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  1. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I figured today would be a good time to look over the West Virginia pitching staff. To date the team has used 17 pitchers (well 18 but Logan Ratledge is usually an infielder). I thought a quick synopsis on the 17 pitchers would be a good way for me to get started looking back at the minors.

    Mitch Keller: Easily the best pitching prospect on the team Keller was a a 2nd round pick in the 2014 draft and is currently just posting silly numbers with a sub 2 ERA and a K-BB% of 28.1%. Best of all he is just 20 years old making the performance even more impressive.

    Tate Scioneaux: Scioneaux was taken in the 39th round of last year's draft but quickly established himself as a legitimate prospect by dominating the New York Penn League. He isn't just a finesse pitcher succeeding with great command either as his fastball sits in the mid 90s making him a legit relief prospect. He dominated A ball enough to earn an early promotion to A+ and hasn't missed a beat there either.

    JT Brubaker: Brubaker was taken in the 6th round of last year's draft and immediately had the look of the Pirates classic low ceiling selection who doesn't miss a ton of bats but is valuable because he induces so many ground balls and has good control. This year that has all changed as Brubaker is getting less ground balls and showing worse control but is succeeding by striking out over a quarter of the batters he faces. His stuff low 90s fastball, average curve and slider isn't overwhelming but its decent enough that if he can get the groundballs back he is a potential back of the rotation starter.

    Seth McGarry: McGarry was drafted in the 8th round of last year's draft and was widely considered someone who could move through the system quickly as a reliever. The Pirates however opted to try and develop him initially as a starter but scrapped that plan this season. McGarry has an excellent fastball but his secondary pitchers need some work. He does miss plenty of bats though and looks like he has a chance to become a late inning reliever.

    Dario Agrazal: Agrazal is a finesse pitcher who relies on keeping the ball on the ground and displaying good command. He doesn't have great stuff and has trouble missing bats (something that will become a theme here) so he is going to have to prove himself against upper level competition. He is just 21 years old though making him a good age for the A ball level and his good command gives him a fighting chance of developing into a solid depth option.

    Bret Helton: Helton was the Pirates 9th round pick last year and though he has decent stuff (he can touch the mid 90s with his fastball) he doesn't miss a lot of bats and since he is only average in the groundball inducing and control departments his upside his limited. He is just basically a solid pitcher who does nothing very well but also doesn't have any truly glaring weaknesses. There is enough here that he could eventually develop into a Brandon Cumpton type pitcher but that is probably his ceiling.

    Logan Sendelbach: Sendelbach was taken a round after Helton last year and is a very similar type pitcher to him. He hasn't shown the abilities to touch the mid 90s typically topping out at 92 but otherwise he is a pitcher who will miss just a handful of bats while having roughly average control and ground ball rates. Nothing too exciting here but like Helton, Sendelbach could one day become a useful depth option.

    Billy Roth: Roth was drafted in the 16th round of the 2013 draft and signed for slightly over slot. He was a raw high school arm who needed some work. Early on he added some velocity and last year was even touching the upper 90s (usually topping out in the mid 90s though) but he has had major control problems. Last year he showed good improvement in the control department and was looking like a potential breakout pitcher this year but the control problems are back this year as he has walked more guys than he has struck out. (13 BB, 12 SO, 13 IP). He has pitched exclusively relief this year so I'm guessing the Pirates have given up on him as a starting option but the arm makes him an intriguing potential reliever if he can get his control back.

    Daniel Zamora: Last year's 40th round pick, Zamora, hasn't quite been as successful as Scioneaux, the 39th round pick, but he has been a pleasant surprise. He has missed a lot of bats so far in his pro career and hasn't had any major control issues. His numbers aren't quite as eye popping as Scioneaux but the big difference is that Zamora is a left handed pitcher who only throws 90. He relies on mixing his fastabll with his curve and changeup and it remains to be seen if his below average fastball will play at higher levels.

    Julio Vivas: Vivas pitched great in the DSL, had a great states debut in 2014 and was a pitcher to watch last year but unfortunately he didn't enjoy quite the same level of success in full season ball. He was by no means bad but he started showing a bit more control issues than he had previously. Vivas has displayed a real ability to miss bats which makes him somewhat intriguing but the Pirates haven't really treated him as much of a prospect and so far this year that swing and miss stuff just isn't there and without that Vivas isn't all that interesting.

    Cesilio Pimentel: This isn't saying much as the Huntington regime has focused on hitters when they looked towards the international circuit but Pimentel has been one of the more successful pitchers signed as an international free agent during the Huntington era. Pimentel is a left handed pitcher who throws in the low 90s and has a good slider to compliment his fastball. This year is his first extended taste of full season ball but in short season he has shown the ability to miss bats which is always a good sign. So far this year his ERA is rough but his strike out numbers are still good and his walk numbers aren't too bad. He of course isn't much of a prospect but he has been one of my favorite prospects to follow over the past couple seasons.

    Tanner Anderson: Anderson was selected in the 20th round last year out of Harvard. Over 28.2 innings last year he walked just 2 hitters showing he has good control. However he tops out in the low 90s, doesn't miss a lot of bats and so far this season the walk numbers have just been average at best. He is still getting good results but he just doesn't seem to have the makeup of a true pitching prospect.

    Julio Eusebio: Eusebio is a guy who just kind of showed up out of nowhere in 2014. He was apparently signed the year before but didn't play at all and wasn't included in the team's media guide in the 2014 season. For coming out of no where he was actually quite successful his first two years in short season. This year his peripherals stink but he has a nice shiny 1.33 ERA.

    Jake Burnette: Due to various injuries Burnette managed just 56.1 innings over his first four pro seasons which made it impossible to read anything at all into his performance. Last year he finally managed to stay semi-healthy and threw over 50 innings. This larger sample pretty much lined up with the smaller ones which meant he missed a lot of bats but has no idea where the ball is going when it leaves his hand. So far this year his walks have decreased a little bit but his strike outs have decreased a lot. Simply put he is a project that just hasn't worked out.

    Sean Keselica: Keselica was drafted in the 33rd round last year and like the other late round reliever selections (Scioneaux and Zamora) has shown a good ability to miss bats but unfortunately he hasn't displayed anywhere near their control. He throws in the low 90s which is ok for a left handed pitcher but the control has got to be much better than he has shown so far if he is going to become even a semi interesting prospect.

    Jesse Amedee: Amedee was a college pitcher taken in the 27th round of the 2014 draft. He doesn't have great stuff but has managed to rack up some high K rates which keeps him mildly intriguing. On the flip side he was drafted out of college, is now in his 3rd year of pro ball, and has only pitched 3.1 innings above short season ball. His control isn't great but its not awful either so clearly the Pirates are seeing something else since they are moving him so conservatively.

    Eric Karch: Krach was taken in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft and had two uninspiring seasons heading into this year. Despite a poor ERA his peripherals show he had gotten off to a solid start this season (18 K, 5 BB, 15.2 IP) but for some reason the Pirates choose to release him.
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  2. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    I've been working on some updated prospect lists so I can try and slot the new draft picks once I get a bit more information. I have divided the prospects into 5 groups for now: C/!B, IF, OF, RHP and LHP. I have a top 10 for each group except RHP which goes 20 deep.

    Josh Bell
    Reese McGuire
    Elias Diaz
    Jose Osuna
    Jin-De Jhang
    Edwin Espinal
    Jacob Stallings
    Taylor Gushue
    Carlos Munoz
    Daniel Arribas

    Kevin Newman
    Ke'Bryan Hayes
    Alen Hanson
    Cole Tucker
    Adam Frazier
    Max Moroff
    Kevin Kramer
    Adrian Valerio
    Connor Joe
    Gift Ngoepe

    Austin Meadows
    Harold Ramirez
    Tito Polo
    Willy Garcia
    Jordan Luplow
    Barrett Barnes
    Elvis Escobar
    Michael De La Cruz
    Casey Hughston
    Michael Suchy

    Tyler Glasnow
    Jameson Taillon
    Chad Kuhl
    Nicholas Kingham
    Mitch Keller
    Yeudy Garcia
    Tyler Eppler
    Clay Holmes
    Gage Hinsz
    Trevor Williams
    JT Brubaker
    Luis Escobar
    Montana DuRapau
    Frank Duncan
    Dovydas Neverauskas
    Tate Scioneaux
    Edgar Santana
    Jacob Taylor
    Dario Agrazal
    Luis Heredia

    Steven Brault
    Brandon Waddell
    Stephen Tarpley
    Cody Dickson
    Jared LaKind
    Hector Garcia
    Daniel Zamora
    Ike Schlabach
    Sean Keselica
    Cristian Mota
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  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    This doesn't completely jive with what I posted yesterday as there are a few calls I always waver on but I have an updated Top 30 prospects list (with the disclaimer that it includes only players who have appeared in the minors for the Pirates thus far this season meaning no draft picks, Diaz or Kingham).

    Top 30 Prospects
    1. Austin Meadows
    2. Tyler Glasnow
    3. Jameson Taillon
    4. Josh Bell
    5. Kevin Newman
    6. Reese McGuire
    7. Harold Ramirez
    8. Cole Tucker
    9. Ke'Bryan Hayes
    10. Mitch Keller
    11. Adam Frazier
    12. Alen Hanson
    13. Chad Kuhl
    14. Steven Brault
    15. Yeudy Garcia
    16. Stephen Tarpley
    17. Max Moroff
    18. Kevin Kramer
    19. Brandon Waddell
    20. Tyler Eppler
    21. Tito Polo
    22. Willy Garcia
    23. Clay Holmes
    24. Gage Hinsz
    25. Barrett Barnes
    26. Trevor Williams
    27. Jose Osuna
    28. Jordan Luplow
    29. Tate Scioneaux
    30. JT Brubaker
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  4. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    The West Virginia Black Bears have played 13 games to date. This is far too early to read anything into the players but I always like to take an early look to see how playing time is being divided.

    Catcher: Kevin Krause and Arden Pabst have been essentially splitting the duties fairly evenly. Pabst was taken in the 12th round by the Pirates this draft and is this year's annual strong defensive catcher with offensive limitations. Krause was drafted way back in 2014 and had an excellent debut and looked like a sleeper prospect heading into 2015 but Tommy John surgery cost him the season.

    First Base: Baur seems to more or less be the regular first baseman. he was drafted in the 28th round last year and essentially served as the Black Bear's regular 1B last year too. He was a fifth year senior and that combined with his draft position points to him likely being an org guy for the Pirates. The fact he is 24 and still in short season ball kind of cements this fact.

    Second Base: The second base position doesn't appear to have a real regular. I'm guessing Trae Arbet was supposed to receive regular time at the position but he must be hurt as he hasn't played since the very beginning of the season. Arbet put up good numbers last year in Bristol but still had an ugly K:BB rate and was entering his 4th year of short season ball. After his injury Erik Forgione seemed to take over 2B but we will get to him later. Right now it is Tyler Leffler receiving the most time at the position. Leffler was taken in the 27th round of this past draft by the Pirates and is a strong defensive shortstop who comes with some offensive question marks. He is another guy who looks like an org guy but strong defense can carry the absence of a bat for at least a little while.

    Third Base: This position obviously belongs to the Pirates first round draft pick Will Craig. There are questions about whether Craig can stick at 3B long term but he has a good arm for the position and is fine there right now. His bat though is his calling card and what is ultimately going to have to carry him.

    Shortstop: Third round draft pick Stephen Alemias appeared to be in line for regular duty at shortstop but he got injured earlier in the season. Alemias is a good defensive shortstop with good plate discipline but he lacks power. Since his injury Erik Forgione has been the primary shortstop. Forgione was a 25th round draft pick in 2014 and has already transitioned into an organizational infielder.

    Left Field: Ty Moore has been playing fairly regularly in left field. Much like Baur this is what Moore was doing last year so its not a good sign to see him doing it again. Unlike Baur though Moore did start the year up a level for the Power but struggled so much that he was moved to extended spring training. Moore was a 12th round draft pick last year and was mildly intriguing but the Pirates had three other college outfielders in last year's draft who have shown more promise than he has to this point.

    Center Field: Sandy Santos has been receiving most of the time in center field and with the obvious exception of Craig might be the top position player prospect on the team. He plays a good center field and is a decent hitter but has a K problem. All the tools are there for him to be a solid prospect but the plate approach is holding him back and at 22 he is quickly becoming too old to still be in short season ball.

    Right Field: Matt Diorio has received the bulk of time in right field. He was a 16th round draft pick by the Pirates and kind of feels like this year's Ty Moore, meaning he is a somewhat interesting player but there is really nothing about him that jumps off the page. He doesn't have a whole lot of power, has a good approach at the plate but can be a little too passive leading to a lot of Ks and is fine defensively in a corner but can't handle center.

    Designated Hitter: George was taken in the 35th round of last year's draft and has done nothing but hit since. He was great in Bristol last year but received little playing time as Carlos Munoz enjoyed a big breakout season and the DH spot was frequently rotated. This year he looks to have more upside than Baur but has been relegated to a bench role playing 1B, 3B and RF while also serving as the team's regular DH. George can hit there is no doubt about that but he is going to turn 24 soon and has to prove himself at higher levels.

    Others: Hunter Owen has received a fair amount of playing time bouncing around between 2B, 3B and the OF. Owen was drafted in the 25th round of this past draft and though he hit well while in college his playing time up until this most recent season was always scarce. Clark Eagan has pretty much been serving as the team's 4th outfielder which is a little strange seeing as the Pirates took him in the 9th round and basically gave him a slot deal. There wasn't a lot that stood out about him but you would figure being taken that high would garner you at least a shot at regular playing time to begin your pro career. Kevin Mahala was the 18th round pick of the Pirates this past draft. He is a decent defensive infielder who has shown some promise offensively but his plate discipline isn't great. So far this season he has been used as a reserve infielder. Finally Chirs Harvey is on the team as a third catcher/ backup 1B (though he hasn't caught yet). Kevin Krause is to get some time in the OF this year so a third catcher is some what a necessity.
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  5. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    For what it is worth this is how I have the 16 position players ranked prospect wise. The usual disclaimer that I really don't know what I'm doing applies here.

    Will Craig
    Sandy Santos
    Stephen Alemais
    Kevin Krause
    Hunter Owen
    Matt Diorio
    Clark Eagan
    Trae Arbet
    Arden Pabst
    Ty Moore
    Jordan George
    Tyler Leffler
    Kevin Mahala
    Albert Baur
    Erik Fogione
    Chris Harvey
    Follow Me On Twitter: @battling_bucs

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Haven't posted in here in a little while so I thought I should do something. The minor league season is quickly winding down so I thought I'd take a look at the progress of my annual hitter and pitcher awards. Remember these guys aren't necessarily prospects.

    Hitter - Josh Bell
    Pitcher - Tyler Glasnow/Frank Duncan

    - A race is never over to its over but I don't see anyone chasing down Bell for the best Indianapolis hitter award this season. Bell currently leads the team in PA and though its doubtful the season ends that way its difficult to see anyone being able to do enough to track him down.

    On the pitching side there is a legitimate race between Tyler Glasnow and Frank Duncan. Glasnow has the crazy strike out numbers but Duncan has the better control and their run prevention has been similar so far.

    Hitter - Barrett Barnes/Eric Wood/Erich Weiss
    Pitcher - Jared LaKind/Tyler Eppler

    - The hitting race is a fascinating one. Had Austin Meadows remained at the level for a longer period of time there would probably be no race but without him its a wide open field. Barnes after looking like he had lost most of his luster has went on a tear in August and currently has a slight lead but Wood who is having a nice little breakout is right there with him. Weiss trails the other two by a little bit but leads the team in PA and is having a nice season himself so with a strong finish he could make it a good three way race.

    On the pitching side the starters have struggled so there was an opening for a RP and LaKind (a former 1B) has barged through striking out nearly a batter an inning while keeping an ERA under 3. Eppler has been the Curve's best starter and is in the race thanks to his big inning advantage over LaKind but he'll need to finish strong to have a shot.

    Hitter - Jordan Luplow/Connor Joe/Kevin Kramer/Michael Suchy
    Pitcher - Yeudy Garcia

    - Its a wide open race on the hitting side. No one is having a breakout season but the above 4 are having solid campaigns. Currently I have Luplow with a slight lead because he is showing the best mix of power (.146 ISO) and plate discipline (0.81 BB/K). Connor Joe who early on was continuing to look like a complete bust has come on in the second half and made this a real tight race. A step behind those two we find Kramer who is having a nice season thanks to be contact oriented and Suchy who has a nice stat line despite a high strike out rate thanks to a large walk rate (11.2%). To be honest I tend to discount players like Suchy so he probably is on the far fringes of this race but I figured he was worth a mention.

    On the pitching side its not quite wrapped up but Garcia would have to really stumble to give anyone else an opening. He has had some control issues but they haven't been bad and he is still striking out more than a batter an inning while keeping an ERA below 3. If he stumbles Tarpley or Brewer with a hot finish could catch him or Tate Scioneaux who has been excellent out of the pen could be the one to do so if no starter steps up.

    Hitter - Danny Arribas/Mitch Tolman/Logan Hill
    Pitcher - Mitch Keller

    - The hitting race isn't as close as three competitors would seem to indicate. Danny Arribas has a big leg up on the competition and has had a great year down in A ball. He has shown an increase in power this year and has kept his solid plate discipline. Tolman has been consistent this season and has had a nice year but is a good bit behind Arribas and would need him to go on a long cold stretch to end the year to have a shot. Hill started the year in A+ but was demoted in order to get him some ABs when other OFs struggled. He's been fine this year but likely doesn't factor in here. The reason I list him is that Hill has the potential thanks to his raw power to go on an epic run where he doubles his current 8 HR by the end of the season and something like that would get him in the conversation.

    On the pitching side Keller hasn't been as good lately as his incredible hot start but he's been fine and its difficult to see him being bad enough to let anyone else really enter the conversation. I never want to call a race over but there doesn't really appear to be anyone positioned well enough to make a serious run.

    Hitter - Sandy Santos/Will Craig/Kevin Krause
    Pitcher - Danny Beddes/Luis Escobar/Scooter Hightower

    - There really isn't a real front runner here but these three seem to have a leg up on the rest of the field. Sandy Santos ran out to an early lead but has come back to the pack and has a concerning strike out rate. Will Craig the Pirates first round pick struggled early but has been better lately but he is only really in this conversation thanks a high walk rate and as I've mentioned I tend to discount those types. Kevin Krause has the numbers to be a clear front runner as his rate stats are ahead of the rest of the pack but he trails in the playing time department which brings him right back in line with the other two. Albert Baur and Hunter Owen are also hanging around the fringes though they are a clear step behind the listed trio.

    Danny Beddes the Pirates 15th round pick who I honestly forgot about before seeing his numbers is the clear front runner for the best pitcher title. The strike outs aren't quite as high as you'd like to see but he has been limiting walks and runs. Luis Escobar isn't too far behind him and his having a similar season though he has struggled more with walks which is why Beddes has the current leg up. Hightower is a bit behind the top two due to trailing them in IP but if they both struggle in their final few appearances he is a strong candidate to come away with the crown. The list could extend even farther to Cam Vieaux, Matt Frawley and Matt Anderson but they are definitely currently behind the top 3.

    Hitter - Jhoan Herrera/Victor Fernandez
    Pitcher - Matt Eckelman/Mike Wallace/Adam Oller

    - This is one ugly race. Herrera and Fernandez are the only two players having even nice hitting seasons. They actually have very similar lines with Herrera having a bit more power and Fernandez a bit more OBP. Herrera has the edge in playing time but Fernandez is a threat on the bases which covers a lot of that gap. Its honestly a tight race between these two and its going to likely come down to the final days but its just such an uninspiring thing that their seasons happen to be the best at this level. We are also dealing with small enough samples (200 ish PA)that its possible that a hot week and a half by someone else could make this a three way race.

    Much like the hitters Bristol is dealing with the same situation of no pitcher having a real standout season. In fact I could list quite a few more names above as anything is possible down the stretch. Eckelman has the current advantage being 2nd on the team in IP and having nearly 6 times as many strike outs as walks but its a slim advantage. Wallace is right there with Eckelman in innings and supports a better ERA but doesn't have the peripherals to back it up but even so a strong start or two could change all that. Finally Oller's numbers are basically right in line with Eckelman but he is a bit behind in innings. As I've noted there are several more that could easily get into this race but I'll leave it here.

    Hitter - Henrry Rosario/Edison Lantigua
    Pitcher - Ronny Agustin/Oddy Nunez

    - There is no race here but I list two names for a specific reason. Rosario was oddly assigned to the GCL despite having played for Bristol the prior season and being 23 years old. In short there was no reason for him to be at the level but he was, essentially making him a ringer. He did what you'd expect ringers to do by dominating the league to a tune of a 1.103 OPS at a pitcher friendly league. He was promoted to Bristol but he has enough time here that no one is catching him. I listed Lantigua as he would have a healthy lead on the rest of the competition if not for the strange presence of what can only be described as a ringer. The race wouldn't be over as Nelson Jorge isn't that far behind him but Lantigua would be the level's likely winner if not for Rosario.

    Pitchers in the GCL have their innings heavily monitored so we are dealing with 30 inning samples here so a strong 5-6 innings by someone over the last bit of the season can change a lot. However Agustin is a clear leader right now with 33 K to 4 BB and an ERA under 2. His closest competition at the moment is Nunez who is tied for the most innings pitched on the team and has a shiny ERA of 2.34 though as I alluded to earlier a few strong (or poor) innings could change things quickly.

    Hitter - Rodolfo Castro/Rudy Guzman/Jeremias Portorreal
    Pitcher - Roger Santana/Leandro Pina

    - Castro has been the breakout prospect here and also currently has a slight lead in the hitting race. Castro is the youngest player on the DSL squad and when he signed he was said to be a good defensive shortstop who needed his bat to come along and so far early returns on that bat are good as he leads the team in PA and has posted a strong .784 OPS. Guzman on the other hand doesn't look like much of a prospect as he is a 24 year old stuck in the DSL but he has actually out hit Castro so far on a rate basis but has only about two thirds the playing time. It should be a good race between these two down the stretch. For the record Guzman is only in the DSL because he can't be anywhere else as he has no ID because it was lost in a house fire and he therefore can't come to the US. Portorreal is right there with Castro and Guzman but his only chance to win is if the others falter as he was the recipient of a rare in season promotion to the GCL. A couple of others are on the fringes but it appears likely to come down to these three.

    The same caveats apply to this race as all the short season races but it sure does look like its going to be Santana as long he has doesn't blow up and if he does then Pina. Santana has been tremendous leading the team in IP while striking out 5.5 times the numbers of batters he has walked all while keeping his ERA under 2. Pina actually has a slightly better ERA than Santana but lacks the strike outs so that is why he'll need a slip by Sanatan to move into the top spot.
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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    As I have done in season's past I will attempt to do a brief recap of each of the Pirates 8 minor league affiliates seasons. So far one has concluded and that is the DSL team. This is always my favorite list to make because I have next to no clue about any of these guys but its still fun attempting to construct some kind of coherently list. Anyway remember to qualify for a list a player needs 100 PA/20 IP on a short season affiliate of 200 PA/40 IP for a full season affiliate. For the DSL that gives us 14 position players and 13 pitchers.

    Best Hitter: Rudy Guzman
    Best Pitcher: Roger Santana
    Breakout Hitting Prospect: Rodolfo Castro
    Breakout Pitching Prospect: Leandro Pina

    Top 10 Prospects
    1. Kevin Sanchez, OF (17)
    2. Rodolfo Castro, SS (17)
    3. Roger Santana, LHP (18)
    4. Jeremias Portorreal, OF (18)
    5. Leandro Pina, RHP (17)
    6. Sherten Apostel, 3B (17)
    7. Chris Perez, SS (18)
    8. Wilmer Contreras, RHP (18)
    9. Larry Alcime, OF (17)
    10. Yeudry Manzanillo, RHP (17)

    Kevin Sanchez received the highest bonus given out by the Pirates in the 2015 signing period and though he didn't have a great year it was a respectable one for a 17 year old so he retains the top spot.

    When Castro was signed he was said to be a good defensive shortstop with questions about his bat and he hit rather well this year meaning I see him as having a nice breakout year and climbing up the list.

    Santana and Portorreal were the top two returning prospects and both had very solid seasons with Portorreal even earning a rare in season promotion to the states.

    Fifth ranked Pina and 10th ranked Manzanillo were the top two pitcher signed in the 2015 class by the Pirates and while Pina had a nice year, Manzanillo did not.

    Sixth ranked Apostle and ninth ranked Alcime were the two of the highest profile non Kevin Sanchez position players from the Pirates last class (along with Samuel Inoa). Apostle had a solid season and while the stats are far from eye popping he was one of only 2 players to receive 200+ PA meaning he must have been doing something right. Alcime had a horrible year but he received a 350K signing bonus so he stays on primarily due to that.

    Finally Perez and Contreras were returning players who had nice years and established themselves as players to watch. Perez is normally a shortstop but played all over the infield this year due to Castro's strong showing and Contreras just got a taste of action last year but looked good and built upon it this season.

    I'll note two players who didn't make my list who are next in line. Samuel Inoa split time with two other interesting catching prospects but is the younger and best of the group. His numbers weren't great but honestly there is a good case for him to be included. Adonis Pichardo is probably the best of the over 20 prospects at the level. There was a report of him touching 96 at one point before last season but he more routinely sits in the low 90s. He had a good year but I discounted it some due to his age. If I were to have expanded my list these two would have been the next two. Honestly Alcime and Manzanillo are included primarily due to their bonuses so fi you'd rather go with the stronger performers I wouldn't complain.

    Finally remember that I am horribly unqualified to rank DSL players as a lot of them all I knew before starting to dig into this a little bit was their names. So take this all with a grain of salt.
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  8. #23
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Pirates traded Tarpley and Polo for Nova. These guys were somewhere in the 15-25 range in terms of the Pirates prospects but this still feels a bit heavy to me. I expected one guy like this plus another throw in. Its nothing to get too up in arms about but it does sort of feel like just a bit much here.
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  9. #24
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Top 10* GCL Prospects
    1. Nick Kingham, RHP (24)
    2. Max Kranick, RHP (18)
    3. Braeden Ogle, LHP (18)
    4. Travis MacGregor, RHP (18)
    5. Yondry Contreras, OF (18)
    6. Edison Lantigua, OF (19)
    7. Domingo Robles, LHP (18)
    8. Oddy Nunez, LHP (19)
    9. Brian Sousa, RHP (18)
    10. Ronny Agustin, LHP (21)
    11. Nelson Jorge, 2B (20)

    Honorable Mentions: Melvin Jimenez, SS (20) and Mikell Granberry, C/1B (20)

    * Yes I know its 11 but I listed an extra player since Nick Kingham shouldn't really count but technically does since my only stipulations are to still be a prospect and to be 26 or younger with 20 IP (or 100 PA) at this level.

    Excluding Kingham whom I'm sure all of you are familiar with we have an interesting mix here. There are three prep arms taken in this past draft in Kranick, Ogle and MacGregor. MacGregor seems to be the most polished of the group right now but in my mind possess the lowest upside. Ogle is definitely the rawest of the group but as a lefty who can already touch the mid 90s he has probably the highest ceiling. Kranick offers a bit of a mix of the two.

    Lantigua and Contreras were each respectively one the biggest signings made by the Pirates during the 2013 and 2014 international signing periods. Lantigua was repeating the level this year after struggling last year possibly partially due to injury. He had a nice showing this year but is going to need to display more power in the future as he is limited to a corner OF spot. Contreras was coming off a season which saw him struggle in the DSL but the Pirates promoted him anyway and the struggles predictably continued. He has a ton of tools but has to get his plate discipline under control.

    Robles, Nunez and Sousa are a trio that came up from the DSL. Robles has the best command of the group, Nunez has flashed the best strike out ability and Sousa is the only one who's fastball consistently breaks 90 at this point. All 3 had up and down years where they flashed a bit of potential but none of them really took a big step forward this season.

    Agustin gets a spot on the back end mostly because of how many strike outs he compiled this year with 39 in 28.2 innings. Still as a 21 year old who just came into pro ball last year he is going to need to show me a little more before I really start taking notice. Jorge is a middle infielder who has shown good power for the position and his numbers this year look great but unfortunately he strikes out a ton and it appears that may ultimately be his undoing.

    Jimenez and Granberry get honorable mentions more for what they showed last year in the DSL than for what they showed here. Jimenez was the DSL team MVP last year and hit well while committing an insane just 2 errors as the regular shortstop (infield conditions are terrible). Granberry has an interesting bat for a catcher but started getting work at 1B last year and this year that became his primary position. As a 1B the bat isn't interesting at all which is why he falls off the list.
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  10. #25
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Top 10 Bristol Prospects
    1. Adrian Valerio, SS (19)
    2. Michael de la Cruz, OF (19)
    3. Ike Schlabach, LHP (19)
    4. Victor Fernandez, OF (21)
    5. Nestor Oronel, LHP (19)
    6. Raul Siri, 2B (21)
    7. Adam Oller, RHP (21)
    8. Garrett Brown, OF (22)
    9. Yoel Gonzalez, C (19)
    10. Matt Eckelman, RHP (22)

    Honorable Mentions: Julio de la Cruz, 3B (20) and Nicholas Economos, RHP (21)

    Whew! That was tough. There just isn't much here.

    Valerio is a great defensive shortstop who may make it to the majors on his glove alone but the bat has a long ways to go if he is ever going to be anything more than a defensive replacement. Michael de la Cruz seems a little more advanced offensively than Valerio but he finished with a very similar stat line. He is an athletic outfielder who is a good defensive center fielder but he has to start hitting some to be viewed as a top prospect again (he was a fairly big time signing back in 2012.

    Ike Schlabach is a raw player who was drafted last year by the Pirates as a prep arm. There is some upside with him here but really at this point there isn't anything separating him from the hoards of high school arms who are eligible for the draft every year. Nestor Oronel is basically Schlabach's international equivalent. Oronel was a pretty typical projectable arm signed during the 2013 signing period but the Pirates apparently see something they like as they have promoted him each season despite him posting fairly pedestrian numbers.

    Fernandez and Siri were the two most interesting older DSL players to watch this season at Bristol. Fernandez excelled having a really nice offensive season to go along with his plus speed and good defense. In fact he was the only hitter on the Bristol team to post an OPS over .720 (and only one other was above .700) and his OPS on the year was .832. He definitely established himself as someone to watch next season. Siri on the other hand didn't have a great year continuing his struggles from last year which was his first in the states after a very successful debut in the DSL in 2014.

    Oller and Brown are the most interesting 2016 draft picks who qualified for the Bristol prospect list. Oller doesn't have outstanding stuff but he has three quality pitches (fastball, curve and change) and good command of all 3. There isn't a lot of upside here but he looks like someone who should at least reach the upper levels and settle in as an organizational player if not provide some major league depth. Brown is basically the exact opposite case of Oller. He could very well flame out never even reaching A ball or he could develop into a legitimate starting outfielder. Brown despite being a college player is very raw because up until this past season he had split his attention between baseball and football. He has great athletic skills but really isn't a baseball player yet. He is worth watching just to see how he develops.

    Yoel Gonzalez is a strong defensive catcher who despite being 19 has seemingly been with the Pirates forever (this was his 4th season). In his time with the Pirates the bat has shown no signs of improvement and its fair to question if it will ever progress enough for him to even reach AA let alone the majors. Still a young catcher with a strong glove does have some amount of interest. Rounding out the top 10 is Matt Eckelman who was drafted as a senior in the 21st round of the most recent draft. He had nothing really notable about him but he does have a big frame and put up the kind of excellent numbers you'd expect an advanced college player to put up in this league. It isn't much but the talent pool is shallow here.

    Julio de la Cruz gets an honorable mention as he was once a top international prospect back when it looked like he could potentially become a 3B with good power. Now it looks like he will have to slide across the diamond before too long and that plus power potential has never shown any signs of coming to fruition. Economos was drafted last year in the 21st round out of a junior college and was seen as a big (6' 6") projectable pitcher with some upside. Coming out of junior college he was two years older than a regular prep arm so his timeline needs to be a little quicker than theirs but so far it hasn't been. He looked decent last year and after a rough start to this season he settled down and posted non horrible numbers but he just hasn't shown much improvement to this point.
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