Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: AAA and AA All-Star Games

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates saw a couple of their top prospects play yesterday in minor league all-star games.  This included the Triple-A and Double-A all-star games.

Many feel that the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system is not as strong as it once was just a few years ago.  However, the organization still has one of the better ones in baseball.  Some of their top prospects were elected to the Triple-A and Double-A all-star games.  This included Triple-A shortstop Kevin Newman, the Pittsburgh Pirates first round pick in 2015.  Also representing the Indianapolis Indians was veteran catcher Ryan Lavarnway and pitching prospect Tyler Eppler. Chris Bostick and Dovydas Neverauskas were also elected to the game, but they did not appear.

Triple-A

Kevin Newman had the best performance out of the three Pittsburgh Pirates products.  He had one hit in his three at-bats with a run batted in.  Newman grounded out to third base in his first at-bat, this was to lead off the night for the International League all-star squad.  In his second at-bat, Newman ended the inning by hitting into a fielder’s choice to the shortstop.  They recorded the out at second base.  Finally, in his last at-bat, Newman singled on a line drive into right field to gain his RBI.  He was replaced in the sixth inning.

Ryan Lavarnway did not start the game but received one at-bat in the 7th inning.  Unfortunately, he hit into a double play.  The only Pittsburgh Pirates pitching prospect to pitch was Tyler Eppler.  Eppler was roughed up in his appearance.  He recorded only two outs in the second inning and was charged with six earned runs.

Double-A

While Triple-A Indy only saw one of their top prospects go to the All-Star game, Double-A Altoona had three of their top prospects appear in the Double-A All-Star game.  The Pittsburgh Pirates 2014 supplemental first-round pick Ke’Bryan Hayes started at third base.  Also, 2016 first round pick Will Craig started as the Western Division’s designated hitter.  The best part of the Double-A game was the Pittsburgh Pirates left-handed handed pitching prospect Taylor Hearn started the game.

Ke’Bryan Hayes has started to develop into the player that the Pittsburgh Pirates have expected this season.  In the Double-A All-Star game he had two plate appearances in which he went 1-2.  In his first at-bat in the third inning, Hayes was sat down on strikes.  However, his second at-bat came in the fifth inning where he singled on a line drive to center field and picked up an RBI.

Will Craig’s best performance of the weekend came in the home run derby when he belted 12 home runs in one round.  Craig received three at-bats last night and went 1-3.  In the second inning Craig flew out to centerfield in his first at-bat.  He followed that up with an at-bat in the fifth when he struck out.  Like Hayes, Craig came up with a hit in his last at-bat with a fly ball single into right field.  Hearn started that game and only threw one inning.  It was a scoreless appearance for Hearn, he struck out one and walked one.