Indianapolis saw their season end in the playoffs on Saturday night. The Indians finished the season with a 79-63 record, finishing in first place in their division. They began the year with a lot of the top 50 prospects in the system and gained a few more along the way. The season didn’t go as expected for their top overall prospect, as Austin Meadows played just 72 games and got off to a slow start on offense. Tyler Eppler and Nick Kingham had some inconsistencies during the season and Barrett Barnes went from a healthy breakout season in 2016 with Altoona, to 31 games played this season. There were some highlights along the way though. Here are the top five from this season.
1. Tyler Glasnow – This would actually be a lowlight-turned-highlight. If things went somewhat well in the majors for Glasnow, then he would have never played for Indianapolis. He turned that demotion into a chance to better himself as a pitcher and showed instant improvements. Glasnow lost the windup and worked from the set at all times. He was throwing harder and throwing more strikes, while displaying a better mound presence. He finished with a 1.93 ERA, 140 strikeouts and an 0.95 WHIP in 93.1 innings. On Wednesday in Milwaukee, he gets his first chance to see if the new and improved Glasnow can carry over that success to the majors. He should be able to get in four starts for the Pirates by the end of the season.
2. Jordan Luplow – While his initial promotion to the majors was both rushed and brief, Luplow breezed through his time at Altoona and then put up better numbers in Indianapolis. That fast start got him promoted to the Pirates just 28 days after he got the Triple-A. He would return to Indianapolis days later and didn’t miss a beat on offense. Luplow went from a player who put up solid stats in the pitcher-friendly FSL last year, to someone who already has three weeks (and counting) in at the Major League level. He could very well end up starting next year back in Indianapolis, but he’s clearly a much better prospect now than he was coming into this season.
3. Steven Brault – Brault spent too much time in Indianapolis this year. He dominated the league, winning the ERA title and getting named the league’s top pitcher. The Pirates kept him in the starting role as depth and that opportunity never came up, although many fans were calling for him to replace almost every pitcher in the Pirate rotation at some point. Even with a couple of starts now, including last night’s terrific effort, Brault still hasn’t had much of a chance at the big league level, especially with him switching between roles. He put up a great season for Indianapolis though, and should get a real chance at winning a spot with the Pirates next year out of Spring Training.
4. Max Moroff – Speaking of not really getting chances with the Pirates, Max Moroff became the IL leader in OPS about two days after he was called up to the Pirates in early June. In 51 games with Indianapolis, he put up a .909 OPS and collected 13 homers. Unfortunately for Moroff, he’s spent over a month more time in the majors than he did in Triple-A and doesn’t even have half of the plate appearances he got for Indianapolis. That lack of an opportunity shouldn’t take away from the strong stats he put up with Indianapolis.
5. Christopher Bostick – The Pirates wanted to turn Bostick into a versatile player and his athleticism allowed him to have success in that role, playing five different positions during the season. The fact that he also put up solid stats, finishing in the top ten in numerous offensive categories, helped get him his first (and second) promotion to the majors. The 24-year-old is getting a September look with hopes to fill a bench role at some point with the Pirates.
** Altoona begins the Eastern League finals tonight in Trenton. Brandon Waddell goes in game one of the best-of-five series. He faced Trenton once this year on the road and allowed one run over 4.2 innings back on August 5th. Waddell limited the runs against him that game, but also ran up the pitch count, which limited his innings.
Trenton counters with Dillon Tate, who faced Altoona back on August 12th in his Double-A debut and allowed three runs over six innings. He had a 3.24 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 17 strikeouts in 25 innings with Trenton.
Altoona went 5-8 in the season series between these two clubs and Trenton went 2-1 in games played in Trenton.
(Durham won the series 3-1)
9/6: Indianapolis 3, Durham 10
9/7: Indianapolis 0, Durham 2
9/8: Indianapolis 5, Durham 0
9/9: Indianapolis 3, Durham 4
(Altoona won the series 3-0)
9/7: Altoona 2, Bowie 0
9/8: Altoona 8, Bowie 4
9/9: Altoona 6, Bowie 1
Eastern League Finals
9/12: Game One @ Trenton 7 PM
9/13: Game Two @ Trenton 7 PM
9/14: Game Three VS Trenton 6 PM
9/15: Game Four VS Trenton 6 PM (If necessary)
9/16: Game Five VS Trenton 3 PM (If necessary)
The Pirates trail in their division by ten games. They are 11.5 games back for the second wild card spot.
PIRATES GAME GRAPH
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 7-0 over the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday night. Gerrit Cole will be on the mound making his 30th start of the season today. He allowed one run over seven innings in each of his first three starts against Milwaukee this season. In his most recent outing against the Brewers, Cole gave up four runs over six innings. The Brewers will counter with lefty Brent Suter, who has 3.55 ERA in 63.1 innings, with 51 strikeouts and a 1.29 WHIP. He faced the Pirates once and allowed two runs over 4.2 innings.
MLB: Pittsburgh (68-77) @ Brewers (75-69) 7:40 PM
Probable starter: Gerrit Cole (3.93 ERA, 47:168 BB/SO, 181.0 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (79-63) (season preview)
AA: Altoona (74-66) @ Trenton (92-48) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Brandon Waddell (3.55 ERA, 31:114 BB/SO, 66.0 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (70-62) (season preview)
Low-A: West Virginia (69-67) (season preview)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (40-35) (season preview)
Rookie: Bristol (17-49)
GCL: Pirates (26-34)
DSL: Pirates (36-34) (season preview)
Here is Altoona recording the final out of their first round sweep of Bowie.
9/10: Pirates recall Tyler Glasnow, Johnny Barbato, Dan Runzler, Jack Leathersich, Jacob Stallings and Edgar Santana
9/9: Cole Tucker placed on disabled list. Kevin Kramer added to Altoona roster.
9/8: Gregory Polanco and Adam Frazier activated from disabled list.
9/7: George Kontos activated from disabled list.
9/6: Jack Leathersich added to Indianapolis. Cody Dickson assigned to Bradenton.
9/4: Pirates claimed Jack Leathersich on waivers from Chicago Cubs.
9/3: Josh Harrison placed on disabled list. Christopher Bostick recalled from Indianapolis.
9/3: Austin Meadows placed on disabled list.
9/3: Anderson Feliz and Justin Maffei promoted to Indianapolis. Mitchell Tolman and Casey Hughston promoted to Altoona
9/3: Kevin Kramer assigned to Morgantown on rehab.
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Four former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, starting with the most recent first. Franquelis Osoria pitched for the 2007-08 clubs. He had very little success with the Pirates, or even before in two years with the Dodgers. In 68 games for Pittsburgh, he had a 5.66 ERA in 89 innings. For the Dodgers, he had a 5.13 ERA in 38 appearances.
Mike Roesler pitched for the 1990 NL East champs. He made five relief appearances for the Pirates in the beginning of the season. That 1990 season was unique, as clubs were allowed to carry 27 players during the first three weeks due to the lockout, which shortened Spring Training. When the rosters were reduced, Roesler was sent down and never played in the majors again.
Trench Davis, 1985-86 center fielder. Pirates signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1980. He hit .133 in 17 games with the Pirates, getting into two mid-season games in 1985 and 15 games the following May.
George Freese, third baseman for the 1955 Pirates. George’s teammate that season, who also played third base, was his brother Gene. George hit .257 in 51 games for the Pirates. His only other big league time was one game for the Tigers in 1953 and nine games for the Cubs in 1961.
On this date in 1883, the Pittsburgh Alleghenys allowed 27 runs in a loss to the Cincinnati Red Stockings (modern day Reds). That run total has only been topped once in franchise history, when the Alleghenys gave up 28 runs to the Boston Beaneaters (now the Braves) on August 28, 1887.
On this date in 1926, the Pittsburgh Pirates swept a doubleheader from the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, winning 5-1 and 7-1. Paul Waner hit for the cycle on the day, collecting a single, double and homer in the first game, followed by a triple and another homer in the second game. The triple was his 20th of the season. Here’s the boxscore for game one.+ posts
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.