Prospect Watch: Cole Tucker Collects Three Hits in Indianapolis Win; Solid Debut for Dante Mendoza

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 and Bryan Reynolds), 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 and Stephen Alemais), 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 – DNP

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 3-for-5, 2B, RBI

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – DNP

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 1-for-3, BB, SB

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-3, RBI

7. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 0-for-3, BB

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

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

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

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

12. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Bristol – DNP

13. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

15. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – DNP

16. Clay Holmes, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

17. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Greensboro –  DNP

18. Michael Burrows, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

19. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – 0-for-2, BB, RBI, SB

20. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – 1-for-3, 2B, BB, SB

21. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – 7.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 SO

22. Luis Escobar, RHP, Indianapolis –  DNP

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, Indianapolis – DNP

28. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

29. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

30. Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP


Indianapolis won 4-3 over Pawtucket. Rookie Davis was originally slated to make his second rehab start tonight, but was replaced by Yefry Ramirez, who allowed two runs over 2.2 innings. Ramirez gave up two hits and two walks, striking out three batters, while throwing 70 pitches in his abbreviated appearance. He was replaced by Sean Keselica, who gave up one run over three innings. Tyler Lyons got the win with 1.1 scoreless innings and Montana DuRapau got his fifth save with two shutout innings.

After belting two homers yesterday, Cole Tucker came back with three hits tonight, giving him a .320 average in Indianapolis. He hit his sixth double, had an RBI and a run scored. Kevin Kramer, Logan Hill, Nick Franklin and Jason Martin each had two hits. Martin collected his 11th double. Hunter Owen played his first game with Indianapolis and went 1-for-5 with a single. He was promoted from Altoona, where he led the league with 15 homers.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona lost 7-6 to Hartford. Domingo Robles has run into a bit of a rut in Double-A. His last outing was his shortest outing out of 14 total starts this season. He went 4.2 innings, giving up three runs and threw a lot of pitches. That game was replaced as the shortest by tonight’s performance. Robles went just four innings, surrendering three homers. He gave up five runs on seven total hits and one walk, striking out two batters. Yeudy Garcia was out next and he pitched great, throwing three shutout innings on two hits and one walk, with four strikeouts. Joel Cesar gave up two runs in the eighth and took the loss.

The Curve got a two-run homer from Bligh Madris, who also had an RBI single in the first inning. The homer was his fourth of the season. Mitchell Tolman also hit his fourth home run. Robbie Glendinning had an RBI double. Making his Altoona debut, Chris Sharpe went 2-for-4 with a single, double and two runs scored. Jared Oliva had an RBI ground out and also stole his 13th base.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton won 4-3 over Tampa. Max Kranick got the start and went seven innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and a walk, with four strikeouts. The hits are a little misleading, as there were four soft hits in there, two that didn’t leave the infield, as well as a badly misplayed “double” by Lolo Sanchez, who was having a ton of trouble tracking fly balls in left field. His speed helped him out twice, but the double should have been a fairly easy catch on the warning track in the left-center gap. Kranick was mixing his pitches well, using his changeup often, while also changing speeds on his slider. He hit 97 MPH twice and was touching 96 often in the later innings. Except for a few hanging sliders in the early innings, it was a very impressive start from beginning to end.

Shea Murray followed with a scoreless eighth, picking up two strikeouts. He benefited from four runs in the bottom of the eighth to pick up his first pro win (first pro decision too). Samuel Reyes got the save with a scoreless ninth.

Bradenton got some help on offense by the opposing defense. Trailing 3-0 in the eighth, Raul Siri started the scoring with an RBI single. That was followed shortly by a passed ball and a throwing error, which allowed two runs to score. Adrian Valerio topped off the scoring with a sacrifice fly. Travis Swaggerty had a single, walk and his 12th stolen base. Rodolfo Castro picked up his first hit for Bradenton and also scored a run. Valerio hit his fifth double.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro lost 3-0 to Delmarva. Steven Jennings got the start and appeared to be working on a limited pitch count in his first game back from the All-Star break. He went four innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk, with two strikeouts. He threw 32 of 56 pitches for strikes. This start lowered his ERA to 4.98 through 72.1 innings. Conner Loeprich followed and allowed two runs (one earned) in three innings, while striking out five batters. John O’Reilly and Cristofer Melendez each tossed a scoreless frame.

The offense had three hits and four walks, while going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Ji-Hwan Bae hit his seventh double, walked and stole his tenth base. The next five hitters each reached base once, while the bottom three combined to go 0-for-10.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown won 6-5 over State College. Jesus Valles made his second start and went four innings, giving up three runs on six hits and three walks, while striking out one batter. He reached his pitch count at four innings, throwing 42 of 75 pitches for strikes. Valles was replaced by Cody Smith, who gave up one run in two innings. Brandon Maurer made his second rehab appearance and retired five of the six batters he faced in two perfect innings on strikeouts. Tenth round pick Cameron Junker had a shaky debut with a run on two hits and a walk, but he recorded his first save.

The offense was led by the bottom of the lineup. Luke Mangieri had a single, double, two RBIs and a run scored. Victor Ngoepe had a single, double, two runs scored and an RBI. In his third pro game, 72nd overall pick Jared Triolo hit his second double, walked and scored two runs. Matt Gorski, who was drafted 57th overall, had a walk, RBI, run scored and a stolen base. Cory Wood had two hits and an RBI.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol won 4-2 over Greeneville, picking up their first win of the 2019 season. Dante Mendoza made his first start for the Pirates since coming over in a trade with the Cleveland Indians this winter. He did well for his first game, tossing four shutout innings on two hits and three walks, with six strikeouts. He wasn’t exactly pounding the strike zone with 36 of 65 pitches going for strikes, but he did a nice job of keeping runs off the board. Yordi Rosario followed with his second appearance since coming over from the Chicago White Sox this winter. He tossed two shutout frames on one hit, no walks and two strikeouts.

They were followed by draft picks, as Bear Bellomy debuted with an unearned run in his lone inning. Trey McGough was next and he put up a zero while allowing two hits and striking out two batters. Ryan Troutman gave up a run in the ninth, but closed out the game for his first pro save.

The offense exploded for four runs, after scoring three runs total in their first series. All four runs scored in the first inning. Daniel Rivero singled to start things. Aaron Shackelford doubled, then Jesus Valdez singled for the first run. After an Eli Wilson walk, Brendt Citta doubled. Bristol had just three more hits the rest of the night, with Shackelford, Valdez and Citta collecting one single each over the last seven innings. Shackelford also picked up the only other walk.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 lost 13-6 to the Rays2. Braham Rosario got the start and allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, with four strikeouts in four innings. Raydel Velette followed four runs in the fifth inning, then Argenys Dominguez had the crazy pitching line of one run on five walks in one inning. Miguel Peralta was out next and he allowed six runs in 1.2 innings. The Pirates had to go to two position players to finish the game and they (Bladimir Susana and Omar Matos) pitched shutout ball over the final 1.2 frames.

Darwin Baez had a big game on offense, hitting two doubles and his third home run of the season. He drove in three runs. Baez has six doubles on the year. Second baseman Juan Jerez ($380,000 bonus) had two hits and a run scored, but he also committed three errors. Osvaldo Gavilan ($700,000) went 2-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored. He also picked up an outfield assist. Luis Tejeda ($500,000) had a single and a run scored.

Here’s the boxscore.

The DSL Pirates2 lost 7-3 to Colorado, dropping them to 15-3 on the season. The Pirates were done in by errors, accounting for the difference in the score. Sergio Umana started and allowed six runs, though just two were earned. He went three innings, allowing six hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. Johan Montero allowed one run in his three innings, then Wilbur Martinez finished things out with two shutout innings on no hits and one walk.

Outfielder Randy Romero had the big game today. He went 3-for-4 with his second double and first homer. He also stole his ninth base. Alexander Mojica ($350,000) hit his third home run. He now has a 1.164 OPS in 15 games. Jommer Hernandez had two hits.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

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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