Pittsburgh Pirates: Arizona Fall League Update 2
Here is Rum Bunter’s second update on how the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects are doing in the Arizona Fall League. The Bucs have numerous minor league prospects playing in the league.
Many players in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization are playing in some sort of Winter or Fall League. In the United States, the annual Arizona Fall League is well underway. Plenty of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects are in participating in the league. This includes top prospects Mitch Keller, Taylor Hearn, and Kevin Kramer. Also in the league are depth prospects Brandon Waddell, JT Brubaker, Mitchell Tolman, and Logan Hill.
By far the biggest name in the Arizona Fall League in terms of pitching prospects is Mitch Keller. Not only is he the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospect, but also the top pitching prospect in the actual league. He has shown why so far in the early going. Keller has started three games and has compiled 10.2 innings. So far, he has earned run average of 2.53. He has struck out eight batters and has walked four. Furthermore, batters are only hitting .184 off of him and he is producing a 1.88 groundout/air out ratio. Obviously, Keller has had a very impressive fall league thus far.
Pittsburgh Pirates 2015 fifth round pick Brandon Waddell is pitching out of the bullpen for the Glendale Desert Dogs. Waddell has compiled eight innings across five appearances. He has struck out nice batters while only walking one. This is great to see, as Waddell’s biggest issue is his command. Waddell is also producing a good groundball/flyout rate at 1.67. Waddell very well could be officially transitioning to a bullpen role, which may better suit him.
Taylor Hearn has the most impressive fastball in the Arizona Fall League. However, Hearn has struggled so far. He has appeared out of the bullpen in four games so far for 5.2 innings. He has punched out four batters while only walking one. Still, batters are hitting .250 off of him, and he has given up three earned runs on six hits. J.T. Brubaker is also pitching out of the bullpen for Glendale. He has had four appearances, totaling 7.1 innings thus far. In those innings, he has posted a 3.68 earned run average and a 1.36 WHIP. He has struck out six while only walking one.
The top Pittsburgh Pirates hitting prospect in the Arizona Fall League is Kevin Kramer. So far Kramer is batting .281/.395/.500 in 32 at-bats across nine games. He has two home runs, but he has also struck out nine times so far. Also playing in nine games so far is Mitchell Tolman. Tolman is only batting .188/.316/.344, and the second baseman has 10 strikeouts and one RBI thus far. The last hitting prospect for the Pittsburgh Pirates is Logan Hill. Hill is off to a slow start also, batting just .171/.279/.371. He has struck out nine times, only has six hits, two of which are home runs.