Morning Report: A Breakdown of the New Top 50 Prospects List

We released our mid-season update to our top 50 prospects list yesterday. That list was free for the public to help push our mid-season prospect guide, which includes scouting reports and bio info on all 50 players, plus our tiered ranking and two articles that discuss the current state of the system and the differences between the current list and the pre-season guide. If you didn’t pick up our guide yet, the ebook is just $9.99 and can be found on our products page.

I wanted to take a look at that list and break it down by a few categories. I’ll start by the level that the players are currently at, which actually just changed for a couple of players within the last few days. This is a list of where they were playing yesterday when the book came out. Injured players are listed at their last level.

Pirates: Luplow (1)

Indianapolis: Keller, Kramer, Newman, Holmes, J. Martin, Brubaker, Waddell, Bostick (DFA limbo), Eppler, Stallings, P. Reyes, McRae, Anderson (13)

Altoona: Tucker, Hayes, Escobar, Reynolds, Craig, Burdi, Agrazal, Vera, Vieaux, Alemais, Kelley, Pabst (12)

Bradenton: Oliva, Robles, Valerio, Hinsz (4)

West Virginia: Cruz, Mitchell, MacGregor, Sanchez, Ogle, Bolton, Kranick (7)

Morgantown: Swaggerty, Kaiser, Shortridge, Bido (4)

Bristol: Baz, Jennings, Apostel, M.Martin, Santana (5)

GCL: Ashcraft, Bae, Burrows, Eusebio (4)

Here’s a breakdown by numbers of how the players were acquired.

Draft: 33

International: 12

Trade: 5

Here are the numbers by current position. If they have been playing more than one position often this year, I went with their best defensive spot. The RHP/LHP list includes all pitchers, which I then broke down by relievers and starters.

C: 3

1B: 2

2B: 3

SS: 6

3B: 2

OF: 9

RHP: 20

LHP: 5

Starters: 23

Relievers: 2

So by looking at these three ways to breakdown the list, you see about half of the talent is at the AAA/AA levels (exactly half if you include Luplow). You see half of them are pitchers and almost half are starting pitchers. Outfield and shortstop are well represented, while no position is completely barren, but there are some weaknesses, especially once you look at where the players rank on the list (catcher is a good example of that). A majority of the players have come from the draft, but the international side should start to catch up with the increased bonus pools that began last year.

** The Arizona Fall League released an outline of their schedule and the coaching/team assignments. Pirates are on the move to an old team, going back to the Surprise Saguaros. They are sending Altoona pitching coach Bryan Hickerson, which fits well with the pitchers I guessed yesterday in my AFL possibilities. The AFL season begins on October 9th, and as usual, we will have game recaps for every single game during the season. The Fall-Stars game is November 3rd and the championship game is November 17th.

The schedule will be released later today so I’m not sure how many games they will play. It has been different over the years, but it’s usually between 30-32 games.


The Pirates are in fourth place in their division, trailing by 8.5 games with 48 games left on the schedule. They trail the second wild card team by five games.

Indianapolis is in first place and they lead by 3.5 games with 26 games left in their schedule.

Altoona is in second place and trails by four games with 28 games left in their schedule. They lead the race for the second playoff spot by three games.

Bradenton is in fifth place and trails by 10.5 games with 25 games left in their schedule.

West Virginia is in sixth place and trail by 10.5 games with 26 games left in their schedule. They trail the second place team by six games and could make the playoffs if Lakewood wins the second half title and they finish second.

Morgantown is in sixth place and trail by 12.5 games with 25 games left in their schedule.

Bristol is in third place and trails by 5.5 games with 22 games left in their schedule. They trail the second place team, which also gets a playoff spot, by four games.

The GCL Pirates are in fourth place and trail by nine games with 15 games left in their schedule.

The DSL Pirates1 are in sixth place and trail by 11 games with 16 games left in their schedule.

The DSL Pirates2 have been eliminated from the playoff race.


Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates won 10-2 over the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night. Chris Archer will get the start today, coming off of his first outing with the Pirates on August 3rd when he allowed three runs over 4.1 innings against the St Louis Cardinals. The Rockies will counter with right-hander German Marquez, who has a 4.70 ERA in 122.2 innings, with 129 strikeouts and a 1.35 WHIP. In his last start, he gave up two runs over seven innings against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The minor league schedule includes a lot of unknowns going into the day, but Nick Kingham returns to Indianapolis and Travis MacGregor starts for West Virginia. Kingham’s last start in Triple-A was back on June 25th when he allowed two runs over 5.2 innings and struck out nine batters. He had been with the Pirates since that game until being sent down after his last start. MacGregor allowed two runs over six innings in his last start. That came after two straight outings in which he gave up a season high of four runs. The GCL Pirates have off today.

MLB: Pittsburgh (58-56) @ Colorado (60-53) 3:10 PM
Probable starter: Chris Archer (6.23 ERA, 6:4 SO/BB, 4.1 IP)

AAA: Indianapolis (63-51) vs Lehigh Valley (70-44) 1:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Nick Kingham (2.19 ERA, 51:13 SO/BB, 49.1 IP)

AA: Altoona (60-50) @ Trenton (63-50) 12:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD (0.00 ERA, 0:0 SO/BB, 0.0 IP)

High-A: Bradenton (50-57) @ Charlotte (60-50) 6:35 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Mike Wallace (5.14 ERA, 59:15 SO/BB, 84.0 IP)

Low-A: West Virginia (56-52) @ Greensboro (54-55) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Travis MacGregor (3.43 ERA, 72:16 SO/BB, 57.2 IP)

Short-Season A: Morgantown (18-33) @ State College (21-29) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD (0.00 ERA, 0:0 SO/BB, 0.0 IP)

Rookie: Bristol (21-25) vs Johnson City (21-24) 7:00 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: TBD (0.00 ERA, 0:0 SO/BB, 0.0 IP)

GCL: Pirates (18-21) vs Yankees East 12:00 PM 8/9 (season preview)

DSL: Pirates1 (26-30) vs Cubs1 10:30 AM (season preview)

DSL: Pirates2 (21-35) vs Royals2 10:30 AM  (season preview)


From Altoona on Sunday, Ke’Bryan Hayes hits his seventh home run of the season.


8/7: Pirates claim Buddy Boshers off waivers. Christopher Bostick designated for assignment.

8/7: Jackson Williams placed on Indianapolis disabled list.

8/7: Jin-De Jhang activated from Altoona DL. Bralin Jackson placed on disabled list.

8/6: Pirates acquire Adeiny Hechavarria and cash considerations From the Tampa Bay Rays for Matt Seelinger.

8/6: Domingo Robles Promoted to Bradenton. James Marvel promoted to Altoona.

8/5: Dario Agrazal assigned to Altoona. Pedro Vasquez assigned to Bradenton.

8/5: Pirates recall Casey Sadler. Option Alex McRae to Indianapolis.

8/5: Zac Susi assigned to Bristol.

8/4: Pirates released Yair Babilonia and Garrett Brown.

8/4: Corey Dickerson activated from disabled list. Christopher Bostick optioned to Indianapolis.

8/4: Ben Bengtson and Deon Stafford activated from West Virginia disabled list. Raul Siri promoted to Bradenton. Jhoan Herrera assigned to Morgantown.

8/4: Austin Coley placed on disabled list.

8/3: AJ Schugel assigned to Bradenton on rehab.

8/3: Pirates option Steven Brault to Indianapolis. Recall Dovydas Neverauskas

8/2: Alfredo Reyes promoted to Indianapolis. Pedro Vasquez activated from Altoona disabled list.

8/2: Nick Kingham optioned to Indianapolis.

8/2: Leandro Pina placed on 60-day minor league DL.

8/1: Eric Wood activated from Indianapolis disabled list.

8/1: Bralin Jackson activated from the disabled list.

8/1: Pirates sign Mason Fishback. Assigned to GCL Pirates.

8/1: Pirates sign Carlos Jimenez, Andy Maldonado and Franrielis Mercedes.

7/31: Pirates trade Austin Meadows, Tyler Glasnow and a PTBNL to Rays for Chris Archer.

7/31: Pirates trade Taylor Hearn and a PTBNL to Rangers for Keone Kela.

7/29: Ben Bengtson and Rodolfo Castro placed on disabled list. Raul Siri and Jhoan Herrera added to West Virginia roster.

7/29: Erich Weiss activated from Indianapolis disabled list.


Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus two transactions of note. We start with the trade and it’s one that helped the Pirates short-term, but really hurt long-term. On this date in 1990, the Pirates dealt Moises Alou, Willie Greene and Scott Ruskin to the Montreal Expos for pitcher Zane Smith. Pittsburgh got six wins the rest of the way from Smith and he stuck around for another four seasons, but Alou went on to become a great player, making six All-Star teams. He was considered to be a good trade piece because he was close to Major League ready, but the Pirates had no spot in the outfield for him.

On this date in 1934, the Pirates signed pitcher Burleigh Grimes, who was 40 years old at the time and nearing the end of his Hall of Fame career. This was his third and final tour with the Pirates and it didn’t go well, with a 7.24 ERA in 27.1 innings over eight appearances.

Players born on this date include:

Ross Ohlendorf, pitcher from 2008 until 2011. Will forever be remembered as the pitcher who won his arbitration case after a 1-11 season. For the record, he won just one game the next season as well.

Brett Gideon, pitcher during the 1987 season. He was traded to the Expos in a deal that worked out much better than the Moises Alou deal. The Pirates got Neal Heaton back and he spent three seasons in Pittsburgh, while Gideon pitched 5.2 innings for the Expos.

Mark Ross, pitched for Pirates in 1987 and 1990. Threw 12.2 innings over nine games for the 1990 NL East champs.

Clise Dudley, pitcher for the Pirates on September 15, 1933. He recorded one out, but not before allowing five earned runs, leaving him with the highest ERA (135.00) in team history. Other pitchers have failed to record an out, while giving up runs, but they get an “inf.” next to their name for infinite. I think I’d rather have that than a 135.00 ERA.

Billy Gumbert, pitcher for the franchise in 1890 and 1892. He did something you will never see again from a Major League pitcher. He also played for Louisville for one game in 1893, so it wasn’t just a coincidence from the team he was on. Gumbert was from Pittsburgh and only pitched home games, never traveling on the road. His only game for Louisville was as a fill-in when they were playing the Pirates and needed a pitcher on short notice. The official reason from the local papers at the time, was that he had business ventures he couldn’t be away from for any amount of time.




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