Recapping the 2017 Indianapolis Indians Season

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Pirate Triple-A affiliate had a successful year of prospect development and on field success.

The Indianapolis Indians the Pittsburgh Pirates Triple-A affiliate was one to watch this year. They hosted many of the Pirates top prospects this season. With this strong contingent the Indians reached the playoffs.

The Indians went 79-63 during the regular season. Finishing with the best mark in the International League West division by eight games over Columbus and eight and a half games over Toledo.

This earned them a playoff matchup with the Durham Bulls. Unfortunately for the Indians the Bulls had their number in the match up taking 3 games to Indy’s one game, thus eliminating the Indians from the playoffs.

 Ranked Pitchers

Many big-name arms suited up for the Indians throughout the year. Former number one ranked Pirates prospect Tyler Glasnow was demoted and pitched most of the year here. Glasnow went 9-2 with a 1.93 ERA in 15 starts and 93.1 innings. Glasnow fanned 140 while walking 32 and holding hitters to a .176 average.

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After finding a bit of success after the demotion  Glasnow has returned to Pittsburgh for a September call-up.

Pirates number eight ranked prospect Nick Kingham started 19 games. He finished with a 9-6 record and 4.13 ERA.

18th ranked Clay Holmes pitched for the  Indians this year.  Holmes made 24 starts and finished 10-5 with a 3.36 ERA.

Edgar Santana ranks 22nd in the Pirates system and made 44 appearances out of the Indy bullpen with a 2.97 ERA. Santana converted eight of nine save opportunities, second on the team in that category.

Santana has also seen time in Pittsburgh this year. He could have to compete for a spot in next years major league bullpen but should be able to make it out of spring training.

Dovydas Neverauskas ranks 25th on the Pirates top 30 list. He made 40 appearances out of the triple a bullpen this year. He led the team with 13 saves in 18 tries. The mark was third best in the International League.

This alongside a 2.86 ERA earned Neverauskas several looks in the major league bullpen. He should get a fair shot at making next years bullpen.

Other Pitchers

The final top 30 pitcher is number 26 Tyler Eppler. Eppler went 8-9 with 4.89 ERA in 21 starts this season.

Steven Brault stole the show this season, despite not being ranked in the top 30. Brault went 10-5 with a 1.94 ERA in 20 starts with 109 strikeouts. Brault topped the International League in ERA for 2017. He also was the team’s leader in wins, ERA, and WHIP.

Brault moved on to Pittsburgh and could make it difficult to settle on a starting rotation for 2018 without him in it. Brault was named the Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year.

Ranked Hitters

SARASOTA, FL – FEBRUARY 26: Austin Meadows
SARASOTA, FL – FEBRUARY 26: Austin Meadows /

Top-ranked Austin Meadows played 72 games hitting .250 with four homers and 36 RBI for the Indians. Meadows battles injuries a good bit and that keeps him from playing at his best for a full season. He is just 22 and has some time to continue to develop.

A repeat of Triple-A for next season’s start is likely, though he may come to Pittsburgh in June or September.

Kevin Newman had a brief stay in triple a. In 40 games Newman slashed a .283/0/11 line. He ranks sixth in the Pirates top 30.

20th ranked Jordan Luplow lit up two level of play on his way to the majors this season.  In 44 contests with Indy, Luplow hit .325 with seven homers and 19 RBI.

He was then named the Pirates Minor League player of the year for his efforts and called up to Pittsburgh.

Other Hitters

Outside the top 30, the Indians had Chris Bostick show things offensively. In 126 games Bostick hit .294 with seven homers and 57 RBI.  His average was fourth best in the International League. Bostick also scored a team-best 75 runs.

Eric Wood hit 16 homers, for the teams most long balls in 2017. Danny Ortiz drove in 63 runs for the teams RBI crown.  Eury Perez stole 22 bases prior to a trade to Miami in early August.


The Indians have a lot to be proud of this season. Even if a lot of the best prospects graduate to the majors this team is in good hands. The class that won titles at the high a and double a level are working their way to triple a. This winning culture and attitude may result in a Governor’s cup heading to Indianapolis in 2018.