ALTOONA, PA – The Pirates have their complex league teams in the playoffs right now. I’m in Altoona this week, and got my first look at Jackson Wolf last night.
Player of the Day
JACKSON WOLF, LHP, ALTOONA
The Pirates added Wolf in the Rich Hill trade. The lefty stands out for his deception, first and foremost. He’s got a unique rhythm in his delivery from the windup, with a lot of movement to his body, completing with an arm slot that extends out away from his body to create angles.
Wolf was mostly 87-89 MPH with his fastball, getting some depth from the pitch. He’s lost some velocity this year, but commanded the pitch well. His changeup was effective, leading to a strikeout in the video below. Wolf also worked in a mid-to-upper 70s curveball which has a lot of sweeping action away from lefties and into right-handers.
Last night, Wolf went five shutout innings for Altoona, allowing one hit, one walk, and striking out five. His third inning is below.
Jackson Wolf last night for Altoona: 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Here's a look at his third inning, which included the lone hit and a strikeout. The #Pirates added Wolf in the Rich Hill trade. pic.twitter.com/6yC05noYFZ
— Tim Williams (@TimWilliamsP2) August 25, 2023
Ten More to Follow
CANAAN SMITH-NJIGBA, LF, INDIANAPOLIS
Smith-Njigba went 2-for-4 with two walks and two home runs for Indianapolis. He now has 13 homers on the season, with three this month. He’s batting .267/.329/.400 in 75 at-bats. The Indians ended up winning on a walk off hit by pitch by Nick Gonzales.
MATT FRAIZER, CF, ALTOONA
Fraizer had a big game on both sides. He made the catch pictured below in the bottom of the second for the third out — tracking back to the wall in center, catching it on a leap, and slamming into the fence to end the play.
There’s the old adage about a player making a good defensive play typically following that with a good offensive play. In the next inning, Fraizer delivered a two-out triple to left-center. The outfielder picked up two hits on the day, including a single that put a runner at third with no outs in the bottom of the ninth. His triple was the hardest hit of his six hits over the last two games.
JACKSON GLENN, 2B, ALTOONA
Glenn had a big day at the plate. He started with a triple off the wall in the third. Glenn singled in the fifth, putting a runner at third with one out. He also reached third from first after Will Matthiessen got caught in a rundown between third and home on the next at-bat. In the tenth inning, Glenn laid down a sacrifice bunt to move pinch-runner Mike Jarvis over to third, and Glenn reached on the play. He was later out at home on a force, before Andres Alvarez knocked in Tsung-Che Cheng with a sacrifice fly to end the game.
MICHELL MILIANO, RHP, ALTOONA
Miliano went two shutout innings last night, giving up one hit and striking out one. He was a bit wild early in the contest. The leadoff runner started with an opposite field double. Miliano threw wild on a pickoff attempt, sailing a pitch into center field and allowing the runner to move to third. He was facing all lefties in the inning. Following the pickoff throw, he settled down.
Miliano got a shallow ground out to short, holding the runner at third. He struck out the next batter on seven pitches, finishing with a 94 MPH fastball that the opposing hitter swung over. Miliano finished the last batter with three straight 95 MPH fastballs, with the last one popped out to short. He was 93-95 MPH with his fastball, mixing in a low-80s breaking pitch.
TRES GONZALEZ, CF, GREENSBORO
Gonzalez went 2-for-5 last night, picking up a hit in his fifth straight game. The 2022 fifth rounder has been consistent at the plate, reaching base safely in all but one of his games this month. He has a hit in all but two games, and started the month with a 12 game hitting streak.
MITCH JEBB, 2B, BRADENTON
The Pirates’ second round pick this year went 2-for-4 last night. After starting his career hot in July, Jebb has a .257/.361/.314 line in 70 at-bats during the month of August.
HUNTER BARCO, LHP, BRADENTON
Barco has been returning from Tommy John surgery, after the Pirates drafted him in the second round last year during his recovery. Barco has been limited to three inning appearances. Last night he allowed one run on two hits in three innings. He didn’t allow a walk and struck out six.
LONNIE WHITE JR., CF, BRADENTON
White went 1-for-2 last night, but added three walks and two stolen bases. That’s been the story of his season thus far, with a bit of power added. The 2021 64th overall pick has a .259/.413/.473 line in 112 at-bats, with five homers and ten steals.
JERAL TOLEDO, 2B, FCL PIRATES
The FCL Pirates lost 7-6 to the Yankees in game one of the FCL semi-finals. Toledo went 1-for-5, hitting a homer. During the regular season, he batted .306 with an .892 OPS and two homers. Toledo was signed in July 2019 as a good defender. He struggled offensively until this season in the FCL.
JOHN ZORILLA, SS, DSL PIRATES GOLD
Zorilla homered in the DSL Pirates Gold 7-1 win over the Astros, helping to lead the Pirates to a 1-0 lead in the DSL Quarterfinals. During the regular season, Zorilla hit .205 with a .726 OPS and two homers. Zorilla was one of the Pirates top international signings in 2020-21 out of the Dominican Republic. The 19-year-old has a career .660 OPS.
Thursday’s Home Runs
- Canaan Smith-Njigba, LF, Indianapolis x2 (13)
- Jeral Toledo, 2B, FCL Pirates (1)
- John Zorilla, SS, DSL Pirates Gold (1)
Thursday’s Minor League Results
INDIANAPOLIS (55-63) VS Iowa
Score: Indianapolis 10, Iowa 9
Indianapolis Starter: Beau Sulser, RHP (8.59)
–Line: 4.1 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR
Player of the Game: Canaan Smith-Njigba, LF (2-for-4, 2 BB, 2 HR )
- Mason Martin, DH (2-for-5, 2 RBI)
- Chris Owings, SS (2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI)
ALTOONA (55-59) VS Akron
Score: Altoona 2, Akron 1
Altoona Starter: Jackson Wolf, LHP (2.50)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Wolf
- Michell Miliano, RHP (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K)
- Cameron Junker, RHP (2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K)
- Matt Fraizer, CF (2-for-4, 3B)
- Jackson Glenn, 2B (3-for-5, 3B)
GREENSBORO (62-52) AT Rome
Score: Rome 4, Greensboro 3
Greensboro Starter: Thomas Harrington, RHP (4.24)
–Line: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 2 HR
Player of the Game: Francisco Acuna, 3B (1-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI)
- Tres Gonzales, CF (2-for-5, SB)
- Josiah Sightler, DH (2-for-4)
BRADENTON (66-50) AT Jupiter
Score: Bradenton 8, Jupiter 5
Bradenton Starter: Hunter Barco, LHP (7.50)
–Line: 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Geovanny Planchart, 1B (2-for-4, 2 2B)
- Charles McAdoo, DH (2-for-5)
- Mitch Jebb, 2B (2-for-4)
- Lonnie White Jr., CF (1-for-2, 3 BB, 2 SB )
FCL PIRATES (0-1) AT FCL Yankees
Score: Yankees 7, Pirates 6
FCL Pirates Starter: Michael Kennedy, LHP (9.82)
–Line: 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: Eddy Rodriguez, 1B (3-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI)
- Jeral Toledo, 2B (1-for-5, HR )
- Hudson Head, RF (0-for-2, 2 BB)
- Estuar Suero, DH (2-for-4, 2B, RBI)
DSL PIRATES GOLD (1-0) VS DSL Astros Orange
Score: Pirates 7, Astros 1
Pirates Gold Starter: Carlos Castillo, RHP (1.80)
–Line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR
Player of the Game: John Zorilla, SS (2-for-3, HR , BB, 4 RBI)
Tim is the owner, producer, editor, and lead writer of PiratesProspects.com. He has been running Pirates Prospects since 2009, becoming the first new media reporter and outlet covering the Pirates at the MLB level in 2011 and 2012. His work can also be found in Baseball America, where he has been a contributor since 2014 and the Pirates' correspondent since 2019.