Prospect Watch: Will Craig Homers; Alex Manasa Strikes Out 11 Batters

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 (Kevin Newman, Nick Burdi and Pablo Reyes), 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 (Travis MacGregor), 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 our updated 2019 Prospect Guide, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Mitch Keller, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, 2 2B, BB

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 0-for-3, BB, HBP, SB

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – DNP

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-5, 2B

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Pirates – DNP

7. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, BB, 2B

8. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, SB

9. Jason Martin, OF, Pirates – DNP

10. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

11. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-5

12. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

13. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

14. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

15. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Greensboro – 2-for-2, 3B, RBI

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

17. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Greensboro – DNP

18. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona – DNP

19. Michael Burrows, RHP, Extended Spring Training – DNP

20. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – DNP

21. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – 1-for-4, 3B, RBI

22. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – 0.2 IP, 1 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 SO

23. Luis Escobar, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

24. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

25. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

26. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Altoona – DNP

27. Aaron Shortridge, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

28. Blake Weiman, RHP, Altoona – DNP

29. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

30. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP


Indianapolis won 9-2 over Charlotte. Alex McRae had a rough debut, but he turned things around on Friday night. He went six innings, allowing two runs (both unearned) on just two hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. Tyler Lyons retired the side in order in the seventh. Geoff Hartlieb tossed a scoreless eighth despite three walks. Montana DuRapau closed things out with a shutout inning.

The Indians had some strong games on offense, starting with Elias Diaz, who figures to be getting close to ending his rehab assignment. He still has up to 11 more days before he needs to be activated, and hasn’t yet caught a full game, but Diaz has hit well so far, adding to that by going 3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI. He was the DH in this game.

Will Craig had a nice day, going 2-for-4, with a single, walk and his fifth homer of the season. He drove in three runs and also stole home plate, his first steal of the season. Trayvon Robinson collected four hits for the second straight night, giving him an early season .526 average. Ke’Bryan Hayes hit two doubles for the second straight night, giving him six on the season. Bryan Reynolds had a single, double, walk, two runs scored and his third stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona had their game postponed due to rain. They will play a doubleheader tomorrow.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton lost 8-6 to Dunedin. Max Kranick had control issues in the second inning of his last start, but finished off with four shutout innings and seven strikeouts. Control issues got to him in the first inning on Friday night and he ended up having his worst career start. He recorded just two outs, both by strikeouts. Kranick gave up one hit and walked three batters before being removed due to reaching his single inning pitch count. Gavin Wallace relieved him and let all three inherited runners score. He would give up another four runs over the next 3.2 innings. Ryan Valdes (2.2 IP) and Blake Cederlind threw no-hit ball over the final 3.2 innings.

Dylan Busby came into this game 1-for-16 at the plate, with ten strikeouts. He went 3-for-3 with his first two homers of the season, driving in three runs, while scoring three times. Michael Gretler and Daniel Amaral each had a pair of hits. Travis Swaggerty collected his first double. Jesse Medrano and Lucas Tancas each drove in a run.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro lost 5-3 to Charleston. Alex Manasa is usually a very efficient pitcher, throwing a lot of strikes, with very few walks or strikeouts. On this night, he was throwing a lot of strikes like normal, but he was actually missing bats…a lot of them. Manasa ran up his pitch count over 4.2 innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, with no walks and 11 strikeouts. The one earned run should have been unearned, as it was a low pitch and catcher Grant Koch, who a few pitches earlier has a passed ball, gave minimal effort blocking the pitch. It was credited as a wild pitch, but could have easily gone the other way. Manasa was hitting 92 MPH early and his breaking ball had an excellent late sweeping motion.

Joe Jacques allowed one run over 1.1 innings. Logan Stoelke looked great while striking out the side in the seventh inning, then gave up two runs without recording an out in the eighth. Shea Murray recorded the final three outs.

Ji-Hwan Bae made his Low-A debut. The 19-year-old from South Korea received the highest bonus ($1.25 M) ever given out by the Pirates to an international amateur position player. He struck out the first time up, then struck out again in his second AB, but showed an excellent eye by taking a 3-1 pitch that was just off the plate and a 3-2 pitch that was a little more outside. Both were called strikes, but most times the umpire will get those calls correct. Bae got in the hit and RBI columns in the fifth with a triple that scored Jonah Davis. Bae didn’t have any luck with either umpire (just two umps in Low-A), as he beat out a chopper to second base with outstanding hustle in the eighth, but was called out.

Lolo Sanchez had a nice game, collecting a single, triple, scoring a run and picking up an RBI on a sacrifice fly. He also picked up an outfield assist. Jonah Davis had a hit, walk and a run scored. Rodolfo Castro hit his fifth double.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.




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