Pittsburgh Pirates Minor League Notes: Craig, Lolo, Plus


The minor league season is about a week underway.  Here are some quick hits on what is going on in the Pittsburgh Pirates minor leagues from the last two days.

The Pittsburgh Pirates top minor league affiliates are all underway.  Some have played more than others due to this forever lasting winter.  Triple-A Indianapolis is off to a 3-3 start.  Double-A Altoona is off to a hot start, sitting at 4-1.  Meanwhile, High-A Bradenton is also rocking a 4-1 record.  The Pittsburgh Pirates Low-A affiliate in West Virginia is the only team under .500 with a record of 3-4.  However, as John Dreker of Pirates Prospects notes, the Power are one of the youngest teams in their league.

Will Craig is playing first base at the Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A affiliate in Altoona.  Last season, Craig put together a rather mediocre season at High-A Bradenton.  While he hit .271 and posted an on-base percentage of .373, he did very little in the power department.  Last season, the 2016 first round pick hit only six home runs in his 123 games played.  This year, he has already hit three home runs, twoin which cleared the fence and one being an inside-the-park.  Craig has a large frame, standing at 6’3” and weighing 215 pounds.  He has always shown a disciplined approach at the plate, but if he continues to add home run power this season he could become a legitimate prospect once more.

Will Craig was not the only top prospect to hit an in the park home run the other night.  Up and coming outfield prospect Lolo Sanchez also did in his game.  This was his only hit of the game.  This should not be as surprising as Craig’s.  Sanchez’s best tool is his speed.  MLB Pipeline ranks him as a 60 run already.  Also, this Spring he showed his speed when he did a straight steal of home plate.

Lastly from the games, Jason Martin, the outfield prospect from Houston picked up in the Gerrit Cole trade, made his season debut.  The athletic lefty hitter played some this Spring, but saw himself sidelined with a minor injury to start the season.  He took a 0-4 in the game with three strikeouts.  Still, Altoona has an intriguing outfield now with him and Bryan Reynolds, two players acquired in the Pittsburgh Pirates controversial trades this offseason.

Next: Top Prospect Performer

Yesterday, Nick Kingham went to the mound for the Indianapolis Indians.  This marked Kingham’s second start of the season.  In his first start, the big righty was dominant, throwing five scoreless innings and striking out 10 batters. He followed that up  with another impressive outing.  Against the Detroit Tigers Triple-A affiliate, Kingham threw six innings of one run baseball and struck out another six batters.  Furthermore, he did not walk a batter and held the Hen’s to just three hits.