Pittsburgh Pirates: Arizona Fall League Update Two

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Update 2: The Pittsburgh Pirates currently have seven players competing in the Arizona Fall League. These seven players are part of the Surprise Saguaros roster. All are currently minor league prospects in the Bucs organization.

Currently representing the Pittsburgh Pirates on the Surprise Saguaros roster are four pitchers, a catcher, and one infielder and outfielder each.  The pitchers are Tanner Anderson, Montana DuRapau, Edgar Santana, and Alex McRae. Anderson is the only pitcher who is being used as a starting pitcher.  The other three are pitching strictly as relief pitchers.

For Santana and DuRapau this is normal, as they were used as relievers throughout the season.  However, for Alex McRae it is not typical.  He made 27 starts this year between Bradenton and Altoona.  Now this does not suggest that he is transitioning into a reliever.  In the Arizona Fall League the teams have a lot of players that they need to get into action.  Only one pitcher can start a game, but likely will only go a few innings.  In McRae’s first relief appearance he threw three full innings, so he still is being used in extended appearances.

Here are the Pitcher’s Stats so far:

Tanner Anderson: 5 Games, 5 Starts, 18.1 Innings Pitched, 8 Earned Runs (3.93 ERA), 13K/5BB

Montana DuRapau: 6 Games: 6 Innings Pitched, 5 Earned Runs (5.50 ERA), 5K/4BB

Edgar Santana: 6 Games, 9.2 Innings Pitched, 0 Earned Runs (0.00 ERA), 17K/0BB

Alex McRae: 6 Games, 9 Innings, 4 Earned Runs (4.00 ERA), 4K/3BB

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On the infield side of things the Pittsburgh Pirates are represented by two prospects.  One is catcher Jin-De Jhang and the other is third baseman Connor Joe.  Jhang played most of his games for the Double-A Altoona Curve.  He appeared in 54 games and batted .298 in those games.  The other infielder Connor Joe is most notable for being a Competitive Balance first round pick in the 2014 draft, at #39 overall.  He did not appear in any games in 2014 and struggled in 80 games in 2015.  However, this year at High-A he put together a solid season batting .277 with a solid on-base percentage of .351.  Neither at his point is considered a top 30 prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Here are their stats so far:

Jin-De Jhang: 10 Games Played, 11 Hits in 35 AB’s (.314), 3 BB, and a .759 OPS

Connor Joe: 10 games Played, 7 Hits in 32 AB’s (.219 BA), 2 Home-runs, and a .813 OPS

The last player on the Surprise team is outfielder Eric Wood. Wood also plays infield, but is listed as an outfielder on the Surprise roster. Eric Wood is a Canadian born player who played at Altoona this year.  He mostly played third base, but he is getting time in the outfield now.  At Altoona he hit .249 with a .782 OPS. However, the right-handed hitter did provide the Curve with 16 home-runs in 118 games.

Here is how Wood has fared so far this fall:

Eric Wood: 13 Games Played, 17 Hits in 47 AB’s (.362), 3 home-runs 11 RBI, and a 1.032 OPS

Next: Pirates outright three players

Since the last update there has been many positives.  Connor Joe has raised his average 30 points while Jhang continues to hit over .300 bumping his average from .308 to .314.  Eric Wood continues to be one of the best players in the league holding his OPS over a one.  The pitchers all lowered their earned run average since the first update.  Montana DuRapau saw this biggest decrease going from an ERA of over 20 down to seven.  Edgar Santana continues to climb as a prospect as he has yet to give up a run and has struck out almost two per inning.

The interesting thing about the Arizona Fall League roster this year is that the Pittsburgh Pirates do not have any top prospects there.  Last year they were represented by top outfield prospect Austin Meadows, and then top catching prospect Reese McGuire.  This year they have an assortment of organizational guys.  However, as outlined above they all have some positives about their game. This is a great chance for them to continue to develop as prospects and eventually big league players.

Finally, stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and MILB.com

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