The Pittsburgh Pirates saw three of their minor league prospects get elected to the Eastern League All-Star game. The Curve players will play for the Western Division team.
One thing that is always good to see is when Pittsburgh Pirates minor league prospects get honored, and the Bucs saw three of their players at Double-A Altoona get rewarded for their strong seasons thus far.
The Curve will have three of their prospects play in the upcoming Eastern League All-Star game. Representing the Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A team will be two starting pitching prospects and a catcher. All three of them are having really strong years and are making cases to be promoted sooner than later.
The one position prospect that was elected to the game is catcher Jason Delay. Delay is having a strong season for the Curve, batting .263/.318/.477 with five home runs in 33 games. This is much better than his career slash-line of .246/.329/.343. He also has been very good behind the plate as well, throwing out 23 percent of attempted base stealers. Delay was the team’s fourth-round pick in 2017 out of Vanderbilt University.
In terms of pitchers, the Curve are sending two starters to the game. One of the starters is James Marvel, who has had a solid minor league career up until this point. However, this year he has taken a step forward. The right-handed arm is 7-5 with a 3.36 ERA through 14 starts. He has punched out 72 batters while only walking 22 in 85.2 innings of work.
One note is that Marvel is a little old for a Double-A prospect, as he will turn 26 this September. The Bucs drafted Marvel in the 36th round out of Duke back in 2015. At the time, Marvel was recovering from Tommy-John Surgery, giving him a late start to his professional career. Still, he has a career 3.63 ERA in over 400 innings of work. Marvel should be bumped up to Triple-A after the All-Star Break.
The last Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A prospect to make the game is starting pitcher Pedro Vasquez. Vasquez has been the Curve’s ace this year, pitching to an outstanding 2.24 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). He was bumped up to Triple-A for a few spot starts, but he did not have as much success; posting an ERA over 7.00, but quickly returned to form at Double-A. He has 54 strikeouts to 12 walks in 68.1 innings.
The 6’4” right-handed pitcher is 23 years of age. The Seattle Mariners actually signed Vasquez from the Dominican Republic back in 2015. However, the Bucs acquired him when they traded Arquimedes Caminero to the Mariners in 2016. Vasquez owns a career 3.26 ERA in the minors and looks like he could make an impact for the Pittsburgh Pirates next season.
The Pittsburgh Pirates Double-A affiliate is likely the weakest team of their upper-level minor league teams. However, they look like they have a few prospects in key positions that could help out down the road. The Eastern League All-Star game is July 10th.