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Prospect Watch: Kevin Kramer and Oneil Cruz Homer


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 (Clay Holmes, Jacob Stallings, Kevin Newman 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, Nick Burdi 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 – 1-for-4

3. Cole Tucker, SS, Indianapolis – 1-for-3, 2 BB

4. Oneil Cruz, SS, Bradenton – 2-for-4, 2B, HR (7)

5. Travis Swaggerty, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-4

6. Kevin Kramer, 2B, Indianapolis – 2-for-4, HR (6)

7. Will Craig, 1B, Indianapolis – 1-for-4

8. Jason Martin, OF, Indianapolis – 0-for-2

9. JT Brubaker, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

10. Calvin Mitchell, OF, Bradenton – 0-for-3

11. Cody Bolton, RHP, Altoona – DNP

12. Tahnaj Thomas, RHP, Bristol – DNP

13. Braxton Ashcraft, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

14. Lolo Sanchez, CF, Bradenton – 0-for-3

15. Pablo Reyes, Util, Indianapolis – 1-for-4

16. Braeden Ogle, LHP, Bradenton – DNP

17. Michael Burrows, RHP, Morgantown – DNP

18. Jared Oliva, CF, Altoona – 1-for-3, 2B, BB

19. Ji-Hwan Bae, SS, Greensboro – 1-for-6, BB

20. Max Kranick, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

21. Luis Escobar, RHP, Pirates – In Majors

22. Osvaldo Bido, RHP, Greensboro – DNP

23. Eduardo Vera, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

24. Gage Hinsz, RHP, Altoona – DNP

25. Aaron Shortridge, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

26. Blake Weiman, LHP, Indianapolis – DNP

27. Steven Jennings, RHP, Greensboro – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 SO

28. Brandon Waddell, LHP, Altoona – DNP

29. Jesus Liranzo, RHP, Altoona – 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO

30. Rodolfo Castro, 2B, Bradenton – 1-for-3, RBI


Indianapolis lost 3-2 to Syracuse. With Alex McRae called to the majors, Indianapolis called on JB Shuck for a spot start. He had already pitched six times in relief, but this was his first start. Shuck tossed two shutout innings on one hit and two walks, with four strikeouts. He has 11 strikeouts in eight innings. Before he left, he batted in the third inning and collected a double.

Sean Keselica took over in the third and went 3.2 innings, giving up three runs on five hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. Jake Brentz took over in the sixth and recorded the final out on an attempted steal of home. Brentz threw a scoreless seventh, followed by shutout ball in the eighth from Geoff Hartlieb.

Kevin Kramer had two hits, including his sixth home run of the season. The other Indianapolis run came on an eight inning double by Trayvon Robinson. Ke’Bryan Hayes scored on the play, but Will Craig was thrown out at home to keep it a 3-2 score. Cole Tucker reached base three times one a single and two walks. Erik Gonzalez went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts. He’s hitting .214, with a .580 OPS during his two rehab outings combined.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Altoona lost 3-1 to Richmond. Pedro Vasquez got the start and lasted 3.2 innings, giving up two runs on six hits, with two walks and four strikeouts. He threw 81 pitches, with 52 going for strikes. Vasquez left with two men on base and Yeudy Garcia cleaned up the mess, recording the final out of the fourth. He stayed on four two more scoreless innings, with one hit, no walks and three strikeouts. Joel Cesar took the ball in the seventh and gave up one run over two frames. Jesus Liranzo retired the side in order in the ninth.

Logan Hill doubled in Mitchell Tolman with the lone run in the first inning. It was the 22nd double for Hill. Tolman was 1-for-3 with his tenth stolen base before being ejected in the fifth inning by the home plate umpire. Jason Delay had two hits. Jared Oliva hit his 20th double and drew a walk. Brett Pope had a single and a walk.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bradenton won 4-2 over St Lucie. Gavin Wallace had a strong outing, giving up one run on four hits and two walks, in six innings. He had five strikeouts and a 6:3 GO/AO ratio, while throwing 63 of 98 pitches for strikes. John O’Reilly took over in the seventh and went the distance for his first save with the Marauders. He allowed one unearned run on three hits and a walk, while posting a 7:1 GO/AO ratio.

Oneil Cruz had the big hit in the game, a two-run homer in the third inning, his seventh home run of the season. He also added his sixth double later in the game. Jesse Medrano and Rodolfo Castro each drove in a run with two-out RBI hits in the second inning. Mason Martin doubled, walked and scored a run. Lucas Tancas hit his 23rd double. Calvin Mitchell had his fourth straight hitless game after putting up a ten-game hitting streak that helped win him Player of the Week honors.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.

Greensboro lost game one of a doubleheader 4-1 to Asheville. Steven Jennings got the start and had some issues throwing strikes. He went five innings, giving up two runs on five hits and two walks, with three strikeouts. Just 38 of his 73 pitches went for strikes. Jennings has a 5.02 ERA through 95 innings this season. Will Gardner followed and allowed two runs in the sixth, then stayed out for a scoreless seventh.

The Grasshoppers didn’t score until the final inning, getting a lead-off double from Ji-Hwan Bae, followed by an RBI double by Luke Mangieri. Before the seventh inning, they had just four hits, all of them singles. Mangieri finished with two hits. Jack Herman had a single and a walk. Bae went 1-for-3 with a walk.

Here’s the boxscore.

In game two, Winston Nicacio made his Greensboro debut and went five innings, allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits, with no walks and four strikeouts. He threw 48 of 65 pitches for strikes. The 22-year-old Nicacio had a 2.96 ERA in 24.1 innings with Morgantown. Allen Montgomery took over in the sixth and served up two runs. Michael LoPresti took the seventh and threw shutout ball.

The offense was quiet in the first game until the seventh inning. In the second game, the offense never got going. In fact, the opposing pitcher threw a complete game on 73 pitches. Greensboro lost 4-0. They had singles by Jonah Davis, Fabricio Macias and Justin Harrer. Davis got picked off and Harrer was erased on a double play, as just 22 Greensboro batters came to the plate in the game.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Morgantown won 4-3 over Batavia. Fourth round pick JC Flowers got the start tonight and went three innings, allowing one run on three hits and two walks, with five strikeouts. This was his third appearance, and it appears he’s getting stretched out to go longer, after pitching in relief in college. Flowers tossed a shutout frame in his debut and two scoreless next time out. Despite giving up one run in six innings, he has put 11 runners on base. Francis Del Orbe was out next and he surrendered two runs over two innings. Fifth round pick Grant Ford took over in the sixth. He went four strong innings, allowing two hits and a walk, while striking out eight batters.

Trailing 3-2 going into the bottom of the ninth, Brendt Citta tied the game with a sacrifice fly. Then after Dean Lockery was intentionally walked, Nick Patten walked it off with a single. The Black Bears got a run in the third inning on an RBI single from Jared Triolo. In the seventh, Citta singled home a run. Triolo had two hits. Third round pick Matt Fraizer had two hits and scored two runs. He collected his fourth double and stole his second base.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


Bristol won 10-8 over Burlington. Santiago Florez got the start, but only lasted two outs due to poor control. He walked four batters and another reached on an error. Three of those runners scored, two were earned runs. Florez was pulled with 37 pitches, 18 went for strikes. CJ Dandeneau was out next and he allowed two runs on four hits and a walk in 2.1 innings. Yoelvis Reyes took over in the fourth and went three innings, allowing two runs. Trey McGough finished the game off with one unearned run over three frames. He now has a 1.04 ERA in 17.1 innings, with 26 strikeouts.

Eli Wilson had the big hit of the game, belting a grand slam in the seventh inning. It was his third home run as a pro. Fernando Villegas had a big day, going 3-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs. Francisco Acuna hit his 11th double and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Jesus Valdez, Ernny Ordonez and Jake Wright combined to go 0-for-7 with eight walks, three runs scored and two RBIs. Jake Snider collected his first pro hit, while also walking twice and scoring two runs.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The GCL Pirates were rained out. They will make the game up as part of a doubleheader in August.

Here’s the boxscore.

You can view the season preview here.


The DSL Pirates1 lost 2-1 to the Rays2. Starter Andy Maldonado has been having a lot of trouble during his rookie season, but his Thursday performance could be a nice turn around with a few weeks left in the schedule. He went four shutout innings with no hits and four strikeouts. The control wasn’t great, with three walks and a hit batter, but his ERA now sits at 8.75 through eight outings. Yeison Santos took the loss with two runs (one earned) over three innings. Jarlin Yes threw shutout ball in the eighth.

Despite only scoring one run, the Pirates had some offense of note. Juan Jerez had a single and three walks. Luis Tello had three hits. Sergio Campana hit his third double and scored the lone run on a Darwin Baez single. Baez had two hits and a walk in the game.

Here’s the boxscore.

The DSL Pirates2 won 7-3 over the Giants. Sergio Umana got the start and went five innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. He now has a 2.42 ERA in nine starts. Alex Rosario put up a big pitch count in the sixth inning, giving up an unearned run on three walks and three strikeouts. Johan Montero pitched well for his second save, tossed three shutout innings on one hit, no walks and four strikeouts.

There wasn’t a lot to talk about despite seven runs being scored. Alexander Mojica had a single, two walks and a run scored. He is now hitting .361, with a 1.085 OPS. Bryan Mateo had a single, walk and two runs scored. Jauri Custodio had an RBI single and a sacrifice fly. Deivis Nadal had a single, hit-by-pitch and two runs scored. He stole home in the second inning, his ninth steal of the season.

Here’s the boxscore.

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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