Altoona Promotes Eight Prospects to Indianapolis

The season wrapped up in Altoona today, but Indianapolis still has ten games left, and that presents an opportunity for more games for four prospects. Oneil Cruz, Cal Mitchell, Mason Martin and Canaan Smith-Njigba were all promoted after today’s game.

Cruz was limited to 62 games due to a forearm injury, so he could use the extra time, though I would expect him to see plenty of winter ball action in the Dominican this year. He hit .292/.346/.536, with 15 doubles, 12 homers and 18 stolen bases.

Mitchell batted .280/.330/.429 in 108 games this season. He had 19 doubles and 12 homers, while showing an extremely impressive drop in his strikeout rate, going from a rough 28.8% strikeout rate in Bradenton in 2019 to 16.9% this season.

Martin showed his usual power, but the strikeouts were way up, so he could use the extra at-bats against more advanced pitching. He hit 242/.318/.481 in 112 games this year, with 29 doubles and 22 homers, but it came with a 34.2% strikeout rate and a drop in his walk rate, which was strong in previous years. He finished in a four-way tie for fourth place in the league in homers, and he ended in a three-way tie for fourth place in doubles.

Canaan Smith-Njigba also missed time this year (twice), so just like Cruz, he will be able to make up for some lost time. In 66 games, he hit .274/.398/.406 with six homers, 45 walks and he went 13-for-14 in stolen base attempts.

UPDATE: Jason Mackey also had three other names, Roansy Contreras, Yerry De Los Santos and Rodolfo Castro, so Indianapolis is going to look like a new team when they start up play on Wednesday. Contreras is just coming back from a forearm injury and it was said that he would likely play fall ball this year, so it makes sense that he pitches over the next two weeks instead of having downtime before the Arizona Fall League starts on October 13th (assuming that’s still the plan for him). De Los Santos also missed a lot of time, but he’s a top relief pitching prospect in this system, and he’s just returning from injury. He could play fall ball too, or winter ball in the Dominican, which he has already done in the past. Castro has been in an awful (putting it very kindly) slump since he returned from the majors, where he also finished off very poorly, so he hasn’t been hitting at all in about two months. In his last 37 games combined (Pirates/Altoona) he has a .362 OPS, one homer and a 33.5% strikeout rate in 137 plate appearances. Except for the strikeout rate, the results have actually been worse in Altoona during that stretch.

UPDATE #2: Alex Stumpf also reports that Osvaldo Bido has been promoted. He hasn’t pitched well this year, but the stuff is still there to be a big league participant in the near future. Bido had a 5.09 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP, with 91 strikeouts in 93.2 innings. He also pitched for the Dominican in international competition during the season, so he really doesn’t need the innings, but it will be a good experience.

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