Prospect Watch: Williams Gets Knocked Out of Tuesday’s Game Early

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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1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Pirates -[insert_php]
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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, Pirates – [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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After allowing one earned run over 28 innings in his previous four starts, there wasn’t much to like about the performance from Trevor Williams on Tuesday night. He lasted just 2.2 innings and allowed eight runs on six hits and three walks. Only three of the runs were earned, but Williams wasn’t pitching well regardless.

The scoring started off tough for Williams, as Reid Brignac walked with one out in the first on a 3-2 pitch that looked like a strike. That was followed by a double to the gap from Mel Rojas Jr., and an error by Jacob Stallings on the catch, though Brignac had the throw beat. It allowed Rojas to go to third base and then he scored on a long sacrifice fly to center field.

In the second, Michael McKenry lined out to right field and Josh Bell made a nice sliding catch, playing just his second game out there. Things would go downhill from there for both Williams and Bell. The latter made a fielding error that allowed a run to score and he made two horrible throws from right field. They were actually not bad as far as being on target. One Stallings had to jump for, the other was just up the first base line a little. The problem was that both throws were rainbows and it took him awhile to get rid of them.

As for Williams, he was getting hit around with three line drive singles, plus he had some bad luck on a bunt that was popped up just out of the reach of Alen Hanson at third base. Hanson may have been better playing it on a bounce, instead of reaching to catch it and having it just roll under his glove, but I’m not sure he would have got the out anyway.

In the third, Williams allowed a double and then a walk, before Hanson booted a ball, which allowed a run to score. After a sacrifice bunt, Williams was removed from the game. He threw 68 pitches in his short outing, and he ran up his pitch count by walking a batter in each inning, including nine pitches in the first to Brignac. He had six swing and misses in the game, and a 4:2 GO/AO ratio, with two strikeouts. The errors obviously didn’t help, but this wasn’t the same Williams we saw the last four games.

Indianapolis lost this game 11-2, collecting just four hits. Danny Ortiz hit his 12th home run, a solo shot in the seventh. He came into the game in the fifth inning on defense, moving Josh Bell to first base for the rest of the game. Alen Hanson hit a double and drew a walk. Jose Osuna singled and Pedro Florimon doubled for the only other hits. Max Moroff walked and stole his eighth base of the season.


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ALTOONA, PA – Reese McGuire had his first four-hit night in almost two years, and only the fourth of his professional career, to propel the Curve to a 6-2 win over the Erie Seawolves.

McGuire began the night with a bunt single down the third base line in the second inning. He would later come around to score in the inning for the Curve’s first run. He then singled up the middle in the fourth inning before hitting a gap shot to left center field and legging out a triple in the sixth. He again singled up the middle in the seventh inning. He had the opportunity to go for a five-hit game in the eighth; however, Erie’s pitcher deflected another grounder up the middle to the shortstop for a force out at second.

McGuire had been hitting only .243 this month before tonight’s game, but he has six multi-hit games in the last two weeks.

“He still has a long way to go, but he’s obviously an extremely talented guy,” Manager Joey Cora said after the game. “Good catchers in the big leagues are very scarce, and he knows he has a chance to be one of them. He knows that he still has a lot to learn. He’s working hard, and he’s on his way.”

Also offensively, Anderson Feliz had a four-hit night as well. Stetson Allie had three hits, including a liner off of the top of the left field wall. Barrett Barnes extended his on-base streak to 20 games with two hits, and Eric Wood added two hits, as well.

Clay Holmes bounced back from giving up five runs in four innings in his last outing tonight in Altoona by going six innings and allowing two earned runs. Before his last outing, he had pitched extremely well for a six game span, going 35 innings with a 1.80 ERA. He had a 63% ground ball rate during that span, as well.

Tonight was the first time in Holmes’ career that he topped the 100 pitch mark, throwing 102 pitches, 62 of those for strikes. He got the last out of the sixth inning by striking out Erie’s Harold Castro swinging after a nine-pitch at-bat.

Again, Holmes struggled in the first inning tonight, leaving his fastball up in the zone on multiple occasions. The first batter of the game singled down the left field line on a hanging curve ball, and that runner ended up scoring after an Erie baserunner at first got himself in a rundown to allow the runner on third to score. He also threw a fastball right down the middle of the plate to former major leaguer Anothony Gose, but it was run down by left fielder Justin Maffei for the long fly out. Luckily for Holmes, his first inning struggles did not hurt him too much, as he only allowed one run.

Including the last two outs of the first inning, Holmes retired ten straight outs into the fourth inning. He improved as the game progressed, getting more soft contact that early. He did not have the GB:FB ratio that you would hope for (11 ground balls to nine fly balls), but he did well making adjustments to the opposition.

As a right-handed pitcher who has developed into a sinker ball guy, it was a difficult lineup to face with seven out of nine left-handed batters. He worked mostly with his four-seamer to the inside of the plate and with the two-seamer middle and away to the lefties. His curveball was not much a factor tonight, but his changeup improved as the game wore on.

“His goal for the night was to get to the extension side of the plate,” Pitching Coach Justin Meccage said. “When he can do that, he can do anything.”

Pitching Coach Justin Meccage told me after the game that Holmes actually adjusted his changeup grip mid-game as to allow for some more sink action to the pitch. There was a velocity difference with his changeup from the beginning of the game (88-89 MPH) to the end (85-86 MPH), and the pitch began to have more action.

“Usually guys are scared to make adjustments mid-game,” Meccage said. “That just shows you how far he’s come.”

Miguel Rosario and Jared Lakind pitched three scoreless, hitless innings in relief of Holmes.

Curve hitters had a combined 16 hits tonight, highlighted by McGuire’s and Feliz’s four-hit nights. After losing seven straight last week, they have now won five straight games in a row. Not coincidentally, the starting staff has pitched a lot better during the run, starting with Cody Dickson last Friday night. -Sean McCool


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Bradenton wasted a strong performance from JT Brubaker in a 6-3 loss on Tuesday night. Brubaker has had some trouble since the jump to High-A last month, but he had a terrific outing on this night, allowing one run over seven innings against St Lucie. Brubaker gave up four hits (all singles) and one walk, while posting a 10:5 GO/AO ratio. He has 101 strikeouts this season in 104.1 innings. The odd part about that fact is that he has given up one run over seven innings twice now for Bradenton, and both times he picked up just one strikeout.

Sam Street followed Brubaker and didn’t have it in this game, giving up five runs on five hits, one walk and one hit batter, doing all of that without getting out of the eighth inning. Colten Brewer had to come on and get the final out, striking out the only batter he faced, while stranding an inherited runner.

Bradenton had more hits than St Lucie (10-9), and they also picked up three hits with runners in scoring position. They didn’t have any walks though, and eight of the hits were singles. Cole Tucker, Kevin Kramer and Elvis Escobar each had two hits. Taylor Gushue hit his 13th double, while Tucker hit his seventh since joining Bradenton. Tito Polo and Escobar picked up back-to-back RBI singles in the seventh. Kramer scored on Chase Simpson’s RBI ground out in the eighth, which gave the Marauders a 3-1 lead at the time.


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West Virginia lost 6-5 on Tuesday afternoon, as their comeback came up short late in the game. Starter Dario Agrazal had a tough first inning, then settled down to allow one run over the last five innings.

In the first, he gave up a loud double, then a wild pitch moved the runner to third base. West Virginia brought the infield in at that point, and it ended up costing them, as the next batter hit a chopper over third baseman Logan Ratledge. It was a ball that would have been a routine play with the infield at normal depth. Then with a runner being held on first, the next batter singled past a diving Jordan George at first base. A sacrifice fly brought in the second run.

In the third inning, Agrazal allowed a towering home run to left field that was just out of the reach of Logan Hill, as he tried to rob the homer. Agrazal would allowed just two singles and a hit batter over the last 3.1 innings. The batter he hit was Ray-Patrick Didder, who has been plunked 34 times this season, 21 more times than the leader for the Pirates (Tito Polo). Agrazal finished with no walks, six strikeouts and a 7:4 GO/AO ratio. The six strikeouts sets a season high and it’s one short on his career best, which he has reached twice.

Agrazal looked good in this game despite the three runs. There was a lot of soft contact and swinging strikes on all three of his pitches. He did better once he started throwing his off-speed pitches more often. His control is excellent, but he seems willing to throw a fastball right down the middle on 3-2 pitches, rather than issue a walk. The problem with that thinking is that he has solid enough command to hit corners or go to his changeup or curve in those counts. His 13 walks in 107.1 innings this season is a terrific ratio, but it loses some luster when it comes with a .302 BAA, showing that he might be throwing too many strikes and batters are making him pay. He’s been hitting 94-95 MPH recently, and he showed in this game that his hard curve can get swing and misses due to late break, so he should be much better than someone who has a 4.36 ERA in Low-A ball.

On offense, Logan Hill went 4-for-4 with two runs scored. He has reached base in 12 straight games, raising his average 63 points in the process. Carlos Munoz had two hits and scored a run. Jordan George drove in a pair with a double. Mitchell Tolman had two walks, giving him seven walks in his last seven games. Casey Hughston went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, bringing him up to 99 strikeouts on the season in 269 at-bats.


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Morgantown lost game one of a doubleheader against Lowell by a 5-3 score. James Marvel started and was hit hard early on, giving up four runs on eight hits in the first three innings. He was leaving his fastball and his off-speed pitches up and Lowell put some good wood on the ball, including some loud outs. Marvel then looked really strong in the fourth inning, working quickly through three batters, before having command issues in the fifth, as he issued two walks. Unlike earlier with the pitches up, he just had trouble finding the zone in the fifth.

Marvel was hanging his curve early, and I only saw one good offering all game. He has had some very strong starts this season, but this was not one of them. You could say it looked ever worse than four runs on eight hits and two walks over five innings would indicate.

For Marvel, it’s more important that he just gets his work in and builds up his innings after missing all of last year due to Tommy John surgery. There have been some strong outings mixed in with a few shaky ones, but he has a 1.12 WHIP and a 2.11 GO/AO ratio, so he is doing some things right out there.

Marvel was followed by eighth round pick Dylan Prohoroff, who allowed one run on two walks and a hit batter in his only inning. He was throwing almost exclusively fastballs and really missing the zone, and that’s with an umpire who was generous with the corners.

Will Craig had a strong game at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two line drive doubles hit the opposite way. We got a scouting report from Wilbur Miller the other day about Craig’s poor defense at third base and there wasn’t much to like in this game. He was saved from two errors by Albert Baur at first base. If the Pirates leave him there, he will be a project, but the bat looked good in this game.

Sandy Santos had a single, a walk, and a sacrifice fly. Stephen Alemais continued to impress on defense with a strong play up the middle for the final out of the sixth inning, saving a run for Prohoroff.

Game Two: Morgantown split the doubleheader with a 4-0 win in the second game. Starter Danny Beddes had a great outing, throwing six scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and didn’t walk anyone, throwing 50 of his 76 pitches for strikes. Beddes had five strikeouts and a 10:1 GO/AO ratio. That last number is impressive considering he had an 0.94 GO/AO ratio coming into this game. The 15th round pick now has a 2.39 ERA in 37.2 innings.

The Black Bears had just five hits in this game, but three of them came with runners in scoring position. They also got some help from the opposition in the third when they opened up the scoring, and in the fourth. Erik Forgione hit a triple in the third, then scored one batter later on a fielding error. Matt Diorio reached on an error in the fourth, then later scored on a double by Kevin Krause.

In the fifth inning, Forgione walked, then Stephen Alemais bunted for a hit. Sandy Santos scored Forgione on a sacrifice fly, then Diorio singled home Alemais for the final run. Will Craig went 1-for-3 in this game, raising his slash line to .230/.373/.350 through 30 games and 100 at-bats.

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Bristol bats couldn’t get anything going against three different pitchers for Burlington in a 4-0 loss. The Pirates collected six hits, all of them singles. They didn’t draw a single walk, which striking out 12 times. Starter Nicholas Economos gave Burlington all the runs they would need, though he still pitched a decent game. He allowed two runs over five innings, surrendering five hits and no walks. He had one strikeout and a 7:5 GO/AO ratio. Economos has a 5.52 ERA in eight starts this season.

Garrett Brown managed to have a strong game at the plate, collecting three hits. That matched the rest of the team’s hit total, with singles from Victor Fernandez, Yoel Gonzalez and Daniel Cucjen accounting for the other hits. On defense, Brown threw out a runner at home, but he also committed his first fielding error. He is hitting .290 through his first 26 games. Raul Siri left this game early after being hit on the hand during a check swing. He actually struck out on the pitch to add insult to injury.


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The GCL Pirates won 2-1 on Tuesday, as the good version of Miguel Hernandez showed up. Going back into Extended Spring Training, Hernandez has either been dominating, or unable to locate his fastball. After five shutout innings today, he has now thrown five scoreless frames in four of his six starts. In the other two outings combined, he has allowed seven earned runs over 4.2 innings. The 6’5″, 20-year-old right-hander has a fastball that sits low-90’s and generates a lot of grounders. In this game, he had five strikeouts and a 7:1 GO/AO ratio.

Hernandez was followed by Justin Topa, who made his third rehab appearance in his return from Tommy John surgery. He threw 1.2 shutout innings in this game, following up a shutout inning in each of his first two games last week. Ronny Agustin returned to action for the first time since July 9th and threw shutout ball in the eighth. He has been out with a minor arm injury. Agustin now has an 0.61 ERA in 14.2 innings.

The Pirates scored both of their runs in the fourth inning. Johan De Jesus singled to start the inning, which was followed by a two-out walk to Boomer Synek. Both runners moved up on a double steal, then Mikell Granberry drove in both with his sixth double of the season. The Pirates had seven hits in the game, getting one hit apiece from seven different players.


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The DSL Pirates outhit the Yankees1 11-9, but they lost on the scoreboard, dropping a 10-5 decision to give them a 16-28 record with 28 games left in the season. Sergio Cubilete started and held the opposition scoreless until the fifth, when he allowed three runs. After a rough start to the season, the 21-year-old Cubilete was on a nice run of allowing two runs over 21 innings (five starts). That streak ended in his last start when he allowed three runs in 4.1 innings, and then he had trouble finishing out a strong outing today. In 38.1 innings this season, he has 24 walks and 23 strikeouts.

The bullpen gave up six runs in the eighth when Kleiner Machado failed to record an out. He allowed two hits and walked three batters before being removed. All five runners ended up scoring, plus a sixth run came in off Julio Gonzalez, who had yet to allow a run this season in limited use. Machado saw his ERA go from 2.82 to 4.84 in this game. He hasn’t been pitching as well as that previous ERA indicated, with 18 walks now in 22.1 innings.

The offense was led by Jeremias Portorreal and Samuel Inoa. Portorreal had three hits and scored two runs, while Inoa hit his first pro homer and just the third home run on the season for the Pirates. He also singled and scored another run. Kevin Sanchez singled and drove in two runs. Eddy Vizcaino had an RBI and two hits, including his fifth double. All-Star shortstop Rodolfo Castro hit his ninth double, but he also committed two more errors, giving him 26 on the season.

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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Are we 5 days away from the trading deadline or does it end after Monday?


In college, I was an oft-injured junk pitcher who once got into a game in RF. When a fly was hit to me, I set myself up behind the point where I would catch the ball, giving me forward momentum for my throw, which was a very quick release and thrown on a line.

I was not a scholarship player. Just a simple walk-on for a branch of a state university. I was not an OF. Yet this came as second nature to me just from watching baseball on TV and paying attention in practice.

Thus I cannot conceive how someone like Bell, who is a billion times more athletic than I was, has a problem with a slow release and rainbow throws. Boggles my mind.


I played OF and 1b and had different throwing motions.

Of course, I didn’t play 125+ games. 🙂
And, I did have my left shoulder/rotator scoped about 15 years ago.

So, yeh….never mind. 🙂


Excellent explanation. Thank you. I doubt that moving him off 1B to the OF can be interpreted as being beneficial to the player physically or mentally. Is it a punishment for him booting balls at 1B? No, that would be very small-minded of them, but it is damn hard to understand the object of this exercise.


Agree John & emjay. If the biggest issue keeping him from the major leagues is defense at 1B, then he should be playing there.

Blaine Huff

Questions on the night….

1. Will the real Barrett Barnes please stand up?
2. Casey Hughston…has he ever met a pitch he wouldn’t swing at?
3. Will Craig…did I blink…when did he get an OPS approaching .750?


He’s been hitting doubles with some frequency lately, I’ve gathered from these reports. Looks like his bat is starting to catch up.


So much for Williams being ready to help the big club.

Kerry Writtenhouse

It’s one game, overreact much?

joe s

Seems the Pirates international signings are struggling again. Contrares and Portrareal both seem incapable of hitting. These two men were gigantic bonus babies, that is if $400,000 is a large amount. Pirates can not keep up this practice of hoping the player will be good based on prior successes. They have to sign better prospects even if they pay more and sign less players.


Tito Polo signing bonus – <$100K, 2016 OPS .845 combined low A / high A
Pablo Reyes signing bonus <$100 K, 2016 OPS .670 (good for the FSL) high A

You've got it backwards, they need to quit wasting money on high profile signings and concentrate on finding the hidden gems.


and, off the top of my head I think Polanco $150K, Hanson $90K, and Marte $85K have proven that evaluating kids at 15 and signing them when they turn 16 is hardly a science.

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