Bucs Prospects Report 4/20

By Jason Shetler

AAA Indianapolis

Nick Kingham threw five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on seven hits, walked none and struckout six (91 pitches; 53 strikes) (3.60 ERA; 1.33 WHIP)

Elias Diaz was 0-for-4 (.185 avg; .452 OPS)

Alen Hanson goes 0-for-5 (.179 avg; .435 OPS)

Mel Rojas did not play.

AA Altoona was suspended due to rain.

High A Bradenton

Jin-De Jhang had two doubles, a walk and a run scored. (.458 avg; 1.042 OPS)

Wyatt Mathisen went 2-for-4 (.268 avg; .603 OPS)

JaCoby Jones was 1-for-4 with an RBI and a walk (.255 avg; .893 OPS)

Austin Meadows and Reese McGuire did not play.

Low A West Virginia was postponed due to wet playing conditions.

Is This Year’s Pirates Bullpen Shaping Up to Be the Best Ever?

By Jason Shetler

It’s no secret that pitching and defense has been the key to the Pirates success the past two seasons. Statistically, the Pirates bullpen in 2013 was arguably the best in team history, leading them to a 94-win campaign and a postseason berth. Last year’s bullpen wasn’t as strong, but performed well down the stretch to get into the one-game playoff again. With the bullpen they have assembled this season, is it possible that the Pirates are shaping up to have their best bullpen ever?

Mark Melancon and Tony Watson have both emerged now as Top 10 relievers in all of baseball. Watson in particular has improved his groundball rate and is getting out both left-handed and right-handed batters with consistency. The other lefty reliever is Antonio Bastardo, who over the last five seasons has been one of the best left-handed strikeout relievers. Jared Hughes is coming off a solid 2014, and so far the first couple weeks he’s been racking up strikeouts to go along with his strong groundball rate. Arquimedes Caminero has certainly become an overnight sensation with Pirates fans for lighting up the radar gun, as his average fastball velocity is 97.8 mph, while his 90.4 mph slider velocity is currently the best. Prior to joining the Pirates, Caminero threw a curveball, but has now eliminated the pitch in favor of the splitter. The splitter has contributed in Caminero so far getting groundballs at a 57% mark, which he only did 31% of the time when he was with the Miami Marlins. Radhames Liz hasn’t pitched much, but once Vance Worley is moved to the bullpen when Charlie Morton returns, Liz will start to see more games pitched in middle relief.  Worley could become a very good reliever that can provide multiple innings when needed. This is the same Vance Worley who was the Pirates third best starter last year in terms of WAR, and would be an above average #4 or #5 starter on most other clubs. Should an injury occur to one of the relievers, the Pirates have John Holdzkom in AAA as a nice insurance policy.

While it’s obviously premature to say that the 2015 Pirates bullpen will be the best ever statistically or better than the one from a couple years ago, it definitely has the potential to be the best this franchise has ever seen.

Bucs Prospects Report 4/19

By Jason Shetler

AAA Indianapolis was postponed due to rain.

AA Altoona

Willy Garcia was 3-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. (.219 avg; .492 OPS)

Keon Broxton went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a stolen base and scored a run. (.310 avg; .746 OPS)

Stetson Allie also goes 2-for-4 and drove in a run. (.171 avg; .523 OPS)

Josh Bell was 1-for-4 and had an RBI. (.297 avg; .774 OPS)

High A Bradenton

Cody Dickson pitched six innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits, walking one, striking out three and getting ten groundouts. (79 pitches; 51 strikes) (3.21 ERA; 1.36 WHIP)

JaCoby Jones went 1-for-4 and drove in a run. (.256 avg; .915 OPS)

Reese McGuire goes 1-for-3 with a double, a walk and came around to score. (.294 avg; .745 OPS)

Wyatt Mathisen was also 1-for-3 with a run scored. (.243 avg; .560 OPS)

Austin Meadows extended his hit streak to seven games, as he went 1-for-4 (.381 avg; .913 OPS)

Jin-De Jhang did not play.  

Low A West Virginia was postponed due to wet ground conditions.

Pat Ludwig Has Retired

By Jason Shetler

According to Pirates Prospects John Dreker, Pirates minor league pitcher Pat Ludwig has announced his retirement.

The Pirates took Ludwig as a tenth round pick in the 2012 MLB Draft. The Yale University graduate posted a 3.70 ERA along with a 1.26 WHIP in 83 games pitched in the organization. Ludwig became the first Ivy League pitcher the Pirates had drafted since Chris Young in 2000.

Bucs Prospects Report 4/18

By Jason Shetler

AAA Indianapolis

Mel Rojas went 0-for-3 (.259 avg; .545 OPS)

Elias Diaz was hitless in five at-bats (.217 avg; .525 OPS)

Alen Hanson goes 0-for-1 and drew a walk (.206 avg; .495 OPS)

AA Altoona

Chad Kuhl pitched five scoreless innings, as he walked three, struckout four and had six groundball outs. (89 pitches; 53 strikes) (0.90 ERA; 1.50 WHIP)

Josh Bell was 2-for-4 along with a walk. (.303 avg; .804 OPS)

Keon Broxton went 1-for-5 with a triple and a run scored. (.289 avg; .720 OPS)

Stetson Allie goes 1-for-4 with a double and walked. (.129 avg; .464 OPS)

Willy Garcia was 0-for-1 (.143 avg; .315 OPS)

High A Bradenton

Edwin Espinal went 3-for-3 including his first homer of the season, a double and three RBI (.300 avg; .850 OPS)

Austin Meadows goes 1-for-4, as he extended his hitting streak to six games. (.375 avg; .905 OPS)

JaCoby Jones went 0-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and scored a run (.256 avg; .956 OPS)

Wyatt Mathisen was also 0-for-3 (.235 avg; .551 OPS)

Reese McGuire went 0-for-4, but reached base on a fielder’s choice and stole two bases (.290 avg; .701 OPS)

Jin-De Jhang did not play.

Low A West Virginia

Tito Polo was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. (.346 avg; .837 OPS)

Chase Simpson went 2-for-5 and drove in a run. (.321 avg; .993 OPS)

Michael Suchy goes 1-for-3 with a double and walked twice. (.185 avg; .593 OPS)

Jordan Luplow was also 1-for-3 with an RBI and drew a pair of walks. (.182 avg; .580 OPS)

Cole Tucker went 1-for-4. (.290 avg; .635 OPS)

Taylor Gushue was 0-for-4 with a walk and came around to score. (.167 avg; .509 OPS)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bucs Prospects Report 4/17

By Jason Shetler

AAA Indianapolis 

Alen Hanson was 1-for-5 with a stolen base. (.212 avg; .490 OPS) 

Mel Rojas went 1-for-1 with a walk and scored a run. (.292 avg; .612 OPS) 

Elias Diaz delivered the game winning RBI as a pinch-hitter. (.278 avg; .659 OPS) 

AA Altoona

Tyler Glasnow went six innings, giving up just one run on four hits, didn’t walk a batter and struckout seven. (80 pitches; 57 strikes) (0.82 ERA; 0.91 WHIP) 

Stetson Allie was 1-for-3 with a walk a stolen base and a run scored. (.111 avg; .395 OPS) 

Keon Broxton goes 1-for-4. (.303 avg; .706 OPS) 

Josh Bell had an 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. (.276 avg; .762 OPS) 

Willy Garcia did not play. 

High A Bradenton 

Steven Brault pitched four innings, as he gave up a pair of runs on five hits, walked two and got six groundouts. (67 pitches; 43 strikes) (5.40 ERA; 1.44 WHIP) 

JaCoby Jones was 2-for-3 including a two-run triple and two walks. (.278 avg; 1.017 OPS) 

Austin Meadows went 2-for-5 with an RBI and scored a run. (.389 avg; .949 OPS) 

Jin-De Jhang goes 1-for-3 along with an RBI, a walk and came around to score twice. (.429 avg; .887 OPS) 

Wyatt Mathisen was 1-for-5 with a run scored. (.258 avg; .604 OPS) 

Barrett Barnes and Reese McGuire did not play.

Low A West Virginia 

Cole Tucker went 2-for-5 with a double, a stolen base and scored a run. (.296 avg; .655 OPS) 

Jordan Luplow was 1-for-4 with an RBI double. (.125 avg; .375 OPS) 

Elvis Escobar and Taylor Gushue each went 1-for-4 (Escobar: .241 avg; .635 OPS) (Gushue: .192 avg; .558 OPS) 

Chase Simpson was 0-for-3 and drew a walk. (.304 avg; 1.032 OPS) 

Tito Polo goes 0-for-3. (.286 avg; .708 OPS) 

Michael Suchy did not play. 

Chris Stewart Activated From Disabled List; Tony Sanchez Optioned to AAA

By Jason Shetler

The Pirates have announced that Chris Stewart has been activated off the disabled list. Tony Sanchez has been optioned to AAA Indianapolis as the corresponding move. 

Stewart injured his right hamstring during Spring Training, and wasn’t able to start the season on time. He played in five rehab games, two for AA Altoona and three with Indianapolis. Sanchez meanwhile played just three games with the Pirates. While Sanchez is the better hitting catcher, Stewart provides much better defensive work from the behind the plate, which is what the Pirates need on days when Francisco Cervelli needs a rest.