Prospect Watch: Rodolfo Castro Launches Two Bombs

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 an ebook or a limited edition paperback.

INDIANAPOLIS

(7:05pm)

Season preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Cody Ponce 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

Notable Performances:

Chris Sharpe 1-4, 2B

Phillip Evans 2-4, 2 2B

Geoff Hartlieb, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Game Recap:  Indianapolis (15-13) edged Columbus, 3-2.  The Indians got the winning run in the bottom of the eighth when four walks, the last to Joe Hudson, forced in a run.  Indy’s only other runs came on Hunter Owen’s second home run of the year, in the second, and a two-out single by Anthony Alford in the fourth that drove in Owen.  In fact, Owen scored all three of Indy’s runs.  Cody Ponce gave up two runs over five innings while fanning seven.  Matt Eckelman, Geoff Hartlieb and Jandel Gustave combined for four scoreless innings in relief.  Chris Sharpe had a double and Phillip Evans had two.

ALTOONA

(6:05pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Osvaldo Bido 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

Notable Performances:

Ji-Hwan Bae 4-6, 2 2B

Oneil Cruz 1-6

Rodolfo Castro 4-6, 2 HR (4)

Mason Martin 3-6, 2B

Brendt Citta 1-4, 3B, 2 BB

Cal Mitchell 2-4, 2 2B

Game Recap:  Altoona (18-10) hammered out 18 hits in an 11-2 rout of Richmond.  Rodolfo Castro and Ji-Hwan Bae led the onslaught with four hits each.  Castro belted his third and fourth home runs of the season, scored three times and drove in four.  Bae had two doubles.  (So far in June, Bae is 9-for-17, raising his average from .200 to .261.)  Mason Martin had three hits, including a double.  Cal Mitchell had two doubles and Daniel Amaral hit his second home run of the year.  Osvaldo Bido had his best start of the year and his fourth straight strong one.  The only run he allowed was unearned and he fanned eight.  Cristofer Melendez made his AA debut with an inning and a third.  The only runner against him reached on an error.  John O’Reilly threw the last two innings, giving up just an unearned run.

GREENSBORO

(6:30pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Omar Cruz 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K

Notable Performances:

Matt Fraizer 2-4, HR (5), BB, SB (5)

Liover Peguero 1-4, BB, SB (6)

Aaron Shackelford 0-5, SB (2)

Lolo Sanchez 1-3, 2 BB

J.C. Flowers 4 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K

Game Recap:  Greensboro (14-15) beat Winston-Salem, 7-2.  Omar Cruz had a good start, giving up two runs over five innings, both on solo home runs.  He allowed only one other hit and fanned seven.  J.C. Flowers followed with his High A debut and gave up just two hits over four shutout innings to pick up the save.  The Grasshoppers had ten hits, with everybody getting at least one except, oddly, Liover Peguero and Aaron Shackelford.  Matt Fraizer stayed hot, getting his fifth home run and a single.  He’s now batting 306/415/510.  Grant Koch and Fabricio Macias each had two hits and two RBIs, with Koch getting his second home run.  Jesus Valdez also homered, his third.

BRADENTON

(6:30pm)

Season Preview

Boxscore

Starting Pitcher:  Jared Jones 3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

Notable Performances:

Sergio Campana 1-4, BB

Endy Rodriguez 2-5

Hudson Head 1-4, BB, SB (3)

Jase Bowen 2-5, HR (6)

Dariel Lopez 0-3

Alexander Mojica 0-1, BB

Sammy Siani, 0-2, 3 BB

Jasiah Dixon 0-4, BB

Game Recap:  Bradenton (19-10) broke a 1-1 tie with a nine-run seventh inning and went on to wallop Dunedin, 11-1.  Jared Jones made his first pro start and began with three scoreless innings.  He left with two on and two out in the fourth, and Cam Junker let one of the runners score.  Denny Roman got the win with three scoreless innings.  Sergio Umana made his first appearance outside the DSL with a 1-2-3 ninth, striking out one.  It’s not often a team gets 11 runs while going 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position, but the Marauders’ offense consisted heavily of walks.*  They had only seven hits but drew ten free passes.  Their big seventh inning consisted of two singles, six walks, two errors and a wild pitch.  The only players with more than one hit were Endy Rodriguez and Jase Bowen, who had two apiece.  Bowen’s included his sixth home run.

*As an aside, Bradenton’s offense, which features lots of walks and strikeouts, and not a lot of hits, just seems to be the way things are now, certainly in the Low-A Southeast League, which is essentially the remnant of the Florida State League.  As a team, the Marauders are batting .238, but that’s 13 points higher than anybody else in the ten-team league except the much older Tampa team.  Their walk total is fourth in the league and the three teams ahead of them are all much older.  They have the second highest strikeout total (third highest in strikeouts per game), but there’s very little difference between the most and least whiff-prone teams.  So I think you have to take these odd numbers in context.  The Marauders are easily the league’s second best hitting team, behind only Tampa, which averages nearly two and a half years older, a very big difference at this level.

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