Pirates Prospects Daily: First Full Week of Minor League Baseball

The theme of this week’s minor league opponents is quality and quantity. Along with familiarizing ourselves with the Detroit Tigers organization, as both the Altoona Curve and Bradenton Marauders face Detroit affiliates.

Beginning with the Indianapolis Indians, they’ll get to see quickly rising Minnesota Twins prosect Edouard Julien. In pre-season rankings, Julien found himself among the Top 100 prospects in Fangraphs and ESPN’s rankings. With a few graduations, he has now been added to both Baseball America and Pipeline’s Top 100 lists. Simeon Woods-Richardson was once considered a Top 100 prospect while with the Toronto Blue Jays, but has since seen his stock drop along with his counterpart Austin Martin, who was also traded to the Twins as part of a package for Jose Berrios.

Stepping it down a level to Double-A, the Altoona Curve face the Erie SeaWolves. The SeaWolves boast 10 of the Detroit Tigers Top 30 prospects. The squad includes Top 100 pitcher Wilmer Flores and recent addition with graduations in 3B Colt Keith. Another name that may found familiar is 2021 Competitive Balance pick and former Friday night starter for the University of Texas Longhorns, Ty Madden.

Greensboro Grasshoppers draw the short end of the stick this week, at least in terms of opposing top prospects. The Philadelphia Phillies affiliate only has three of the Phillies Top 30 prospects, as per Pipeline, and one of the three is on the 60-Day injured list. Heading the Jersey Shore Blue Claws is June 2021 International Free Agent signing Hao-Yu Lee.

Then for the second Detroit affiliate of the week, the Bradenton Marauders take on the Lakeland Flying Tigers. There aren’t any Top 100 prospects, but the team has six of the Tigers Top 30 prospects. Interestingly enough, Wenceel Perez is on rehab assignment, so depending on how long that is, he could find himself joining the other 10 Detroit prospects in Erie.

*I already stopped listing Top 100 Rankings for ESPN and Fangraphs, as they already aren’t keeping up with graduations.

Triple-A: Indianapolis Indians

Opponent: ST. PAUL (TWINS)
Opponent Stats

Team OPS: .819 OPS
Rank: 8/20
Team ERA: 5.78
ERA Rank: 18/20

Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • EDOUARD JULIEN | 2B | 4
    • Pipeline Top 100: #99
    • Baseball America Top 100: #97
  • SIMEON WOODS RICHARDSON | RHP | 8
  • LOUIE VARLAND | RHP | 10
  • AUSTIN MARTIN (7-Day IL) | SS/OF/2B | 12
  • JORDAN BALAZOVIC | RHP | 21
  • BRENT HEADRICK | LHP | 25

DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE

Opponent: ERIE (TIGERS)
Opponent Stats

Team OPS: .496 OPS
Rank: 12/12
Team ERA: 2.25
ERA Rank: 4/12

Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • WILMER FLORES | RHP | 3
    • Pipeline Top 100: #89
  • COLT KEITH | 3B/2B | 4
    • Pipeline Top 100: #99
  • TY MADDEN | RHP | 5
  • DILLON DINGLER (7-Day IL) | C | 15
  • DYLAN SMITH | RHP | 16
  • BRANT HURTER | LHP | 22
  • ELVIS ALVARADO (7-Day IL) | RHP | 24
  • JOSH CROUCH | C | 25
  • AUSTIN BERGNER | RHP | 28
  • GAGE WORKMAN | SS | 30

HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS

Opponent: JERSEY SHORE (PHILLIES)
Opponent Stats

Team OPS: .700 OPS
Rank: 5/12
Team ERA: 4.88
ERA Rank: 9/12

Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • HAO-YU LEE | 2B | 5
  • CHRISTIAN MCGOWAN (60-Day IL) | RHP | 16
  • TOMMY MCOLLUM | RHP | 28

SINGLE-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS

Opponent: LAKELAND (TIGERS)
Opponent Stats

Team OPS: .568 OPS
Rank: 6/10
Team ERA: 3.46
ERA Rank: 6/10

Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • PEYTON GRAHAM | SS | 6
  • WENCEEL PEREZ (Rehab Assignment) | 2B | 9
  • CRISTIAN SANTANA | SS/2B | 10
  • MANUEL SEQUERA | INF | 17
  • TROY MELTON | RHP | 18
  • LUKE GOLD | 2B/3B | 19

Song of the Day

PIRATES PROSPECTS DAILY

By John Dreker

The Pittsburgh Pirates announced today that Oneil Cruz had surgery last night on his fractured ankle. He could return to big league games in four months, which will have him out through August.

The Pirates recalled infielder/outfielder Mark Mathias today to replace Cruz. While he has very little shortstop experience, he can cover multiple positions. His main spot is second base, which will needed with both Rodolfo Castro and Ji-hwan Bae likely to cover the shortstop position (for now) while Cruz is out. Mathias has performed well at the plate during his big league time.

**The Pirates lost their first game with Cruz out of the lineup.

**Tim Williams took a deep look today at how the Pirates could replace Oneil Cruz. He also has some notes/thoughts on some other prospects in his daily column.

**As for other news today, Major League Baseball announced that outfielder Bryan Reynolds has been named as the National League Player of the Week.

Reynolds hit .480/.464/1.120 in 28 plate appearances last week.

That same link for Reynolds brings you to the announcement from Minor League Baseball that Tucupita Marcano has been named as the International League Player of the Week.

Marcano batted .526/.550/1.053 in 20 plate appearances last week.

**From yesterday, our P2Daily looked at the pitching performances across the minor league system during this past week.

**Our Monday recap of the top college/high school draft eligible players continues this week with Jacob Gonzalez making some noise. He’s had two nice weeks in a row after a slow start.

Updates for Dylan Crews, Paul Skenes, Chase Dollander, Wyatt Langford, Max Clark, Walker Jenkins and an injury update on Jacob Wilson can also be found in that link.

The draft is just over three months away, but most of these players are at least halfway into their regular season.

Raised in Cranberry Twp, PA, Jeff attended Kent State University and worked in Cleveland and Pittsburgh, before moving to New Orleans in September of 2012. His background is as an Engineering Designer, but he has always had a near unhealthy passion for Pittsburgh sports. Hockey and Baseball are his 1A and 1B, combined with his mathematical background, it's led to Jeff's desire in diving into analytics. Jeff is known as Bucs'N'Pucks in the comments, and began writing for Pirates Prospects in 2022 after contributing so many useful bits of information in the comment section.

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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jimmyz

Jeff thanks for the legwork you’ve done putting this together every week for the last couple seasons, all star caliber effort and dedication. Being a contributor to the site now, this format is so much easier to peruse than clicking an embedded image in a post, zooming, scrolling and hoping that fat fingers don’t force you start the process over multiple times.

NMR

Austin Martin, the best pure hitter in the 2020 draft (now getting stuffed as a 24 yo in AA) and ranked second overall to Spencer Torkelson (now getting stuffed for second big league season).

Why yes Jeff, I have reached the nihilism stage of the draft cycle.

jeffw3000

I think Torkelson will be a good hitter. He was just rushed too much being brought up after 1 year in the Minors. I was never totally sold on Martin.

Cobra

I went to Bradenton Saturday, first time attending a Marauders game. Only highlights were Wyatt Hendrie throw out two base runners & Tres Gonzalez sprint down a really hard hit ball for an impressive catch in CF. Stunningly beautiful field, but in case anyone from management is reading a less than desirable fan experience (long lines to get in, not a ton of kid activities but the one that really mattered was a 4 inning (!) wait for food (luckily my wife volunteered to do most of the waiting, and we didnt miss any offense that night, they were no-hit 😆). I will say the burgers would really good though! Maybe this is chalked up to first week kinks , but attendance was under 2,500 they need to step up customer service during these shorter-than-usual games or risk losing some fans. Jim Bowden on MLB Radio made the point that concessions needs to catch up with pace of play.

John Dreker

As Wilbur said, you just picked a bad day. They regularly draw under 1,000 fans so wait time isn’t an issue. They averaged 876 fans per game last year. You saw triple that

Wilbur Miller

Most of the time, concession lines there are no issue because crowds are very small. For MLB exhibitions and Marauders promotions, though (like fireworks day is Sat), you’re looking at an inning or more. I guess most fans just put up with it so they figure they’re not losing business. I won’t go for concessions once the game starts.

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