Prospect Watch: Tyler Eppler’s Changeup Leads to Best Start of the Year

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’);
display_top30(607192,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

2. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

3. Austin Meadows, CF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(640457,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

4. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(605137,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(593700,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

6. Reese McGuire, C, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(624512,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

7. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

8. Harold Ramirez, OF, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(623912,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

9. Cole Tucker, SS, West Virginia – Disabled List

10. Kevin Newman, SS, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

11. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

12. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

13. Clay Holmes, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(605501,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

15. Max Moroff, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

16. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

17. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

18. Trey Supak, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(657022,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

19. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

20. Adam Frazier, SS, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(624428,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

21. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(591994,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

22. Steven Brault, LHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

23. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

24. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

25. Adrian Valerio, SS, GCL -[insert_php] display_top30(650832,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

26. Connor Joe, 1B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

27. John Holdzkom, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

28. Jordan Luplow, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php] display_top30(656669,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

29. Casey Hughston, OF, Morgantown -[insert_php] display_top30(641713,’B’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

30. Billy Roth, RHP, Bristol -[insert_php] display_top30(624517,’P’,’20150817′);
[/insert_php]

P2 Top Performers

[insert_php] display_topperf(‘20150817’);
[/insert_php]

Indianapolis Indians Prospect Watch

[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150817′,’ind’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

INDIANAPOLIS — Josh Bell picked up a pair of singles and a stolen base on Monday, as he continued his hot stretch since being promoted to Indianapolis. Bell has hits in ten of his last 12 games, with six of those being multi-hit efforts. Entering Monday, Bell was hitting .421 in his past 11 games.

Alen Hanson took another 0-for-3 and is just 4-for-25 in his past eight games, continuing his cold streak since the All-Star break.

Dan Gamache added three hits, with a double in the game. Gorkys Hernandez also added a two-hit game.

Monday broke a string of five games of going at least 6.1 innings for Chris Volstad. In those contest, Volstad allowed 30 hits and eight runs in 33.2 innings of work. The right-handed hurler allowed nine hits and six runs in five innings on Monday. Adam Miller followed Volstad and struggled just as much, allowing three hits and three runs in 1.1 innings. Frank Herrmann made his Indianapolis debut and struck out three in 1.1 innings of perfect baseball. Rob Scahill worked for the second day in a row in his rehab assignment, tossing a perfect frame.

Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison each had days off in their rehab stint and the plan is for both to play nine innings again on Tuesday.-Ryan Palencer

Altoona Curve Prospect Watch

Altoona has off on Monday.

Bradenton Marauders Prospect Watch

[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150817′,’bra’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

BRADENTON — Tyler Eppler had his best start of the year tonight, throwing seven shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk, and striking out five. After the game, Bradenton manager Michael Ryan credited the success to Eppler’s changeup. Eppler is comfortable with the pitch, and was getting a lot of swings and misses, with opposing hitters getting out in front of the pitch. That included top prospect Dominic Smith, who went 1-for-3 against Eppler tonight, but wasn’t having the best results against the changeup.

Eppler was sitting 92-94 MPH with his fastball, and doing a good job of commanding the pitch. He’s had trouble at times leaving it up in the zone and losing command of the pitch, but that didn’t happen tonight. He was extremely efficient, needing just 85 pitches to get through the outing, with a lot of very short innings.

With the promotions over the last month, Bradenton has seen a lot of their first half bench guys emerge as starters in the second half. A few of those guys are having success lately, including Justin Maffei and Chris Diaz. Maffei picked up two hits tonight, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Diaz picked up three hits yesterday, and got on base three times tonight. He also had a three hit game last week. The most impressive thing was that Diaz showed off great defense at shortstop, with a strong arm and smooth fielding.

Austin Meadows and Harold Ramirez both picked up infield singles for their only hits of the night. Meadows also used his speed earlier in the night to beat out a double play, allowing two runs to score thanks to aggressive, heads-up base running from speedster Jeff Roy, who scored from second. – Tim Williams

West Virginia Power Prospect Watch

[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150817′,’wva’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

Starter Alex McRae has shown some glimpses of being a good pitcher this year, but most of his games have gone like his start on Monday. He went 5.1 innings, surrendering four runs on 12 hits, including two homers. His ERA went up slightly to 5.20 through 114.1 innings. Last season for Jamestown, he had a 6.21 ERA in 15 starts, which was quite unexpected for a tenth round pick. He hasn’t really improved in any stats this year, so the 22-year-old righty has a long way to go before he has any type of prospect status.

The Power lost 4-2, but Jordan Luplow did all he could do to help them win. He was 2-for-2 with two walks, an RBI, two stolen bases and a run scored. Luplow has been on base 28 times in his last 11 games. Tito Polo hit his 16th double, stole his system-leading 42nd base and picked up an outfield assist. Connor Joe had two hits, while Tyler Filliben had two hits and scored a run. Jerrick Suiter drove in his 49th run of the season. Kevin Newman went 1-for-4 and he’s now hitting .226 through his first seven games. That’s the same average he had in 38 games with Morgantown.

West Virginia Black Bears Prospect Watch

Morgantown is on their All-Star break.

Bristol Pirates Prospect Watch1

 

[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150817′,’bri’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

Trey Supak tried to make a start last Monday, but one batter into the game it started raining and by the fourth batter, it was a downpour. The game was suspended and finished two days later, with three runs being charged to Supak. Since it wasn’t the ideal situation to make his return from missing a month with shoulder soreness, you can’t take much from facing four batters in the rain. Now a week later, Supak made his second start(sixth of the season) and went three innings, allowing one run on a solo homer with two outs in the third. He also allowed a single, and didn’t issue any walks. Supak struck out two and got four ground ball outs, so it was a strong start on his limited pitch count.

Neil Kozikowski followed Supak and threw three shutout innings, striking out four batters. He threw 7.1 shutout innings over his previous two outings, so we may be seeing the potential that the Pirate saw when they gave him a $425,000 bonus in 2013. Kozikowski’s control has been strong and he is starting to pick up more strikeouts.

The offense was almost all off the bat of Jordan George, who had three of Bristol’s four hits and drove in two runs. His sixth inning single scored Nick Buckner and Carlos Ozuna, giving Bristol a 2-1 lead they would hold on to, with Scooter Hightower throwing three shutout frames(six strikeouts) for the save. Carlos Munoz is 2-for-17 in his last five games. Julio de la Cruz saw his 14-game hit streak and 23-game on base streak snapped.

GCL Pirates Prospect Watch
[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150801′,’pir’);
[/insert_php] [/expand] [expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150817′,’pir’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

Game One: This game originally began on August 1st, getting suspended due to rain after the first inning. Some of the stats in the boxscore won’t match up with the game notes because these stats count towards August 1st, while I used the season stats. Nicholas Economos started the game and only went that one inning. Chris Plitt was on the mound when play resumed, and he ended up throwing five shutout innings for the win. In 33.2 innings, he has a 3.21 ERA, with one walk and 24 strikeouts. That lone walk was issued in this game. Plitt has allowed one run over 15 innings in his last three outings combined.

The Pirates won game one 4-0, with Sam Kennelly collecting a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning, followed by an RBI single in the sixth. Michael de la Cruz hit his fourth triple and scored a run. Adrian Valerio hit his 11th double and stole his sixth base in six attempts. He had an RBI and scored a run. Victor Fernandez was caught stealing for the first time all season in his 14th attempt. Ke’Bryan Hayes had a single and scored a run.

Game Two: Ike Schlabach made his second start of the season in the second game of the doubleheader. The 6’5″, 18-year-old lefty was the second high school player the Pirates drafted this year(after Hayes), taken in the 19th round. He signed an over-slot deal in July and pitched his first game last Tuesday, giving up one unearned run in two innings. On Monday, Schlabach allowed a two-run homer in the third inning, which knocked him out of the game, giving him three runs over 2.1 innings. He walked two, gave up three hits and struck out one, while getting five ground ball outs.

The Pirates got on the board first in this game, with a lead-off triple from Michael de la Cruz, followed by an RBI single from Ke’Bryan Hayes. They would lose 7-1 and collect just two hits the rest of the way. Hayes drew one of the two Pirates’ walks, with Edison Lantigua getting the other. That’s actually a good sign, as Lantigua had just three walks coming into this game. Hayes has a .349 average, which leads the GCL by eight points.

DSL Pirates Prospect Watch

[expand title=”Box Score” tag=”span”] [insert_php] create_boxscore(‘20150817′,’dpi’);
[/insert_php] [/expand]

P2 Game Notes

The DSL Pirates started their last week of the season with a 7-3 win over the Brewers. Starter Domingo Robles gave up two runs over 4.2 innings. with no walks and five strikeouts. He has allowed a total of four earned runs over his last four starts. Four Pirates’ pitchers combined for no walks and nine strikeouts. Jeremias Portorreal his his first homer of the season and drove in four runs to lead the offense. He hit two homers all of last year. Catcher Gabriel Brito had a double, a walk and scored two runs. Shortstop Cristopher Perez hit his second triple of the season, scored a run and drove in a run. Yondry Contreras had a single, walk and run scored. Huascar Fuentes hit three singles.

  • Bell put that slow start in the dust. I don’t know if he’ll ever become a big home run hitter but he sure looks like a future batting champion which is fine by me. Also, Gamache looks like he should be given every chance to win a utility role out of spring training.

    • No way Hurdle gives Gamache the UT out of ST. He loves veterans. Only reason JHay was UT is he played outstanding and forced Clints hand. He still glances down the bench occasionally to see if Brandon Inge is in uniform.

  • Robert Reznik
    August 18, 2015 2:19 am

    You guys need to give a little love to Dan ganache. You give an awful lot on so many prospects but unless I missed it not much on Danny , how does his glove rate? Gracias

  • Tim and John, I see Tito Polo! had his 42nd SB tonight. Definitely has a chance for over 50… But I see only batting .250…what do you project him as? I mean you can’t ignore this type of speed.

    • He is a better hitter than that, but he did get an aggressive push to this level from the GCL last year, so it’s hard to be too critical. He had a nice April, May was down and June was bad, but he has picked it up since then and looks to be finishing strong. He’s got lots of tools, so there is potential and they can be patient with him with all the outfielders ahead of him

  • Tim, what kind of eye does Meadows have at that plate?

    • One of the issues with Meadows in the GCL when I saw him two years ago was that he struggled against breaking pitches. He has improved his pitch recognition, and is no longer swinging at bad pitches that often, and isn’t getting fooled by breaking stuff. He’s got a good approach, but also makes great contact, which is probably why his walk rate is around 7%, despite the good plate patience.

Menu