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Showing posts from June, 2021

In The System: Altoona Rained Out, Greensboro Drops Opener by Walkoff Walk

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It was a busy day in the Pittsburgh Pirates system on Tuesday, kicking off another minor league week. There was one less game that it could have been, as the Altoona Curve's game was postponed till Thursday due to rain. So, how did the rest of the system fare? A quick rundown of Tuesday's night action Indianapolis Indians 3, Iowa Cubs 9 The Indians managed just six hits, dropping the series opener against Iowa. Will Craig hit his team leading eighth home run of the season, and Cole Tucker drove in the other run, going 1-for-3 in the process. Cam Vieaux (2-2) got his second start of the season and only pitched 2 2/3 innings. The lefty allowed five hits, seven runs (only four earned after a Wilmer Difo throwing error), while walking two and striking out three. He also allowed two home runs as well. After Vieaux left the game, Matt Eckelman pitched three innings of one-run baseball, logging two strikeouts. In total, Indy used six pitched to make it through the game. Altoona

Pittsburgh Pirates Gameday: Count Advantage Will be key for Chase De Jong at Coor Field

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 After a 2-0 loss in their series opener against the Colorado Rockies , the Pittsburgh Pirates look to bounce back in game two. On the mound for the Pirates will be Chase De Jong , who is still looking for his first win in a Pirates uniform. It was a tough game to watch on Monday, between the wide strike zone, an absent offense and seeing Colin Moran leave another game due to getting hit by a pitch - it wasn't the most ideal way to start the week. As they look to erase yesterday's effort they'll get Adam Frazier - currently second in the majors in hits - back into the lineup after a schedule day off. Since the lineup won't be available by time this posts, I wanted to go over some numbers that involved the known starter tonight, De Jong. He was brilliant in his season debut against the same Rockies he'll face tonight, throwing five innings of one run baseball, striking out five and walking one. The 27-year old was beat up in his next start against the Miami Marlin

In The Pirates System: Who is the next callup? Watching the Indianapolis Bullpen

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Photo Credit: MiLB.com/Robin Black With another week of minor league baseball getting ready to kick off, there are no shortage of things to watch for in a deep Pittsburgh Pirates system. Here are some things I'm going to be looking for over the next week. Next Man up in Indianapolis? If you didn't see it, or even hear about it at this point, Max Kranick had himself quite the debut this past Sunday, pitching five perfect innings in route to his first big league win. That got me thinking, who might be next after him? The answer might lie in the Indianapolis Indians bullpen. While the safer, easiest, and best answer to that question may fall to Austin Davis (just recently sent back to Indy), Geoff Hartlieb , Kyle Keller and Nick Mears - all four are already on the 40-man saving the hassle of making another roster move - the Indians have some intriguing names not already mentioned. Tyler Bashlor has enjoyed a strong start to the season, with a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings pitc

The Domination Before The Storm: Max Kranick

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  Photo Credit- Jeff Curry USA Today    I'm rarely able to watch a game live anymore between school, work, and life in general but yesterday, June 27th, 2021, I made sure I got all my chores and life out of the way in order to watch this Pirates game. You may ask why and if you do, I must ask, ARE YOU LIVING UNDER A ROCK?! Max Kranick, the Scranton native, was set to make his MLB debut, and before we get into this game, I felt it necessary to talk about how Kranick even got here. Kranick was drafted out of high school in 2016 in the 11th round. Kranick, who came out of Valley View High School, had a very traditional delivery and was a classic over slot pick with upside. For as much crap Neal Huntington got, the man knew how to draft. It's the development aspect that failed the previous regime.  Back in 2017, Fangraphs talked about Kranick, and in fact, this is what Longenhagen had to say about the young man. "A projectable righty from a cold-weather climate with a lo

2021 MLB Draft Profile: Vanderbilt Pitcher Jack Leiter

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Photo Credit: D1Baseball .com  The Pittsburgh Pirates will be the first team on the clock when the 2021 MLB Draft begins, so they have the entire field of players to chose from. Who might they pick? We may not know for sure, but we will go through some of their options they have. We have already profiled Henry Davis and Kahlil Watson . Today we look at Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter . Even if you haven't seen Leiter pitch, if your are a baseball fan that last name will sound familiar. Jack is the son of former major leaguer Al Leiter , who pitched for the Florida Marlins , Toronto Blue Jays , New York Yankees and Mets . The younger Leiter has a chance to be a good big league ball player in his own right, and has firmly supplanted himself as the top college pitcher in this year's class, ahead of teammate Kumar Rocker . While Rocker has the more traditional 'look' of a starting pitcher, make no mistake, Leiter has the feel for pitching and stuff to be front of the rota

Pirates In The System: Hudson Head's Patience Has Walks Pouring In

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Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Pirates In efforts to boost the depth of the farm system, Ben Cherington made several trades in the offseason, adding a much needed influx of talent. One player acquired in the offseason was outfielder Hudson Head . The 19-year old outfield is in his first full season of professional baseball after being selected in the third round by the San Diego Padres back in 2019 before being included in the Joe Musgrove trade before the season. Through the first part of the season, you can see why they Pirates were insistent on him being included in the trade. #Padres 3rd-round #MLBDraft pick Hudson Head with a triple in AZL action tonight. pic.twitter.com/1qCnJK2o5J — William Boor (@wboor) June 29, 2019 While it's obvious he's still learning the pro game, Head has showed the plate discipline of a player years ahead of where he is at, especially considering losing a developmental year in 2020. Despite an average that has been hovering around the Mendoza line

MLB Draft 2021 Player Profile: High School Shortstop Kahlil Watson

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Photo Credit: Perfect Game  The Pittsburgh Pirates will be the first team on the clock when the 2021 MLB Draft begins, so they have the entire field of players to choose from. Who might they pick? We may not know for sure, but we will go through some of the options they have to pick from. After starting with Henry Davis , next up is Kahlil Watson . While there is no clear cut number one option for the upcoming draft, there is one thing for sure - this year's draft class may end up being defined by the high school shortstops. There has been at least four prep shortstops that has mentioned as potential top-five picks for the upcoming MLB Draft, and while Kahlil Watson was a little late in getting into the game - there is no doubting he is a special player that is very deserving of being selected high. He doesn't have the build that the other shortstops have, but all the tools are there for Watson to be an impact player at whatever position he plays. Read any scouting report on t

Pittsburgh Pirates: JT Brubaker Bounces Back after Rough Pair of May Outings

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Photo Credit: MLB.com  It was a back-to-back set of starts that raised some concerns for Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher J.T. Brubaker . He has quickly quieted them with his play over his last four starts. It was a rough two-game stretch for Brubaker against the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves on May 18th and 23rd. The 27-year old righty from Akron University allowed 12 earned runs (four home runs) in just 11 innings pitched. The beating he took was so severe that it almost raised his ERA by two points (2.58 to 4.20).  Since then Brubaker has found his rhythm again, finding his stuff again and putting the Pirates in position to win each time he was has played. In the four starts since playing Atlanta, Brubaker has posted an 2.82 ERA, with just three walks in 22 1/3 innings pitched. He has also held batters to an .537 OPS in those starts and his WPA (win probability added) has been positive (0.406) despite posting a 1-2 record in that span. The wins have been hard to come

MLB Draft 2021 Draft Profile: Louisville Catcher Henry Davis

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Photo Credit: GoCards.com  The Pittsburgh Pirates will be the first team on the clock when the 2021 MLB Draft begins, so they have the entire field of players to choose from. Who might they pick? We may not know for sure, but we will go through some of the options they have. First up is Louisville catcher Henry Davis .  In a year where a lot of college position players struggled, Louisville catcher Henry Davis catapulted his stock, putting him in the conversation as a legitimate candidate to be taken first overall. During his junior year, Davis batted .370/.482/.663 with 15 home runs, 48 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. He also showed amazing discipline at the plate, walking more times (31) than he struck out (24). That was also a common theme during his time at Louisville, showing a very advanced approach to the plate from the beginning. While it's his bat that made the most noise this season, it's his laser cannon arm that has scouts raving, as MLB.com have it rated a '70'

First Look: Quinn Priester Strikes out Six in Five Innings against The Dash

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Photo Credit: Bryan Green/Flickr  For the first time this season, MiLB TV subscribers got their chance to watch the Greensboro Grasshoppers live. The significance of that is some of the brightest pitching prospects in the system currently reside there, including 2019 first round pick Quinn Priester . When the initial minor league rosters were released, a lot of eyes directly looked at the rotation in Greensboro. Not only was Priester one of them, but other top prospects like Tahnaj Thomas and Carmen Mlodzinski would be starting the season with the Grasshoppers. The unfortunate part of it was that Greensboro is one of the team's where their home games aren't featured on MiLB TV, as well as a lot of the other Class-A Advanced league they play in. So getting an opportunity to see them wasn't going to be the easiest of thing. Finally after a month of play, Greensboro started a series against a team whose home games were available to stream, the Winston-Salem Dash . So while

Pittsburgh Pirates: YO ADRIAN YOU'RE SURPRISING PEOPLE

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Photo Credit: MiLB.com                       With Anthony mentioning Eli Wilson yesterday, I felt it fitting to take a look at this Bradenton Marauders roster and look for another one of those hidden gems. Now, of course, with any player we highlight, we have to remember that it's early, and things can change. Now, if you take a look at Greensboro's starting pitching, you can see that it's immaculate, especially since Quinn Priester has been coming on as of late.  BUT, and that's a big but (hehe), there are a few names on this Marauders pitching staff that has stood out, and I felt it necessary to mention them. As you all know, I LOVE Santiago Florez, but I'm not going to highlight him today. Instead, I'm going to highlight a surprising player in Adrian Florencio. Florencio was signed in February of 2019, and at the age of 20, he made his pro debut with the Bristol Pirates. 2019 was a bit of a rough start to the young Florencio's career, where opponent

Pittsburgh Pirates: Advanced Approach helping Eli Wilson Lead Marauders in Slugging

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Photo Credit: gopher sports.com The Pittsburgh Pirates entered the season without a legitimate catching prospect in the system, but in the lowest level of the minors there is not one but two players performing in a way that should excite fans. While Endy Rodriguez is the player that is mentioned first when it comes to talking about prospects, for just cause, Eli Wilson has given the Bradenton Marauders an 1-2 punch at the position the Pirates are searching for someone to emerge at. Wilson, the son of former major league catcher Dan Wilson , was the Pirates 16th round pick during the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Minnesota where he posted an .825 OPS in his three years there. His junior year Wilson was the Golden Gophers biggest offensive threat, hitting 22 extra base hits (15 2B, 2 3B, 5 HR), driving in 29 runs and scoring 32 of his own. He signed quickly and made his way to Bristol and was named a part of the Pirates' Organizational All-Star roster on MiLB.com as the

Pittsburgh Pirates: Recapping the 2011 MLB Draft

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Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports With the 2021 MLB Draft quickly approaching, the Pittsburgh Pirates are working towards narrowing in on a prospect for them to select with the first overall pick. While they do that, we look back at some of their previous drafts to see how they have worked out. This will feature the draft class of 2011. Crazy how things turn out sometimes, as the last time the Pirates selected first overall was ten years ago. This year will be the fifth time they will make the first selection of the MLB Draft and like each time before that they look to find a player that can help turn their franchise around. Pittsburgh 'earned' the first overall pick in the 2011 draft by finishing a league worst 57-105 the year prior. Only the Seattle Mariners finished with 100 or more losses to go along with the Pirates, with 101. Under Neal Huntington , no matter what you had to say about his deals, signings, and player development, you have to admit that the

Pittsburgh Pirates: Lasting Legacies and the Outcast Life

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Photo Credit: stillrealtous.com I feel like that in the three(ish) years I've been writing, I've been a complete babyface. Much like Hulk Hogan for most of his career, he was the fan favorite, clean, and had integrity. One day Hogan turned one of the biggest heel turns anyone could do and became a "bad guy." Now I don't know if what I'm about to say qualifies as that big of a heel turn, but BOY is yinzer nation going to crucify me. I'll stop beating around the bush and come out and say it! Neal Huntington didn't leave us in a terribly bad situation like most people think he did. Much like most people in life, you will be remembered for either the last thing you do or the worst thing you have done. I think we can all agree that the worst thing Huntington did was the Archer trade, or at least it's the biggest thing that sticks in your memory bank. From then on Huntington became a pariah to almost everyone in Pittsburgh. That trade, in particula

Pittsburgh Pirates: Recapping the 2016 Draft Class

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Photo Credit: Kim Clement/USA Today Sports With the 2021 MLB Draft quickly approaching, the Pittsburgh Pirates are working towards narrowing in on a prospect for them to select with the first overall pick. While they do that, we look back at some of their previous drafts to see how they have worked out. This article will feature the 2016 draft class. Only the St. Louis Cardinals finished with more wins during the 2015 season than the Pirates, but their year was cut short after losing to the Chicago Cubs in the Wild Card game. It was a frustrating end to a great season, and as the Pirates were following up that year in 2016 they ended up with the 22nd overall pick in the draft. While five years isn’t quite long enough to fully grade a draft, it’s certainly long enough to get a decent idea. Instead in looking at what they could have had , I decided to take a look at what they did draft and go over some of the results. There is still some potential for the Pirates to get some contribut

A Hero Emerges in Greensboro

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     Photo Credit: MiLb.com      The amount of support that I received with my new site has been overwhelmingly humbling, and I want you to know that your support hasn't gone unnoticed. I've also seen the comments and know what you guys want regarding my next subject. My next subject has been a man on a mission so far in 2021. This young man is a 23-year-old outfielder for the stacked Greensboro Grasshoppers team, and he has emerged as a guy everyone has been talking about.  If you haven't figured out who I'm talking about, the young man I'm speaking of is Matt Fraizer. Fraizer has come out of nowhere like my previous subject in JC Flowers and Jase Bowen. Fraizer is another prospect drafted in the 2019 draft, and if we're fair, this draft will be the legacy of Neil Huntington. I know people will remember him for the Archer trade, but the 2019 draft looks to be a good class, and I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.   Frazier in 2019, if you ask him, he