Will Craig Mentioned on Baseball America’s Top 20 NYPL List

By Jason Shetler

 

p/c: Tim Williams - Pirates Prospects

p/c: Tim Williams – Pirates Prospects

On Wednesday, Baseball America came out with their list of the Top 20 prospects that played in the New York-Penn League this season. Pirates prospect Will Craig finished in the Top 10, ranking seventh on the list. 

The Pirates selected Craig with the 22nd overall choice in this year’s draft out of Wake Forest. He became the first college third baseman to be taken in the first round by the Bucs since Pedro Alvarez in 2008. 

Craig began his pro career in Morgantown with the West Virginia Black Bears. In 274 plate appearances, he put up a .412 on base percentage, which was tied for second best in the NYPL. Craig displayed a strong knack for working the free pass, as he posted an outstanding walk rate of 15%. He should start out next season with the Bradenton Marauders. MLB Pipeline currently has Craig rated the eighth best prospect in the Pirates system. 

 

 

 

 

Pirates Acquire Chris Bostick

By Jason Shetler 

The Pirates have announced that Chris Bostick has been acquired from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor league catcher Taylor Gushue and cash. 

Bostick was drafted by the Nationals in 2011 out of Aquinas Institute. Heading into this season, Baseball America rated him the 25th best prospect in the Nats system. Bostick began 2016 with AA Harrisburg where he hit .290 along with an .818 OPS in 71 games. He was promoted to AAA Syracuse in late June, but didn’t have the same success, as he batted just .203 with an OPS of .559 in 64 games played. Bostick split his games at second base, shortstop and left field. The Pirates added him to the 40-man roster since he’ll be Rule 5 eligible in the offseason. Bostick will likely start next season with AAA Indianapolis as a depth option in case of an injury. 

Gushue was a fourth round selection of the Pirates in the 2014 draft out of the University of Florida. The 22-year-old backstop spent the entire 2016 season with the Bradenton Marauders, hitting .226 with a .639 OPS in 90 games. Behind the plate, Gushue didn’t perform well, as he threw out 25% of basestealers, while allowing 14 passed balls. 

 

 

 

 

Bucco Nation Poll Question

By Jason Shetler

Tyler Glasnow to Start Sunday vs Nationals

By Jason Shetler

p/c: Jeff Curry - Getty Images

p/c: Jeff Curry – Getty Images

The Pirates have announced that Tyler Glasnow will get the start on Sunday against the Washington Nationals. 

Glasnow rejoined the Pirates as a September call up after being on the disabled list with shoulder discomfort following his start versus the Philadelphia Phillies on July 23rd. The 23-year-old right-hander made his big league debut on July 7th against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium. 

Since returning to the Pirates in September, Glasnow has appeared in three games out of the bullpen where he’s allowed two runs in seven innings of work. General manager Neal Huntington recently said that he wouldn’t rule out Glasnow making a start before the season ended, and so he will receive one on Sunday. A couple weeks ago, Glasnow was named MLB Pipeline’s Pitcher of the Year for 2016.

 

 

 

 

Josh Bell and Mitch Keller Named 2016 Pirates Minor League Award Winners

By Jason Shetler

On Friday, the Pirates announced Josh Bell as the 2016 Minor League Player of the Year, while Mitch Keller was named their 2016 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. 

Bell entered this year as the Pirates third ranked prospect in the system. The switch-hitting first baseman put up productive numbers for AAA Indianapolis, hitting .295 with an .850 OPS, good for fifth best in the International League. Bell received his call up to Pittsburgh on July 8th. In just his second game, he belted his first MLB home run on a pinch-hit grand slam against the Chicago Cubs. During his time with the Pirates, Bell has posted a .407 on base percentage, which is tops among NL rookies with at least 100 plate appearances. 

Keller was the biggest breakout prospect in the system this season. The Pirates #5 prospect dominated South Atlantic League batters, posting a 2.46 ERA along with a league best 0.92 WHIP and a K/9 of 9.5 in 23 starts for the West Virginia Power. Keller was promoted to the Bradenton Marauders on August 30th. In his only start for the Marauders, he pitched six scoreless innings against the Jupiter Hammerheads. Keller will return to Bradenton to begin next season. 

 

 

 

Bucco Nation Poll Question

By Jason Shetler

Pirates Acquire Phil Coke

By Jason Shetler

p/c: Jared Wickerham- Getty Images

p/c: Jared Wickerham- Getty Images

The Pirates have announced that they have acquired Phil Coke from the New York Yankees for cash considerations. 

Coke first came up with the Yankees in 2008. A few days before the trade deadline that year, the Pirates and Yankees were about to make the Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte trade. The original deal had Coke involved along with Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf and George Kontos, but the Pirates decided to obtain Jeff Karstens and Daniel McCutchen over Coke and Kontos instead. 

During Spring Training this year, Coke signed a minor league deal with the Atlanta Braves, but was released just a couple weeks later. The 34-year-old lefty went the Independent ball route in April, signing on with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the Atlantic League. Two weeks later, Coke was purchased by the Yankees. He spent most of 2016 pitching for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre where he posted a 2.96 ERA with a WHIP of 1.27 in 20 games, 11 of which were starts. He also made three appearances with the Yankees. The Pirates will have to make a corresponding move for Coke to be added to the 40-man roster. My guess is Zach Phillips getting designated for assignment.