After a rough start to the season, the Pirates AAA affiliate Indianapolis Indians had a great month of May.
Last night, left-hander Steven Brault was dominant in shutting out Lehigh Valley, which is the top team in AAA baseball.
Brault went 7 innings allowing only 5 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks and striking out 8 batters. The 25-year old lowered his season ERA to 2.20, which is the second lowest in the International League.
Brault isn’t the only player performing well at Indianapolis which is encouraging news for the Pirates.
To get a more in depth analysis on some future Pirates, Pirates Talk Now spoke with Brian Peloza (@BrianPeloza) who covers Indianapolis for PiratesProspects.com.
RP Edgar Santana (1.55 ERA, 29 innings/29 strikeouts, 0.97 WHIP):
“What he’s doing I don’t think is entirely a surprise. Until the last couple of outings he’s been nearly unhittable. Not just unhittable but efficient. He’s not coming in and giving up a walk and a hit and then working around that. He’s getting in and out of innings in less than 10 pitches. I think his average up until a week ago, he was averaging 3.3 pitches per batter faced. His slider is nasty. He’s been just fantastic. I know some people are calling for the call up to the majors but I don’t think it would hurt him to get some more experience just because of how raw he is. He’s the real deal in my opinion…..I definitely think he’ll be looked at as a late inning reliever in the majors.”
Steven Brault (3-3, 2.20 ERA, 11 starts, 61 innings, 58 strikeouts and 25 walks):
“He was a little sluggish at the beginning of this year but the last 5-6 starts he’s been just great. No walks last night, getting more and more aggressive. Andy Barkett (Indianapolis manager) says Steven Brault shouldn’t try and be Tom Glavine, meaning he shouldn’t try and paint the corners and have pin point precision. He wants him to be aggressive and go after hitters and that’s what he’s been doing lately. If you asked me a month ago who’d be the top starting option from AAA to get promoted, you could’ve made a case for Eppler beging the most consistent, Clay Holmes was at times dominant and at times not. Brault wasn’t bad but wasn’t great. But now, I’d say without a doubt the top option starting pitching wise here at Indianapolis to get Calle day up.”
Clay Holmes (3-1, 3.20 ERA, 45 innings, 51 strikeouts, 20 walks)
“He can kind of waiver command wise a little bit. But overall I’d think they’re pretty happy with his progress. I’m sure they’d like him to be more consistent at times. Holmes has hit 99 on the gun, he’s consistently in the 95-96 range. Is working with a slider/cutter. I think they’re happy with his progress. As far as potential, probably has more higher top of the rotation potential than Eppler does based on his ability to throw hard and some of his pitches. Both are future major league starters at some point.”
Drew Hutchison (2-1, 4.12 ERA, 10 starts, 54 innings, 44 strikeouts, 23 walks):
“It’s hard to find out about Drew because he’s not very media friendly, he’s easy to get much out of so that eliminates one key source on what’s going on with them. You can go talk to Clay, Tyler or Steven and talk about pitches and how they’re using them but with Drew you don’t get that. It’s hard to pinpoint what they can do with him at this point.”
“I don’t them he’s a good option to be promoted. Earlier in the year, Andy made the comments that we try and find the positives with him. You can look into that quote however you want but I look at it as that’s someone with a fragile confidence level. He’s a pro athlete and to me, that’s something you almost hear someone say at a high school or college level.”
This guy has had 74 starts in the majors, he’s not pitching like he should at AAA for someone with his experience and expectations. I feel like he should be someone that’s putting up Brault like numbers. His numbers haven’t been awful at times but he just, I don’t know, something’s missing with him.”
Austin Meadows (.256, 3 HR, 25 RBI):
“I’ve said this on Twitter before, I encourage everyone to calm down and don’t panic. I truly believe he’s going to be fine. He’s really turned it around in May (hit over .300). Even when he was struggling, you saw the glimpses of what makes him good as a hitter. You can just tell he knows how to hit. It’s just a matter of him adjusting to AAA and some do it quicker than others. He has a ton of potential and I’ve seen nothing that would waiver on the amount of stock the organization has put into him. I would not worry about Austin Meadows or his future.”