38-41 (fifth place in the Eastern League Western Division)
Brock Holt, SS—.322/.384/.442, 1 HR, 33 RBI 6 SB (Age: 24)
With prospects Chase d'Arnaud and Jordy Mercer (recently called up to the majors) crowding the shortstop position at Indianapolis, the Pirates decided to send Brock Holt back to Altoona.
The two-time Eastern League All-Star picked up right where he left off, and his .322 batting average is good for fourth among league leaders.
While Holt doesn't offer much in the power or base-stealing departments, he has an excellent approach at the plate and is a solid player defensively.
Despite the crowded infield in Triple-A, Brock Holt is making it very difficult for the Pirates to keep him back in Double-A.
Brandon Cumpton, RHP—8-6, 3.21 ERA, 92.2 IP, 76 H, 23 BB, 59 K (Age: 23)
A Georgia Tech product drafted in 2010, Brandon Cumpton has used his low-90s fastball and above-average curve to make life difficult on hitters so far this year.
Cumpton has the best ERA among Curve starters and was recently named to the Eastern League All-Star game.
While it remains to be seen if Cumpton has the stuff to make it in the majors as a starter, he could be very effective as a reliever for the Pirates some time in the near future.
Player to Watch
Gerrit Cole, RHP—1-1, 7.50 ERA, 6.0 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 8 K (Age: 21)
The No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 MLB draft, Gerrit Cole was very good in his first start for the Curve but got hit in the face by a line drive in his second start and left after one difficult inning.
Prior to his promotion to Altoona, Cole was dominant at High-A Bradenton, posting a 2.55 ERA with 69 strikeouts in 67 innings pitched.
Cole has ace potential with a power arsenal that includes a fastball that can reach 100 MPH. Who knows, if Cole has a stellar second half and impresses in spring training, we could see him in the Pirates' 2013 starting rotation.