Prospect Watch: Tyler Eppler Continues Impressive Stretch

P2 Top 30

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] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);
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2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20150828′);
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4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20150828′);
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5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20150828′);
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6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(624512,’B’,’20150828′);
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7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20150828′);
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8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(623912,’B’,’20150828′);
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9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – Disabled List

10. Kevin Newman, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20150828′);
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11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20150828′);
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12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20150828′);
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13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton – Disabled List

14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20150828′);
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15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20150828′);
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16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20150828′);
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17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20150828′);
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18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(657022,’P’,’20150828′);
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19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20150828′);
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20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(624428,’B’,’20150828′);
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21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(591994,’B’,’20150828′);
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22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20150828′);
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23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20150828′);
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24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20150828′);
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25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20150828′);
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26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20150828′);
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27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia – Disabled List

29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(641713,’B’,’20150828′);
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30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(624517,’P’,’20150828′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Indianapolis Indians Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Chris Volstad pitched seven strong innings and he also came up with a couple big hits in the 8-1 Indianapolis win. He gave up just one run on five hits and no walks, while driving home four runs with two doubles. Radhames Liz followed him with a scoreless inning, though it wasn’t pretty. He gave up three hits and struck out two batters. Liz showed some excellent control, throwing 15 of his 17 pitches for strikes. All three hits he allowed were grounders, one being an infield hit.

Josh Bell had three hits to give him a .352 average with Indianapolis. He has reached base safely in 20 of his last 21 games, with the lone exception being a seven inning game during a doubleheader. Elias Diaz also had three hits, including his fourth home run of the season. Travis Snider had two hits, scored two runs and drew a walk. Keon Broxton collected his 11th triple of the season. He has 44 extra-base hits this year. Willy Garcia is in a 2-for-23 slump, striking out ten times over that stretch. He was the only player in the lineup not to collect a hit.

 

Altoona Curve Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

 

ALTOONA– Chad Kuhl got the start for Altoona, and he took a 17.2 scoreless inning streak into the game with him. Over his last nine starts, Kuhl has 1.20 ERA in 52.2 innings (seven earned runs).

Kuhl worked five quick and effective innings before getting hit hard twice in the sixth (which resulted in two runs). Before giving up two earned runs, Kuhl went a total of 23.1 consecutive shutout innings. He fell 2/3 innings short of the Altoona Curve franchise record for consecutive scoreless innings.

Through the first five innings, Kuhl had a GB:FB ratio of 12:2. He faced two over the minimum through those five innings, and he worked very efficiently. He was able to stay out of the middle of the plate with his fastball, keeping the ball down in the zone the whole game.

In the sixth, Kuhl allowed a groundball single then a walk. The Curve had an opportunity to turn a double play with a groundball hit to Max Moroff, but the Trenton baserunner did a great job avoiding the tag after Moroff had to go to his left to field the ball. Moroff was forced to throw to first for only one out, which ended up being the difference in the game for Kuhl. The next batter hit a hard fly ball for a sacrifice followed by an RBI double, which was the only extra base hit Kuhl allowed on the night.

As a whole, Kuhl looked extremely good again, and he had the opportunity to get out of the game without allowing any runs if not for two rare fly balls in the sixth. He finished the game with a 15:4 GB:FB ratio. His fastball sat around 94-95 MPH, and he topped out at 97 MPH on a couple pitches. Something very unlike Kuhl tonight was the fact that he had just one strikeout. He was not able to finish out at-bats like he has in previous games, but at the very least they were hitting mostly groundballs.

In the ninth inning, Jacob Stallings threw out his 30th runner of the year to give him a caught stealing rate of 37%. Aside from one cross up in the sixth, Stallings was also very good at framing and blocking pitches all night, like he has been all season. Stallings also added two hits tonight, giving him a .270 average on the season. His best at-bat ended with him going right back up the middle with a line drive single.

Also defensively, Adam Frazier and Max Moroff combined for two double plays early in the game, which helped Chad Kuhl fly through the opposing roster twice. On one DP in particular, Frazier went to his right to field and made a very quick turn towards second. Moroff followed by a very quick catch and release to first to turn the play. Both players looked good tonight defensively, especially with all of the groundballs being sent their way. Frazier and Moroff also added one hit tonight, with their averages sitting at .328 and .297, respectively. Moroff’s hit is listed as a triple, but the center fielder never saw the deep fly ball off of the bat and it sailed over his head.

Andy Vasquez homered for the second time in as many nights. During seven games in his most recent stint with Altoona, Vasquez is batting .318 with three home runs, a double, and six RBIs.- Sean McCool

Bradenton Marauders Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Tyler Eppler has been as good as anyone over his last four starts. Including tonight’s performance, he has thrown 26.2 innings without allowing an earned run. During that span, he has allowed 16 hits and three walks. This game included something that has been missing from most of his starts. Coming into this outing, he had an 0.90 GO/AO ratio, which is one of the lower ones among starters in the system. He improved great out that, with a 10:0 GO/AO ratio in this game. Eppler lowered his season ERA to 2.58 through 66.1 innings.

Bradenton kept their slim playoff hopes alive with a 5-3 victory in 11 innings. Chris Diaz had a big day and the big hit in this game. His two-run triple in the 11th was the difference in the score. He had three hits and a walk, drove in a total of three runs and stole his seventh base of the season. Austin Meadows had just one hit, his 21st double of the year. He also picked up his 19th stolen base. Justin Maffei had three hits, scored once and picked up an RBI. Trace Tam Sing scored two runs. Edwin Espinal returned from a two-week trip to the disabled list and went 0-for-3 with a walk, leaving for a pinch-runner in the ninth.

West Virginia Power Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Alex McRae gave up one run over seven innings in his last start. Right before that, he had three starts in which he gave up 17 runs on 29 hits in 15.2 innings. In this game, he added another solid performance, allowing one run over six innings. He gave up five hits, one walk and hit a batter. McRae hasn’t had a good season overall, even before those three straight poor outings. With two straight strong starts, he still has a 4.81 ERA this season.

Kevin Kramer is now 0-for-11 in three games with West Virginia, after collecting five hits in his last game with Morgantown. Kevin Newman hit his first triple for West Virginia, and second as a pro. He also scored a run, drew a walk and drove in two runs. The Power had eight hits and three walks, with Connor Joe being the only player in the lineup not to reach base. They scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning, the same frame that Augusta scored their only run. West Virginia had five hits in the inning, with Newman’s two-run triple being the big hit. He scored right after that on a passed ball.

West Virginia Black Bears Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

Dario Agrazal Jr. allowed two runs over five innings in this game, keeping his streak alive of going at least five innings with three earned runs or less in every start this season. He had a poor second inning, allowing three doubles in the frame, accounting for both runs. Agrazal also had some rare command issues throughout the game, hitting three batters. His 2.83 ERA is the sixth best in the NYPL and the best on Morgantown.

It seems like a lot of the game recaps recently have been about how bad the offense has been and this game was no different. Morgantown had five hits, all singles. They drew three walks and went 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Their only run needed help from a two-base throwing error and a passed ball. Casey Hughston had a sacrifice fly, but he also couldn’t come through in a big spot. The Black Bear loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth, collecting a single and two walks. Hughston could have made it a game with one swing. Instead, he grounded out to shortstop to end the game with a 6-1 loss. It was a big defeat for Morgantown, as they came into the day with a 1.5 game lead in the wild card.

Christian Kelley went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. He has been hitting well lately, reaching base in each of his previous 13 games. Albert Baur scored the only run after reaching on an error. He also collected two walks.

Bristol Pirates Prospect Watch1

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P2 Game Notes

Trey Supak made his eighth start of the season on Friday night. Unless he gets moved up to Morgantown, this was his last game of the season, as Bristol plays finishes their season up on Tuesday. He missed some time with shoulder soreness and ended up with only 28.1 innings, though he got some pitching in during Extended Spring Training and he will pitch in the Fall Instructional League next month. Supak had a tough time closing out his performance in this one. He looked great through four innings, giving up two hits and a walk, but no runs. In the fifth, he ended up allowing four earned runs on four hits, with one of the runs scoring after he left for a reliever with two outs. Pulaski ended up scoring seven runs in the inning.

Bristol came from behind the win this game, overcoming a five run deficit to pull out a 10-9 victory. Jordan Goerge has been the best hitter for the team in August and he had a big game, going 4-for-4 with a walk, two doubles, an RBI and two runs scored. He is hitting .347 in 98 at-bats, with 14 extra-base hits and a 19:15 BB/SO ratio. Nick Buckner drove in four runs, hitting his ninth double and second triple. In his third game since being promoted from the GCL, Raul Siri had three hits, scored once and drove in a run from the lead-off spot. Sandy Santos scored two runs, hit his 11th double and fourth triple. The Pirates had 17 hits in the game.

 

GCL Pirates Prospect Watch

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P2 Game Notes

The GCL Pirates broke an 11-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory, as Sam Kennelly hit a three-run homer in the eighth inning to put them on top. This game had no hits on either side through three innings, with 18-year-old lefty Ike Schlabach looking very strong early. He ran into trouble in the fourth, giving up two runs. Schlabach ended up with his longest outing and it was a decent intro to pro ball for the 19th round pick, who signed an over-slot deal. He pitched four times this season, with a 5.40 ERA in 11.2 innings. He obviously didn’t dominate with that ERA or his 1.46 WHIP, but he has huge upside with a fastball that hits low-90’s and a 6’5″ frame that makes him highly projectable.

The homer for Kennelly was his first as a pro, and just the tenth of the season for the Pirates. No one on the team has more than two home runs. Michael de la Cruz had a nice game with a walk, single, RBI and run scored. He has drawn nine walks in his last nine games, and he has reached base in ten straight games.

Nick Hutchings finished off his season by striking out the side in the fifth inning. That gave him ten strikeouts in 8.1 innings this season, after striking out a batter every other inning last year(24 K’s in 47.1 IP). He missed the beginning of the year due to a shoulder injury.

Chris Plitt picked up the win, throwing the last four innings. The 14th round pick from this year, finished with a 2.88 ERA in 40.1 innings. It’s possible he moves up to get in another appearance or two, as he is a college player and has pitched very well lately against the younger competition.

The Pirates wrap up their season on Saturday.

DSL Pirates Prospect Watch

The DSL Pirates have completed their season. You can read our full season recap here, with reports on 41 different players. There is also a list of 12 players to watch, which can be found here.

  • All right, this has bothered me for some time and maybe I need to listen to more podcasts and such, but how do you pronounce Kuhl? Kull? Kyle? Anyone?

  • Perhaps we can have Volstead play first on the days he isn’t pitching to increase his value. 🙂

  • Tim and John,

    As Kuhl continues to impress, can you assess his chances of being in the next top 30?

    • I’ll take that one and say I think the chances are pretty good.

      • Especially since Kuhl started the season at No. 24 – No way he should have ever been out of the Top 30.

        Tyler Eppler had a masterful outing – an AFL candidate? Can anybody explain why Connor Joe is still hitting 3rd in the Power lineup with only 14 EBH/1 HR while switchhitter Chase Simpson is batting 7th with 30 EBH/11 HR’s?

        • In most cases, prospect status dictates where players bat, not performance. Simpson started off on fire this year with a .987 OPS in April and hasn’t been close to that since. If he maintained that early pace, he’d probably be in Bradenton now.

          Kuhl dropped out of the top 30 due to five draft picks entering the system, two players they traded for(Brault/Tarpley) and two players that weren’t eligible for the list, Yeudy Garcia and Adrian Valerio. The other players that actually passed him were Max Moroff, Adam Frazier and Angel Sanchez. Seven weeks ago, it was hard to argue against any of those three.

          The “problem” with looking at numbers alone is that the system was a lot deeper in mid-July than it was back in November when we put together the first list. So someone like Kuhl could be considered just as good as he was when he was #24, but he isn’t being measured against the same group.

          We also prefer tiered rankings over numbers and he is in the same tier as players in the top 30 right now, meaning there wasn’t a big difference between him and Casey Hughston or Billy Roth.

    • I agree with Sean and say he has a really good chance to get into the top 30, just not sure where yet. The next top 30 will be for the book, so a lot could change between now and the voting, mostly if they add or subtract players. With Jones and Sampson gone, he is 36th on the current list, but that was put together seven weeks ago and he has made eight starts since then and looked great in seven of them

      • This looks like the Pirates are banking on the return of Burnett and the staying power of Happ by prepping Liz for a bullpen role in September. He did not succeed in that role earlier in the year. Do they see improved confidence or do they just rank him after Happ and Burnett, even Worley and mainly want to get the arm on the roster.

        • IMO, the Pirate bottom 3 SP’s are pitching above average for their place as #3, 4, and 5 SP’s. Burnett adds to that number, and as a result and barring injuries, need for a 7th SP out of the minors is slim/none. Liz can be helpful in the BP when Caminero is unable to go. Worley’s job either as a SP or RP has been filled much more than adequately by Joe Blanton.

          • I don’t think Liz should be pitching out of the pen. His usage to me this year has had me puzzled from the start. His background, and own words, said he was uncomfortable coming out of the pen. He jump started his career going back to a starter. Then after he falters once again in the pen in Pittsburgh, they send him down where he pitches great in the starter role. Then just as inexplicably, they move him back to the pen, where you quickly see results like last night. At this point I think he is a better starter option then Worley and Worley a better option out of the pen.

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