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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Prospect Watch: JT Brubaker Starts for Morgantown; Bristol Loses 15-1 in Season Opener

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, Pirates – In Majors

2. Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Indianapolis – DNP

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, BB, 2 SB

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – DNP

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-3

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 0-for-4

7. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, HR (16), 3 RBI

8. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-4, 4 K

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Morgantown – 2.2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 SO

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

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Bradenton –  DNP

12. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Bristol – 0.1 IP, 1 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO

13. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Greensboro – DNP

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 – 3-for-3, 2B, BB, SB

20. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – DNP

21. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

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 – DNP

29. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO

30. Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP


Indianapolis won 5-2 over Buffalo. Cam Vieaux has been putting up decent numbers since being promoted to Indianapolis, despite walking 16 batters in 20 innings. He had his best start on Tuesday night and it was because he was throwing strikes. Vieaux went six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with no walks and six strikeouts. He threw 63 of 95 pitches for strikes. Montana DuRapau followed with two scoreless, then Tyler Lyons retired the side in order in the ninth.

Will Craig led the way on offense, driving in two runs with his 16th home run of the season, and another run on an RBI single. Newly signed Darnell Sweeney tripled in a run to get the scoring started. Cole Tucker had two hits, a walk and a run scored. He stole two bases, giving him eight steals on the season. Jason Martin went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts. Kevin Kramer was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. Jake Elmore left the game early after being hit in the helmet with a pitch.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona won 3-1 over Harrisburg. Brandon Waddell was demoted to Altoona, but he was also returned to the starting rotation. He went four innings tonight, allowing one run on two hits, with no walks and five strikeouts. He threw 46 pitches, with 32 going for strikes. Waddell had an 8.70 ERA as a reliever with Indianapolis this season. Beau Sulser followed with three scoreless innings, then Blake Cederlind handled the eighth and Matt Eckelman picked up his ninth save with a scoreless ninth.

The second biggest news item for Altoona behind Waddell starting was Hunter Owen playing out in right field. He has been at third almost exclusively since 2017. Owen has played outfield as a pro, seeing 39 games there in 2016. Jared Oliva moved down from the lead-off spot and had a big game, going 3-for-3 with a walk and his 12th stolen base. Alfredo Reyes batted lead-off and went 2-for-5 with two steals and an RBI. Arden Pabst drove in a run on a sacrifice fly and he collected his eighth double.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton won 8-6 over Clearwater. The second start in High-A went much better for Brad Case than the first one. After allowing three runs over four innings in his Bradenton debut, Case gave up two earned runs on six hits and no walks in seven innings. He had five strikeouts and threw 64 of 90 pitches for strikes. Samuel Reyes followed with a rare rough outing, giving up three runs in his only inning of work. Nick Mears threw the ninth for the save.

Dylan Busby had a big game, hitting a grand slam in the second inning, his 14th home run of the season. He also hit his eighth double and scored a run. Chris Sharpe scored twice after reaching base on a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Jesse Medrano had two hits and a run scored. Raul Hernandez and Adrian Valerio each drove in a run. Travis Swaggerty had three strikeouts in three at-bats. He put down a sacrifice bunt in his other plate appearance.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro is on their All-Star break until Thursday.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown won 10-3 over Mahoning Valley. JT Brubaker took the mound for the first time since late April and worked 2.2 innings, allowing a run on two hits and a walk, while picking up three strikeouts. He was on a 50-pitch limit and finished with exactly 50 pitches, with 33 going for strikes.

Jacob Webb followed with 1.1 scoreless innings, then gave way to Brandon Maurer, who threw nine pitches (all strikes) to get through his lone inning of work. He has been out since late April with a knee injury. Noe Toribio allowed one run over three innings and picked up four strikeouts. Garrett Leonard then became the first 2019 draft pick to see action when he took the ninth and allowed one run on one hit and one walk, with one strikeout. Leonard was take in the 15th round out of the same college rotation that produced Bradenton starter Brad Case.

The offense was led by Juan Pie who had two doubles and drove in four runs. He also walked and stole two bases. He was 1-for-7 with a walk in his first two games. Nick Patten had two doubles, a walk and an RBI. Kyle Mottice had two singles and a walk. Ryan Haug reached base three times via hit-by-pitches and scored all three times. Zack Kone went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, but still managed to get a walk, run scored and RBI.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol lost 15-1 to Burlington. Tahnaj Thomas made his first start as a member of the Pirates and it did not go well. He recorded just one out before reaching his single inning pitch count. Thomas walked two batters, allowed a double and got a pop up. The final batter reached on an error. He also had a wild pitch and a balk. Two of the four runs charged to him were earned. The 6’4″ right-hander from the Bahamas turned 20 years old on Sunday. He was acquired from the Cleveland Indians in the Jordan Luplow/Max Moroff trade.

Yoelvis Reyes followed Thomas, making the jump from the DSL to this level. The 19-year-old lefty went 3.2 innings, giving up four runs (three earned) on five hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. Enrique Santana is also making the jump from the DSL, though he’s a righty and two years older than Reyes. He allowed four runs in the fifth inning, then an unearned run in the sixth. Oliver Garcia, who was a starter at this level last year, tossed two shutout innings. Joseivin Medina, who is an outfielder, took the ninth and allowed two meaningless runs.

The offense was awful on this night, and that’s saying a lot with how bad the pitching went for the Pirates. Matt Morrow doubled in the fourth for the first hit. Brendt Citta and Francisco Acuna were hit by pitches, which loaded the bases with one out, but they couldn’t push a run across. Mason Fishback had a fifth inning single and Morrow walked in the sixth, but that was it until the ninth when Citta singled with one out. Jesus Valdez then had an infield single and an error allowed Citta to go to third base. Samuel Inoa spoiled the shutout with two outs, bringing home Citta with a single.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 lost 4-3 to the Dodgers.  Osvaldo Gavilan, who was the highest bonus player ($700,000) on the international side during this last signing period, hit his first pro home run. He went 1-for-5, giving him a .216/.259/.392 slash line in his first 12 games. Catcher Jhan Polanco went 3-for-4 with his first double. Omar Matos went 2-for-3, then was pinch-hit for by Yeison Ceballo, who collected a hit.

Joelvis Del Rosario got the start and allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk, with three strikeouts. Antonio Gonzalez followed and threw 3.2 no-hit innings, walking three batters, while picking up six strikeouts. He has struck out 18 batters in 11.1 innings this season. Gonzalez was tagged with the loss after Juan Jerez committed his second error of the game, allowing the winning run to score in the bottom of the ninth.

Here’s the boxscore.

The DSL Pirates2 pushed their record to 13-2 with an 8-5 win over the Giants. Jauri Custodio had a big day, going 3-for-5 with his second home run, his first triple and three runs scored. Custodio also stole his fourth base and picked up an outfield assist. Eduar Ramirez had a double and three walks in his first game of the season. He was at Pirate City until this past weekend.

Carlos Jimenez got the start and allowed four runs on three hits and six walks in four innings. In his two poor starts this season, the 16-year-old right-hander has allowed a total of seven runs in 6.2 innings. In his other two starts, he threw five shutout innings each time. Domingo Gonzalez followed with one run over the final five innings, striking out seven batters. He has pitched 16 innings this season, giving up just that one run, while striking out 21 batters.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

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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.


Pirates Prospects has been independently owned and operated since 2009, entirely due to the support of our readers. The site is now completely free, funded entirely by user support. By supporting the site, you are supporting independent writers, one of the best Pittsburgh Pirates communities online, and our mission for the most complete Pirates coverage available.

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