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Prospect Watch: Cody Dickson Continue Recent Success Against League’s Best


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.

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1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]
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2. Austin Meadows, CF, Altoona – [insert_php]

3. Josh Bell, 1B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

4. Jameson Taillon, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php]

5. Alen Hanson, 2B, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

6. Harold Ramirez, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]

7. Reese McGuire, C, Altoona -[insert_php]

8. Elias Diaz, C, Pirates – Disabled List.

9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

10. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, West Virginia -[insert_php]

11. Kevin Newman, SS, Bradenton – Disabled List

12. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Bradenton -[insert_php]

13. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – Disabled List

 14. Stephen Tarpley, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php]

15.Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php]

16. Chad Kuhl, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

17. Max Moroff, 2B, Indianapolis -[insert_php]

18. Mitch Keller, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]

19. Clay Holmes, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php]

20. Willy Garcia, OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]

21. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php]

22. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php]

23. Barrett Barnes, OF, Altoona -[insert_php]

24. Trevor Williams, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

25. Gage Hinsz, RHP  – [insert_php]

26. Adrian Valerio, SS – Extended Spring Training

27. Adam Frazier, INF/OF, Indianapolis -[insert_php]

28. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Bradenton -[insert_php]

29. Jordan Luplow, OF/3B, Bradenton – [insert_php]

30. JT Brubaker, RHP, West Virginia -[insert_php]

P2 Top Performers



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INDIANAPOLIS — Trevor Williams wasn’t flawless against Syracuse, but had his best start since returning from a mild rotator sprain.

He allowed 11 hits — but 10 of them were singles — and he primarily kept the ball on the ground. He threw 86 pitches, 59 for a strike and made it through six innings.

That follows his previous start — at Columbus on June 7 — that Williams labeled “an anomaly.” In that game he walked six batters, but had just one walk against Syracuse on Sunday.

Williams forced 12 groundball outs and had no flyouts. His last two outings with the Indians produced eight ground outs and four fly outs at Columbus; and five ground outs and three fly outs against Rochester.

“That’s what we saw in spring training,” Indianapolis manager Dean Treanor said. “He had command down in the zone and was getting a lot of ground balls in spring training.”

Because of how he pitched in spring training, Treanor said his expectations were “fairly high” entering the season. And now Sunday’s start is a “step in the right direction.”

“If he can put the ball on the ground like that he’ll be fine,” Treanor said.

Williams allowed four runs, two of which were earned. He was really only hit hard on two occasions – a home run and a sharp single. Four of those hits were against a shift, with grounders finding holes where there normally would be an infielder positioned.

The Indians’ played a shift used often by the Pirates at the major league level against left-handed hitters that predominantly pull the ball. Treanor said even if the team used traditional placement, several of those hits still would had been infield singles due to the speed of the hitter.

“For the most part everything was working well,” Williams said. “I threw my changeup for strikes. I got a lot of swing and misses out of that. They attacked the sinker, they just happened to hit it through the shift or through the infield. … The Pirates have success with the shift and I trust the shift, and I trust my coaches to go through. It’s frustrating obviously, but the most important pitches are made out of the stretch. I think for the most part I was able to bear down and continue to get ground balls, for the most part.”

Williams had an ideal first inning, inducing three ground outs on just eight pitches.

Syracuse had two hits and scored a run in the second inning, but did not hit a ball out of the infield. The Chiefs were helped by two infield singles against a shift, along with a fielding error.

Williams allowed two infield singles to open the inning, both of which came against a shifted infield that had shortstop Max Moroff pretty much lined up at second base. Each of the hits were on slow grounders to third base that Jason Rogers could not track down in time to throw to first.

Jason Martinson then hit into a 1-4-3 double play. Syracuse scored its first run of the game on an error by Williams, who bobbled Caleb Ramsey’s slow grounder down the first base line. But Williams got out of the inning by picking off Ramsey.

Williams made one big mistake in the game – throwing a curveball to Pedro Severino that was hit into the left field lawn for a home run to lead off the third inning. The home run was the first ball Syracuse hit out of the infield.

Josh Bell made a nice diving stop on a grounder to his glove side, flipping to Williams for the first out. Williams then struck out Trea Turner, the second-ranked prospect in the Nationals’ organization, on a 94 MPH fastball.

After that, Williams got into a slight jam but worked his way out. Steve Lombardozzi reached on a single past a diving Rogers, who was shading toward shortstop due to the shift. Williams then threw away a pick-off attempt for one of his errors in the game.

Williams then allowed his first walk of the game, giving a free pass to Goodwin who was behind in the count 0-2. But he got Matt Skole to ground out to end the inning.

Syracuse added two runs in the fifth inning, started by Trea Turner’s bunt single, and he advanced to second on an errant throw to first by Williams.

From there, Williams did get a pair of outs – one on a sacrifice bunt and another on a pop out. But Williams gave up three consecutive singles, which scored two runs. One of those hits was a bloop single, and another was where against a shift, hit where the second baseman would typically be located.

Williams said he worked on improving his delivery, from where he had it during the past two starts.

“I was really jumping forward and using my body too much instead of just letting my arm do what it’s supposed to do,” Williams said. “I think we made great strides with that today.”

Indianapolis’ first sign of life at the plate came in the fifth inning. Max Moroff reached on a single and scored on Adam Frazier’s RBI triple. Josh Bell followed that with an RBI ground out.

But the biggest hit came in the ninth inning. Bell was facing an 0-2 count, but hit a double to the left-center field gap that scored Adam Frazier from first to win the game. Max Moroff had an RBI single earlier in the inning, while the Indians tied the game at 4-4 when Frazier beat the throw to first on a potential game-ending double play. That scored a run and set up Bell for his game-winning hit.

“I truly believe in watching [Bell] that he wants to be up on that situation,” Treanor said. “That’s something you can’t teach. … You’re not supposed to miss mistakes and he didn’t miss that one.”

Wilfredo Boscan pitched the ninth inning and only allowed a bloop single. Treanor said Boscan will be used out of the bullpen for now. Boscan’s previous eight appearances in Indianapolis were all starts, but he was used exclusively out of the bullpen during his promotion with the Pirates. – Brian Peloza


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Cody Dickson came into Sunday’s game as the best pitcher in the Altoona rotation recently. In his previous six starts combined, he allowed a total of five earned runs. That included one shutout and five games with one run. In this game he was facing the top offensive team in the league in Reading, and they are well ahead of the pack in both hitting and in the standings. They now have a 45-19 record after handing Altoona a 2-1 loss on Sunday.

Dickson had to work hard in his five innings, but he kept Reading off the board, giving up just three hits and three walks. He had five strikeouts and a 4:5 GO/AO ratio, throwing 53 of his 89 pitches for strikes. Perhaps most impressive is how he handled the big bats in the order, setting down Dylan Cozens and Rhys Hoskins all four times he faced them, all on strikeouts. Those two middle of the order hitters have combined for 35 homers this season.

Austin Meadows extended his hitting streak to 21 games with an eighth inning double. That set up Altoona’s first run and gave them a brief 1-0 lead. Harold Ramirez singled prior to the Meadows’s double, moving to third on the play. He then scored on a wild pitch. In the bottom of the ninth, an error by Chris Diaz, followed by a single, walk and another single, gave Reading the victory. Former Pirate Joely Rodriguez got the win in this game and had a save earlier in the series.

Ramirez went 3-for-3 with a walk in this game. He had three hits in his previous game and two hits the day before, snapping out of a slump that saw him go 2-for-29 over seven games. In the last month (since May 13th), Meadows has 11 doubles, eight triples and five homers


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In his first start for Bradenton, JT Brubaker ran into the problem he was having during most of May in West Virginia. A two-run homer in the first, was part of a three-run inning that put him in an early hole and led to a 4-1 loss to Tampa. Brubaker went five innings and allowed all four runs. He gave up seven hits and a walk, while striking out four batters. He threw 81 pitches total, 51 for strikes, and he had a 4:5 GO/AO ratio, which was typical of his starts when he was leaving the ball up in the zone. Brubaker has allowed ten home runs this season over 67 innings, which is seven more than he allowed last year in 73.1 innings.

The offense managed just four singles, four walks, and they came up empty with runners in scoring position. Jordan Luplow has been as hot as any hitter in the system in June, and he had a single and a walk in this game, driving in the lone run. In eight games this month, he has a 1.035 OPS, hitting .360 with eight walks. Cole Tucker went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts. He has picked up hits in eight of his ten games since joining Bradenton. Jerrick Suiter had a single in this game and has now reached base in 12 consecutive games.


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West Virginia won 5-2 on Sunday afternoon against Columbia, one day after they were eliminated from the first half pennant race. The top of the lineup did all the damage, as Tito Polo, Mitchell Tolman and Ke’Bryan Hayes each collected two hits, and between them they drove in all five runs. Tolman drove in three runs and hit his 11th double. Hayes hit his ninth double, and Polo hit his 11th home run.

John Bormann continued his impressive streak of getting on base. As the backup catcher, he has played just 19 times since Opening Day. Despite that, his single today gave him a .302 average and he’s now reached base safely in all 19 games.

Bret Helton started the game and pitched strong,  giving up one run over five innings. He allowed three hits (all singles) and walked three, while striking out four batters. Helton had an 8:2 GO/AO ratio in this game. He has given up two earned runs or less in each of his last six starts, lowering his ERA from 5.33 down to 3.75 during that stretch.


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The DSL Pirates are off on Sunday

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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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