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Monday, December 5, 2022

Morning Report: Checking in on the 2016 Draft Picks

While we wait to see what moves the Pittsburgh Pirates might possibly make today, how about updates on all of the 2016 draft picks who signed. We start at the top, where this year’s top pick is turning his season around just like last year’s top pick did around the same time. I put the rounds next to the player’s name. Here is our draft tracker with player pages for each player in case you want more info on any of them.

1. Will Craig got off to a very slow start and now he has a .747 OPS through 34 games. His .385 OBP has him ranked ninth in the league. The defense hasn’t looked good, but I don’t think anyone expected it to, and he’s showing why many think he will end up at first base.

2. Travis MacGregor signed quickly and he has already got up to five innings per outing, which will be his limit. The BAA is low, the ground balls are high, and his control has looked solid. Basically, he is doing as well as you could hope at this point.

3. Stephen Alemais missed some time with an early injury, but has played full-time since he returned. He had made some strong defensive plays and he has a .544 OPS. Basically, he has played as advertised.

4. Braeden Ogle has made three starts and allowed one run over 6.2 innings. He was scheduled to go three innings on Friday, then fell one out short due to his pitch count. He won’t get in the innings MacGregor will this year, but he’s getting some solid experience because he signed early.

5. Blake Cederlind threw nine shutout innings over his last two starts, then he was skipped this time through the rotation due to arm soreness. No update on his injury yet, which cut him off just as he was really starting to pitch well.

6. Cam Vieaux has pitched decent, including a strong outing last week. He hasn’t had any really bad outings, just most of the games are average performances.

7. Brent Gibbs is in Bristol, where he has a .681 OPS and he’s 10-for-27 in throwing out base runners. You would like to see more offense from a college player in the Appalachian League, especially a top ten rounds pick.

8. Dylan Prohoroff has struggled in the Morgantown bullpen with a 5.02 ERA, .293 BAA, and a 1.81 WHIP in 14.1 innings. He does have 17 strikeouts and a 1.45 GO/AO ratio, so not everything is bad.

9. Clark Eagan has a .697 OPS in 25 games. He has been hitting a little bit better lately, but he has no homers and two walks, so there is room for improvements. Eagan has started games at all three outfield positions.

10. Matt Anderson is a strikeout machine with 24 in 13.2 innings. His use has been limited, but all of his stats are solid across the board.

11. Max Kranick has pitched four games, extending to four innings last time out. He had one poor outing, and has been solid in the other three. Like Ogle and MacGregor, signing early in the draft process has paid off with some strong experience gained on the field.

12. Arden Pabst was signed due to his defense and it shows with his bat. He has a .546 OPS and he has thrown out 33% of base runners, with just one error and no passed balls in 21 games.

13. John Pomeroy is a college pitcher who didn’t get much mound experience, so he was sent to Bristol. His control held him back in school and he already has 13 walks (and 14 strikeouts) in only nine innings.

15. Danny Beddes has been the best starter for Morgantown early on with a 2.39 ERA in 37.2 innings. In his last three starts, he has allowed two runs over 18 innings, going six frames each time out.

16. Matt Diorio has a decent .705 OPS in 25 games, but the strikeouts are a little too high and that was an issue in college.

17. Matt Frawley has throw shutout ball in eight of his appearances for Morgantown, and given up seven earned runs over 3.1 innings in the other three games combined. He has 20 strikeouts in 15 innings.

18. Kevin Mahala has a .749 OPS in 26 games, mostly playing second base, though he has started at both shortstop and third base for Morgantown.

20. Adam Oller has started three times and pitched in long relief four times. He allowed seven runs in one start, and has given up four runs over 23 innings in his other six games. He has three walks and 27 strikeouts in 24.1 innings. He’s a college pitcher at Bristol, so take that into account for those numbers.

21. Matt Eckelman is also a college pitcher in Bristol. He has a 3.30 ERA in 30 innings, with a .220 BAA and a 5:26 BB/SO ratio.

22. Brandon Bingel has pitched as well as anyone, giving up one run over 17.1 innings with Morgantown. As a 5’10” righty out of a small college, he has a tough road ahead of him.

23. Garrett Brown was described as a raw player despite being 22 years old. He is at Bristol, where he has a .639 OPS and only two stolen base attempts. That last part is while batting lead-off and having plus speed, so it’s odd he isn’t running more, though he hasn’t been on base a lot either.

25. Hunter Owen is at Morgantown, where he has played four positions (RF/LF/2B/3B) and posted an .814 OPS due in part to five homers. He is a pleasant surprise early on, but he does turn 23 next month, and the 4:24 BB/SO ratio could use some work.

26. Robbie Coursel is a college senior struggling in the Bristol bullpen. He has allowed at least one run in seven of his nine relief appearances.

27. Tyler Leffler was slated for Bristol until Trae Arbet got hurt, then he moved up to Morgantown. While it sounds like a promotion, it has also limited his playing time to ten games and 33 at-bats. He has a .462 OPS.

29. Geoff Hartlieb is a college senior struggling in the Bristol bullpen. He has a 5.93 ERA and a .306 BAA in 13.2 innings.

31. Jordan Jess is a college senior who isn’t struggling in the Bristol bullpen. He has allowed one run in 14 innings, with 17 strikeouts. He is a 23-year-old lefty, so you should expect some success in Bristol, but others have proven age doesn’t always equal success

33. Austin Shields signed at the deadline and hasn’t played yet. We will have more on him soon.

35. Pasquale Mazzocoli has a 70 grade name going for him. He’s a 24-year-old college senior struggling in the Bristol bullpen…that name though.


Indianapolis is in second place in their division, trailing by five games. They trail by 11.5 games for the lone wild card spot.

Altoona is tied for their division lead. The top two teams in the division go to the playoffs, with the first place team getting the home field advantage in the first round.

Bradenton won the first half title. They have home field advantage in the playoffs.

West Virginia is in sixth place in their division, trailing first by four games.

Morgantown is in third place in their division, trailing first place by eight games. They are six games back for the lone wild card spot.

Bristol is in fourth place, trailing by four games. The top two teams in each division go to the playoffs.

The GCL Pirates lead their division by a 1/2 game. This is the only league where you have to win your division to make the playoffs.

The DSL Pirates trail their division by 17.5 games. They trail in the wild card by 17 games.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pirates lost 4-2 to the Brewers on Sunday. They are off today, as they head to Atlanta for three games against the Braves. Gerrit Cole is scheduled to start for the Pirates against Mike Foltynewicz, who has a 4.30 ERA in 67 innings, with 58 strikeouts and a 1.30 WHIP.

In the minors, Chad Kuhl, Yeudy Garcia and Mitch Keller are all scheduled to start. Kuhl left his last start on July 23rd after one inning due to triceps discomfort. Garcia threw 6.2 shutout innings in his last start despite issuing five walks. He ranks first in the Florida State League with 103 strikeouts, and his 2.67 ERA is the eighth best in the league. Keller ranks eighth in the South Atlantic League with a 2.86 ERA. He also ranks first with an 0.92 WHIP, and seventh with 100 strikeouts.

Altoona has off today. Nick Kingham is the probable for the GCL, though that could change. He has already reached five innings, which he said he would do twice before being assigned to Bradenton. So he could be on the Marauders by this weekend.

MLB: Pittsburgh (52-51) @ Braves (37-68) 7:10 PM 8/2
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (2.78 ERA, 23:73 BB/SO, 87.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (55-54) @ Columbus (60-49) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Chad Kuhl (2.55 ERA, 16:60 BB/SO, 77.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (58-49) vs Richmond (45-61) 7:00 PM 8/2 (season preview)
Probable starter: Cody Dickson (3.78 ERA, 70:69 BB/SO, 104.2 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (55-50) @ Daytona (56-47) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Yeudy Garcia (2.67 ERA, 43:103 BB/SO, 97.2 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (52-53) @ Hagerstown (64-42) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Mitch Keller (2.86 ERA, 14:100 BB/SO, 97.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (20-22) @ State College (28-14) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable Starter: Danny Beddes (2.39 ERA, 10:30 BB/SO, 37.2 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (16-21) vs Johnson City (20-17) 7:00 PM (season preview)

GCL: Pirates (14-18) vs Tigers West (16-15) 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates (17-31) vs Indians (22-26) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Here is a double from Jason Rogers on Saturday night, one of five hits he had in the last two days.


8/1: Edgar Santana promoted to Indianapolis.

7/31: Pirates recall Max Moroff. Steven Brault optioned to Indianapolis.

7/31: Erik Lunde assigned to GCL Pirates.

7/30: Pirates trade Mark Melancon to Washington Nationals for Taylor Hearn and Felipe Rivero.

7/29: Pirates recall Steven Brault. A.J. Schugel optioned to Indianapolis.

7/29: Austin Meadows assigned to Morgantown on rehab

7/29: Jin-De Jhang sent to Altoona. Tomas Morales assigned to Bradenton.

7/28: Frank Duncan activated from disabled list.

7/26: Eric Fryer reinstated from paternity list. Elias Diaz optioned to Indianapolis.

7/25: Ke’Bryan Hayes placed on the disabled list.

7/24: Tyler Glasnow placed on disabled list. A.J. Schugel recalled.

7/23: Tyler Glasnow recalled. A.J. Schugel optioned to Indianapolis.

7/23: Eric Fryer placed on paternity list. Elias Diaz recalled.

7/22: Erik Kratz clears waivers. Elects free agency.

7/21: Chris Diaz placed on temporary inactive list.

7/20: Jose Regalado assigned to GCL Pirates on rehab.

7/20: Ryan Vogelsong assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.


Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a former manager. We start with the skipper of the 2005 club at the end of the season, Pete Mackanin. He took over for Lloyd McClendon and led the Pirates to a 12-14 record during his short stay.

As for the players, we have Freddy Garcia, who played all four corner spots for the Pirates, seeing time during the 1995 season, then again from 1997 until 1999.

Milt May, catcher who had two stints for the Pirates from 1970-73 and then again during the 1983-84 seasons. The Pirates traded him for pitcher Jerry Reuss after the 1973 season. His dad Pinky May played five years in the majors for the Phillies.

Pep Rambert, pitcher for the 1939-40 team. Pitched just five Major League games, all for the Pirates. Spent 15 seasons in pro ball, taking time out in the middle to serve in the military during WWII.

Roy Sanders, 1918 Pirates. There have been two players in Major League history named Roy Sanders and both pitched in 1918, and both were 6’0″ right-handers. The one for the Pirates had a 2.60 ERA over 156 innings in 1918, his only full season in the majors. He held out for more money after the season and instead ended up playing semi-pro ball near his home, never returning to pro ball.

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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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joe s

Your review indicates that only 4/5 players out of the entire draft have any chance at all of success.


Its good to see that Craig can hit in Low A, but its hard to get excited about a First Baseman/DH who’s only value is his bat. He will have to hit way above average to justify his pick in the first round.
The SS from Tulane looks like a very good fielder, but if he can’t hit some, he will be Gift 2.0.
The HS pitchers will make or break this draft obviously, as there aren’t any position players to get excited about.
The good news….we will be drafting much higher next year, so hopefully the Pirates will pursue high ceiling position players.


not sure hitting 248 witha 363 slug is hitting in low a.


With his slow start its not really that bad.


Yes. Over the second half of July Craig had a .386 BA, .614 SLG, .481 OBP, and a 1.095 OPS. Total of 52 plate appearances over that time.


John, Could that 70 Grade name get him in the top 50 prospects. How much is that weighted??? Need a little humor after that weekend series.

Bobby L

Will Craig appears to be the second coming of Minnie Minoso by attracting so many HBP. Any ideas why?

Generally, don’t the Pirates really limit pitchers innings in the low minors. Saw Beddes numbers and thought ffor this part of the season, he was a little high. Maybe in the past signability was an issue, or could certainly be that I am wrong.

Some other pitchers are near or have already passed 100 innings. Isn;t this new to the system or, again it could just be me being wrong.

Alemis made one of the best plays I have ever seen on the DP highlight. Hope he can enough to rise thru the ranks. Still think he was an overdraft, but he is a top defender.

IC Bob

I think sometimes non prospects are allowed to pitch more then true prospects. It doesn’t mean they can’t earn it along the way but I think the organization is not nearly as protective with organizational depth type players

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