The Pirates’ class A teams took on the Yankees at Pirate City on Saturday. The rosters for the minor league teams seem to be settling down since the Pirates’ recent cuts, although I’m sure nothing is official yet.
The Bradenton infield is probably going to be, from first to third, Will Craig, Mitchell Tolman, Cole Tucker and Ke’Bryan Hayes. These guys were all (not totally sure about Tolman) playing for the Altoona squad until now, but they were with Bradenton (Altoona was on the road) today. (Craig, Tucker and Hayes didn’t play.) The outfield looks like some combination of Casey Hughston, Logan Hill, Ryan Nagle and Ty Moore, with Christian Kelley catching. Jordan George will probably be there in some role. He was playing third base today.
The Power lineup looks . . . uh . . . underpowered. A lot of the offense is probably going to have to come from outfielders Sandy Santos (pictured) and Victor Fernandez. Carlos Munoz looks like he’ll return to WV, possibly in a 1B/DH job share with Albert Baur. The middle infield is apparently going to be Stephen Alemais and Adrian Valerio, with Alemais the primary shortstop. Alemais didn’t play today and Valerio will miss the first month or so of the season with a broken hand (sub. req’d). Trae Arbet played second today and could take over there for Valerio. As part of their everybody-tries-third strategy, the Pirates had Hunter Owen at the position today. He’s actually played a little at third before and the Power doesn’t really have another third baseman, so he may be the starter. Owen had a long HR today. The rest of the Power outfield could include Clark Eagan, Matt Diorio and/or Alexis Bastardo. The catchers probably will be Brent Gibbs and Arden Pabst.
Gibbs, by the way, appears healthy after missing most of his first season due to a badly bruised wrist. He swung the bat well today and probably has more upside than Pabst. He was a seventh round pick.
Another guy from last year’s draft who missed most of his first season (with forearm tightness) was fifth rounder Blake Cederlind. I thought they might send him to Morgantown (he was a JC draftee), but he threw the first three innings for West Virginia today and dominated. The only baserunner came on an error and he fanned four. Cederlind threw 94-96 with a good slider.
Two other pitchers today were Joel Cesar Toribio and Holden Helmink. Toribio is the guy BA cited as having hit 100 mph. I saw him in fall instructional league last year and he sat at 97, but was very wild and had no real secondary pitch. Today he sat at 94 with improved (but hardly great) control. He got a lot of swings and misses, as his fastball seems to have a lot of movement. He was throwing a low- to mid-80s, slurvy sort of breaking ball that needs work but at least looks like a breaking ball.
Helmink washed out of the Arizona system quickly, but the Pirates signed him after he was clocked at 98 mph at a training facility. He sat at 94 today with a decent curve, but had some moderate control issues.