Spring Training Preview: Starters

WEEK 2: STARTING PITCHERS IN THE PIRATES ORGANIZATION

Starting pitching may be the Indianapolis Indians’ parent club’s biggest strength at camp this Spring Training. With four “homegrown” starters in the system and one hometown face from Indianapolis, the Pirates boast a talented Triple-A billing in right-handers Brandon Cumpton, Nick Kingham, Casey Sadler and Adrian Sampson and lefty Clayton Richard. 

Potential Indians Starters:

Brandon Cumpton (RHP)

Brandon Cumpton was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the ninth round (267th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

The Georgia Tech alum Cumpton surprised with his immediate success at both the Triple-A level and in the Majors. Originally slated for a second consecutive season with Double-A Altoona in 2013, Cumpton made just two starts with the Curve before receiving a promotion for his Triple-A debut. The 26 year old went on to rank seventh in the International League with a 3.32 ERA while also posting an incredible 2.05 ERA in five big league games (four starts) during his first taste of action with the Pirates in 2013. His breakout year also included etching himself in Pittsburgh’s record books by becoming the first National League pitcher to begin his career with four straight strikeouts since the Dodgers’ Pete Richert accomplished the rare feat back in 1962.

Cumpton returned to the Indians in 2014 as arguably the staff’s ace through the beginning of the season. Although he made just 12 Triple-A starts last year, the right-hander was just as good as advertised during his limited action, authoring quality starts (no more than 3 ER over at least 6.0 IP) in nine of his 11 assignments with the Indians. The Augusta, Georgia native delivered similar numbers for the Pirates, and aside from a tough outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 31, turned in a 3.80 ERA in his remaining 15 MLB appearances.

Status: Attending camp as a member of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.


Nick Kingham (RHP)

Nick Kingham was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the fourth round (117th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

A relative under-the-radar prospect during his debut, Kingham made his presence felt in the early stages of his career to skyrocket to his current ranking as the Pirates’ No. 6 farmhand entering 2015. The righty led Pittsburgh’s organization with a 2.15 ERA during his first full season in the pros in 2011, made a career-high 27 starts with Lo-A West Virginia in 2012 and earned a Midseason All-Star selection with Hi-A Bradenton in 2013. At just 22 years of age, Kingham’s outstanding early run in the minors was highlighted by ranking just between fellow top farmhands Gerrit Cole (1.15) and Jameson Taillon (1.22) with his career WHIP of 1.17 prior to 2014.

The native of Sierra Vista, Nevada only continued to excel upon reaching the Triple-A Tribe during the most recent season. After pacing his eventual promotion the Indians with a top-10 ERA in the Double-A Eastern League, Kingham nullified the notion of a learning curve by striking out eight batters over seven shutout innings in his Triple-A debut on June 13 against the Durham Bulls. When the dust finally settled from his dominant 2014, Kingham had ranked first in the International League in opponents’ batting average (.213), tied for second in WHIP (1.1) and fifth in strikeouts (65) since his Tribe debut.

Status: Attending camp as a member of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.


Clayton Richard (LHP)

Clayton Richard was originally selected by the Chicago White Sox in the eighth round (245th overall) over the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

A new face to the Pirates organization but far-from stranger to the Indianapolis area, Richard is set to return to his hometown team where the McCutheon high school alum became first player to be named both Indiana Mr. Football (2002) and Mr. Baseball (2003). Since departing for the pros, the MLB veteran has worked around two injuries to enjoy a prosperous career with 46 Major League wins, more than 700 innings of action at the big league level and 480 strikeouts between the Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres. In addition, he is currently just two seasons removed from his 2012 form in which he led the entire National League with 33 starts for the NL West’s Padres.

Last year, the hometown hero Richard was limited to four Minor League starts while recovering from his most recent shoulder surgery. He worked up to 80+ pitches in each of his final two starts of the season in 2014, and ended the campaign with a quality start and a victory in his lone Triple-A appearance with Reno on Aug. 28. The southpaw now heads to Spring Training with Pittsburgh via his Minor League contract and invite to big league camp from Dec. 5, 2014.

Status: Non-roster invitee to big-league camp.


Casey Sadler (RHP)

Casey Sadler was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 25th round (747th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

Sadler has steadily progressed each season during his career to climb to both the Indians and big leagues. Originally selected out of Western Oklahoma State Community College, the late-round pick began his pro career as a reliever with Short-Season State College (2010) and Lo-A West Virginia before transitioning to an everyday starter with Hi-A Bradenton, beginning with the 2012 season. Clearly comfortable in his new-found role, Sadler took his fifth-ranked WHIP (1.23) and 10th-best ERA (3.73) from the Florida State League in 2012 to become Double-A Altoona’s Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2013.

Now coming off his age-24 campaign in 2014, Sadler has added an additional accolade to his already strong pro resume —  Indians’ Starting Pitcher of the Year. The right-handed hurler didn’t blink while picking up his second consecutive Pitcher of the Year award and wrapped up a full season in the International League with a Midseason All-Star selection and the league’s third-best ERA of 3.03. Sadler would also put a final stamp on the season with his Major League debut in Pittsburgh on May 2 vs. the Toronto Blue Jays.

Status: Attending camp as a member of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.


Adrian Sampson (RHP)

Adrian Sampson was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 5th round (166th overall) of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft.

The youngest of the aforementioned bunch, Sampson has made the most of his still-limited opportunities to reach the Triple-A level after just 59 appearances (57 starts) in the Minor Leagues. That is, 59 “effective” appearances, as the righty earned recognition from Baseball America as a Top-30 prospect in the Pirates’ chain following both the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Behind his knack for control and location of his pitches, Sampson led Short-Season State college in strikeouts (44) during his pro debut and ranked first among all Florida State League starters with just 1.40 walks per his nine innings pitched in 2013.

The Redmond, Washington native then officially introduced himself to his fellow Pittsburgh farmhands in 2014 while spending the majority of his second full season with Altoona. Sampson set career highs in wins, starts, innings and strikeouts last year, and also ranked tied for third among Pirates minor leaguers with those 11 wins, fourth with his 2.96 ERA and fourth with 109 punchouts. The 23 year old will now arrive at Spring Training having earned a selection as both a Mid and Postseason All-Star with the Curve en route to his Triple-A debut with the Tribe.

Status: Attending camp as a member of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.


In the System

Other notable starters in the Pirates’ organization include RHP Jameson Taillon, the No. 2 overall farmhand in the club’s system according to Baseball America, and RHP Tyler Glasnow, the top prospect in Pittsburgh’s chain.

Tribe fans may be familiar with Taillon as the righty made his highly-anticipated Triple-A debut with the Indians in 2013 before undergoing Tommy John surgery that following offseason. Glasnow, the fellow on-the-rise righty, is a two-time Pirates Minor League Pitcher of the Year whose strikeout “stuff” may boost the 21 year old to the Tribe’s roster as soon as late 2015/early 2016.

glasnow

After making his 2014 debut on April 25, Tyler Glasnow led all of the minors with 157 strikeouts. (Photo: MLB.com)

Spring Training Preview: Outfielders

WEEK 1: OUTFIELDERS IN THE PIRATES ORGANIZATION

The Indianapolis Indians’ parent club enters Spring Training boasting an extremely talented set of outfielders across all levels of the system. The list, in direct relation to the Tribe’s 2015 roster, includes potential Triple-A outfield candidates in former Indians standouts Jaff Decker, Gorkys Hernandez, Mel Rojas Jr. and Jose Tabata.

Potential Indians Outfielders:

Jaff Decker

Jaff Decker was originally selected by the San Diego Padres as a supplemental first-round pick (42nd overall) in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.

First name pronounced “jeff,” Decker took little time adjusting to professional ball and was named MVP of the Arizona League in 2008 and Baseball America’s Class-A Player of the Year in 2009. Although the Phoenix, Arizona native would temporarily become stalled by minor injuries in two of the next three seasons, his setbacks only delayed the inevitable as the perennial top prospect reached the Major Leagues with the Padres in 2013. Decker then carried over the racing pace of his minor-league career to his big-league debut when he launched a homer off Jhoulys Chacin for his first official MLB hit on Aug. 12, 2013 at the Colorado Rockies.

The potential Tribe outfielder arrived in Pittsburgh’s organization by way of trade with RHP Miles Mikolas in exchange for INF Alex Dickerson on Nov. 25, 2013. The soon-to-be 25 year old posted solid totals of a .257 average with 27 doubles at the plate with the Indians last season, and truly impressed with his honors as the Tribe’s “Best Defensive Outfielder” in 2014. Behind the motto “Don’t Run on Decker,” the outfielder earned his defensive accolade by recording a .989 fielding percentage while leading the team and ranking second in the International League with his career-high 15 outfield assists. Decker reinforced his theme two-fold as a stalwart on defense when he cut down two would-be runs at home plate in the same game on May 26 vs. Buffalo.

Status: Attending camp as a member of Pittsburgh’s 40-man roster.


Gorkys Hernandez

Gorkys Hernandez was originally signed by the Detroit Tigers as an international free agent on April 30, 2005.

Touted for both his speed and defensive work in the outfield, Hernandez is a decorated prospect who boasts honors from Baseball America as the “Most Exciting Player” in the Midwest League (2007) and Carolina League (2008), the “Best Outfield Arm” in the Carolina League (2008), Eastern League (2010) and International League (2011) and the “Best Defensive OF” of Pittsburgh’s organization in three consecutive seasons from 2010-12. He will compete for time in the outfield on a former Indians team with which he was voted as the “Defensive Player of the Year” in 2011.

Hernandez is coming off a 2014 campaign split between Triple-A Omaha and Charlotte, and the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Triple-A equivlent Mexican League. The Venezuela native combined to hit .280 with 19 doubles and 27 RBIs in 75 games between the trio of clubs, and also turned in his eighth pro season of collecting at least 15 stolen bases. At age 27, Hernandez capped off his traveled campaign by ranking third in the Mexican League in steals (8), tied for fourth in hits (34) and eighth in average (.378) following his season debut on July 18.

Status: Non-roster invitee to big-league camp.


Mel Rojas Jr.

Mel Rojas Jr. was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round (84th overall) of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

The Indianapolis native has displayed impressive power potential during his quick ascension through Pittsburgh’s system, producing 30 or more extra-base hits in each of his four full seasons in the minors. As a multi-tool outfielder, Rojas has spent the majority of his first few campaigns patrolling center field before recently making a successful transition into right field. His abilities across the outfield have garnered recognition from Baseball America as the “Best Defensive OF” in the Florida State League in 2012 and as a two-time Top-30 organizational farmhand of the Pirates’ minor-league chain.

Last year, the 24 year old paced his promotion to the Triple-A level by ranking fifth in the Eastern League with 36 RBIs for Double-A Altoona at the time of his call-up. Rojas excelled with his hometown Indians team to hit safely in 60 of 77 games with a .277 average, notch a 10-game hitting streak, and back his offensive prowess with a defensive highlight reel that featured throwing out five runners at home plate.

Status: Non-roster invitee to big-league camp.


Jose Tabata

Jose Tabata was originally signed by the New York Yankees as an international free agent on Aug. 12, 2004.

Tabata heads to 2015 Spring Training having played in nearly 500 games at the major league level since his debut with the Pirates in 2010. The native of Venezuela signed his first pro contract on his 16th birthday, and after ranking as the second-youngest player on a Double-A Opening Day lineup in the Eastern League in 2008, has spent the majority of each of the last four seasons as a part of Pittsburgh’s outfield corps. Still just age 26, Tabata has already collected 427 hits in his Major League career and 659 base knocks during his time in the minors.

A four-time “Best Hitter for Average” according to Baseball America, Tabata fit that billing with the Tribe last season by hitting safely in 17 of his final 22 Triple-A games in 2014. After ranking fifth in the IL with a .349 average in that span, Tabata concluded the 2014 campaign with an August return to the Pirates and two at-bats in Pittsburgh’s Wildcard showdown against the eventual World Series-winning San Francisco Giants.

Status: Non-roster invitee to big-league camp.


In the System

Other notable outfielders in the Pirates’ organization include Keon Broxton, the “Best Defensive Outfielder” in the club’s system according to Baseball America, and Willy Garcia, who is rated by the same publication as the 12th-best farmhand in Pittsburgh’s chain.

At 24 and 21, respectively, the two up-and-coming prospects excelled alongside each other at the Double-A ranks in Altoona last season. While they may not crack the Tribe’s Opening Day roster in 2015, the duo is on the cusp of the next level after hitting better than .270 through the 2014 campaign with the Curve.

MiLB.com

Keon Broxton impressed during his Pirates-organization debut, belting 15 home runs for Double-A Altoona in 2014. (Photo: MiLB.com)

Indianapolis Indians Named One Of The “Best Places To Work In Indiana”

Organization Honored For Second Straight Year By Indiana Chamber of Commerce

2015 Best Places To Work

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 18, 2015 – The Indianapolis Indians have been named one of the “Best Places to Work in Indiana” by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. The Indians organization, which was also chosen for the award in 2014, is the only Indiana sports franchise to be selected among the 100 award recipients.

“The Indians organization is honored to once again be chosen as one of the Best Places to Work in Indiana,” said Indians General Manger Randy Lewandowski. “The positive, healthy and inclusive work environment, created by our employees, translates directly to the experience we provide our fans, and helps Victory Field to continue to be Downtown Indy’s summertime destination for affordable and memorable family fun.”

BPTWIN Logo 2015This honor continues a successful stretch for the Indians organization, which over the last three seasons has drawn the most fans of any US-based Minor league baseball team, including a Victory Field record 660,289 fans in 2014. The Tribe also led all of Minor League Baseball in overall attendance in 2013 on their way to being presented with Baseball America’s Triple-A Bob Freitas Award for the best overall operations at the Triple-A level.

The overall rankings for the 100 companies chosen as Indiana’s 2015 “Best Places To Work” will be unveiled at a May 7 awards dinner at the JW Marriott in downtown Indianapolis. The Indians were one of 41 businesses chosen in this year’s small company category, which includes companies with anywhere from 15-74 employees.

In addition to the May 7 awards dinner, winners will be recognized via a special section of the Indiana Chamber’s bimonthly BizVoice® magazine and through Inside INdiana Business with Gerry Dick. Visit IndianaChamber.com to view the full list of honorees.

2015 Daily Deals & Specials

Indians Announce Daily Promotions for the 2015 Season At Victory Field

DailyDeals&Specials_blogThe Indians invite fans to start thinking summer, as each day this week we will be announcing the daily promotions and specials that fans can look forward to throughout the 2015 season.

Check back daily to see how you can make summer something at Victory Field in 2015!

Monday Dollar Menu

 

Monday Dollar Menu: The Monday Dollar Menu returns in 2015 and fans are once again invited to bring their appetites as  hot dogs, peanuts, Cape Cod Potato Chips, Cracker Jack and popcorn will all be available for just $1 each during Monday home games at Victory Field.

 

McAlisters2for1Tuesday

 

2-for-1 Tuesday: Visit any Central Indiana McAlister’s Deli location to pick up a voucher good for 2-for-1 admission to any Tuesday home game. When purchasing online, enter the promo code found on the voucher on step 3 of your purchase.

 

 

Wednesday Business Day Game

 

Wednesday Business Day Games: Perfect for a business lunch at the ballpark or an afternoon of baseball under the sun, enjoy the perfect break to the work week with a Wednesday Business Day game at Victory Field.

 

 

Friday Fireworks

 

Friday Fireworks: Enjoy a spectacular post-game fireworks show immediately following select Friday home games. Bonus Fireworks shows also offered on April 9, May 16, July 4, July 5 and Sept. 5.

 

 

Signature Saturdays
Signature Saturdays: Signature Saturdays feature the perfect mix of autograph sessions and one-of-a-kind entertainment acts. Featured autographs sessions during the 2015 season, include Hall-of-Famer’s Wade Boggs (May 2) and Joe Morgan (May 30) as well as former MLB great and Indiana native Carl Erskine (June 13). Highlighted entertainment acts, include the Pirate Parrot (May 30), Batman (June 27) and the Famous Chicken (August 15).

 

Kids Eat Free Sundays

 

Kids Eat Free Sundays: On Sunday afternoon contests, all children ages 14 and under receive a voucher for a hot dog, a bag of chips and a bottle of water with the price of admission.

Bucs Acquire Versatile Salcedo from Braves

salcedo

MLB.com

The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired utility fielder Edward Salcedo from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for right-hander Bryton Trepagnier. The two-man swap is a minor-league deal and was announced earlier today on the clubs’ transactions pages.

Salcedo, 23, made his Triple-A debut last season and spent the majority of the year in the International League with Gwinnett. He hit .212 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs in 110 games with the G-Braves while splitting the campaign between right field (48 starts) and third base (45 starts).

The versatile prospect then carried his power numbers into the Arizona Fall League, where he hit .260 and ranked tied for second in the league with nine doubles in 24 contests with AFL runner-up Peoria. Salcedo wrapped up his 2014 campaign with a 3-for-12 showing with one homer and two RBIs in a three-game stint with Escogido in the Dominican Winter League.

Originally signed by Atlanta as an international free agent in 2010, Salcedo garnered rankings as a top-20 farmhand in the Braves’ organization during each of his first four seasons from 2010-13, and as the Carolina League’s No. 14 overall prospect in 2012. The slugger also recently turned in his fourth straight campaign with double-digit homers and has now gone deep 10 or more times in all four of his full seasons in the minors.

Salcedo enters the 2015 season having hit .235 with 107 doubles, 16 triples, 56 home runs and 262 RBIs in 586 career minor-league games. He has made 375 starts at third base, 90 at short stop and 51 in right field.

Trepagnier, 23, pitched five seasons in Pittsburgh’s organization prior to the trade, most recently going 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA and nine saves for Hi-A Bradenton in 2014.

Elmore Elects FA, Bucs Add Lombardozzi

(Photo: Les Treagus/Norfolk Tides)

(Photo: Les Treagus/Norfolk Tides)

In a swap of utility fielders and organizational depth, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced that offseason acquisition Jake Elmore has elected free agency, while Steve Lombardozzi has been acquired from the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for cash considerations.

Elmore, 27,  was originally outrighted to Triple-A on Jan. 30 but has since opted out of his minor-league assignment. The now-free agent hit  .281 over 72 games with Triple-A Louisville in 2014 and was claimed off waivers from Cincinnati on Nov. 30.

Replenishing the organization’s options across the diamond, the 26-year-old Lombardozzi joins Pittsburgh’s system having seen action at second base (459 games) shortstop (25 games), left field (22 games) and third base during his seven-year career in the minors. He spent the majority of the most recent campaign primarily as an infielder with Triple-A Norfolk and Baltimore, hitting .270 in 78 games with the Tides and .288 in 20 games with the Orioles.

Originally selected by Washington in the 19th round (571st overall) of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Lombardozzi burst onto the scene in 2011 with honors as the “Best Defensive Infielder” in the Nationals system (by Baseball America) and his Major League debut.

The switch-hitting utility player will enter the 2015 season with a .266 career average in the big leagues in 277 games with the Nationals (2011-13) and Orioles (2014). In addition and including his 2014 stint with Norfolk, Lombardozzi has also hit .295 over 525 minor-league games.

Pirates Pace Majors in Top-100 Prospects

top-100

(MLB.com)

MLB.com unveiled over the weekend its annual list of Top-100 Prospects, and according to professional baseball’s panel of experts, the Pittsburgh Pirates lead all 30 Major League clubs with seven prospects featured among the game’s elite.

Leading the way was top-ranked right-hander, Tyler Glasnow, who was tabbed No. 12 overall in the top-100 list, No. 4 among all pitching prospects and No. 3 among righty farmhands. The 21-year-old topped out at Hi-A Bradenton during just his second full season of pro ball in 2014, where he finished the campaign ranked first in the Florida State League in ERA (1.84), second in strikeouts (157) and tied for third in wins (12).

Glasnow’s meteoric rise to the top of the prospect rankings has featured back-to-back awards as the Pirates’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year, selections to three league All-Star teams plus Baseball America’s Minor League All-Star squad (2014), two FSL Pitcher of the Week titles and a nod as MiLB.com’s best starting hurler (2014).

The righty may be a year or two or reaching the Triple-A Tribe, but his strikeout “stuff” is not — After making both his 2014 and Hi-A debut on April 25, Glasnow led all of the minors with 157 whiffs over 124 1/3 innings with the Marauders.

Says MLB.com’s scouting report:

“Glasnow has shown an ability to blow away hitters on a consistent basis, proof of which comes in the form of his 12-strikeouts-per-nine-innings career ratio heading into 2015. He does so with a fastball he can consistently get up into the upper 90s, maintaining that plus velocity throughout his starts.”

glasnow

MiLB.com

Joining Glasnow as Pittsburgh’s top position player is reigning Pirates Player of the Year and recently-converted first baseman, Josh Bell. The 22-year-old is coming off a breakout 2014 campaign in which he led all Pirates farmhands in hits (138) and average (.325) while also driving in the seventh-most runs (60).

Also like his fellow Bradenton standout, Bell took home his own respective honors as the club’s Offensive Player of the Year after batting .335 with a team-best 14-game hitting streak last season.

Bell, a likely candidate for Triple-A during 2015, enters the upcoming campaign ranked as the No. 1 first base prospect in the minor leagues.

Added MLB.com:

“Bell has the ability to consistently barrel up balls from both sides of the plate with a smooth swing and an advanced approach. He is expected to continue growing into his power, and as he matures, his extra-base ability will develop into home run pop.”

MiLB.com

MiLB.com

Additional Buccos rated among the top 100 was a trio of potential 2015 Tribers in RHP Jameson Taillon (No. 31), RHP Nick Kingham (No. 74) and INF Alen Hanson (No. 92), and a pair of later-arriving Indians prospects in outfielder Austin Meadows (No. 46) and catcher Reese McGuire (No. 64).

The latter two hit .322 in 38 games and .262 in 98 games, respectively, with Lo-A West Virginia in 2014.

View MLB.com’s full Top-100 Prospects List HERE.

Pirates Sign Castillo & Wall to MiLB Deals

Photo: MiLB.com

The Pittsburgh Pirates today announced the signings of catcher Wilkin Castillo and right-hander Josh Wall to minor league contracts with invitations to Major League spring training.

Castillo, 30, split the most recent campaign between Tijuana (eight games) and Reynosa (25 games) in the Triple-A-equivalent Mexican League. He hit a combined .206 (26-for-126) with four doubles, two triples, two homers and 11 RBIs in 33 total games between the two clubs, while making 17 starts at catcher, nine at second base and seven in the outfield.

The backstop then delivered a solid showing in the Dominican Winter Leagues by leading Escogido with 19 RBIs during the regular season and pacing the entire league with a .338 average (23-for-68) in 19 playoff games for Dean Treanor’s Estrellas squad.

castillo-DWL

(Above: Castillo bats for Escogido in the 2014 DWL)  |  Photo by Victor Baez

Originally signed by the Arizona Diamondbacks as an international free agent in 2002, Castillo ascended to the Triple-A level in just his second season of minor-league action in 2004. The switch-hitting catcher would split the majority of his next and final three seasons in the Diamondbacks’ system between Triple-A Tucson and Double-A Mobile, and after excelling as the organization’s “Best Defensive Catcher” in 2008 (by Baseball America), was acquired by the Cincinnati Reds with RHP Dallas Buck to help complete the deal for  OF Adam Dunn. **

Castillo made his Major League debut with the Reds in 2008 and has since gone 11-for-35 (.314) with a pair of RBIs in 22 career games in the big leagues from 2008-09. Interestingly enough, the Dominican Republic native collected his first big league hit off his now-current club of Pittsburgh, while pinch hitting for ex-Pirates starter and then-Reds right-hander, Edinson Volquez, on Sept. 3, 2008.

Castillo enters the 2015 campaign having hit .274 with 54 home runs and 360 RBIs over 865 career games in the minors. He last appeared in the IL during the 2011 season, when he produced a .262 average through 80 contests with the Tribe’s IL South foe, the Gwinnett Braves.

"Josh Wall, RCCP7176"

Photo: Rochester CC Photography

Wall, 28, pitched to the tune of a 3.22 ERA (16 ER/44.2 IP) with four saves and 46 strikeouts over 36 relief appearances between the Indianapolis Indians and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim’s Triple-A club (Salt Lake) in 2014. While he struggled during his brief, two-game promotion to the majors with the Angels, the right-hander was dominant upon joining Pittsburgh’s chain and held IL opponents to one earned run or less in 25 of his 28 outings with the Tribe.

Like Castillo, the closer Wall also continued his 2014 campaign in the Dominican Winter Leagues, where he made scoreless appearances in two of his four games with Aguilas from Dec. 12-19.

AP photo

AP photo

Wall originally began his pro career after signing as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ second-round selection (74th overall) from the 2005 First-Year Player Draft. He was rated as a top-30 organizational prospect in six separate seasons during his climb through the Dodgers’ system, an impressive stretch capped by PCL Mid and Postseason All-Star selections and his MLB debut in 2012.

During his Dodgers tenure, the Walker, Louisiana native compiled 11 strikeouts over a combined 12 2/3 innings in the majors from 2012-13. He allowed runs in just four of 13 major league appearances with Los Angeles before being acquired by the Miami Marlins with RHP Angel Sanchez and RHP Steven Ames in exchange for RHP Ricky Nolasco just prior to the 2013 All-Star break. Wall then worked a brief stint with Triple-A New Orleans en route to joining the Angels’ chain as a waiver claim on Oct. 4, 2013.

The 6-foot-6 hurler will enter the 2015 season with a career record of 41-51, a 4.87 ERA, 38 saves and 679 strikeouts over 308 minor league games (115 starts). Primarily a pitcher in the hitter-friendly PCL, Wall posted a 2.91 ERA with 35 whiffs in 34 innings during his first Triple-A action in the International League in 2014.


 **Castillo was one of two PTBNL in deal for Adam Dunn.
**RHP Micah Ownings became second PTBNL.

Surprise Your Sweetheart With A Rowdie Valentine

Tribe’s Award-Winning Mascot to Hand Deliver Valentine’s Day Packages

Valentine's Day_PackageSurprise your sweetheart with the perfect combination of sports and sweets delivered by the Indianapolis Indians award-winning mascot Rowdie. The popular Valentine’s Day package, which includes an Indians t-shirt, four Box-Seat ticket vouchers and four Gigi’s Cupcakes, all hand delivered by Rowdie himself, are on sale now for just $100.

Click here to purchase your Indianapolis Indians Valentine’s Day Package.
Gigi's Cupcakes
Rowdie will be out and about Indianapolis to deliver these special gifts on Thursday, Feb. 12 and Friday, Feb. 13.

When purchasing the package, fans can choose either a 9 a.m. – noon or a noon – 4 p.m. delivery window on either of these dates.

Quantities are limited and all orders must be received by Friday, Feb. 6.

Specific time of delivery for each day is not guaranteed and packages must be delivered within a 20-mile radius of Victory Field (501 West Maryland Street, Indianapolis, IN 46225).

Baseball America Ranks Bucs’ System No. 7

Baseball America’s 2015 edition of the Prospect Handbook has ranked the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system as the seventh-best in baseball in the  publication’s annual “Talent Rankings.” The Pirates have now boasted a top-10 system in three consecutive seasons, highlighted by honors as the No. 1 overall chain prior to the 2014 season.

Per Baseball America:

“Productive drafts and Latin American signings have helped the Pirates cultivate one of the game’s most balanced farm systems. The organization has a quality blend of pitching and position prospects at all levels, which should help them maintain another high ranking as they continue to graduate players to Pittsburgh.”

The Indianapolis Indians, alone, may feature a handful of the aforementioned “top prospects” during the 2015 campaign, ranging from the highly-touted hurlers Jameson Taillon and Nick Kingham, to the organization’s top position players, infielders Josh Bell and Alen Hanson.

The following is a list of Pittsburgh farmhands who are ranked among the organization’s top 30 prospects and have either:
1. Previously suited up with the Tribe during their respective careers
2. Have a solid chance of reaching the Triple-A level in 2015:

(Listed by ranking in Baseball America; Tables provided by Baseball-Reference.com)


No. 2 — Jameson Taillon, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L ERA G GS SV IP SO
2011 19 West Virginia SALL A PIT 2 3 3.98 23 23 0 92.2 97
2012 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA PIT 9 8 3.55 26 26 0 142.0 116
2012 20 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 6 8 3.82 23 23 0 125.0 98
2012 20 Altoona EL AA PIT 3 0 1.59 3 3 0 17.0 18
2013 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA PIT 5 10 3.73 26 25 0 147.1 143
2013 21 Altoona EL AA PIT 4 7 3.67 20 19 0 110.1 106
2013 21 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 1 3 3.89 6 6 0 37.0 37
3 Seasons 16 21 3.72 75 74 0 382.0 356

No. 4 — Josh Bell, 1B

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
2012 19 West Virginia SALL A PIT 15 5 0 1 11 1 .274
2013 20 West Virginia SALL A PIT 119 37 2 13 76 1 .279
2014 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA PIT 108 22 4 9 60 9 .325
2014 21 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 84 20 4 9 53 5 .335
2014 21 Altoona EL AA PIT 24 2 0 0 7 4 .287
3 Seasons 242 64 6 23 147 11 .299

No. 6 — Nick Kingham, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L ERA G GS SV IP SO
2010 18 Pirates GULF Rk PIT 0 0 0.00 2 0 0 3.0 2
2011 19 State College NYPL A- PIT 6 2 2.15 15 15 0 71.0 47
2012 20 West Virginia SALL A PIT 6 8 4.39 27 27 0 127.0 117
2013 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-A+ PIT 9 6 2.89 27 25 0 143.1 144
2013 21 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 6 3 3.09 13 13 0 70.0 75
2013 21 Altoona EL AA PIT 3 3 2.70 14 12 0 73.1 69
2014 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs AAA-AA PIT 6 11 3.34 26 26 0 159.0 119
2014 22 Altoona EL AA PIT 1 7 3.04 12 12 0 71.0 54
2014 22 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 5 4 3.58 14 14 0 88.0 65
5 Seasons 27 27 3.29 97 93 0 503.1 429

No. 7 — Alen Hanson, INF

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
2010 17 Pirates DOSL FRk PIT 68 10 7 2 28 20 .324
2011 18 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A- PIT 55 13 7 2 35 24 .260
2011 18 Pirates GULF Rk PIT 52 13 7 2 35 24 .263
2011 18 State College NYPL A- PIT 3 0 0 0 0 0 .200
2012 19 West Virginia SALL A PIT 124 33 13 16 62 35 .309
2013 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs A+-AA PIT 127 27 13 8 58 30 .274
2013 20 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 92 23 8 7 48 24 .281
2013 20 Altoona EL AA PIT 35 4 5 1 10 6 .255
2014 21 Altoona EL AA PIT 118 21 12 11 58 25 .280
5 Seasons 492 104 52 39 241 134 .289

No. 11 — Elias Diaz, C

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
2009 18 Pirates VESL FRk PIT 64 13 2 5 36 3 .272
2010 19 Pirates GULF Rk PIT 41 5 1 2 20 0 .218
2011 20 West Virginia SALL A PIT 90 23 3 2 45 6 .221
2012 21 West Virginia SALL A PIT 92 14 1 3 26 2 .208
2013 22 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 57 12 2 2 15 4 .279
2014 23 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA PIT 101 21 0 6 54 3 .312
2014 23 Altoona EL AA PIT 91 20 0 6 54 3 .328
2014 23 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 10 1 0 0 0 0 .152
6 Seasons 445 88 9 20 196 18 .253

No. 12 — Willy Garcia, OF

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
2010 17 Pirates DOSL FRk PIT 51 11 0 1 22 8 .250
2011 18 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A- PIT 50 9 4 5 35 7 .266
2011 18 Pirates GULF Rk PIT 47 9 4 5 35 7 .266
2011 18 State College NYPL A- PIT 3 0 0 0 0 0 .286
2012 19 West Virginia SALL A PIT 122 17 2 18 77 10 .240
2013 20 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 118 21 6 16 60 13 .256
2014 21 Altoona EL AA PIT 126 27 5 18 63 8 .271
5 Seasons 467 85 17 58 257 46 .256

No. 15 — Adrian Sampson, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L ERA G GS SV IP SO
2012 20 State College NYPL A- PIT 0 1 2.95 11 9 0 42.2 44
2013 21 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 5 8 5.14 25 24 0 140.0 85
2014 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA PIT 11 6 2.96 28 28 0 167.0 109
2014 22 Altoona EL AA PIT 10 5 2.55 24 24 0 148.0 99
2014 22 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 1 1 6.16 4 4 0 19.0 10
3 Seasons 16 15 3.84 64 61 0 349.2 238

No. 16 — John Holdzkom, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L ERA G GS SV IP SO
2006 18 Mets GULF Rk NYM 2 5 7.71 16 2 3 23.1 23
2007 19 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk NYM 1 1 4.91 7 0 0 11.0 10
2007 19 Mets GULF Rk NYM 0 1 6.00 4 0 0 6.0 4
2007 19 Kingsport APPY Rk NYM 1 0 3.60 3 0 0 5.0 6
2008 20 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-Rk NYM 5 4 4.88 28 12 0 86.2 100
2008 20 Kingsport APPY Rk NYM 3 1 3.66 8 7 0 39.1 44
2008 20 Savannah SALL A NYM 2 3 5.89 20 5 0 47.1 56
2010 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk NYM 0 0 9.00 6 0 0 5.0 10
2010 22 Kingsport APPY Rk NYM 0 0 11.25 5 0 0 4.0 8
2010 22 Mets GULF Rk NYM 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1.0 2
2012 24 Bakersfield CALL A+ CIN 0 1 5.19 6 1 0 8.2 10
2013 25 2 Teams 1 Lg Ind 3 4 2.89 42 0 2 43.2 52
2013 25 Amarillo AA Ind 2 3 3.50 34 0 2 36.0 37
2013 25 Amarillo, Sioux City AA Ind 3 4 2.89 42 0 2 43.2 52
2013 25 Sioux City AA Ind 1 1 0.00 8 0 0 7.2 15
2014 26 4 Teams 4 Lgs AAA-Ind-AA PIT 3 0 1.73 32 0 2 36.1 46
2014 26 Amarillo AA Ind 0 0 1.17 9 0 0 7.2 7
2014 26 San Angelo UNLB Ind 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 1.0 2
2014 26 Altoona EL AA PIT 1 0 0.00 4 0 0 6.0 10
2014 26 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 2 0 2.49 18 0 2 21.2 27
7 Seasons 14 15 4.36 137 15 7 214.2 251

No. 17 — Casey Sadler, RHP

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff W L ERA G GS SV IP SO
2010 19 State College NYPL A- PIT 3 0 3.00 12 1 0 24.0 21
2011 20 West Virginia SALL A PIT 5 5 2.43 35 0 4 66.2 57
2012 21 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 4 6 3.73 32 17 2 130.1 93
2013 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs AA-AAA PIT 11 7 3.37 24 24 0 136.1 72
2013 22 Altoona EL AA PIT 11 7 3.31 23 23 0 130.1 67
2013 22 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 0 0 4.50 1 1 0 6.0 5
2014 23 Indianapolis IL AAA PIT 11 4 3.03 21 21 0 124.2 77
5 Seasons 34 22 3.23 124 63 6 482.0 320

No. 21 — Stetson Allie, 1B

Year Age Tm Lg Lev Aff G 2B 3B HR RBI SB BA
2011 20 State College NYPL A- PIT 15 0 0 0 0 0
2012 21 2 Teams 2 Lgs Rk-A PIT 44 6 2 3 19 2 .213
2012 21 Pirates GULF Rk PIT 42 6 2 3 19 2 .213
2012 21 West Virginia SALL A PIT 2 0 0 0 0 0
2013 22 2 Teams 2 Lgs A-A+ PIT 132 34 1 21 86 8 .277
2013 22 West Virginia SALL A PIT 66 16 1 17 61 6 .324
2013 22 Bradenton FLOR A+ PIT 66 18 0 4 25 2 .229
2014 23 Altoona EL AA PIT 117 16 0 21 62 9 .246
4 Seasons 308 56 3 45 167 19 .256
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