn’t been stretched out for quite some time. He was a regular starter in the Altoona rotation last year after being moved up from Bradenton, but he was relegated to bullpen duties this year after a tough AFL. As a reliever, Harlan has allowed 22 runs in 50 innings, with nine of those runs coming in two terrible outings.
John Kuchno recorded the two-inning save, but he allowed a solo home run in the 9th. That would be the eighth home run that Kuchno has allowed this season.
Stetson Allie threw out a runner at home to end the 4th after the base runner tried to tag up on a fly ball to right. He now has 13 outfield assists on the year, which is tied for the Eastern League lead. Sebastian Valle was the only Altoona batter with multiple hits tonight with a couple singles.
In the bottom of the 7th, Barrett Barnes came in as a pinch hitter with two runners on and put down a great sacrifice bunt. The throw to first went wide of the base, and Barned ended up standing on third with both runs scoring after the error. Later in the inning, the Curve accomplished a double steal of second and home, with Eric Wood taking second then Barrett Barnes going home after the throw to second.
In other notes, Jose Osuna roped a double to left field in the 8th and went to third when the left fielder failed to cleanly play the ball. It is the seventh game this season that Osuna batted in the third spot in the lineup. He has seen the most success while batting fifth, hutting .329 in 70 at bats. Adam Frazier and Max Moroff were both hitless on the night, with Moroff striking out twice and walking twice. Moroff has seen his batting average dip from .326 on July 19th to .305 after tonight’s game. For Frazier, if he continues to play every day, he should qualify for league batting title, and he is currently batting .345. – Sean McCool
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The Marauders had a good test on Friday night, facing former Pirates’ prospect Buddy Borden, who has been one of the best pitchers in the FSL this year. They got to him early due to a two-out error that turned a very quick inning to a three-run deficit on a Jin-De Jhang homer. All three runs were unearned, and it allowed the Marauders to see about 10-15 extra pitches. Bradenton put another unearned run on the board in the second, while making Borden throw a lot of pitches again.
Luis Heredia was on the mound for Bradenton, coming off a start in which he allowed four runs on seven hits in two innings. He got out of the first in 16 pitches, allowing a walk and single before inducing a double play to end the inning. In the second inning, he had the same treatment that Borden did, although he was 15 pitches into the inning before it got extended by an error. After that, the wheels fell off and Charlotte hit the ball well, putting three runs on the board. He struck out three batters in the inning, but also threw 31 pitches and gave up a triple and double that were hard hit.
In the third inning, Heredia allowed a line drive single on the first pitch, then got a pop out to left field a couple pitches later. Heredia got some help after he threw a ball in the dirt and Reese McGuire threw the runner out trying to move up. However, the next pitch was hit for a homer, tying the game. It made the score 4-4, though it was the first earned run for either pitcher. A weakly hit infield single extended the inning, but it ended a few pitches later on a fly ball to Austin Meadows.
Heredia came back out for the fourth and gave up his eighth hit, but he picked up two strikeouts in the inning, giving him five in the game. His pitch count was high in every inning, so his night was ended after four frames.
Jhang, Wyatt Mathisen ad Jordan Steranka each had two hits. Jhang’s homer accounted for half the offense. Austin Meadows hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth to cap the scoring, giving Bradenton a 6-4 win. The homer was the sixth of the season for Meadows. Harold Ramirez had a single and two walks. Reese McGuire had a crazy game with his throws. He nailed all three base runners trying to steal, but he also made three poor throws, only getting credited for one error due to some help from Jordan Steranka. – John Dreker
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After falling behind twice by two runs in the contest, West Virginia fought back to tie it both times. Additionally, they also trailed in the top of the ninth, but added another run to tie it at one and send the game to extras.
The run that scored in the ninth was a RBI single by Jordan Luplow that scored Elvis Escobar. In fact, Luplow added two hits in the game, including his 32nd double of the season. While he has been strong all season, Luplow has built on his .995 OPS in June with a 1.032 OPS so far in August. This month, he already has a home run and two doubles in six games.
The first two-run deficit was eliminated on a RBI double, his 17th of the season. Reyes also added his 10th home run of the season in the game to help cut into another deficit. Along with three hits in the game, Reyes also scored two runs and drove in two more. Escobar also added four hits, while Michael Suchy also added three hits, with his 26th double of the season. The double fueled a 12th inning rally and Suchy scored the go-ahead and eventual game winning run.
Colten Brewer worked five innings to solid contact. He allowed seven hits and four earned runs. However, he did strike out five over the outing, he also helped to contribute to some of the deficits.
Julio Vivas worked four strong innings, allowing one run on three hits. He also walked a pair, while striking out three. Jake Burnette worked the final three innings, allowing two hits and three walks. Burnette did not allow a run and struck out five.
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MORGANTOWN — I got to see Dario Agrazal a lot last year in the GCL, and while the results were good, the stuff was very vanilla. He’s a sinkerball pitcher who works in the upper 80s, moving up to the low 90s at times. That’s a common approach in the Pirates’ system, and it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It didn’t work last year, as Agrazal had a horrible defense behind him. He’s been getting much better results this year, and that probably coincides with the stronger defense.
Tonight, Agrazal was sitting 87-90 MPH with the fastball, relying heavily on the pitch. It was very effective, as he went seven innings, giving up one run on two hits, with no walks and three strikeouts. He got 13 groundouts and just two fly outs.
The guy with some of the hardest hits the last few days was Mitchell Tolman. He crushed a triple to deep center last night, and tonight he had two doubles, including one deep to the right-center gap. Tolman also stepped up to play second base tonight for the first time in his pro career with Kevin Kramer out. He had been taking grounders at the position, and asked manager Wyatt Toregas if he could fill in tonight. After the game, Toregas said that he liked what he saw, and might find more opportunities to get Tolman moving around in the infield, instead of just playing third base.
As for Kramer, I mentioned last night that he will be out a few days after being involved in a collision at first base on Wednesday. I talked with Kramer tonight, who described the injury as an “oblique bruise” and said that he will be out a few more games as a precaution.
Last night I talked with Kevin Newman after the game, discussing his double in the bottom of the tenth inning where he stretched a single to a close double with his speed. He gave what sounded like a clichéd answer, noting that he plays the game all out. But tonight he proved just that. Newman didn’t have a hit, but had one fly ball/liner down the line in left field. He tucked his head and ran hard, rounding first just like the night before and going for two all the way. He slid into second base, then got up and looked around to see the opponents running off the field. That’s when he realized that the left fielder ranged far to the line and made the catch for the third out, which happened right as he was reaching first base.
I also wrote last night that Casey Hughston has been hitting better lately, but has a trend of attacking only the inner half of the plate, and needs to work on being more aggressive on the outside half. He had another hit tonight, and once again it was a pitch on the inside that he pulled between the first and second baseman for a single.
Danny Arribas showed off some nice defense at third base tonight. He is an interesting guy who can play all of the corner spots, including corner outfield, while also being able to handle catching duties. I talked with a scout two nights ago who thought he was interesting as well. I mentioned that he had the skills to reach Double-A as a super utility guy that could provide some organizational depth. The scout mentioned that with those types of guys, all you need to do is get them to Double-A, and then hope something clicks. That’s not to say that something will click for Arribas. It’s just that I see him as more than a lower level organizational guy, even if his most likely outcome is an upper level organizational guy. – Tim Williams
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After only picking up one hit through six innings, Bristol broke out in the seventh with five hits to tie the game at three. Edgar Figueroa picked up a RBI double in the frame. The double added to the 11-game hitting streak for Figueroa. However, Bristol was not able to pick up any more hits the rest of the way.
Billy Roth was only able to work one inning after a long rain delay. However, it was a tough start for the righty, as he allowed two hits and two runs in the frame. Neil Kozikowski followed the rain delay and worked five innings, allowing three hits and one run.
After Bristol fought back to tie the game, Dan Urbina allowed three hits and three runs in his one inning of work. Mervin Del Rosario finished off the game with a strikeout, while allowing a hit in a scoreless eighth.
Nick Buckner added a pair of hits for Bristol. Buckner now has hits in six of his last seven games for Bristol, with a pair of those being multi-hit efforts.
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This was the completion of a game that started on July 22nd, when they played three innings. The next day, they tried to finish the game and got in just one full inning, then started the top of the fifth before it was suspended again. On the third attempt to play this game, the Pirates won 13-8, but they only played 3 1/2 innings, so it still ended up as a shortened contest. These stats count for July 22nd, so some of the batting averages in the boxscore won’t match up with current numbers.
Before the game was suspended a second time, Michael de la Cruz connected on his first home run of the season, a fifth inning grand slam. After the game restarted, the Pirates put up six runs in the sixth inning to take the lead. Ke’Bryan Hayes finished with two hits and two walks. Raul Siri drove in three runs with a double and a triple. Adrian Valerio has gone four games without a hit, and while that streak is still technically going, he did pick up a base hit after play resumed.
Pitcher Yunior Montero pitched the one inning on July 23rd and gave up a solo homer. After play resumed today, he took the mound and threw three shutout innings. In his four total innings, he struck out six batters. In his last two appearances combined(not including this game), he racked up ten strikeouts in seven innings, so he has been very effectively lately in extended relief outings.
Game two has been postponed until a later date. These two teams already have a doubleheader scheduled for Saturday, so they won’t make the game up this series, but they meet four more time at the end of the month. – John Dreker
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The DSL Pirates clinched a losing season with 13 games left in the year, dropping to 22-37 after a 10-4 loss on Friday. Starter Yerry De Los Santos gave up two runs over three innings, but his pitch count was high due to seven hits and three walks. Adonis Pichardo pitched for the first time in 23 days, after missing time due to arm fatigue. It looks like he came back too soon, as he recorded just one out, while allowing four runs on three hits and a walk. Both pitchers signed for six-figure bonuses last July.
On offense, All-Star outfielder Felix Vinicio had two doubles and drove in two runs. Catcher Gabriel Brito had a single, giving him hits in eight of his last nine games. Yondry Contreras continued his tough rookie season. The 17-year-old signed for $400,000 last year, but he’s proving that a big bonus doesn’t automatically equal success. He went 0-for-4 in this game, striking out three times. He has struck out 67 times in 199 at-bats this year and his average has been hovering just over the .200 mark for awhile. – John Dreker