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Prospect Watch: Seven Shutout Innings From Jameson Taillon

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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, 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 2016 prospect guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

We’re working on a solution for the PHP stat codes not working in the app.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
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2. Austin Meadows, CF, Altoona – [insert_php]
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3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
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4. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
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5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
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6. Harold Ramirez, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
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7. Reese McGuire, C, Altoona -[insert_php]
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8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – Disabled List.

9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]
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11. Kevin Newman, SS, Bradenton -[insert_php]
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12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]
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13. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
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 14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – Extended Spring Training

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

16. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]
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17. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
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18. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
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19. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
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20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
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21. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php]
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22. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]
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23. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]
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25. Gage Hinsz, RHP,  – Extended Spring Training

26. Adrian Valerio, SS, – Extended Spring Training

27. Adam Frazier, INF/OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
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28. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php]
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29. Jordan Luplow, OF/3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]
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30. JT Brubaker, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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Jameson Taillon made his fifth start of the season on Tuesday night. He came in with a 1.54 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. His 0.86 WHIP ranked him third in the league.

In the first inning, Jameson Taillon started lead-off hitter Jaff Decker with two fastballs, getting a pop out to left field for the first out. On a 2-2 pitch to the second hitter, Taillon gave up a single up the middle on a curve. The next batter also lined a curve into center field, but this one was caught for the second out. The next batter flew out to center field. He threw 17 pitches in the inning, 13 for strikes. The fastball was 92-94, he threw two change-ups, both for strikes, and both curves were hit fairly well.

In the second inning, Taillon struck out the first batter on three pitches, starting his with a curve looking before getting a curve swinging for the out. Three pitches later, he got his second out on a foul ball near third base. Another three pitches later, he got a fly ball to left field for the third out. Nine pitches, eight for strikes, three were curves, all for strikes. No change-ups this inning, but he didn’t need it with the quick work he made of Durham.

Taillon got Jake Goebbert to ground out on the first pitch of the third. Two pitches later, he got a grounder to shortstop for the second out. Jaff Decker finished the grounder trifecta, hitting a 95 MPH fastball to second base for the third out. This inning was seven fastballs (four for strikes) and a change-up for a strike.

Through three innings, Taillon was doing great, but Durham starter Matt Andriese was dominating, setting down nine in order, seven by strikeouts. Some might remember his brother David Andriese, who was a recent late round pick of the Pirates, playing a couple seasons in the lower levels.

In the fourth, Taillon started with his second strikeout, both swinging on a curve. The next pitch was lined to Danny Ortiz in center field. Two pitches later, Taillon got the third out on a change-up grounded hard down to third base line, with Jung-ho Kang making the play. This inning was seven pitches, four fastballs, one curve and two change-ups. The other change was hit hard foul down the left field line.

The fifth started with a 3-2 grounder to second base. Taillon used all three pitches this at-bat. After missing with two curves, the next batter flew out to the warning track in left-center field. He got the third out on a fly ball to deep right field. Just three batters, but he needed 14 pitches this inning.

The sixth started with a high pop up to left field. The next batter popped out to second base. Jaff Decker broke up the string of 16 straight retired by working a walk. Taillon got out of the inning on a ball hit to the right field wall, which was caught by Willy Garcia. Taillon worked hard in this inning, throwing 20 pitches.

The seventh started with a strikeout looking, as Taillon threw all three pitches for strikes. He jammed the next hitter, breaking his bat, but the ball was fought out and it dropped into center field. The next batter grounded out to second base, advancing the runner who was on first base. Taillon got the next hitter to line out to deep center for the last out, ending his night. He threw 89 pitches total, 58 for strikes.

This was a strong outing because he was efficient with his pitches and got through seven innings without allowing a run. He gave up two hits, but one was on a great pitch. The walk was a battle and he was near the zone the entire game. There was a lot of solid contact and his 6:7 GO/AO ratio doesn’t include some well struck line drives. He didn’t get a lot of swing and misses, especially not compared to his earlier starts. Definitely not your typical Taillon outing because he’s been getting a lot of grounders and averaging a strikeout per inning prior to this game. The curve looked better than his last game, the change-up has looked good in all five games, though there was more contact this game, just no damage. The fastball was 92-94 the entire start, with just that one 95 mentioned above. He did a good job keeping it down in the zone.

So the basic summary is that he threw strikes and all three pitches looked good, but he gave up a lot of fly balls and wasn’t getting his usual swing and misses. Regardless of the last two issues, he has allowed one run over his last 20 innings now, limiting the opposition to 11 base runners.

Indianapolis won this game 1-0 in the 12th inning on a bases loaded walk-off single from Adam Frazier. The inning started with a single from Dan Gamache, followed by a Willy Garcia double. After a Mel Rojas Jr. infield pop out, Durham walked Jacob Stalling to load the bases. Max Moroff struck out as a pinch-hitter, before Frazier delivered the game winning hit.

Josh Bell went 3-for-5 with three singles in this game and his best hit ball was an out on a line drive to deep right field. He has reached base at least once in every game this season. Jung-ho Kang went 1-for-4 with a single. He hit two hard grounders for outs and struck out looking on a pitch in the dirt that was well out of the strike zone. Kang briefly questioned the call, which was a very poor call on the part of the umpire.

Indianapolis won this game despite striking out 17 times, including 14 times in the first seven innings. The double by Willy Garcia was the only extra-base hit of the game from either side. He also made a terrific throw from right-center on a ball hit off the wall to get Jake Goebbert at second base on what looked like a sure double.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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Altoona hitters had an interesting challenge in Tuesday’s game. It’s not often that you see players with MLB experience in Double-A, but usually those players are either on a rehab assignment, or their big league time was very limited. In Tuesday’s game, the Curve faced Lucas Harrell, who was a starting pitcher for two full seasons in the majors, plus put in some time in three other seasons. He is a regular in the Erie rotation this year. Altoona was able to pick up seven hits and two walks against him, but Harrell won the battle with six shutout innings.

On the other side, Erie put a hurting on starter David Whitehead and continued when Brett McKinney came into the game. They only stopped hitting when outfielder Jonathan Schwind came on in the seventh and recorded the last four outs without giving up a hit. Whitehead got knocked around for ten runs (six earned) on 14 hits, three walks and a hit batter. The 14 hits are three more than he allowed in his first four starts combined. The three walks however, tie his lowest total this season. McKinney gave up four runs in his two innings.

Harold Ramirez had three singles in four trips to the plate. He has raised his average 50 points in his last six games, now hitting .244 on the season. Anderson Feliz hit his sixth double, the only extra-base hit for the Curve. Stetson Allie had a single and drew two walks. Austin Meadows went 1-for-4 with a single. He is 5-for-30 in his first seven games.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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BRADENTON – Alex McRae pitched six innings tonight, giving up a run on seven hits, with a walk and two strikeouts. Despite the strong outing, Bradenton Manager Michael Ryan didn’t think McRae had his best stuff.

“He didn’t have his best stuff, he’ll be the first to admit,” Ryan said. “The defense that was behind him took a little bit of some pressure off. When the pressure wasn’t on, he was able to make some pitches, and that settled him in, in my opinion.”

McRae had some rough innings, but benefited from the defense. He gave up a leadoff single, which was erased by a caught stealing from Tomas Morales. He gave up a leadoff double in the second, which was erased when Elvis Escobar threw the runner out at third on a sac fly attempt in the next at-bat. The fourth inning saw him give up three singles with two outs, with one run scoring, but he got out of the jam.

“He just fell behind some hitters, but the inner competitor in him kept him in the game,” Ryan said. “He just didn’t give up. His last three innings were pretty good. The defense helping him throughout, put him in a bit of a groove.”

McRae got some help from the offense as well, with three runs coming in the fourth inning, giving the Marauders a lead they wouldn’t give up. Jerrick Suiter led off the inning with a single, one of his four hits on the night. Connor Joe drew a one out walk, followed by a triple from Elvis Escobar, which brought in two runs. Escobar scored on a sac fly by Tomas Morales.

The Marauders added another run in the sixth inning when Connor Joe put the first pitch he saw into the left field bullpen, hitting his first homer of the year. Joe has moved down to the bottom of the order recently, batting sixth tonight, and his bat has woken up. Prior to tonight, he had a .762 OPS since moving down in the order. That will go up after his 1-for-3 with a walk and a homer tonight.

Speaking of good defense, Pablo Reyes was playing shortstop tonight, and made a nice play in the ninth inning. The first batter of the inning hit a hard grounder up the middle, which was more of a slow liner which one hopped into the outfield grass. Reyes ranged to the edge of the grass, caught the ball after the one hop, and made a perfect throw to first. It was a strong play, requiring a lot of range and good agility to make the play. He not only made it, but he made it look easy. Reyes has good skills and the range to play shortstop, although sometimes that leads to him being a bit too wild. The lack of consistency is why he hasn’t been viewed as a regular shortstop and more of a second baseman in the past. – Tim Williams

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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West Virginia has off today

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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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