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Monday, December 5, 2022

Prospect Watch: Six More Shutout Innings for Steven Brault

P2 Top 30

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors and loses his prospect eligibility, 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 mid-season update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

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2. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

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

4. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php]

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

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

7. Nick Kingham, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]

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

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

10. Will Craig, 3B, Morgantown –  [insert_php]

11. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

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

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

14. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

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

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

17. Gage Hinsz, RHP, West Virginia  – [insert_php]

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

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

20. Tito Polo, OF, Bradenton – [insert_php]

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

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

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

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

25. Adrian Valerio, SS – Bristol – [insert_php]

26. Braeden Ogle, LHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]

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

28. Travis MacGregor, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]

29. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php]

30. Frank Duncan, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php]

P2 Top Performers



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INDIANAPOLIS — Steven Brault expects more out of himself, even after throwing six shutout innings against Charlotte on Friday.

That’s two consecutive outings that Brault has not allowed a run, after tossing six no-hit innings in his previous start against Louisville.

But Brault wasn’t as sharp against Charlotte. He allowed three hits and struck out nine. But four walks were what stood out to him afterwards.

“The bad is I walked four people,” Brault said. “The very bad is that I walked three of those people with two outs. I need to be able to finish innings better and I know that.”

Brault threw 64 of his season-high 97 pitches for a strike. His inability to finish innings led to those 97 pitches only getting him through six innings. Charlotte is a team that will swing the bat, so Brault should have been able to make it further in his outing, Indians manager Dean Treanor said.

“Against this team that should have been at least seven if not into the eighth like [Trevor] Williams [Thursday night],” Treanor said. “That’s the difference between being efficient and not being efficient.”

Brault was able to use his fastball to set up his slider for many of his nine strikeouts. But he said he was “trying to be too fine” once he got two outs.

“They’re not necessarily terrible walks, but that just can’t happen,” Brault said.

In the future, Treanor said Brault needs to keep a high level of aggressiveness once he gets two outs in an inning.

“I think what happens is when you get two quick outs you have a tendency to feel that the inning is over,” Treanor said. “And you get a little careless, and you misfire, and you get deep into counts. And now you give up a walk or a base hit. For the most part he’s aggressive, but he needs to be more aggressive when he gets two quick outs. Now, I’m coming right at you and I’m going to force the issue.”

Brault’s pitch count quickly rose against the Knights. He had 59 pitches after three innings.

But Brault got a couple of much-needed quick innings after that. He retired the side in the fourth inning on eight pitches — getting groundouts from Jerry Sands and Jake Peter, and striking out Vinny Rottino.

Brault needed just nine pitches to retire the side in the fifth inning. Charlotte’s Danny Muno led the inning off with a single, but Brault erased that by getting Tony Campana to ground into a double play.

Rottino singled with two outs in the second inning, but Brault worked around that by striking out Muno. Brault also found a little trouble in the third inning, allowing a Jason Bourgeois single and walking Jason Coats with two outs. But he struck out Kevan Smith to end that threat.

“Getting out of jams is nice, but it’s nicer to not get in them,” Brault said. “I wasn’t afraid to pitch to guys once I got in that situation. A more long-term goal is to not get into them.”

In his last three starts at the Triple-A level, Brault has not allowed a run in 17 innings, striking out 22 batters. Putting together a pitching line like he did against the Knights is a good thing. Doing so with plenty of room to improve should also be considered a positive.

“I didn’t think he had his good stuff,” Treanor said. “On the surface not too bad, but again, he threw most of his pitches later in the inning. He’s better than what the numbers are and [against Charlotte] I didn’t think he was as good as the numbers.”

Jose Osuna had his second home run in as many days, hitting one over the left-centerfield fence to put the Indians ahead 1-0 in the fifth inning. At the time of his home run, Charlotte and Indianapolis had played 14 innings and Osuna had scored the only two runs during that stretch on solo home runs.

Since being promoted from Altoona on June 30, Osuna is hitting .278, while 10 of his 17 hits have been for extra bases.

Charlotte tied the game in the seventh inning on Tony Campana’s RBI single to rightfield off Doyvdas Neverasukas, who allowed four hits in two innings.

The Indians took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh inning off Perdo Florimon’s two-run single over a drawn-in infield. Josh Bell led the inning off with a double and Jason Rogers walked.

Osuna grounded out, but advanced the runners. Willy Garcia came to the plate with runners at second and third with one out. He had one job to do: get it to outfield to bring home the go-ahead run. But he struck out after a pair of weak checks that were called strikes.

The Knights then intentionally walked Danny Ortiz – who is hitting .207 in his last 10 games — to get to Florimon, who is hitting .344 in his last 10 games.

“When they were walking Ortiz, I looked at Florimon in the on-deck circle and he winked at me,” Treanor said.

Jorge Rondon retired the side in order in the ninth inning, hitting 95 with his fastball. – Brian Peloza


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ALTOONA, PA – Cody Dickson tied a career high with eight strikeouts and did not allow an earned run in six innings tonight for the Curve. His stuff was the best that I’ve seen so far this season from the lefty, especially his curveball that got numerous swings-and-misses tonight. He has a 1.50 ERA in his last four starts, going at least six innings in each.

Dickson worked his four-seam fastball sat around 92 MPH, and the two-seam was slightly less than that. As like his last game, he used the two-seamer to set up his curveball for the majority of the night, and Akron hitters struggled all night against the curve.

He sent batters down in order in the first, fourth, and fifth innings. In the fourth, he threw ten pitches with all of them being strikes – two strikeouts and a fly out.

Dickson tired in the sixth inning and was removed from the game after throwing 35 pitches. He would’ve gotten through the inning if not for an error on first baseman Anderson Feliz, where Feliz was not able to come up with a low throw at first base from Eric Wood. After pitching such a fantastic game to that point, you can physically see the frustration from Dickson in the inning. He walked his last batter in a tough fought at-bat for one unearned run to score, then Brett McKinney came in to strike out the next batter with the bases loaded.

Even though Dickson walked the last two batters he faced in the sixth, his control was fantastic leading up to that inning. He was able to work his fastball in and out of the zone, and he used his fastball command to set up whatever he wanted later in the at-bat.

Coming into tonight’s game, Dickson led the Eastern League in walks with 62, and he had only struck out 61 batters. He had a FIP over 5.00 going into tonight’s game, and this game will certainly help that number. Even with the walks all season, he has improved his zone control in his last few starts.

Montana DuRapau got the three out save, allowed a one out double on a hard hit ball to left field. DuRapau was coming off of a loss in his last outing where he allowed a run in the last inning of a tied game. He got a little help from left fielder Barrett Barnes tonight, who made a diving catch on a line drive to left-center field to record the second out of the inning.

Offensively, Harold Ramirez went 3-for-3, all singles, and he had a sacrifice fly. He hit a couple of line drives to right field and pulled a ground ball to left field for his last single. Ramirez extended his hitting streak to 14 games with his hits tonight. Also extending his on-base streak to 16 games was Barrett Barnes with an RBI single in the second inning.

Ramirez is fourth in the Eastern League in average at .315 and second in the league in hits with 110.

Kevin Newman had hits in his first two at-bats, with a lead-off liner over the second baseman then a 2-RBI triple in the second inning to help the Curve put up a four-spot in the inning. Newman has scored in 20 of his 29 Double-A games, and he has a hit in 23 of those 29 games. He is hitting .328 in Double-A.

Getting a start in right field tonight, Jon Schwind made seven fly ball catches for his starting pitcher. One of those in particular, Schwind chased a fly ball to the fence at the Curve bullpen and made a fantastic catch while running into the fence. He really put his body on the line to make the grab.

Altoona snapped a seven game losing streak with the 6-3 win tonight, thanks to great starting pitching and some timely hitting from Kevin Newman and Harold Ramirez. -Sean McCool


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Bradenton had their game suspended in the bottom of the first. They will finish the game tomorrow, then play a seven inning contest for the regularly scheduled game. Stephen Tarpley started and had a walk and a strikeout in a 14-pitch scoreless frame. Cole Tucker flew out to left field and Pablo Reyes drew a walk, then was caught stealing, before play was halted.


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CHARLESTON, WV – The promised big bats of the West Virginia Power seem to have awoken. Casey Hughston and Logan Hill, who were both mired in slumps a month ago, are emerging as bruisers in the top of the Power lineup. They combined for three of the Power’s four runs tonight against the Charleston RiverDogs. This week, both batters brought their averages above .200 for the first time this season.

Hughston had five hits in 13 at-bats in the series and scored a run in each game. He also contributed three RBI over the three-game series.

Hill jumped from Morgantown to Bradenton to start the year but was sent down due to poor offensive performance. His struggles continued until this month. He has been working with hitting coach Ryan Long on shortening his swing, and that bat speed has translated to massive power. As of tonight, Hill is slashing an incredible .323/.364/.645 in the month of July with eight RBI and nine runs scored.

Hughston led off the game with a blooper to right and came around to score on Hill’s first triple of the night. Hill then trotted home on Daniel Arribas’s double. The Power would hold the 2-0 lead until the third inning.

Logan Sendelbach demonstrated strong control early, hitting 92 on the gun right off the bat. He sat down the first six batters of the game but ran into some trouble in the third. The RiverDogs led off the inning with a double and a single, and those two runners moved to second and third on a sacrifice bunt. A sacrifice fly scored the first run, and a triple brought home the second before Sendelbach got Luis Torrens to pop up in foul territory for the third out of the inning.

Sendelbach had strong downward movement to all of his pitches and only allowed one hit outside of the third inning. As he fatigued, his pitches started to float a bit, leading to four fly balls in the final six outs. Sendelbach also went to his curveball more often in the late innings, perhaps to shake batters off of his fastball as it lost its downward bite.

The Power helped Sendelbach’s cause by scoring in the bottom of the fifth. Christian Kelley legged out an infield single and came home on Alfredo Reyes’s triple up the third base line. Reyes, though, was abandoned on third by the top of the lineup.

Hill hit a second triple to lead off the sixth, becoming the first Power player to accomplish the feat since August 2014. For his 6’3”, 230 lbs. frame, Hill moves quite well and is extremely aggressive on the bases. That aggression got him picked off a few times in the series but also allowed him to stretch the hit in the sixth, which would have easily been a double, into a triple. Hill then scored on a sacrifice fly by Carlos Munoz.

Munoz reached base three times on the night, once on a single and twice via hit-by-pitch, but he never advanced past first.

Sendelbach left the game with the lead after the seventh inning, having thrown 87 pitches including 57 strikes. He allowed two runs on four hits and struck out four. He worked groundballs early and finished with an 8:7 GO/AO ratio.

Julio Eusebio came on for the two-inning save and walked the first batter but then retired the next six. With the two shutout innings, Eusebio dropped his ERA to 1.00, and tonight’s start put Logan Sendelbach’s WHIP at 1.08, good for fifth in the league. Eusebio leads the Power with eight saves, and Sendelbach notched his team-best eighth victory.- Abigail Miskowiec


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Morgantown won 4-3 over Connecticut on a walk-off single by Clark Eagan with one out in the bottom of the ninth. The Black Bears had an early 1-0 lead after Stephen Alemais had an RBI ground out in the third inning to score Arden Pabst, who reached on a single. Pabst moved to second on an error, then got to third base on a ground out.

In the fifth, Connecticut put three runs on the board to take the lead, but Morgantown came right back in the bottom of the inning to tie it up. That scoring again started with Pabst, who walked, then moved up on a grounder and got to third on a balk. He scored on an Alemais sacrifice fly. Ty Moore then singled and scored one batter later on a Hunter Owen triple. Moore was the only player with two hits in the game.

In the bottom of the ninth, Matt Diorio led off with a double. He went to third base on a sacrifice bunt, then scored on the Eagan walk-off.

Will Craig went 1-for-4 with his seventh double.

Sixth round pick Cam Vieaux went five innings, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks. He had four strikeouts and a 7:2 GO/AO ratio. Christian Mota and Billy Roth followed with two scoreless innings each.

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Bristol wasted a strong effort by starter Ike Schlabach in a 2-1 loss to Greeneville. The offense managed just three hits and had no walks, with 12 strikeouts. Schlabach gave up a solo homer to lead-off the game. After that, he allowed just two more hits and a walk, with one of those hits being a bunt single. He finished with five strikeouts and a 5:1 GO/AO ratio. In six starts, he has a 3.94 ERA in 29.2 innings.

On the offensive side, Victor Fernandez had two of the three hits and he scored the only run. In the fifth inning, he led off with his ninth double. Fernandez moved to third base on a wild pitch, then scored on a throwing error from the catcher. He is hitting .383/.457/.543 this season in 23 games. Daniel Cucjen had the only other hit for the Pirates, a double to lead-off the sixth inning. Garrett Brown struck out in all four at-bats.


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The GCL Pirates battled the Yankees West for five scoreless innings before the bats broke out in the sixth, as the Pirates ended up with a 10-0 victory. Domingo Robles started this game and threw five shutout innings, allowing three hits and no walks, while striking out four batters. Somewhat surprisingly, all three hits he gave up were doubles. He was followed by Brian Sousa, who got the save by going four innings, giving up a single and a walk, though he did hit two batters. Sousa had three strikeouts.

The Pirates had seven extra-base hits on offense, with three doubles, two triples and two homers. Catcher Raul Hernandez hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning, his second of the season. Johan De Jesus hit a solo shot in the eighth inning, just his second career homer in three seasons. Hernandez, De Jesus, Andrew Walker and Henrry Rosario all had two hits in this game. Hernandez drove in a total of four runs.


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The DSL Pirates came back to tie Friday’s game in the bottom of the ninth, only to lose 7-5 in 12 innings. The defense for the Pirates was horrible, with eight errors in the game, compared to none for the Rangers1. Not surprisingly, those errors came back to haunt the Pirates, as they added up to four unearned runs. The Pirates had their ace on the mound for this one. Leandro Pina continued his incredible start to his career. The 17-year-old righty threw five shutout inning, allowing one hit and one walk. He had a 10:0 GO/AO ratio and three strikeouts. He has thrown five shutout innings (DSL maximum for Pirates) in seven of his eight starts. Pina’s 0.46 ERA over 39 innings in the best in the league.

After Pina left, the Rangers started putting up runs and it left the Pirates down 5-1 going into the bottom of the eighth. After a Cristopher Perez walk to start the inning, back-to-back doubles from Sherten Apostel and Ramy Perez brought home two runs. In the ninth, Carlos Garcia singled to lead-off the inning, then Rudy Guzman tripled to make it 5-4. Guzman would score one batter later on a single by Cristopher Perez.

All-Star shortstop Rodolfo Castro began this game on the bench, coming in as a pinch-hitter during the 11th inning with a runner on second representing the winning run. Castro popped out for the second out, then stayed in the game at shortstop and committed an error that led to the loss. It was his 22nd error of the season.

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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.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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Victor Fernandez is hitting about .380 just saying

eric i

Ramirez picked off first base twice tonight! That’s like 3 in the last few days. I hope it was going on first move on lefties. Getting on only helps if you’re still there to drive in.


What’s your suggested ruling on that? Just rule it a caught stealing?

rich w

First Pitch: Pirates send Andrew Jenkins McCutcheon to DSL.

Robert A Bishop

brault is awesome. newman is awesome. anc obviously connor joe is awesome.

Blaine Huff

Well, damn, by the headline…almost impossible to improve…


…six innings, seven baserunners, zero earned runs, and nine k’s?…

…I’d buy that for a dollar…

Blaine Huff

More walks than hits made me scratch my head…but I kinda thought/hoped it was because he was being cute-sy. Thanks for saying that was part of it.

Still, all-in-all…it didn’t work out…but I don’t feel overly concerned that he was trying to get guys to bite when pitching well.

That would blow up in his face at the ML level, but if he can gain a little confidence by nibbling against lesser hitters and, maybe, pick up some added finesse…meh, I’m okay with that.

rich w

Can someone please tell Cutch to move in more at the plate. He has been a total SU&K$r for the outside breaker balls.


Outside anything

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