Morning Report: Trevor Williams Loses His Prospect Status

Trevor Williams needed to get just four outs on Sunday to lose his prospect status. He obviously did a lot better than that with seven innings of work.

Williams had already spent the necessary 45 days (non-September days) to use up his rookie eligibility this year, but we don’t use that for our Prospect Guide. The simple reason is a player like Alen Hanson had 45 days in weeks ago, but he was well short of topping 130 at-bats. If a player doesn’t get a real chance to play, then they are still a prospect. Not every site uses that thinking. MLB Pipeline eliminated Jose Osuna the other day and both Williams and Hanson were off their list earlier last month. Osuna will still be on our list for at least a few weeks unless his name is in the starting lineup more often.

Williams made it into just two of our prospect guides. He was already in Triple-A when the Pirates acquired him from the Miami Marlins prior to last season. He ranked 24th in the 2016 guide and 15th in this year’s book. He was up to 13th due to Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell both losing their prospect eligibility. Those three out of the farm system rankings obviously knocks the Pirates down a few spots, although numerous players around baseball have lost their prospect status this year, so other teams have the same thing happening until they restock their system via trades or the draft.

Now with more Williams, along with Gift Ngoepe getting sent down and Alen Hanson in waiver limbo, means that the list of remaining prospects in the majors is short. Jose Osuna batted once on Sunday, giving him 87 at-bats. That leaves him 44 short of crossing that 130 at-bat limit. After him, it’s quite a distance to go before the other two players lose their prospect status. Elias Diaz has 26 at-bats and Max Moroff batted for the 13th time on Sunday. Both have decent shots to make the 2018 Prospect Guide.

Johnny Barbato is getting closer each update, but at a slow rate. He’s obviously going to lose his prospect status due to appearances and not innings. Relievers get 30 appearances to work with and he’s now at 27 total between this year and last year with the New York Yankees. He only has 34.1 innings pitched. So I’m fairly certain four appearances will happen before 16 innings.

With Williams off the list, I’ll post prospect status updates on Sundays for now, unless a rookie pitcher comes up from Indianapolis. As good as Steven Brault has been since the beginning of May, it doesn’t sound like anyone is going down anytime soon to make room for him. Williams being off the list also means someone else will be in our top 50. For now I’m just adding in Barbato because he should be somewhere in the top 50, we just haven’t figured it out. I doubt we will either because he’s likely going to get those four appearances before we do our mid-season update.

If Alen Hanson doesn’t stick around, then Jeremias Portorreal would be the next one into the top 50 according to our ratings from the 2017 Prospect Guide. Portorreal was 55th when the book was put out.

As a reminder, Angel Sanchez, Alex McRae, Gift Ngoepe and Jacob Stallings were already added to the top 50, replacing Josh Bell,Tyler Glasnow, Frank Duncan and Tyler Webb. If you have the book and you’re saying what about Lisalverto Bonilla? He was replaced by Pat Light, both on the list and on the roster.

The next time we re-rank players is shortly after the draft pick signing period is over. Ideally, we like to take some time to learn about (and possibly see) the draft picks, so it’s easier to place them on the list.

** With the DSL Pirates starting on Saturday, that leaves three other affiliates left to start their schedule later this month. That’s the fun time when we are following eight teams at the same time for 2+ months. Morgantown will be the next team up, beginning their schedule on June 19th. Bristol will follow three days later with their first game. Then on June 26th, the GCL team will start play. We will have previews for those clubs once we know the rosters. Morgantown is likely going to be a lot of draft picks. Bristol is usually a nice split of players in Extended Spring Training and lower draft picks, while the GCL team will have very few draft picks, unless the Pirates go heavy with high school players.


Bradenton trails in their division by 1.5 games with 14 games remaining in the first half. They do not play first place Palm Beach again during the first half.

West Virginia trails their division leader by 5.5 games, with 13 games left in the first half. They are in fifth place.


Source: FanGraphs


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 11-1 over the New York Mets on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates have off today, as they travel to Baltimore for a quick two-game series before returning home for ten games. Ivan Nova will be on the mound for the Pirates on Tuesday and 26-year-old, right-hander Kevin Gausman is scheduled to throw for the Orioles.

In the minors, both Altoona and West Virginia are off today. Bradenton was rained out yesterday and will now play a doubleheader today. Gage Hinsz is scheduled for one game and no starter is listed yet for the second game. Tyler Eppler will start for Indianapolis. He is fifth in the International League with a 1.10 WHIP and his 2.91 ERA ranks him seventh in the league.

MLB: Pittsburgh (26-31) @ Orioles (29-26) 7:05 PM 6/6
Probable starter: Ivan Nova (2.92 ERA, 6:40 BB/SO, 77.0 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (31-24) @ Toledo (24-30) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (2.91 ERA, 12:38 BB/SO, 52.2 IP)

AA: Altoona (30-24) @ Harrisburg (23-32) 6:30 PM 6/6 (season preview)
Probable starter: Tanner Anderson (4.41 ERA, 17:31 BB/SO, 49.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (33-23) vs Lakeland (22-33) 5:00 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Gage Hinsz (7.59 ERA, 14:21 BB/SO, 42.2 IP) and TBD

Low-A: West Virginia (26-27) vs Delmarva (23-32) 7:05 PM 6/6 (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD

DSL: Pirates (1-0) vs Cubs1 (0-1) 10:30 AM (season preview)


Here is Barrett Barnes making a nice leaping catch to help out Nick Kingham on Saturday night.


6/4: Cole  Tucker placed on disabled list. Daniel Arribas added to Bradenton roster.

6/2: Pirates designate Alen Hanson for assignment. Recall Max Moroff and Phil Gosselin.

6/2: Adrian Valerio placed on disabled list. Andrew Walker added to West Virginia.

6/2: Jameson Taillon assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

6/1: Gift Ngoepe optioned to Indianapolis

6/1: Brett McKinney assigned to Indianapolis

5/31: Anderson Feliz added to Indianapolis roster. Brett McKinney assigned to Morgantown.

5/30: Chris Stewart placed on disabled list. Pirates recall Elias Diaz.

5/30: Jackson Williams promoted to Indianapolis. Tomas Morales added to Altoona roster.

5/30: Trae Arbet added to West Virginia roster. Andrew Walker assigned to Morgantown.

5/28: Jameson Taillon assigned to Altoona on rehab.

5/27: Yunior Montero assigned to Bradenton. Danny Arribas assigned to Extended Spring Training.

5/27: Antonio Bastardo and Josh Lindblom assigned to Indianapolis on rehab.

5/27: Andrew Walker assigned to West Virginia. Trae Arbet assigned to Morgantown.

5/26: Kevin Krause activated from disabled list. Mitch Keller placed on disabled list.

5/26: Eury Perez assigned to Morgantown.


Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus some draft news. Outfielder Ray Rohwer from the 1921-22 Pirates, was born on this date in 1895. He is overshadowed by the other player born on this date, Hall of Fame pitcher Jack Chesbro. He is best known for winning 41 games in 1904 for the New York Highlanders, but Chesbro pitched for the Pirates from 1899 until 1902, helping the team to two NL titles. During the 1902 season, the Pirates had their best winning percentage ever and Chesbro won 28 games, which is the highest total for a Pirates pitcher since 1900. You can read more on Chesbro here.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have used first round picks on June 5th to select Pedro Alvarez (2008),  John Van Benschoten (2001), Sean Burnett (2000), Willie Greene (1989), Mike Bielecki (1979), Rod Scurry (1974) and Steve Nicoscia in 1973.

On this date in 1915, the Pirates defeated the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) by an 11-0 score, with Hall of Fame center field Max Carey going 5-for-5, with two doubles, two runs, two RBIs, and two stolen bases. Honus Wagner added two hits and drove in a run, while pitcher Al Mamaux moved to 7-1 on the season with the complete game shutout. The rest of the pitchers for the Pirates had a combined 12-20 record at the time. You can view the boxscore here.

  • Your article got me wondering if we ever had a better rotation in terms of lifetime performances than 1900:

    * Chesbro: 198-132 2.68 41.4 (WAR)
    * Waddell: 193-143 2.16 58.6 (WAR)
    * Tannehill: 197-117 2.80 48.7 (WAR)
    * Leever: 194-100 2.47 41.3 (WAR)
    * Phillippe: 189-109 2.59 34.2 (WAR)

    2 HOFs and 3 borderline HOFs

  • Any update on Hanson status. Its not like its a big concern
    to me unless he is picked up by someone else in the NL Central.

    • John Dreker
      June 5, 2017 9:50 am

      It could take up to ten days from Friday to find out his status. There will be an article when something happens

      • What is your latest guess?

        • John Dreker
          June 5, 2017 1:59 pm

          I’d be surprised if he clears waivers. There has to be a team like the Phillies who can give him a shot because they have no chance to compete this year, or a team that could use infield depth and may have someone similar to Hanson who could be optioned. At worst, a team could claim him, then immediately try to get him through waivers.

  • Assuming no one claims him, when can Hanson be assigned to Indy, assuming they chose that route over outright release?

    • John Dreker
      June 5, 2017 9:51 am

      As soon as he clears waivers

      • Was kind of hoping for a date for that.

        That part we all kind of know, more or less.

        • John Dreker
          June 5, 2017 1:55 pm

          It can take up to ten days, there is no set date

          • Can you elaborate more? I thought it was a set number of days for another team to claim him, or for the Pirates to work out a trade?

            Is there a good primer on the subject one can read?

            • John Dreker
              June 5, 2017 2:34 pm

              Ten days is the maximum if he clears waivers, but we could find out about it anytime within the next week if he is claimed. We just sit here and wait for the results like everyone else. He could be optioned to AAA, traded, picked up on waivers or released at this point.

              • So, if I understand – for max 10 days, he’s (or really anyone) in limbo. During those 10 days, a team can claim him. Or he could be traded.

                If none of that happens in 10 days, the Pirates can assign him to AAA. But not before then.

                Which was my question.

                • John Dreker
                  June 5, 2017 7:28 pm

                  It was actually lowered to seven days during the CBA over the winter. So we will find out within the next four days

                  • That raises an interesting question John. Are these players given access to workout facilities at the home stadiums of the parent clubs while waiting to see where they’re going next? A week to ten days is a long time to wait without taking bp and infield.

                    • John Dreker
                      June 5, 2017 11:27 pm

                      No, they are technically no longer with the team during that time, so they are on their own to stay in shape. Most players don’t last the ten days though.

  • WAR isn’t perfect, but this will give you some idea of how those #1 draft picks did in the majors:

    Pedro Alvarez (2008) 5.9 (and our only All Star!)
    John Van Benschoten (2001) -3.5
    Sean Burnett (2000) 6.1
    Willie Greene (1989) 3.1
    Mike Bielecki (1979) 1.2
    Rod Scurry (1974) 5.8
    Steve Nicoscia (1973) 1.2.

    Btw, our best, overall #1 draft pick by career WAR, is Jason Kendall, at 41.2, but Cutch is at 37.6 right now, so he could surpass him eventually. Cutch has the most as a Bucco.

    So, he is arguably, the BEST #1 that we ever had.

    • I’m not asking you to do this but it would certainly be cool to have a list of number ones since the draft started, the GMs that picked them, and their WARs

  • If, when Taillon comes back, the Pirates elect to take the long view and pull Williams from the starting rotation in favor of people with higher long-term potential, does Williams become an insurance piece, or does he become a trade chip?

    • michael schalke
      June 5, 2017 9:57 am

      If he comes out of the rotation I believe NH should be fired.