Pittsburgh Pirates: Pitching Performances Dominate Week Two of Minor League Season

Photo Credit: Matt Freed/Post Gazette

 

With another week of the minor league baseball season in the books, we take another look at what's going on in the Pittsburgh Pirates system.

It was another successful week for the Pirates' minor league system, as it hasn't taken long for them to showcase the influx of talent throughout the organization made by Ben Cherington and the front office.

This week saw several big pitching performances, which will be the focus on this article. Let's take a look at some of the best pitching efforts over the past week, including one team effort that made some history.

Roansy Contreras, RHP Altoona Curve (Double-A)

Watching the 20-year old Contreras pitch this year it's hard to believe that he's the Pirates 20th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, and ninth ranked pitcher.

After striking out 11 batters in his season debut against the Bowie Bay Sox, Contreras somehow was able to up his performance in his follow up start.

While his strikeout total remained the same, Contreras didn't allow a hit in all six innings of work, and now has worked a total of 11 frames this year without giving up a run. He is also averaging two strikeouts per inning he has pitched.

Omar Cruz, LHP Greensboro Grasshoppers (Class-A+)

The left hander from Mexico was acquired this offseason in the Joe Musgrove trade and is currently ranked as the Pirates' 24th ranked prospect.

He didn't have the best of debuts in the Pirates' system last week, throwing just two innings of one-hit baseball but walked five batters and surrendered four runs. The lone hit was a home run.

Cruz, 22, bounced back in a big way this week, throwing four innings of no-hit baseball in Greensboro's win over Rome. He did walk two and hit another batter, but struck out ten hitters in his four innings of work.

Michael Burrows, RHP Greensboro Grasshoppers (Class-A+)

It will probably speak volumes to how Burrows has started the season when you can say that his most recent outing wasn't the best of the young campaign for the 21-year old.

Burrows pitched four innings against Rome, allowing just a hit and a walk while striking out seven batters. Not a bad outing, except in his season debut he pitched four perfect innings while recording eight strikeouts in that span.

Not a bad start to the season for the former 324th overall pick in 2018. Collectively, Burrows has 15 strikeouts over eight innings pitched and is holding his opponents to an .038 batting average.

Part of a very stacked Greensboro rotation, Burrows has been one of the early stars so far this season.

Bradenton Marauders' Combine No-Hitter

It was a special moment for the Marauders on Saturday night as four pitchers combined for the first no-hitter in the team's history.

Jose Maldonado started, and pitched two innings in which he struck out four batters. Cameron Junker threw another three innings, followed by Brennan Malone and Wandi Montout - who close out the no-hitter after a brief scare in the ninth inning.

The four pitchers combined to walk five batters but strikeout 11 in the process of the no-hitter.

Special Mentions

Tahnaj Thomas pitched another great game this past week, striking out eight over four innings of work. He walked three and allowed two hits as well, but no runs allowed.

Luis Ortiz allowed one run and three hits while striking out seven batters in his four innings of work for the Marauders at the beginning of the week.

Who was the most impressive performance of the week in the Pirates' system? Was there someone here not mentioned that you would say? Let us know in the comment section below, subscribe to the site at the link at the top of the site, and follow me on Twitter @AJ_Murfy.

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