Pittsburgh Pirates: Minor League Roundup April 8th
The Pittsburgh Pirates minor league affiliates were all in action on Saturday. The games were headlined by a couple of big pitching prospects that threw in the games.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate took on the Toledo Mudhens for the third game of the series. Starting for the Indianapolis Indians was right-handed pitcher Tyler Eppler. Eppler threw five solid innings, striking out four, giving up three hits, and no runs. When Eppler left the game he was in line for the win with the Indians winning 1-0. However, Angel Sanchez relieved Eppler and gave up two runs in the 7th inning. That was the only runs the Mudhens would score, but they were able to hold the one-run lead for the victory over the Indians.
Max Moroff produced the only run with a solo home run in the first inning. Additionally, the Indians lineup struck out 13 times in the game. Austin Meadows accounted for three of the strikeouts and was 0-4 on the game. On top of that, Jose Osuna struck out twice and was 0-3 with a walk. However, Gift Ngoepe was 3-4 with a triple. He is carrying over his hot bat from Spring, and is hitting .455 in the early going.
The Altoona Curve had a double header last night. In the first game, top Nationals pitching prospect Erik Fedde started for the Harrisburg Senators. Opposing him was Pittsburgh Pirates left handed prospect Brandon Waddell. Waddell only lasted four innings and gave up four earned runs. Following Waddell was reliever Miguel Rosario, who gave up two more runs in two innings of work. The Pittsburgh Pirates double affiliate lost the first game by a score of 6-4. Kevin Newman was 1-4 in the game with a RBI and a run scored. Kevin Kramer was 1-3 with a three-run home run. Michael Suchy was the only Curve player to have multiple hits, going 2-3.
In game two the Curve had more success. Austin Coley started for the Curve and threw four innings of one-run ball. He punched out six hitters, walked one, and allowed five hits. That was the only run that Harrisburg scored, as relievers Sean Keselica and Buddy Borden combined for three shutout innings. The curve had eight hits, but no player had multiple hits in the lineup. The only player not to get a hit was the pitcher’s spot. In addition, Pablo Reyes had a home run, Kevin Kramer added a double, and Connor Joe had a triple. The final score of the game was 5-1.
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Bradenton took on Tampa Bay’s High-A affiliate Charlotte. Top Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect Mitch Keller started the game, and it was a rough first outing. He only lasted 2.1 innings and yielded five earned runs. One positive is that he did not walk any batters. He struck out three hitters while giving up five hits, one being a three-run home run. Reliever Sam Street relieved Keller and kept the Marauders in the game. He threw 4.2 innings of scoreless ball. The Marauders scored seven runs in the game. Cole Tucker was 1-5, Will Craig was 1-3 with a walk, and Ke’Bryan Hayes was 1-4 with a run scored. The best offensive player was Casey Hughston. The former third round pick was 3-5 for the game with a double and two runs scored.
The West Virginia Power faced off against the Rome Braves, Atlanta’s Low-A affiliate. The Power used an assortment of pitchers to get through the game. This was mainly because they had a double-header the day before. Starting was Oddy Nunez, then came Hector Garcia. Both of them threw three innings each. Nunez spotted the Braves five runs and Garcia gave up two more. Blake Cederlind, the Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 fifth round pick, gave up one earned run in 2.2 innings, and Jordan Jess got the last third of the inning in relief of Cederlind.
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Also, the offense seems to be a problem for West Virginia, which makes sense. Most of the Pittsburgh Pirates top hitting prospects are in the upper minors at this point. The Power only had five hits and scored only three runs. Two of the runs came on a Logan Rutledge homerun. The top prospect in the lineup is Stephen Alemais, who is ranked on most top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates lists. Furthermore, Alemais is still without a hit, not helping his case as a defensive first shortstop.
*Also, all stats courtesy of milb.com