Based off what he did the previous year, if there was someone who was going to take advantage of the hitter friendly environment of Greensboro, it was Jase Bowen.
The former 11th round draft pick spent the majority of last season in Bradenton, putting up generous exit velocity numbers that translated to 14 home runs in 98 games played.
He spent the last month of the season in Greensboro, where he struggled, but also used that time to adjust to a new level of hitting so he can be ahead of the game entering 2023.
After going 1-for-4 and driving in a run last night, Bowen increased his RBI total to 55, which is the best in the South Atlantic League, as well as the entire Pirates system in the category.
Bowen hit 17 home runs last year in 125 games across both Bradenton and Greensboro. He now has 15 in just 56 this season.
— Anthony Murphy (@__Murphy88) April 14, 2023
Strikeouts has always been a bit of a concern for Bowen, hanging around the 30% mark for the majority of his minor league career. After posting a 30.1% rate in the first two months of the season, but a much more consistent June has him at a 21.5% clip after not striking out in any of his five plate appearances Saturday night.
Bowen has always been an intriguing player to follow in the system. He entered the year as a legitimate candidate for a 20/20 season, and his 10 stolen bases has him within reach.
After fellow outfielders Sammy Siani and Hudson Head moved on to Greensboro last year, Bowen stayed behind in Bradenton. He used that to expand his versatility, playing all over the field throughout the season.
Now that he’s caught up to his former Bradenton outfield teammates, Bowen is starting to press himself into position for a potential promotion. The Altoona outfielder is fairly crowded, with Matt Fraizer, Lolo Sanchez, Matt Gorski, and Connor Scott, so there may not be a rush in moving him up.
In the meantime, Bowen looks plenty content improving his game and hitting in the South Atlantic League.
— What’s the best follow up to pitching five shutout innings, earning the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week? Throwing six more shutout innings, allowing just a single hit throughout, while walking four.
Alessandro Ercolani is an interesting arm to watch of the players making the jump from the FCL to Single-A for the first time. He put up some great strikeout numbers last year, but it came at the price of control, struggling with walks.
After a little bit of a rocky start, Ercolani is really hitting his stride, posting a 2.25 ERA in 20 innings during the month of June.
— That was one of Quinn Priester‘s better starts I’ve been able to see during his career. The breaking pitches were absolutely fooling hitters, and while the fastballs still aren’t generate a lot of miss, hitters were beating them into the ground.
11 K (season high) pic.twitter.com/5VjLtN1Fxo
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 25, 2023
That seems to be the key with Priester, who isn’t going to wow anyone with his fastball at this point. You’ll get a good idea at how well the start is going to be, if team’s are making solid contact with the fastball, they can sit on it, and make him pay.
He’ll have some really good ones like this, but also some stinkers like the two previous. The lack of swing of miss with his fastball may limit his upside, as we’ve seen with Roansy Contreras, but having the slider, curve, and changeup working the way it did Saturday, will cover up for that — at times.
Daily Video Rundown
WE ARE ON THE BOARD! pic.twitter.com/iI4yYScLoi
— Altoona Curve (@AltoonaCurve) June 24, 2023
Wasn’t a pretty night for the Curve in general, but Connor Scott came up with a hit to put them on the board.
— Indianapolis ABCs (@indyindians) June 25, 2023
Canaan Smith-Njigba picks up his eighth home run of the season with the Indians.
Hoppers: 6 | Dash: 2 pic.twitter.com/ip1u7JlBgP
— Greensboro Grasshoppers (@GSOHoppers) June 24, 2023
Brenden Dixon picks up his fifth home run of the season, pushing the Grasshopper lead to 6-2.
PIRATES PROSPECTS DAILY
By Tim Williams
Jase Bowen has been on a tear this week. I wrote about him a few days and a few home runs ago in the Prospect Watch.
The Pirates dropped their second game of the series to the Marlins. They go for the series tie tomorrow afternoon.
Today’s Prospect Watch looks at the hitting adjustments from Nick Gonzales, and depth from Jared Triolo.
Missed yesterday? The Pirates finally won a game, and got a boost from their rookies.