Pittsburgh Pirates Minors: Baz, Two Prep Arms, Promotions


The Pittsburgh Pirates saw three of their top young arms head to the mound last night.  Also, the organization has promoted two starting pitching prospects.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are seeing some of their pitchers in the low levels starting to really develop.  The team has always invested a lot of their resources into young arms. That showed yesterday in the minor leagues.  The team saw three former prep draft picks pitch yesterday.  They also promoted a few of their more intriguing pitching prospects in the lower minors.

To start off yesterday’s action was 2017 first round pick Shane Baz.  Baz, of course, was the 12th overall pick out of Concordia Lutheran High School in Texas. He is pitching in Short-Season Bristol this year.  Yesterday, he had one of the best starts of his early career.  The big righty started against the Johnson City Cardinals.  He threw 4.2 innings of scoreless baseball and struck out six batters.  He did a good job of working around trouble as he did walk three batters and allow four hits.  Still, it looks like he is starting to develop that strikeout stuff.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Pirates saw their top prep pitcher from the 2018 draft class take the mound yesterday as well.  Braxton Ashcraft was the team’s second-round pick out of Robinson High School in Texas.  The former Baylor commit made his second professional appearance against the Braves’ Gulf Coast affiliate.  This time out the righty threw three innings.  In those three innings, he gave up one earned runs on two hits and one walk.  He also struck out three batters in his appearance.

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The other prep arm to pitch yesterday was 2018 11th round pick Michael Burrows.  Burrows is from Waterford, Connecticut and was committed to the University of Connecticut. Instead, both he and Ashcraft are pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates Gulf Coast affiliate.  This was Burrows professional début and it was a solid outing.

The 6’2” righty threw two innings in relief of Ashcraft, allowing one hit and punching out three batters.  What was best to see from the 18-year-old was that he did not allow a single batter to reach on a base on balls. It will always be worth noting the GCL teams when Burrows and Ashcraft take the mound.

The last minor league note from yesterday is that the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted two pitching prospects.  Domingo Robles was promoted from Low-A West Virginia to the High-A Bradenton Marauders.  He is quickly turning in to one the Pittsburgh Pirates top lefty pitching prospects.  For the Power, he turned in a 2.97 ERA in 21 starts. Hopefully, he will continue to develop and post impressive numbers at Bradenton.

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Meanwhile, James Marvel was moved from High-A to Double-A Altoona.  The former Duke product made 22 appearances, 21 being starts, and posted a solid 3.68 ERA.  Now the 6’4″ righty will join the Curve for the rest of the year. The Curve had an open spot in their rotation after they saw Taylor Hearn get traded at the deadline.  Marvel is an intriguing pitcher who has posted solid numbers so far.  It will be interesting to see if the 2015 draft pick can continue to post strong numbers in the upper minors.