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Prospect Watch: Strong Start for Nick Economos


P2 Top 30A 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, Bryan Reynolds 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 – 1-for-4, 2B, HBP

3. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – DNP

4. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-4, SB

5. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 1-for-4, BB

6. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 3-for-4, 2B, HR (14), 3 RBI

7. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-4, SB

8. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

9. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

10. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

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

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

13. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Greensboro – DNP

14. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – 1-for-5, 2B, 3 K

15. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

16. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Greensboro – DNP

17. Stephen Alemais, 2B/SS, Altoona Out for the Season

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

19. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – 0-for-3, BB, HBP, 3 K

20. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – 2-for-5

21. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

22. Luis Escobar, RHP, Indianapolis – 4 IP, H, R, ER, 2 BB, 6 K

23. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

24. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

25. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Altoona – DNP

26. Aaron Shortridge, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

27. Blake Weiman, LHP, Altoona – DNP

28. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

29. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Indianapolis – 1.1 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 3 K

30. Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Indianapolis – 2.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER


Indianapolis hammered Columbus, 11-5.  With their pitching staff still disrupted by callups, the Indians gave Luis Escobar his second start.  Escobar served up a gopher ball to the first batter he faced, but that was the only run or hit he allowed in four innings.  He walked two, struck out six and threw 32 of 56 pitches for strikes.  You have to wonder how long it’ll be before Escobar, who’s on the 40-man roster, becomes an option for the Pirates’ dumpster-fire bullpen.

Jesus Liranzo followed Escobar with a scoreless fifth and sixth.  Unfortunately, he was left in beyond two innings for just the second time this year and he weakened, giving up a pair of longballs and three runs in the seventh.  Brandon Waddell had to get the last out in that inning.  Oddly, Liranzo didn’t walk or strike out anybody, but he did throw 29 of 43 pitches for strikes, which is a massive improvement for him.  Waddell got through an easy eighth inning, but allowed four straight runners to reach in the ninth.  Tyler Lyons then came on to retire the next three hitters and leave the bases loaded.

Will Craig led the offense with a big day at the plate.  He had a single, his sixth double and his system-leading (tied — see below) 14th home run.  Craig drove in three runs.  All the other starters had one hit except Jason Martin, who had none, and J.B. Shuck, who was 2-for-5 with a double.  Eric Wood hit his sixth home run and Ke’Bryan Hayes his league-leading 18th double.  Corey Dickerson continued his rehab, playing seven innings in left and going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona broke its five-game losing streak with a 7-2 win over Portland.  Sean Brady had his best start since signing with the Pirates, allowing two runs over seven innings to the league’s weakest offense.  He gave up only three hits, walked none and struck out five, while throwing 66 of 91 pitches for strikes.  Vicente Campos and Angel German each threw a hitless inning.

Logan Hill, Jerrick Suiter and Mitchell Tolman keyed the offense.  Hill was 2-for-4 with his 14th double, Suiter 2-for-4 with his second home run, and Tolman 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and a pair of walks.  One of Tolman’s doubles cleared the bases.  Hunter Owen added his 15th double. Jared Oliva had a variation on a three-true-outcome day, reaching base on a walk and a hit batsman, while fanning three times.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton beat Tampa, 3-1, as Nick Economos’ second Florida State League start was outstanding.  Economos gave up just two hits in three walks over seven innings, while fanning ten.  That was his second-best career total, trailing only the 11 he struck out two starts ago in his last outing before being promoted.  The only run off Economos was a home run by a rehabbing Didi Gregorius.  Economos wasn’t overpowering, with his fastball mostly registering 88-89 mph, but he didn’t throw it a great deal.  He instead relied on a mix of sliders, changeups and, especially, curves, all of which he commanded well.  He threw 60 of 95 pitches for strikes.

Gavin Wallace and Shea Murray each threw a scoreless inning, each with two strikeouts.  Murray got his first career save.

The offense got enough done despite matching Tampa’s 14 whiffs.  Chris Sharpe was 3-for-3 with his 11th double, driving in one run and scoring another.  Robbie Glendinning and Deon Stafford also had doubles, Glendinning’s also his 11th.  Raul Hernandez, who was 2-for-3, and Lucas Tancas had the other two RBIs.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro lost to Hickory, 10-8.  The Grasshoppers took an early 4-1 lead and Colin Selby pitched well through four innings, but he gave up three in the fifth to tie it.  He went four and two-thirds, allowing the four runs on seven hits and four walks, with four strikeouts.  Joe Jacques and John O’Reilly then allowed six runs in the sixth, with most of the damage coming against O’Reilly.  Five of the runs were unearned due to errors on O’Reilly and Rodolfo Castro, but O’Reilly gave up six hits in an inning and two-thirds, so everything can’t be blamed on the defense.  Greensboro came back with three in the ninth, but couldn’t catch up.

Ji-Hwan Bae continued his surge since returning from suspension, going 2-for-5.  He’s now batting 341/386/439.  Fabricio Macias was 2-for-4 with a double, a steal and three RBIs.  Mike Gretler, who’s been struggling since moving down from Bradenton, had a pair of doubles in four times up, and Zac Susi also had two hits.  Mason Martin connected for his 14th home run to remain in a tie for the system lead.

Here is the boxscore from the MiLB site.

You can view the season preview here.

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Wilbur Miller
Wilbur Miller
Having followed the Pirates fanatically since 1965, Wilbur Miller is one of the fast-dwindling number of fans who’ve actually seen good Pirate teams. He’s even seen Hall-of-Fame Pirates who didn’t get traded mid-career, if you can imagine such a thing. His first in-person game was a 5-4, 11-inning win at Forbes Field over Milwaukee (no, not that one). He’s been writing about the Pirates at various locations online for over 20 years. It has its frustrations, but it’s certainly more cathartic than writing legal stuff. Wilbur is retired and now lives in Bradenton with his wife and three temperamental cats.

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