When the Pirates announced their Opening Day rosters for each of their minor league affiliates, Bradenton was a very intriguing one. They had a blend of college players, and younger prospects with a higher ceiling, but without much of an established floor.
Two of the bigger names originally listed, Termarr Johnson and Shalin Polanco, both would miss the start of the season with injuries, with the latter joining the Marauders sooner than the former.
With some of the more raw players taking on some prominent roles on the roster, it probably wouldn’t have been the most surprising thing to see them struggle out the gate – and to an extent they did. Bradenton dropped two of three against Clearwater to begin the season, but have since won eight of 10 games they have played.
With their win on Friday night, they’ve now won seven in a row and have posted back-to-back shutouts against Daytona after their 8-0 victory.
It’s been a blend of both pitching and hitting, as players like Enmanuel Terrero and Tres Gonzales each have 10 or more hits during the winning streak, with Alessandro Ercolani and Thomas Harrington also putting in strong outings on back-to-back nights, things are clicking in Bradenton.
Now factor in the return of Johnson, who drove in two runs on a single on Friday, and the Marauders have a team with plenty to get excited for, both watching now and the future.
— The Bradenton infield just got a lot more intriguing with the addition of Johnson, for however long he’s at the level. Jesus Castillo has shown great plate awareness, even if he’s in a mini-slump right now and they haven’t got the hitting from Javier Rivas that we saw in the FCL last year.
He’s hitting the ball really hard right now, it just looks like it’s a matter of timing and squaring things up. Going into Friday night’s game, Rivas had an average exit velocity of 93.6 mph, but a launch angle of -1.76.
— More strong pitching performances throughout the system, which is becoming a daily theme. Harrington, Braxton Ashcraft, and Sean Sullivan all had scoreless outings for their respective teams.
Really no hiding what the strength of the system is anymore.
Daily Video Rundown
Make it 3-0, thanks to @Jakegonzo10!
WATCH: https://t.co/6GP894jPtF pic.twitter.com/fpkj5GTeSe
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) April 21, 2023
Jacob Gonzalez drills this pitch down the third base line, driving in a run to give Altoona a 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Guess who’s back!!!! That’s 2RBI for Termarr w this double #hitter pic.twitter.com/6Cx5H1tNzw
— Florida Prospect Report (@FLProspectPod) April 21, 2023
In his second at bat of the season, Johnson drives in a pair of runs with this single, advancing to second on an error in the outfield.
#pirates RHP prospect Thomas Harrington had a strong opening inning. 3k’s and a CS that they didn’t need. Carry it over? #nasty pic.twitter.com/1T4FgJU7Yy
— Florida Prospect Report (@FLProspectPod) April 21, 2023
Harrington strikes out the side in the first inning. He would go on to strikeout four across five innings. Bonus points to Wyatt Hendrie for that cannon to get the runner anyways at the end of the inning.
PIRATES PROSPECTS DAILY
By Tim Williams
The Pirates have now won five games in a row for the first time since 2019.
Pirates Recap: The Streak Goes on as Pirates Top Reds
Prospect Watch: Termarr Johnson Returns; Harrington and Ashcraft Look Strong
**Ryan Palencer has his latest report from Indianapolis, looking at how Tucupita Marcano’s offseason work led to an early promotion to Pittsburgh.
**Minor Moves: Travis Swaggerty and Endy Rodriguez Head to Injured List; Termarr Johnson Returns to Action
**From yesterday, Anthony looked at how pitching continues to be the strength of the system.
**In my latest column, I looked at success and a singular approach: Baked Alaska
SONG OF THE DAY
I’ll be picking up their live album today at my local shop for Record Store Day.
Just saw a tweet that shelton was extended? Anyone can confirm?
look like confirmed by mackey
The Pirates may be hot but the song of the day is in a slump.
You need to broaden your music tastes. There is no bad music.
Hotel California is unquestionably bad music.
Not to trivialize hitting, but if i am watching a game and can predict correctly that Suwinski is going to see a low and away breaking pitch multiple times in an at bat against a left hander, then surely Haines and others know that. Can Suwinski just not look for that location and shoot the ball to left field? Or is it better for him to look for a mistake pitch that he can pull a long ways? I just don’t think waiting for mistakes is going to work in the long run, nor against good pitching.
when facing a left hander, the Pirates have to have one of Suwinski, Marcano, CSN or Bae in the lineup. Yesterday with 2 on, 2 outs, in the eight, Suwinski struck out because Sanmartin located three pitches very well, it was a very predictable outcome. Pirates need another right handed bat , or a lefty that has a legit shot of hitting well against a left hander.
Maybe if Miguel Andujar hits a little more consistently, it might make sense to bring him up and let Smith-Njigba get more at bats in triple A.
I would bring Andujar up now, since it doesn’t seem like CSN is getting many at bats, and for example today CSN is not starting against an RHP. They do need to clear a spot on the 40 man in order to bring Andujar up. The problem is that I would also bring up Swaggerty, but bring up both Andujar and Swaggerty makes the roster very outfield heavy.
I forgot Andujar was not on the 40 man. Assuming Swaggerty was not on the IL, do you think his bat is ready for the majors? I would say it is safe to say he would be our best defensive outfielder.
Love seeing greensboro and bradenton playing ball. The big wave was supposed to be in toona last year and indy/mlb this year, but I love that there seems to be another wave starting to build to supplement this year’s WS contender
I’ll look forward to seeing the Marauders when they come to Jupiter. Unfortunately, that’s not until August. In the past, I’ve missed players I wanted to see because they were promoted, which could certainly occur before then.
What if I told you a month ago, “In one month’s time, it will appear as if the NL Central will have 3 legitimate playoff contenders, and none of them are thought to have Devil Magic.”
Would you have believed it?
The cardinals have weak pitching. The worst pitching in the division and it’s not really close. If they pull a miracle this year and win the division all hope may be gone.