Posts

Showing posts from May, 2021

Pittsburgh Pirates: Bradenton Marauders' Outfield Finding Footing in Sweep of Palm Beach

Image
Photo Credit: Gene Polluk The Bradenton Marauders wrapped up their six game series against the Palm Beach Cardinals with a 13-1 win on Sunday, securing the sweep. While pitching paved the way for a good portion of the week, the bats were certainly lively and made plenty of contributions. Bradenton scored more than 10 runs three times over the course of the week, scoring 18 this past Wednesday. There has been no shortage of storylines to watch this season when it comes to Bradenton. They threw their first no-hitter in franchise history, and they are currently home to some of the most intriguing names in the Pittsburgh Pirates' system. One position group specifically of intrigue has been the outfield. Headlined by Hudson Head , who was acquired in the Joe Musgrove trade, there has been plenty invested in the Marauders' current outfield group. Head himself was a third round pick by the San Diego Padres , and he wasn't even the highest selected player currently playing in th

Pittsburgh Pirates: Bullpen Slips, Can't Complete Sweep of Colorado Rockies

Image
Photo Credit: AP  The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped the final game of their weekend series against the Colorado Rockies , blowing a late lead preventing them from completing the sweep. Chase De Jong made his season debut for the Pirates, and pitched brilliantly, putting the home club in a position to win and earn a sweep of their series against the Rockies. The 27-year old De Jong threw five innings of one-run baseball, allowed three hits, walked two and struck out five Rockies' hitters. Adam Frazier opened up the scoring, doubling home Ka'ai Tom after the outfielder walked and later advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by De Jong. The Rockies immediately answered the following frame with Charlie Blackmon tripled home Yonathan Daza . The Pirates had an opportunity to open the game wide open in the fourth as both Gregory Polanco and Will Craig singled to start the inning before Eric Gonzalez walked to load the bases - all with no outs. Pittsburgh would score two runs to t

Pittsburgh Pirates: MLB.com Stays With Marcelo Mayer at First Overall in Latest Mock Draft

Image
Photo Credit: Bodie De Silve/SBLive  MLB.com released a new mock for the upcoming 2021 draft on Wednesday, and they still have the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting Eastlake High School shortstop Marcelo Mayer . Talk as of now, is that the Pirates are leaning in taking one of three hitters with the first pick, with prep shortstops Mayer and Jordan Lawlar , along with Louisville Cardinals catcher Henry Davis all being in the conversation. This is starting to become somewhat of a sore subject for Pirates' fans, as the temptation to take one of the Vanderbilt pitchers will certainly cause an uproar if Ben Cherington and his team opt for either Mayer, Lawlar or Davis. While the idea of taking a potential front-line starter, especially when both Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker are so highly touted, history hasn't been kind to taking pitchers - especially college pitchers. Taking pitchers with the first overall pick is a whole topic for another day, and something I will explore at so

Pittsburgh Pirates: Travis Swaggerty Injury Update, Brennan Malone Reassigned

Image
Photo Courtesy of Pittsburgh Pirates via Post Gazette As soon as he was acquired by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the trade that sent Starling Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks , Brennan Malone became one of the best pitchers in the system. There was a brief time where there was a conversation in who was the best prep pitcher in the 2019 draft, Brennan or Quinn Priester - who the Pirates used their first round pick on, and now Pittsburgh had both in their system. While Priester, who many are picking as a breakout player this year in the minors, has worked his way into the rotation of the Pirates Class-A+ affiliate, the Greensboro Grasshoppers , Malone has struggled a step down the ladder. Originally starting the year on the Development List, Malone was assigned to the Bradenton Marauders and made his Pirates' organization debut in what turned out to be a combined no-hitter on May 15. He made two more appearances before being assigned to the GCL Pirates, according to the MiLB.com w

Pittsburgh Pirates: Jared Jones Dazzles in Pro Debut, Roansy Contreras Struggles

Image
Photo Credit: Southern California News Group  The Pittsburgh Pirates went pitcher heavy in the 2020 draft, with five of six picks going to the position. Another common theme was that they went college heavy, with second round pick Jared Jones being the lone prep player selected by the Pirates. Jones, still just 19-years old, made his professional debut on Tuesday night and was able to shine on a day where most eyes were looking at a different pitcher in the system. Throwing three innings, Jones struck out six batters while walking just one and allowing two hits, helping the Bradenton Marauders to victory. The La Miranda High School star started things with a blaze throw a first pitch fastball for a strike that was clocked at 99 MPH. He threw two more fastballs that clocked in at 98 and 99 MPH, respectively, before breaking in a slider for a called strike three. He was just getting started. Jones generated ten swing and misses, six by ways of a fastball, the rest by way of a breakin

Pittsburgh Pirates: Ke'Bryan Hayes Hitting Big in Rehab Stint, JT Brubaker Struggles

Image
Photo Credit: ICON Sportswire via Getty Images  The Pittsburgh Pirates just endured a rough outing in the city of Atlanta, losing three of four games to the Braves, while allowing 15 home runs throughout the series. It was a rough watch over the weekend, as not only did it include a 20-1 loss on Friday night, but the inability to keep Braves' hitters in the park severely overshadowed the fact that the Pirates only scored three runs in the final three games of the series. I tried to find a pattern in what the Braves were doing so well, outside of the fact that they are an insanely talented team with one of the best players in the game. I broke down what pitch was thrown for each home run, and where they were in the count, and nothing really stood out over one another. Atlanta did do a good job in jumping out on Pirate pitching, with four of the 15 homers hit were on the first pitch of the at bat. Add another four on the second pitch, that's 8-of-15 home runs allowed this weeken

Pittsburgh Pirates: With Cole Tucker Recalled, Kevin Newman Surging At Right Time

Image
Photo Credit: Chuck Meyers/Altoona Mirror  The Pittsburgh Pirates recalled former first round pick Cole Tucker from the Indianapolis Indians on Friday, and in a corresponding move, placed outfielder Ka'ai Tom on the injured list. It's a move that probably won't be of any significance, with Tom getting placed on the injured list, Tucker was the only position player in Indianapolis that was also on the 40-man roster.  But I think it's a good time to also recognize the reason he probably won't see much (if any) playing time during his time with the Pirates. That's Kevin Newman . Yes, any metric that involves power is going to stick out for all the wrong reasons but hear me out.  If you're looking for power, it's not going to be found from the Pirates' shortstop. Just five of Newman's 34 hits this season have gone for extra bases (2 2B, 3B, HR), and he sports a .515 OPS (On-base plus Slugging) in 2021. That's, not good, no matter how you try a

Arizona Diamondbacks: Looking At Pavin Smith's Successful Start To Rookie Campaign

Image
Photo Credit: Ross D Franklin/AP Photo  When the Arizona Diamondbacks selected Pavin Smith with the seventh overall pick in the 2017 draft, they were getting one of the best offensive players available. Now going on four years since they drafted the product University of Virginia , the Diamondbacks are starting to reap the benefits of their selection. The 25-year old rookie first baseman/outfielder is among the top first-year hitters in the National League. Smith ranks second in doubles and runs scored, tied for fifth in home runs and RBIs. Smith saw his three-year career at UVA finish with his junior year that saw him hit .342/.427/.570, launching 13 home runs while driving in 77 runs. He also only struck out 12 times compared to 38 walks, so he is no stranger to hitting. After a 12 game stint in the big leagues in 2020 where he hit a home run and drove in four, Smith has become a regular in the lineup this season and he has been one of the best in the league in making solid contact

Pittsburgh Pirates: Mitch Keller's Secondary Pitches Hold Key to Consistency

Image
Photo Credit: Kevin C Cox/Getty Images  The Pittsburgh Pirates had high hopes for Mitch Keller , as he quickly raised through the system and became one of the best pitching prospects in all of baseball. It has been a different story since reaching the majors, as Keller has failed to establish himself as a consistent major league level starting pitcher. He has certainly shown flashes, but hasn't been able to string enough starts together to say that he has finally 'made it'. In his start on Sunday, Keller had if not one of his best starts in the majors - certainly had one of his defining moments. Despite being tagged with the loss, Keller threw five innings of two-run baseball where he allowed six hits, walked three but struck out eight. The moment that many are excited about was him pitching out of a second-and-third with no out situation without surrendering a run.  I won't lie, I've watch that inning multiple times since Sunday afternoon when the game took place.