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Pirates Prospect Watch: Bowen, Bins Each Hit First Homer of AFL Season

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Pirates Prospect catcher Carter Bins

IIt was an exciting night for some Arizona Fall League baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates and their prospects. Starting Tuesday’s game was Jase Bowen (CF), Jack Brannigan (SS), and Carter Bins (DH). 

In addition, Alessandro Ercolani made a relief appearance and earned his first win of the Fall League season. Thanks to Bowen and Bins, the Salt River Rafters cruised to a 9-3 victory over the Mesa Solar Sox, improving their record to 4-4 on the season.

Bowen

Bowen had a monster game for Salt River. On the night, Bowen went 3-4 with three RBIs and two batted balls over 100 mph. 

In his first at-bat, the righty hit a ball maybe three feet, but he legged it out for a single in the third inning. In addition, Bowen’s first plate appearance was a hit-by-pitch. 

Bowen crushed a slider left over the middle of the plate for a three-run homer in the sixth inning. In addition, that was Bowen’s first home run in the Fall League and his 12th hit of the season. 

In his final at-bat of the game, Bowen smashed a single to left field with an exit velocity of 102.5 mph. In addition, Bowen’s single in the eighth was off of a four-seam on the outer third in a 1-1 count.

Brannigan

Brannigan’s offensive woes continued as he went 1-4 at the plate with two strikeouts. The good news for Brannigan is that he showed some promising at-bats. 

His best at-bat by far was his first one. 

In a 3-1 count, Brannigan smashed a 97.8 mph single towards the first baseman. In addition, Brannigan showed off the speed as he had to leg out the single.

The Fall League can be a cruel and harsh mistress to some prospects, and Brannigan faces this problem. 

Bins

It was a night to remember for Bins as he gave Salt River a permanent lead in the fifth inning with a two-run homer. Bins’ homer marked the first of the Fall League season for him and the first of the season for the entire Salt River club.

In addition, Bins’ homer went 105.4 mph off the bat and traveled 399 feet. According to Baseball Savant, Bins’ homer would’ve been a homer in 30/30 ballparks.

In his next at-bat, Bins smashed a 110.3 mph RBI single up the middle in the sixth inning. Bins ended his night going 2-4 while boosting his average to .273 with an OPS of .878 in the Fall League.

Ercolani

The 19-year-old righty is a very talented pitcher, but it can sometimes be extremely frustrating to watch. When Ercolani throws strikes, hitters have a hard time squaring him up. 

The issue is actually throwing strikes. During his outing Tuesday night, Ercolani walked four batters and allowed a run due to his wildness. 

The good news for Ercolani is that he showed composure and avoided a huge inning for Mesa, keeping the game knotted up with a two-out strikeout.

Ercolani’s fastball averaged 94.6 mph and allowed two balls put into play (both outs). Encouraging signs for the Pittsburgh Pirates prospect.

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