Morning Report: Fielding Stats from Around the Farm System

The last three days we have looked at how the affiliates of the Pittsburgh Pirates stack up in the tools categories. On Tuesday it was a look at the power around the farm system. On Wednesday it was the hitting tool. On Thursday we looked at the speed. Today we go for the defense.

This is a little harder to gauge than the other categories by just looking at stats. The best looking defenders don’t always have the best stats, especially early in their career. When you compare it to other teams at the same level, you take away some of the doubt in the stats because you’re leveling the playing field. It doesn’t always hold true because teams just sometimes put bad fielders out there, but for the most part, the higher you go in the system, the better the overall fielding becomes. A small part of that is just the fields/lighting themselves, but you’re also surrounded by better players who help keep you from making as many errors.

Here are the fielding stats compared to the league for each of the nine affiliates. I included both errors and fielding percentage, because the games played for each team in the league can vary due to cancellations and rain outs, so sometimes those spots don’t match up. At the bottom, I also included the catchers caught stealing percentage for all nine teams compared to the league they are in. Finally, I threw in outfield assist leaders because I had the time. All stats are through July 26th.

Indianapolis has committed 50 errors and they have a .986 fielding percentage. That’s the lowest error total in the International League and tied for the best percentage.

Altoona has 61 errors and a .983 fielding percentage. Those both lead the league. So far so good…

Bradenton has 66 errors and a .981 percentage. They rank second in the league in both categories.

West Virginia has 127 errors and a .963 fielding percentage, both rank them last in the 14-team South Atlantic League. If you’re doing quick math, that’s the same amount of errors as Altoona and Bradenton combined.

Morgantown has 52 errors and a .964 percentage, one point above West Virginia. They are 11th out of 14 teams in errors and tied for tenth in percentage.

Bristol has 51 errors and a .961 fielding percentage. They rank tied for seventh (out of ten teams) in both categories.

The GCL Pirates have 39 errors and a .961 percentage. They are 11th out of 18 teams in both categories.

The DSL Pirates1 have committed 74 errors and have a .955 percentage. They rank 20th (out of 44 teams) in percentage and 21st in errors. The DSL Pirates2 have 85 errors and a .949 percentage. They are 33rd in errors and tied for 32nd in percentage.

Catchers Caught Stealing VS league

Indianapolis: 32% vs 32%

Altoona: 31% vs 31%

Bradenton: 38% vs 32%

West Virginia: 27% vs 33%

Morgantown: 25% vs 28%

Bristol: 43% vs 31%

GCL: 27% vs 31%

DSL1: 40% vs 34%

DSL2: 34% vs 34%

Outfield Assists

  1. Jordan Luplow, 9
  2. Lolo Sanchez, 6
  3. Bralin Jackson, 4
  4. Danny Amaral, 4
  5. Juan Pie, 4
  6. A lot at 3


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates lost 12-6 to the New York Mets on Monday night. Ivan Nova will get the start today, coming off of his last outing on July 22nd when he allowed two runs over 6.2 innings against the Cincinnati Reds. The Mets will counter with left-hander Jason Vargas, who has an 8.60 ERA in 37.2 innings, with 32 strikeouts and a 1.83 WHIP. He gave up seven runs over 2.1 innings against the Colorado Rockies in his last start back in June.

The minor league schedule includes doubleheaders for Indianapolis and Bradenton. Tyler Eppler starts for Indianapolis. He has allowed 11 runs and 28 hits in his last 19.2 innings. Alex McRae gets the second game. He has allowed nine runs over 14.1 innings since his brief stint in the majors. Taylor Hearn goes for Altoona. He has allowed two runs over his last 18.1 innings and he’s holding batters to a .194 BAA this season. Morgantown starter Osvaldo Bido has allowed one earned run in each of his last three starts. Steven Jennings goes for Bristol. He went six innings for the first time in his last start and allowed just one run.

MLB: Pittsburgh (53-51) vs Mets (42-57) 7:05 PM
Probable starter: Ivan Nova (4.28 ERA, 81:19 SO/BB, 109.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (54-47) vs Buffalo (46-51) 6:05 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Tyler Eppler (3.48 ERA, 86:26 SO/BB, 106.0 IP) and Alex McRae (4.76 ERA, 87:44 SO/BB, 98.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (52-46) vs Binghamton (48-55) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Taylor Hearn (3.03 ERA, 105:37 SO/BB, 98.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (47-51) @ Florida (43-54) 4:00 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Mike Wallace (4.50 ERA, 52:13 SO/BB, 74.0 IP) and TBD

Low-A: West Virginia (50-48) vs Asheville (42-58) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD (0.00 ERA, 0:0 SO/BB, 0.0 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (15-24) vs Brooklyn (20-18) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Osvaldo Bido (4.95 ERA, 24:11 SO/BB, 36.1 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (16-18) @ Elizabethton (20-12) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Steven Jennings (4.41 ERA, 24:14 SO/BB, 32.2 IP)

GCL: Pirates (12-16) vs Braves 12:00 PM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates1 (23-23) vs Rays2 10:30 AM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates2 (19-26) vs Royals2 10:30 AM  (season preview)


From Morgantown, two draft picks hitting homers. This one is the first from Grant Koch…

Travis Swaggerty hits his third homer.


7/26: Deon Stafford placed on disabled list. Rafelin Lorenzo activated from West Virginia DL.

7/26: Francisco Cervelli activated from DL. Jacob Stalling optioned to Indianapolis.

7/25: Pirates recall Adam Frazier. Casey Sadler optioned to Indianapolis.

7/24: Erich Weiss assigned to Morgantown on rehab.

7/23: Cody Bolton placed on disabled list. Oddy Nunez demoted to West Virginia.

7/23: Pirates select contract of Casey Sadler. Max Moroff optioned to Indianapolis. Josh Smoker designated for assignment.

7/23: Nick Burdi assigned to Altoona on rehab.

7/23: Jacob Webb promoted to Bristol. Juan Henriquez assigned to GCL Pirates from Morgantown.

7/23: Will Gardner promoted to Morgantown.

7/22: Bralin Jackson placed on Altoona disabled list.

7/21: Christopher Bostick activated from Indianapolis disabled list. Alfredo Reyes assigned to Altoona.

7/20: Sean Rodriguez activated from disabled list. Tanner Anderson optioned to Indianapolis.

7/19: Pirates release Johan De Jesus and Adonis Pichardo.

7/19: Chris Sharpe placed on West Virginia DL. Robbie Glendinning promoted from Morgantown.


Two former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a key game from the 1979 season. Starting with the players and neither was around too long. Enrique Wilson played for the 2000-01 Pirates, joining the team on July 28, 2000 in a deal with the Cleveland Indians for Wil Cordero. The next season he was dealt to the Yankees on June 13th for Damaso Marte. Wilson was a valuable utility player during his first season with the Pirates, seeing time at 2B/3B/SS and putting up a .723 OPS. He was mostly playing shortstop in 2001 before the trade and had a .186 average in 46 games.

The other player born on this date was left-handed pitcher Irish McIlveen, who despite pitching for the Pirates back in 1906, is one of the last Major League players born in Ireland. He was a star athlete at Penn State and joined the Pirates in July of 1906 right out of college. McIlveen pitched twice for the Pirates and played three games off the bench. After coaching two years at PSU, he returned to the majors with the New York Highlanders, playing exclusively in the outfield. By May of 1909, he was out of baseball.

On this date in 1979, the Pirates took a doubleheader from the first place Montreal Expos, which brought them within a half game of the NL East top spot. The link above has more details for the games, including quotes from Dave Parker, who got hit by a pitch in both games of the doubleheader. You can find the boxscore for game two here, which has a link for the first game.




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