Prospect Watch: Home Runs, Pitching and Lots of Strikeouts Headline Opening Night in the Minors

Your daily Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch article for recaps of all of today’s games. Be sure to pick up your copy of the latest Prospect Guide in our store, available as either an ebook or a limited edition paperback.


Season preview


Starting Pitcher: Chase De Jong  6 IP 2 H 0 ER 2 BB 10 SO

Notable Performances:

Travis Swaggerty 3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Cole Tucker 0-for-5

Kevin Kramer  1-for-4, HBP

Will Craig 0-for-5

Chris Sharpe 2-for-4, 2B

Anthony Alford 0-for-3, BB

Game Recap: Chase De Jong had an outstanding debut and Travis Swaggerty was the hitting star tonight for the system in a 3-0 win for Indianapolis. De Jong tossed six scoreless frames on two hits and two walks, while striking out ten batters. He threw 90 pitches, with 62 going for strikes. Geoff Hartlieb, Chasen Shreve and Jandel Gustave each followed with a scoreless frame to close out the victory. Swaggerty had a lead-off homer and an RBI single, providing two of the three runs for Indianapolis. He also added a single and a walk. Chris Sharpe had a single and a double in his Triple-A debut. Dylan Busby had an RBI single in his Triple-A debut. Will Craig and Cole Tucker combined to go 0-for-10. Joe Hudson had two hits.


Season Preview


Starting Pitcher: Roansy Contreras 5 IP 5 H 0 ER 0 BB 11 SO

Notable Performances:

Ji-Hwan Bae 1-for-4

Oneil Cruz 2-for-4

Rodolfo Castro 0-for-4

Mason Martin 1-for-3, BB

Cal Mitchell 0-for-3, RBI

Canaan Smith-Njigba 1-for-2, BB, 2B

Yerry De Los Santos 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO

Game Recap: Altoona lost their home opener 2-1, despite an outstanding pitching performance by Roansy Contreras in his debut with the Pirates. Acquired in the Jameson Taillon deal, Contreras tossed five shutout innings on five hits, with no walks and 11 strikeouts. He threw 55 of 80 pitches for strikes. Jeffrey Passantino followed with two shutout frames, but Yerry De Los Santos allowed two runs in his two innings, giving up a homer and a double. The two teams combined for 31 strikeouts and three walks, with Curve pitchers adding 17 strikeouts. The Curve scored their lone run on a sixth inning sacrifice fly ball Cal Mitchell, which briefly gave them the lead. Oneil Cruz had two singles and scored the only run. Adley Rutschman, who is ranked as the second best prospect in baseball, went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts against the Curve pitching.


Season Preview


Starting Pitcher: Quinn Priester 3 IP 4 H 3 ER 2 BB 3 SO

Notable Performances:

Liover Peguero 1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI, BB

Nick Gonzalez, 1-for-4, 2B, BB

Jack Herman 1-for-5

Matt Gorski 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, BB

Jared Triolo 0-for-3, 2 BB

Lolo Sanchez 1-for-2, BB, SB, HBP

Game Recap: Quinn Priester had a rough outing in his jump to High-A, while Greensboro got two big hits in their 7-5 loss at home. Priester had a scoreless first, then struggled through the second and third innings, giving up a total of six runs, though just three were earned. He allowed four hits and walked two batters, while picking up three strikeouts. He threw 72 pitches, with 43 going for strikes. The Grasshoppers got their five runs on a three-run homer in the second inning by Liover Peguero, and a two-run homers by Matt Gorski in the fifth inning. Lolo Sanchez reached base three times and picked up a steal. Nick Gonzalez, last year’s first round pick, picked up a double and a walk in his first game as a pro. The bullpen did well for Bradenton, with Garrett Leonard and Austin Roberts each tossing two shutout frames, while Trey McGough allowed one run in his two innings. Greensboro struck out 16 times…and they weren’t alone in that category.


Season Preview


Starting Pitcher: Luis Ortiz 3 IP 2 H 1 ER 2 BB 5 SO

Notable Performances:

Jasiah Dixon 1-3, BB

Hudson Head 1-for-4, 3 SO

Dariel Lopez 0-for-4

Endy Rodriguez 2-for-4, RBI

Jase Bowen 0-for-3, BB

Alexander Mojica 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI

Sammy Siani 0-for-3

Game Recap: Bradenton lost their home opener 6-3 to Fort Myers. Alexander Mojica provided the big hit on offense, belting a long two-run home run to left field. Luis Ortiz started and allowed one run over three innings. JC Flowers followed with a strong performance, throwing three scoreless frames on one hit, no walks and three strikeouts. The damage was done against Oliver Mateo, a flamethrowing right-hander, who has dealt with control issues in the part. He allowed four runs on two hits and three walks in the ninth inning. Endy Rodriguez, who came to the Pirates in the Joe Musgrove deal, had two hits and an RBI. He’s the top rated catching prospect for the Pirates. Hudson Head, another Musgrove piece, went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. He was the top prospect acquired in the off-season trade with the Padres. The Marauders struck out 16 times in the game.