Recapping the 2017 Bradenton Marauders

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(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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Taking a looking at the progress made by the Pittsburgh Pirates High-A affiliate in Bradenton.

The Bradenton Marauders had a successful 2017 season. During the first half of the season, they finished 37-30 and in second place in the Florida State League South Division by three games to the  Palm Beach Cardinals.  The level of play slipped a bit in the second half, but the team still finished over .500 at 33-32, good for third place in the division eight games out of first place. Cumulatively they finished at 70-62, third best in the south division.Hitters

Ke’ Bryan Hayes led the team in batting average at .278, finishing ninth in the FSL. Accompanying that was a pair of homers and 43 RBI. Hayes also stole 27 bases against five caught stealing, good for second on the team.  He also held the top spot in runs scored with 66 alongside Mitch Tolman.

His successful season saw him rise in the top 30 Pittsburgh Pirates rankings from number six during the preseason to number four currently.

Will Craig hit .271 with six home runs and 61 RBI during the season. Craig’s totals in batting average and RBI were both second-best on the team. He also scored 59 runs, third most on the team. The success during this season helped Craig jump up a spot to number seven in the Pirates top 30 prospect rankings.

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Tolman had  .267 average with nine long balls and 62 RBI. Tolman’s RBI total paced the team, as did his 66 runs scored matching Hayes total. Tolman received a promotion to Double-A.

Logan Hill was the big bopper for Bradenton mashing 16 tators, finishing in a three-way draw for second in the league in that category.  Add in a .266 average and 52 RBI to his homers for a solid stay in high A. Hill was then promoted to double a, where he hit .278 with a pair of homers and nine RBI for the Altoona Curve. Hill was named to the FSL’s end of season all-star team.

Cole Tucker had an all-star campaign at Bradenton a well. Tucker hit .285 with four homers and 32 RBI in 68 games in high a. Tucker’s speed stood out as well as his bat. He swiped a league-best 36 bags.  He was promoted to Altoona to finish the year. There he hit .257 with a pair of homers and 18 RBI, while also contributing 11 steals and five triples.  Tucker sits at number five on the top 30 prospects list and looks to make a run at the majors in the next year, or two.

Pitchers

Marauder’s hurlers put up some numbers this season. Pedro Vasquez went 9-7 with a 3.73 ERA in 26 games pitched, 24 starts. Vasquez struck out 107 against walking 30 in 137.2 innings pitched. He finished among the best on the team and league in a lot of statistical categories. Not too bad for an outside the top 30 prospect. He also earned an end of season all-star bid.

Bret Helton went 8-3 with a 3.25 ERA in 30 games pitched, starting 14, showing good consistency no matter the role.

Seth McGarry led the team in saves with 14 but was traded to Philadelphia.

Mitch Keller started the season here and ended in Double-A. For the season Keller finished with an 8-5 record and 3.03 ERA in 23 starts. In 116.0 innings he fanned ass many batters and only walked 32. Keller is the ranked number two for now in the Pirates system, but the argument could be made that he deserves the number one spot over Austin Meadows.

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Prospects

Bradenton had prospects galore on the roster the year. Keller, Hayes, Tucker and Craig make up the highest rated ones, each being top ten and three of them being top five.

Number 11 Taylor Hearn, Number 12 Gage Hinsz, number 21 Stephen Alemais and number 29 Dario Agrazal make up the rest of the top 30 collections.

Hearn went 4-6 with a 4.12 ERA. He struck out a second-best team mark 106 this season.

Hinsz went 5-5 with a 5.61 ERA.

Alemais hit .317 with a homer and 20 RBI in his 30 game stint in the sunshine state.

Agrazal pitched at two levels this year. He finished with a 5-4 record and 2.99 ERA in 15 games pitched making 14 starts.

Overall Bradenton was a team to watch by volume of prospects and had a successful record to match.

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