Pittsburgh Pirates AFL: Surprise Blown Out

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

The Pittsburgh Pirates had many of their prospects playing for the Surprise Saguaros yesterday.  The team was blown out in the game.

The Surprise Saguaros are the host team for the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects in the Arizona Fall League.  The team has had a rough start to their short season, sitting with a record of five wins and nine losses.  However, the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects playing for the Saguaros are actually doing relatively well, at least at the plate.  Even yesterday, when Surprise was blown off of the field during their game against the Glendale Desert Dogs.

The Glendale Desert Dogs have prospects from Cleveland Indians, Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees.  Yesterday, they played like some of those teams.  The Desert Dogs took down the Surprise Saguaros by a score of 21-8.  The Saguaros at least scored some runs because, obviously, their pitching did not show up.

In terms of pitching prospects who are from the Pittsburgh Pirates, Suprise only threw two of them.  The first was Matt Eckelman.  Eckelman started and finished the fifth inning.  He recorded one strikeout and walked two in his inning of work.  However, he did give up two runs, but neither run was earned.  Later in the game, relief prospect Geoff Hartlieb came in for the seventh and eighth inning.  The righty gave up two earned run across the two innings.  Also, he gave up six hits but did not walk anyone.  Both Hartlieb and Eckelman’s earned run averages are very high with Hartlieb at 5.40 and Eckelman at 11.25.

On the offensive side of things, the Pittsburgh Pirates were represented by three different players in the lineup.  Bryan Reynolds got the start in left field and batted fourth.  Cole Tucker started at shortstop and batted sixth.  Will Craig was inserted as the designated hitter and placed as the seventh batter in the lineup.

Reynolds struggled the most out of the three hitters.  He went 0-3 with two walks.  His average is now .120 on his season.  Cole Tucker had a much better game.  The top shortstop prospect collected two more hits in five at-bats.  He had one run batted in and scored one run as well.  Tucker is now batting .351 so far.  Like Tucker, Craig also picked up two hits in five at-bats yesterday.  The Pittsburgh Pirates 2016 first round pick is now batting .289 for his season.

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All in all, Tucker and Craig continued their strong Arizona Fall Leagues.  Tucker really is impressing at the highest level of prospect ball.  He likely will be climbing up prospect charts if he continues to perform this fall.  Meanwhile, Craig is just showing consistency and is following up a strong 2018 season with a good fall.