For the first time in the Arizona Fall League season, Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Jase Bowen did not play for the Salt River Rafters. Bowen had played in the team’s first ten games.
Salt River played Pirates prospect Jack Brannigan (SS) and Carter Bins (C) in Bowen’s absence. Brannigan batted fifth and Bins ninth.
The other Pirates representative was RHP Alessandro Ercolani. Salt River won their sixth game of the season, beating Peoria 11-8.
Brannigan’s strikeout issues continued. He struck out twice in four at-bats, but he did register a triple in the bottom of the eighth.
In addition, Brannigan’s triple showed 97 mph off the bat, and it came from a sinker placed on the outside edge of the middle third.
Brannigan’s eighth-inning triple was his only hit. The Notre Dame product went 1-for-4. In addition, Brannigan scored once and walked once.
Bins played in his second game behind the plate for Salt River. The righty went hitless in four at-bats, but he did register an RBI in the seventh inning with a groundout to first.
In addition, Bins scored once after a pitch hit him in the fourth inning.
After some shaky outings, the 19-year-old Ercolani looked much better on Friday despite walking the first batter of the inning in the sixth.
After the leadoff walk, Ercolani allowed a single and then a sac-fly after the single.
Ercolani’s most impressive moment was against Kyle Manzardo. Manzardo forced a five-pitch at-bat, but Ercolani’s slider proved too much, and he registered a strikeout on a foul tip.
In addition, Manzardo is currently ranked 58th overall by MLB Pipeline and is ranked 2nd in the Cleveland Guardians system.
Ercolani’s fastball averaged 94.6 mph, but he reached 97.1, which is a significant jump for him. The youngster’s final line read 1.0 innings pitched, one hit, one walk, one hit batter, one run, and one strikeout.
It may not seem like much, but I’m sure Pittsburgh Pirates’ scouts and front office were pleased with Ercolani’s outing.