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Showing posts from July, 2021

Potential As Big As the Panama Canal: Joaquin Tejada's Story So Far

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  Photo Credit: TVN-2 dot com  When the Pirates traded veteran lefty Tyler Anderson, many people were holding their breath after the snafu with the Phillies, and a failed physical on the Phillies end soured the deal. Fast forward to late in the night of July 27th or early in the morning of the 28th; however, you crazy kids look at it, Anderson was dealt to the Seattle Mariners for what seemed to be just one prospect in Carter Bins. BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE (Billy Mays voice); a second name popped up maybe an hour later that ended up being 18-year-old Joaquin Tejada. Tejada was signed in 2019 by the Mariners for a  $200,000 signing bonus and was immediately assigned to the DSL Mariners. The 5'10, 160-pound teenager is already hitting in the low 90's and could see a significant uptick in velocity once he fills out more and maybe gets in a good weight lifting program. Unfortunately for Tejada, the young man had to wait for his debut for over a year. He then made his professi

Ji-Hwan Bae: Sudden Power Surge a Welcome Development For Curve Second baseman

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Through the trades made this past week, the Pittsburgh Pirates have added even more depth to their middle infield prospect pool. While a lot of the talk and focus is on some of the newer names, we can't forget about one of the more promising players in the system - Ji-Hwan Bae . Originally signed out of South Korea for $1.2 million during the international signing bonus, Bae didn't take long to make his presence known in the Pirates system. In his first full professional season in 2019, Bae led the South Atlantic League in batting average, with a .323 mark. A great hitter with elite speed, the only thing that has kept Bae from being one of the top prospects in the game was him lacking the power tool. Even without that though, the 22-year old presents potentially four at least average tool sets, and Fangraphs rates his future value hitting at a 70. A tiny snippet of Bae's scouting report on Fangraphs , "It's possible his lack of power hurts his on-base skills as t

The Taiwanese Terror: Po-Yu Chen

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  Photo Credit: Focus Taiwan dot tw In the fall of 2020, the Pittsburgh Pirates were coming off a rather dismal season where they went just 19-41. These were the good ole times of people clamoring for Kumar, and the #TankForKumar train was at full capacity! (Ahhhh, the good ole days.) Fast forward to October 7th of 2020; GM Ben Cherington had found one of the best international signings of the year in Taiwanese youngster Po-Yu Chen. Chen's 1.25 million signing bonus marked one of the highest amateur international signings ever. A lot of people might ask how in the world did the Pirates find this kid?! Well, Chen's portfolio of work is already an impressive one, with being a main cog in the 2019 U-18 World Championship Chinese Taipei team. He started two games that year and faced Panama and Korea. He also pitched in the gold medal game, where they beat the U.S. It wasn't just the national games where they found him; the Pirate's very own Fu-Chun Chiang (Pirates scout

Pittsburgh Pirates: What Max Kranick's First Four Starts Has Told Us

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Photo Credit: AP Photo/Joe Puetz So, it wasn't an ideal game for the Pittsburgh Pirates - again - but we were left with a couple of special moments by ways of one Rodolfo Castro . It also wasn't an ideal start for Max Kranick , who was hit hard again and seems to be a far cry from his debut when he tossed five perfect innings against the St. Louis Cardinals . Kranick, 24, was the Pirates 11th round pick out of Pennsylvania back in 2016, but could have gone higher in the draft if not for a strong commitment to the University of Virginia . The Pirates were able to lure him out of going to school by offering Kranick an over slot deal worth $300,000. He worked his way up the system, going one level at a time, spent 2020 at the Pirates alternate training site and made a fast rise up from Double-A, to Indianapolis before reaching the majors. You couldn't have asked for a better debut from Kranick, who pitched five perfect frames against the Cardinals. From there, Kranick was rec

In The System: Greensboro Uses Long Ball in Win, Josh Bissonette hits first Home Run

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Photo Credit: Baylor University Athletics   So it turns out that blowouts were a common theme Tuesday in the Pittsburgh Pirates system. Who came out on the right side of things? Find out here! Indianapolis Indians 1, St. Paul Saints 16 Hunter Owen 's tenth home run of the year, a solo shot, was one of three hits on the night for the Indians and the only one that produced a run. Steven Wright started the game, but failed to register an out, allowed three hits, two walks and five earned runs. Coming in relief, Joe Jacques didn't fare too much better, allowing eight earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. Altoona Curve 4, Harrisburg Senators 3 Josh Bissonette hit his first home run of the season, a three-run shot that did the majority of the damage for the Curve. Ji-Hwan Bae added a double and Cal Mitchell went 2-for-3 with his sixth stolen base of the game. Trey McGough pitched six innings, struck out four while allowing three earned runs. Greensboro Grasshoppers 8, Winston-Salem Das

Pittsburgh Pirates: Post Deadline Pitching Staff Takes Shape as Luis Oviedo Shelled in First Start

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Photo Credit: MLB.com  The Pittsburgh Pirates dropped the opening contest of their three-game set against the Milwaukee Brewers , by the score of 9-0. With the Pirates in the process of trading Tyler Anderson , they scratched him from his scheduled start on Tuesday, paving the way for Luis Oviedo to make his first major league start. It did not go well. The 22-year old Rule 5 draft pick was hammered in 1+ innings pitched, allowed eight runs (six earned) before giving way to the bullpen. After an Omar Narvaez two run home run and Lorenzo Cain RBI single, the Brewers found themselves with a 3-0 lead before the Pirates could even come to bat. A rare error by shortstop Kevin Newman put a runner on to extend the inning for Narvaez to hit his ninth home run of the season.  The second inning is where things fell off the wagon, as Oviedo allowed five straight base runners before finally getting the hook. Rowdy Tellez  hit a two-run single to close the books on Oviedo, pushing the lead to

Pittsburgh Pirates Trade Clay Holmes to Yankees, Get Two Prospects in Return

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Photo Credit: Christopher Horner/Tribune Review  The Pittsburgh Pirates picked up right where they left off on Sunday, making another trade on Monday, this one a little bit on the unexpected side. While it was expected that one or multiple relievers could be traded by the deadline, Clay Holmes wasn't a name that was mentioned. Holmes has had an up and down season, he has shown flashes of being a really effective arm out the bullpen but has also been down right awful. So when it came out that the Pirates traded Holmes, few expected any type of return worth noting, but at least on the surface it looks like Ben Cherington has pulled another fast one on the New York Yankees . In exchange for Holmes, who is arbitration eligible next season and who wasn't likely to return to the team, the Pirates got two middle infield prospects in Hoy Jun Park and Diego Castillo . To Yankees: Clay Holmes After their bullpen fell apart on Sunday- going from a 4-0 lead while throwing a no-hitter t

Pittsburgh Pirates: Evaluating The Adam Frazier Deal, Did Cherington Get Had?

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Photo Credit: Gene J Puskar/AP With a little less than a week before the trade deadline, the Pittsburgh Pirates pulled the trigger on one of their biggest trade pieces, sending Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres in exchange for three prospects. How did the Pirates make out in the deal? A little bit of an in depth look of the biggest trade Ben Cherington was expected to make this year. The Basics Padres get: Cash  Adam Frazier Pirates get: Tucupita Marcano Jack Suwinski Michell Milliano At first glance, the deal looks a tad underwhelming when you factor that the Pirates not only traded the MLB hits leader and a starter at second base for the NL All Star team but also cash that should take care of the rest of Frazier's salary the rest of the year. Marcano is the main piece to the puzzle here, as he was ranked as high as fifth in the Padres system among outlets (MLB.com), Fangraphs had a harsher grade on him as is usually the case.  The 21-year old Venezuelan born infielder was

Blake Sabol Continues Greensboro Tear, Home Run Streak at Three Games

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Photo Credit: USC Athletics   This is absolutely the best thing about talking about the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league teams, there is almost someone new to talk about every night. Tonight, thanks to his continued tear since reaching Greensboro, we feature Blake Sabol . Even before Sabol was drafted in the seventh round by the Pirates, he was already linked to the city of Pittsburgh. Not only is he close friends with Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster , he is the cousin of legendary safety Troy Polamalu .  So it probably shouldn't come to the surprise of anyone seeing Sabol out there making plays on the baseball field, it's in his blood. Sabol, like Smith-Schuster and Polamalu, attended USC staring as both an outfielder and catcher. During his junior year, Sabol batted .268 while posting a .714 OPS, stealing 13 bases and collecting 14 extra base hits. His 62 hits led the team, and he also collected 20 multi-hit games before signing an over slot deal of $2

Pittsburgh Pirates: DSL and FCL Game Notes and Updates

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Since both the DSL and the FCL leagues have gotten underway, I've been giving you guys little updates on Twitter as the game went on. Now that the response has gotten good feedback, I figured, why not give you guys a recap article daily on all four squads. Saturday, July 24th, was supposed to have both the DSL Black and Gold Pirates face off as well as the FCL Black and Gold Squads squaring off. Unfortunately, the FCL game was canceled, so we were left with just the DSL game. DSL Black Pirates Hitters The Black squad managed to get eight hits in total as a team where the 19-year-old Ronny Sanchez and 17-year-old Omar Alfonzo had half of the teams' hits. Alfonzo went 2-2 while drawing a walk and getting an RBI on a single. Ronny Sanchez went 2-4 with an RBI on a fielder's choice and scoring a run. The only other player to get an RBI was the 17-year-old Ruben Vizcaya, who went 1-3 on the afternoon and drew one of the team's six walks. One of the top international fr

Greensboro Grasshoppers: Quinn Priester Fighting Control in July, Still Showing Growth

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Photo Credit: Matt Freed/Post Gazette  In his first full season of professional baseball, Quinn Priester has seen plenty of ups and downs, as any young prospect would.  The first round pick in 2019 and top 100 prospect has shown flashes as to why he is so highly regarded by just about anyone who follows the minor leagues, but has also very much looked like a player still finding his footing. No one can deny the arsenal that Priester possesses. Armed with one of the best curveballs in the minor leagues, Priester has shown some of the swing and miss ability that makes him a top prospect, but his control at times has wavered and put him in spots where he can't pitch as deep into games as he would like. We saw a little bit of both of Priester in his most recent start. He managed to go deep into the game, finishing six innings for just the second time in his professional career, but also had two frames in which he struggled to find the strike zone. You got to see the curveball at work,

Pittsburgh Pirates: Is There a Scenario where Adam Frazier Doesn’t Get Traded?

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Photo Credit: Associated Press The MLB trade deadline is quickly approaching, and rightfully so it is expected that the Pittsburgh Pirates are going to be very busy as sellers. There are several names that Ben Cherington may look to move, but none with more star power than Adam Frazier . The 29-year old Frazier was one of two Pirates representatives in the All-Star Game, where both he and Bryan Reynolds started at their respective positions.  Frazier is in the middle of a career season, as he currently leads all of baseball in hits entering Tuesday’s slate of games. He’s always been a consistently good hitter throughout his career, just not to the level has been at this season. So now’s the time to trade him right? When his value is at it’s all time high and you can truly maximize his return. Not only is he in the midst of a career season, he still has a whole year of control left on top of that, meaning he isn’t just a rental. But still, the Pirates haven’t made a move yet and have