Pittsburgh Pirates Arizona Fall League Update 3

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

This is the third update on the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league prospects who are currently playing for the Glendale Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have several players competing in the Arizona Fall League. This includes top prospects Mitch Keller, Taylor Hearn, and Kevin Kramer.  Also in the league are depth prospects such as Brandon Waddell, JT Brubaker, Mitchell Tolman, and Logan Hill. At this point, the Fall League is wrapping up and each prospect has a sizable stat line to examine.

To start off the recap, of course, is top pitching prospect Mitch Keller.  The Arizona Fall League all-star has been the best starting pitching prospect in the AFL, and is showing why he is considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. The right hander is 3-0 with a 1.37 earned run average.  In his five starts and 19.2 innings of work, he has 12 strikeouts and five walks while posting a 0.73 WHIP.

Taylor Hearn, the other player acquired in the Mark Melancon for Felipe Rivero trade, is also pitching for Glendale.  The big lefty has been nearly as impressive as any pitcher so far this fall.  He has thrown 14.2 innings and has an earned run average of 2.45.  He has done this is three starts and four relief appearances, a good mix for a pitcher whose future role on a pitching staff is not clear-cut.  Also, he has struck out nine and has allowed five walks.  Although his WHIP is higher than Mitch Keller’s, it is still impressive sitting at 1.09.

Kevin Kramer is the other top prospect that is in the Arizona Fall League.  The second baseman has had a tough go at it compared to the other two top prospects.  Although he was voted as an AFL all-star, his numbers do not suggest that he should have been there. As of now, Kramer has a slash-line of .214/.329/.339.  He has 12 hits in 15 games and has struck out more than once per game, posting 19 of them.

Other less notable pitchers involved are former fifth and sixth round picks Brandon Waddell and J.T. Brubaker.  Waddell has made one start and eight relief appearances.  He has transitioned to a relief role this fall and has found a lot of success in doing so.  The lefty has thrown 14 innings and owns a 2.57 earned run average along with a 1.21 WHIP.  Brubaker has also gone from starting this summer to pitching in relief this fall.  He has thrown in seven games so far compiling 11.2 innings.  The former Akron Zip has a 3.09 earned run average and a 1.20 WHIP.  He has punched out 14 batters while only walking two.

Next: Can Brubaker make an Impact in 2018?

On the hitters’ side, the Pittsburgh Pirates also have Mitchell Tolman and Logan Hill competing for Glendale.   Tolman has appeared in 16 games and has a slash line of .207/.303/.345.  He has struck out 18 times and has six extra base hits.  Logan Hill is not fairing much better.  He has a slash line of .210/.292/.403.  He has struck out 16 times, but he does have seven extra base hits.