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Pirates Prospects Daily: The Minor League Season Begins This Week

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The Indianapolis Indians kicked the 2023 minor league season off by getting swept at home in a three-game series by the Omaha Storm Chasers over the weekend.

All four full-season teams will be in play this week. Indianapolis starts their next series on Tuesday, with the Altoona Curve set to begin play on Thursday, and the two A-Ball affiliates beginning on Friday.

The Curve will face the only Top 100 prospect of the week in Ricky Tiedemann — a consensus Top 100 prospect — but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a low quality of opposition this week.

The Louisville Bats will be front-lined with Reds’ 2021 first round pick Matt McLain out of UCLA. Michael Siani will sound familiar, as he is the older brother of Pittsburgh Pirates farmhand Sammy Siani. From there, there will be a handful of recent trade acquisitions for the Reds. Christian Encarnacion-Strand was acquired from the Minnesota Twins as part of a package for Tyler Mahle, but will unfortunately begin on the 7-day IL. Levi Stoudt was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a deal for Luis Castillo, while Brandon Williamson was also acquired from the Mariners in a previous deal for Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez.

As mentioned already, the Curve face the only Top 100 prospect, Ricky Tiedemann from the Toronto Blue Jays. He was a third round pick in 2021 — that is some stellar scouting and development — and has been flying to the top of lists, as a 6’4″ 220 pound left-hander with power stuff. The Curve will also face three more Top 30 (per Pipeline) pitchers from the Blue Jays, who are all right-handed. Sem Robberse is an interesting name to watch. He was an international signing out of Netherlands, and has been very effective as a more finesse pitcher.

Greensboro Grasshoppers will be exciting to look out for, given it will be on the road and streamed. They will be carrying some of the Pirates more interesting pitching prospects. They’ll be put to the test early by having to face New York Yankees 2022 first found pick, Spencer Jones. He is a very large kid with a lot of power.

Finally, we have the Bradenton Marauders who won’t face any Top 100 prospects, but will see the highest quantity with nine of the Philadelphia Phillies Top 30 prospects. Justin Crawford, the son of Carl Crawford, was the Phillies 2022 first round pick. He headlines the Clearwater Threshers squad coming in at fourth on their prospect list.

Triple-A: Indianapolis Indians

Opponent: LOUISVILLE (REDS)
Opponent Stats

Team OPS: .635 OPS
Rank: 18/20
Team ERA: 2.16
ERA Rank: 2/20

Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • MATT MCLAIN | SS/2B | 6
  • CHRISTIAN ENCARNACION-STRAND | 3B | 7
  • BRANDON WILLIAMSON | LHP | 10
  • LEVI STOUDT | RHP | 15
  • MICHAEL SIANI | OF | 23
  • RICKY KARCHER | RHP | 29

DOUBLE-A: ALTOONA CURVE

Opponent: NEW HAMPSHIRE (BLUE JAYS)
Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • RICKY TIEDEMANN | LHP | 1
    • MLB Top 100: #32
    • BA Top 100: #30
    • Fangraphs Top 100: #24
    • ESPN Top 100: #26
  • SEM ROBBERSE | RHP | 7
  • HAGEN DANNER | RHP | 22
  • TRENT PALMER | RHP | 25

HIGH-A: GREENSBORO GRASSHOPPERS

Opponent: HUDSON VALLEY (YANKEES)
Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • SPENCER JONES | OF | 5
  • DREW THORPE | RHP | 8
  • ZACH MESSINGER | RHP | 24
  • CHASE HAMPTON | RHP | 26

SINGLE-A: BRADENTON MARAUDERS

Opponent: CLEARWATER (PHILLIES)
Top Prospects

Player | Position | Pipeline Ranking

  • JUSTIN CRAWFORD | OF | 4
  • ALEX MCFARLANE | RHP | 8
  • EMAARION BOYD | OF | 12
  • JORDAN VIARS | OF | 13
  • MICAH OTTENBREIT | RHP | 19
  • ORION KERKERING | RHP | 21
  • YHOSWAR GARCIA | OF | 22
  • CALEB RICKETTS | C | 26
  • TOMMY MCOLLUM | RHP | 28

Photo of Nick Gonzales by Ryan Palencer

Pirates Prospects Daily

By John Dreker

The Pirates play against the Red Sox tonight at 7:10 PM, with Roansy Contreras on the mound. The lineups will be added below once they become available. Our weekly article drop hits the site at noon.

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Pirates Draft Prospect Watch: A Look at the Chase Dollander vs Dylan Crews/Paul Skenes Game Our weekly look at the top prospects in this year’s draft.

Minor league rosters were announced yesterday for Altoona, Greensboro and Bradenton:

**2023 Altoona Curve Roster

**2023 Greensboro Grasshoppers Roster

**2023 Bradenton Marauders Roster

Yesterday’s P2Daily: Rough Opening Weekend Throughout The System

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Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
Bucs'N'Pucks (Jeff Reed)
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.

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