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Prospect Watch: Brad Case is Nearly Perfect for Greensboro

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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 Cole Tucker), 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 – 0-for-3, RBI, 2 BB

3. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – DNP

4. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-6, BB, SB

5. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-3, 2 BB

6. Bryan Reynolds, OF, Pirates – In Majors

7. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 3-for-5, RBI

8. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 SB

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

10. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 2-for-6, RBI

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

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

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

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Greensboro – 3-for-4

15. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

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 – 1-for-4, SB

21. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – DNP

22. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 SO

23. Luis Escobar, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

24. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro –  DNP

25. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO

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 – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

Prospect-Watch-Indy

Indianapolis won 6-1 over Lehigh Valley. Eduardo Vera needed a bounce back after two rough starts. He did just that on Saturday night, going six innings, with one run on five hits and a walk. Vera had a season high seven strikeouts and posted a 7:2 GO/AO ratio, while throwing 66 of 94 pitches for strikes. Jacob Brentz made his Indianapolis debut and retired all six batters he faced, three on strikeouts. Brandon Waddell tossed a scoreless ninth.

The Indians got three hits each from Jason Martin and Will Craig. Martin had the big day, collecting a double, scoring twice, driving in two runs and stealing two bases. Craig had three singles and his 25th RBI. The rest of the team went 2-for-23 on the night, though Ke’Bryan Hayes and Kevin Kramer each drew two walks. Hayes scored a run and picked up an RBI on a fifth inning ground out.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Prospect-Watch-Altoona-Curve

Altoona won 2-1 over Erie on Saturday evening, as Scooter Hightower out-pitched the second best prospect for the Detroit Tigers (also a top 50 prospect in all of baseball), Matt Manning. Hightower tossed six shutout innings, giving up three hits, while walking one batter and hitting another. He faced Erie 11 days ago and allowed just one run over six innings, though his start in between was six earned runs over six innings. Joel Cesar made his Double-A debut and gave up a solo homer during his two innings of work. Tate Scioneaux pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.

Jerrick Suiter drove in both runs for the Curve. In the fourth inning, he brought home Logan Hill with a sacrifice fly. Two innings later, Suiter scored Hunter Owen with a single. Owen and Brett Pope each had a single and a double. The Curve had six hits total, with Jared Oliva’s single being the other hit. Oliva stole his sixth base of the season.

On April 28th, Bligh Madris was hitting .326 with no walks. In the ten games since then, he has nine walks and is batting .167 (5-for-30). His OBP has actually gone up ten points during that stretch.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Prospect-Watch-Bradenton

Bradenton lost 4-3 to Palm Beach in the first game of a doubleheader. Max Kranick got the start and went 4.2 innings, giving up four runs on eight hits and three walks. He struck out just one batter. The walks are a bit deceiving, as he threw 62 of 96 pitches for strikes. This is his second straight tough outing after opening the season with a 2.91 ERA in his first five starts. He is now up to 4.75 through 30.1 innings. Samuel Reyes made his High-A debut following Kranick and retired the final seven batters in order, three on strikeouts. Reyes has an 0.46 ERA, an .065 BAA and an 0.61 WHIP, with 26 strikeouts in 19.2 innings this season.

The Marauders got two hits each from Dylan Busby and Calvin Mitchell. Busby scored a run while Mitchell, who is now batting .315 this season, drove in his 25th run. Lucas Tancas and Daniel Amaral each drove in a run. Amaral collected his fifth double. Travis Swaggerty picked up his sixth stolen base.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

In game two, the Marauders went with a bullpen game and lost 5-1. Gavin Wallace started and allowed one run over two innings. Logan Stoelke made his High-A debut (came up with Reyes) and gave up three runs over two innings. Ike Schlabach allowed a single run in the fifth. Shea Murray took the sixth inning and 28 pitches to walk two batters and strike out the other three hitters he faced. Ryan Valdes handled the seventh.

The Marauders had six hits in game two and scored their only run on a Chase Lambert single that brought home Dylan Busby. Lambert and Chris Sharpe each had two hits, with Sharpe collecting his fifth double, which was the only extra-base hit. Travis Swaggerty went 0-for-3 in each game, dropping his average down to .234 for the season. Bradenton didn’t draw any walks in the second game.

Here is the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro won 7-2 over Lakewood. Brad Case got the start and was brilliant for seven innings, mixing his pitches and location, limiting the BlueClaws to one base runner. Case retired the first 18 batters he faced on 75 pitches. The lead-off hitter in the seventh was out in front of an off-speed pitch and blooped a single right down the left field line, about 60 feet behind third base. Case retired the next three hitters to finish his night. He had five strikeouts, a 7:4 GO/AO ratio and threw 63 of 90 pitches for strikes. He now has a 1.90 ERA and an 0.70 WHIP through 42.2 innings.

After the game, Case gave a lot of credit to catcher Zac Susi, who did a great job of framing pitches for him today.

“Susi did unbelievable behind the plate,” Case said. “I really trust him back there. Me and him go over a game plan and really focus on executing it. He really has been incredible this season and I owe that a kid a lot of my success this season.”

Joe Jacques pitched a scoreless eighth, then Cristofer Melendez allowed two runs in the ninth during his first appearance in the U.S. Melendez was a Rule 5 minor league pick of the Pirates over the winter. He spent four years in the DSL, but he was making a strong impression in Extended Spring Training this year, so he skipped three levels for his debut.

The Grasshoppers got on the board early in this game, as second place hitter Jonah Davis doubled home Lolo Sanchez in the first. That was followed by an RBI ground out from Pat Dorrian and then a third run came home on a wild pitch. Mason Martin made it 4-0 in the second with a sacrifice fly. Martin brought home the next two runs as well, with a fourth inning single and a seventh inning double. Rodolfo Castro topped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly. Lolo Sanchez had three hits and scored two runs. He has a .320 average and a .915 OPS this season.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

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John Dreker
John Dreker
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.

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