Prospect Watch: Solid Starts from JT Brubaker and Domingo Robles

P2 Top 30

A look at how the current top 30 prospects did today. If a player is in the majors for an extended time, or loses his prospect eligibility, he will be removed from this list. 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 more active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the 2017 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Austin Meadows, CF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] include_once (‘./p2-stats/stats_functions.php’);
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2. Mitch Keller, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656605,’P’,’20170718′);
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3. Kevin Newman, SS, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(621028,’B’,’20170718′);
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4. Cole Tucker, SS, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(657061,’B’,’20170718′);
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5. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Bradenton -[insert_php] display_top30(663647,’B’,’20170718′);
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6. Will Craig, 3B, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(643269,’B’,’20170718′);
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7. Taylor Hearn, LHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(621368,’P’,’20170718′);
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8. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Bradenton – [insert_php] display_top30(656543,’P’,’20170718′);
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9. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(592468,’P’,’20170718′);
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10. Steven Brault, LHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(643230,’P’,’20170718′);
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11. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(605280,’P’,’20170718′);
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12. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669180,’P’,’20170718′);
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13. Max Kranick, RHP, GCL Pirates – [insert_php] display_top30(668820,’P’,’20170718′);
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14. Elias Diaz, C, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(553869,’B’,’20170718′);
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15. Edgar Santana, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(650828,’P’,’20170718′);
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16. Luis Escobar, RHP, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(650813,’P’,’20170718′);
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17. Dovydas Neverauskas, RHP, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(596720,’P’,’20170718′);
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18. Yeudy Garcia, RHP, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(650817,’P’,’20170718′);
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19. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Altoona -[insert_php] display_top30(596012,’B’,’20170718′);
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20. Tyler Eppler, RHP, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(621169,’P’,’20170718′);
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21. Stephen Alemais, SS, West Virginia – [insert_php] display_top30(641301,’B’,’20170718′);
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22. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(663399,’P’,’20170718′);
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23. Travis MacGregor, RHP, Bristol – [insert_php] display_top30(669740,’P’,’20170718′);
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24. Barrett Barnes, LF, Indianapolis -[insert_php] display_top30(608627,’B’,’20170718′);
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25. Max Moroff, 2B, Pirates -[insert_php] display_top30(621559,’B’,’20170718′);
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26. Eric Wood, 3B, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607780,’B’,’20170718′);
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27. J.T. Brubaker, RHP, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(664141,’P’,’20170718′);
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28. Chris Bostick, INF/OF, Indianapolis – [insert_php] display_top30(607471,’B’,’20170718′);
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29. Connor Joe, 3B, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(656582,’B’,’20170718′);
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30. Jin-De Jhang, C, Altoona – [insert_php] display_top30(618085,’B’,’20170718′);
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P2 Top Performers

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Prospect-Watch-Indy

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Indianapolis lost 5-1 to Durham on Tuesday night. Drew Hutchison started and was coming off of a game in which he threw five shutout innings, but also needed 105 pitches to get through his night. On this day, Durham got to him early, putting four runs on the board in the second inning. They added an insurance run in the sixth, but the Indianapolis bats were very quiet on this night. In six inning, Hutchison allowed five runs on six hits and no walks, while striking out four batters and posting a 10:4 GO/AO ratio.

The Indians had just four hits on the night, with four batters picking up one single each. The only run scored in the seventh inning and that happened because they didn’t swing the bat. Four walks in the inning brought home the only run. Christopher Bostick picked up the RBI and also had a single. Elias Diaz had a walk and a single.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

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ALTOONA, Pa. – The Curve offense exploded in the third inning tonight, putting up a seven spot on the board. Unfortunately, that was all their offense did, as they were shut out the rest of the game. Pitching faltered late, and the Curve dropped a hard one in Altoona tonight, losing to Harrisburg, 9-7.

JT Brubaker got the start for Altoona, and he built upon his outing last week, which was a decent start after a string of tough starts before that. Brubaker went five innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on five hits. He struck out six batters while walking two.

Brubaker really flourished in the third inning, when he struck out all three batters he faced. All were of the swinging fashion, and he used all of his pitches to get the swinging misses. He was two-seamer heavy tonight with his fastball, sitting around 93-94 MPH for the most part with the pitch. When he wanted to get lefties uncomfortable, he worked inside with his four-seamer, which got up to 96 MPH tonight.

“The sinker was really working,” Manager Michael Ryan said. “He got the ball on the ground. Had a lot of foul balls to get them to two strikes. Overall, he had three quality pitches tonight. It was one of his better ones.”

Ryan specifically noted Brubaker’s slider, which he threw for strikes often and located them well.

Brubaker’s outing was limited to five innings because of the blister on his finger that kind of reared its ugly head during his last outing in the sixth inning. They wanted to limit him so that it doesn’t affect his next start.

From the pitching side of things, the wheels came off after Brubaker exited the game. Sean Keselica and Brandon Cumpton allowed seven earned runs in the seventh and eighth innings. Keselica struck out the side in the sixth, before everything fell apart in the seventh. Cumpton relieved Keselica after he was tagged for four runs, then Cumpton allowed a couple of singles and a walk before a Dan Gamache triple that gave Harrisburg the lead.

In Cumpton’s case, it was obvious that he really didn’t have it tonight; however, he was scheduled to pitch those innings tonight. The Pirates need to see how Cumpton does in difficult situations, and tonight, it did not work out in the Curve’s favor.

Luis Heredia pitched a clean and quick ninth inning.

In that second inning, Altoona sent eleven batters to the plate and connected on eight hits, which is a season high. It began with a Pablo Reyes double, and JT Brubaker laid down a nice sacrifice bunt to move the runner over to third. After Kevin Newman reached on an error, the floodgates opened. Elvis Escobar slapped a line drive double the other way to score Newman, then Jerrick Suiter lined one back up the middle to score Escobar.

With Suiter on base, Edwin Espinal fouled off the first three pitches he saw before muscling the ball over the left field fence for his 13th home run of the season. The swing, honestly, didn’t look great, and it was all upper body with very little leg movement. One one hand, you’d rather see Espinal choke up and protect the plate better with a short swing; however, on the other hand, it really showed what kind of strength the first baseman has to be able to launch a ball like that using mostly all arms.

“He got fooled a little bit and was out in front,” Ryan said about Espinal’s homer. “It was a changeup, and he got the barrel on it, hit it to the right part of the field.”

Jin-De Jhang, Michael Suchy, Pablo Reyes, and JT Brubaker all singled after the Espinal homer to bring the run total to seven in the inning, which tied a season high.

Kevin Newman went 2-for-5 tonight, including a hustle double on a hit to right field. Newman is now hitting .327 (37/113) over his last 25 games, including eight doubles, one triple and two homers.

Jerrick Suiter (2-for-5) is 44-for-121 since the beginning of June, hitting for a .364 average. That is the best in the Pirates’ minor league system and second best in all of Double-A baseball.

As for the game tonight, Michael Ryan said it was a very frustrating game to take in.

“It’s probably as frustrating as it gets,” Ryan said. “It’s not the seven runs that we gave up late in the game. I think, offensively, we sat on it a little bit. We didn’t do enough. A few mistakes here and there. We should’ve tagged up on a ball with a runner at second base. We got a runner thrown out at home with the pitcher hitting, trying to sneak a run in there. The pitch selection was probably obvious late in the game. We didn’t attack guys and went off-speed too much.” -Sean McCool

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

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Bradenton got a terrific start from Bret Helton in their 3-1 win over Ft Myers. He went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and one walk, while striking out six batters. Sam Street and Daniel Zamora closed out the game with one scoreless inning each. That gives Bradenton a 52-39 record this season.

The Marauders didn’t exactly have a great game at the plate. They had six singles and a double, while failing to draw a walk. They also went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Christian Kelley was the only player with two hits and he also collected the only double, his tenth of the season. Jordan George extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an RBI single in the first inning that scored Ke’Bryan Hayes.

In the fifth inning, Bradenton scored two runs on a lead-off single by Alfredo Reyes, followed by two fielding errors. Will Craig and Ke’Bryan Hayes each went 1-for-4 with a single. Cole Tucker had the night off.

Prospect-Watch-WV-Power

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West Virginia has off today.

Prospect-Watch-Morgantown

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Morgantown won 7-6 in 11 innings against Auburn. Sergio Cubilete started and went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs that were all unearned. He gave up six hits, which were all singles. He also hit two batters, but had no walks, seven strikeouts and a 7:2 GO/AO ratio. Cubilete has a 2.30 ERA in six starts, one of which he got knocked out of the game in the first inning due to his pitch count.

After Nicholas Economos allowed two runs, eighth round draft pick Blake Weiman couldn’t pick up the save in the ninth. He ended up getting the win though, while striking out five batters in his two innings. He now has 18 strikeouts in 12 innings and that was the first run that he allowed. Matt Seelinger pitched a scoreless bottom of the 11th for the save. He has thrown nine shutout innings, while giving up two hits and two walks.

On offense, everyone in the lineup had one hit, including Sandy Santos, who replaced Michael de la Cruz in the seventh inning. De la Cruz left with a leg injury. They each went 1-for-2 with a single, while de la Cruz also added two walks and two runs scored. Tristan Gray had just one hit in five at-bats, but it was a big one. He hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, his third of the season. Lucas Tancas hit a double and his first career home run. Deon Stafford had three hits, including his fifth double. He drove in three runs. Third round pick Dylan Busby was 1-for-4 with a single, walk, run scored, as well as two strikeouts and his fourth error.

Prospect-Watch-Bristol
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Bristol won 9-4 over Elizabethton with Domingo Robles on the mound. He was featured here earlier today. Robles went five innings, allowing three runs in the first, but only one was earned. He gave up four hits, with no walks and four strikeouts, plus a 9:0 GO/AO ratio. Robles faced the minimum over the final four innings of work and he threw 40 of his 59 pitches for strikes. Chris McDonald, who has excelled in long relief so far, gave up one run over three innings, then Eddie Muhl made his seventh straight scoreless appearance to begin his career.

Edison Lantigua continued to hit this season, driving in three runs on two doubles. He also walked and scored a run. In 21 games, the 20-year-old Lantigua has a .307/.441/.573 slash line. Yondry Contreras had a double, walk and run scored. Nelson Jorge had the big hit on the night, a three-run homer in the eighth inning. Huascar Fuentes had three hits, including his sixth double, and he picked up an RBI.

Prospect-Watch-GCL

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The GCL Pirates had their game rained out on Tuesday. It will be made up as part of a doubleheader in August.

Prospect-Watch-DSL

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The DSL Pirates won 9-7 on Tuesday, getting production out of everyone in the lineup. Jose Marcano and Pablo Santana have been pitching on the same day all season and both were doing well coming into this game. Neither had it on this day, as they combined to go 6.1 innings while allowing all seven runs. Wilmer Contreras and Francis Del Orbe finished the game off with 2.2 scoreless frames, holding the lead, with Del Orbe recording his first career save.

Larry Alcime had the best day on offense, but also left the game early. He hit a two-run double in the seventh that started the scoring in an inning that the Pirates would put up six runs and take the lead. He also singled and scored a run earlier in the game. Alcime left after running the bases in the seventh. Last week, he fouled a ball off of his shin and it stiffened up after he got back to the bench that inning.

Williams Calderon had three hits, while Ronaldo Paulino and Rayvi Rodriguez each added a pair of hits. Jean Eusebio had a single, walk, run scored and his seventh stolen base.

  • The CWS got a 20 year old 2016 No. 1 Pick in Rutherford ($3.2 mil); a 22 year old Supplemental First Rounder in LHSP Ian Clarkin ($1.6 mil); and a 22 year old Tito Polo. To get all of this future, they traded all of the guys that they could no longer use beyond 2017. Clarkin has been pitching well at Hi A after a few years of injuries – could get to AA in 2017.

  • Former all organization name member Tito Polo part of the ChiSox / Yanks deal. He can say hi to Alen Hanson. If he doesn’t get DFAd for Moncada.

    • I’m actually not blown away by the deal for the sox. I thought they would get a better return 2 great relievers and a power guy. Surprised by only getting one top 100 guy that many people are split on.

      • The most annoying part is that the Yankees are the team that clearly got the better part of this deal.

        • Today, yes…but when you play the”what if” game with prospects…to call a winner or loser for a major buyer and a major seller 2hrs after a trade is impossible. Too much can happen. They obviously liked the top 2 they picked up. And I’m sure Clippard will be looked at being flipped for another young player.

          I’m not disagreeing with your initial thoughts…but if those top 2 work out, it’s a win for the Sox if Frazier leaves in 3 months and the Yanks don’t even make the playoffs

        • Eric Marshall
          July 19, 2017 9:42 am

          Frazier is hitting 207. who wants that in the lineup even with the home runs. Isn’t great at first or third. Harrison, Watson and Nicasio would have been good fits with the Yankees.

          • I would consider him a good defensive 3B player. He isn’t hitting like he used to but I still think he’s a valuable player in the right situation.

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