The Arizona Fall League is coming to a close, but the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects are continuing to shine out west. Here is the latest update on the six of them.
This year in the Arizona Fall League, the Pittsburgh Pirates have six prospects playing for the Peoria Javalinas and they have done a really good job so far. The team has hitting prospects Jared Oliva, Jason Delay, and Oneil Cruz. On the pitching side of things, the Pittsburgh Pirates are represented by Nick Mears, Blake Cederlind, and Cody Ponce.
The best prospect for the Pittsburgh pirates has been outfielder Jared Oliva. Oliva has been hitting the cover off the ball, which is something that he also did when he played for the Arizona Wildcats before being drafted by the Pirates. The centerfielder is batting. 338 and has nine stolen bases to go along with his. 440 on-base percentage. Meanwhile, he has only struck out 14 times and has walked 12 times in his 20 games played. Oliva is a rising prospect and should start the 2020 season with Triple-A Indianapolis.
The top prospect in the Arizona Fall League for the Pittsburgh Pirates is shortstop Oneil Cruz. Cruz got off to a really slow start but has started to rebound over his last few weeks. Overall, Cruz is only batting. 190 with 21 strikeouts in 14 games. However, over his last 10 games, Cruz is batting. 260 With a. 412 on-base percentage. The biggest red flag, other than his strikeouts, has been that he only has one extra-base hit in his 14 games, a double.
Catcher Jason Delay has played the most games behind the plate for the Javalinas despite having to lowest batting average on the team. Delay is only batting .074 with the two hits in his nine games played. Delay’s offensive profile has always been well below average but he does have a strong game behind the plate.
In terms of pitching, the only starting pitching prospect that the Pittsburgh Pirates have in the Arizona Fall League is Cody Ponce. The Bucs acquired him from the Milwaukee Brewers for Jordan Lyles and so far he has done a very good job for the Javalinas. He has made four starts compiling a 1-1 record over 18 innings, owning a 2.50 ERA with 19 strikeouts to only three walks. Ponce looks like he can make a real push for the Pittsburgh Pirates roster in 2020.
The other two pitching prospects are coming out of the bullpen for the Javalinas. Both have done a really good job but Nick Mears has been straight dominant. Mears has pitched in six games throwing 7.2 innings and has not allowed a run while giving up one hit and striking out 10. Cederlind has done almost just as well, pitching in six games and compiling six innings. He has struck out six hitters and has an ERA of 1.50.
Overall the Pittsburgh Pirates prospects have done a really nice job in the Arizona Fall League. The league is in their second half and the sample sizes have become a little more real. Hopefully, Jared Oliva and those three pitchers can finish the year strong and potentially help the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2020.