Prospect Watch: Bradenton Bats Break Out for 17 Runs; Jones and Nicolas Pitch Strong Games

Happy Easter! All four affiliates have afternoon start times today, beginning with Bradenton, who will have Max Kranick on the mound making his second start. He gave up one run over two innings in his debut. Kyle Nicolas will get his second start for Altoona. He went 3.2 scoreless innings in his debut, with two hits, three walks and five strikeouts.

UPDATE: Joelvis Del Rosario got the start for Bradenton today. No word on why the change was made.


Minor League Season Preview: 2022 Indianapolis Indians

Game Time: 3:07 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Beau Sulser (1-1, 3.12)

  • Final Line:  4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 SO

Notable Performances:

Travis Swaggerty 0-for-3, BB

Oneil Cruz 0-for-4, RBI

Rodolfo Castro 0-for-3, RBI

Mason Martin 0-for-4

Cal Mitchell 2-for-4, 2B

Canaan Smith-Njigba 1-for-4

Ji-hwan Bae 1-for-3, 2B, SB

Game Recap:

Beau Sulser pitched four innings on Sunday, allowing two unearned runs on two hits, with no walks and three strikeouts. Both runs scored in the third after a Rodolfo Castro error. Eric Hanhold took over in the fifth and allowed two runs (one earned) in 1.1 innings. Nathan Kirby tossed 1.1 scoreless frames, while Cristofer Melendez allowed one run in 1.1 innings, as Indianapolis lost 5-1. The Indians had just five hits in the game and the top four in the lineup all failed to collect a hit. Travis Swaggerty is down to a .194 average and a .512 OPS, while Oneil Cruz is hitting .213 with a .650 OPS. Cal Mitchell stayed hot with two hits, including his fourth double. Ji-hwan Bae hit his second double and stole his fifth base. Michael Perez had three walks and scored the only run on a third inning bases loaded ground out by Cruz.


Minor League Season Preview: 2022 Altoona Curve

Game Time: 1:35 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Kyle Nicolas (0-0, 0.00)

  • Final Line:  4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 SO

Notable Performances:

Tucupita Marcano 0-for-3

Liover Peguero 0-for-4

Matt Fraizer 0-for-4

Lolo Sanchez 0-for-3

Jack Suwinski 1-for-4

Connor Scott 1-for-4, 2B, RBI

Jared Triolo 0-for-4

Game Recap:

Kyle Nicolas threw 3.2 shutout innings in his season debut. On Sunday, he did one better, throwing four shutout innings that were also perfect frames. He struck out five batters, giving him ten strikeouts in 7.2 innings. Luis Oviedo followed with his third rehab stint and he had some issues, throwing seven of 15 pitches for strikes. He allowed one run and recorded one out. JC Flowers was out next and he tossed 2.2 no-hit/shutout innings. Colin Selby gave up an unearned run in the eighth and got the first out of the ninth before Enmanuel Mejia got out of the frame to send it to extra innings. After Altoona failed to score in the top of the tenth, Mejia served up a walk-off grand slam. It was a tough way for him to gain three earned runs, as he intentionally walked two batters with one out to load the bases. The first runner was the man at second to start extra innings.

The offense was bad for the Curve, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position, while finishing with no walks and 11 strikeouts. Blake Sabol hit a solo homer for one run and Connor Scott had an RBI double that scored Lolo Sanchez with the other run. After 0-for-4 days, Matt Fraizer is hitting .162 with a .454 OPS and Jared Triolo is hitting .161 with a .461 OPS.


Minor League Season Preview: 2022 Greensboro Grasshoppers

Game Time: 1:00 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Jared Jones (0-0, 2.70)

  • Final Line:  5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 SO

Notable Performances:

Sammy Siani 1-for-5

Matt Gorski 1-for-5, HR, 2 RBI

Endy Rodriguez 0-for-4

Henry Davis 0-for-3, HBP

Abrahan Gutierrez 1-for-2, 2B, RBI, 2 BB

Hudson Head 0-for-3, HBP

Maikol Escotto 1-for-4, 2 RBI

Dariel Lopez 1-for-4, SB

Game Recap:

Jared Jones had an excellent second start on Sunday, going five shutout innings on 66 pitches. He allowed two hits, walked one and picked up eight strikeouts. He has 15 strikeouts in 8.1 innings this year. Three relievers combined to allow one unearned run on one hit in the final four innings. Grant Ford tossed two scoreless, while Eddy Yean took the eighth and Jack Carey allowed the run in the ninth. Abrahan Gutierrez led the offense with a double, RBI and two walks. Matt Gorski hit his second home run, a two-run shot. Maikol Escotto had a two-run double. Jackson Glenn had a solo homer, a single and a walk. Greensboro won 6-1.


Minor League Season Preview: 2022 Bradenton Marauders

Game Time: 12:00 PM

Box Score: LINK

Starting Pitcher: Joelvis Del Rosario (0-0, 10.13)

  • Final Line:  3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO

Notable Performances:

Tsung-Che Cheng 3-for-5, HR, 4 RBI, 4 Runs, BB

Anthony Alford 2-for-4, 3 Runs, HR, RBI

Jase Bowen 1-for-4, 2 RBI

Alexander Mojica 2-for-2, HR, RBI, 3 BB

Sergio Campana 1-for-4, BB

Game Recap:

Bradenton had a team effort at the plate in their 17-7 win over Lakeland on Sunday. Tsung-Che Cheng provided big offense at the top of the lineup, with four runs and four RBIs. He slugged his first homer of the season. Luke Brown had a similar day at the bottom of the order, going 3-for-5 with a homer, three runs and four RBIs. Alexander Mojica reached all five times he batted, with his second homer, a single and three walks. Jacob Gonzalez and Jase Bowen each drove in a pair of runs. Anthony Alford played his second rehab game and added a homer. He scored three runs.

Joelvis Del Rosario got the start and lasted 3.1 innings, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk. He was hitting 95-96 MPH early in his start. Christian Charle threw 2.2 scoreless innings to pick up the win. Wilkin Ramos followed with two no-hit/shutout innings, before Darvin Garcia served up three runs in the ninth with the Marauders lead by 14 runs at the time.

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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