Top Performers: Bell and Allie Finish the First Half Strong at the Plate

Below are the top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. The rankings include every hitter who had an at-bat for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, not including DSL teams, and with no limitations on whether the hitter has prospect eligibility. Players who spent time at different levels are counted multiple times, once for each level, rather than combining their stats. Notes on the top ten players from the last week can be found below the chart.

*Runs Created is a stat created by Bill James used to estimate how many runs an individual contributes to his team. There are many formulas for runs created. For these purposes the basic formula is used. That formula is ((H + BB) * (1B + (2*2B) + (3*3B) + (4*HR))) / (AB + BB).

Josh Bell was the top hitter in the system last week.

Josh Bell was the top hitter in the system last week.

Josh Bell left the West Virginia Power game on Friday after hurting his knee earlier in the game. Before that he had done enough at the plate to be the top hitter in the system for the week. Bell went 9-for-21 with four doubles and two walks last week. There’s no update on the status of his injury, although he won’t be playing in the SAL All-Star game.

Stetson Allie will be promoted to Bradenton this week, after the SAL All-Star game. Allie finished strong in West Virginia last week, going 6-for-17 with two doubles, his 17th homer of the year, and seven walks. He will participate in the SAL Home Run Derby tonight, the All-Star game tomorrow, and move up to Bradenton on Thursday.

Josh Harrison has been hitting well with Indianapolis, and went 8-for-22 with a double, triple, and a homer last week. In his time in Triple-A he has a .302/.367/.449 line in 205 at-bats.

Jarek Cunningham’s biggest tool in his minor league career has been his power from the middle infield spot. He added two more homers this week, giving him 13 on the year, which is third in the system behind Andrew Lambo and Stetson Allie. Cunningham also went 5-for-15 in the last week. On the season he is hitting for a .234/.318/.477 line in 218 at-bats. The power and the walks are there, but he’s not hitting for average which is going to be needed for upper level success.

Brett Carroll is 30-years-old this year, so he’s not a prospect like Allie, Lambo, or Cunningham. He is fourth in the minor league system in homers, behind those three. Carroll added two more this past week, giving him 12 on the season.

With the problems that Michael McKenry has been having in the majors throwing out runners, some have called for Tony Sanchez to be called up to the majors. Sanchez continues hitting, going 6-for-19 with two doubles and a homer, and finishing sixth on this list in the last week. The downside is that Sanchez has had some throwing problems, which makes him similar to McKenry at the moment with the caught stealing issues.

Adalberto Santos went 6-for-14 last week, finishing seventh on the list. Santos got off to a great start with Altoona, but has since seen his average drop due to a rough month of May where he hit for a .200/.316/.274 line in 95 at-bats. Santos is doing better in June, with a .306/.419/.417 line in 36 at-bats.

Among all of the productive hitters in West Virginia, Eric Wood has been one of the bigger surprises. The third baseman went 5-for-18 with two doubles and his sixth homer of the year.

Alex Dickerson got off to a slow start this year after making the jump to Altoona. He’s been doing great in the month of June, hitting for a .286/.326/.548 line in 42 at-bats. Dickerson went 6-for-17 with three doubles in the last week, finishing in the top ten.

Dilson Herrera rounded out the top ten this week, going 7-for-25 with two doubles and a homer. On the season Herrera has a .282/.343/.436 line in 220 at-bats.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • BuccosFanStuckinMD

    A couple of quick comments…..

    (1) Regarding Josh Bell – this quote above concerns me greatly, regarding his recent knee injury….”There’s no update on the status of his injury, although he won’t be playing in the SAL All-Star game.”. I sure hope it is not a long term reoccurrence of a knee injury. Please update us when you hear anything more definitive.

    (2) Regarding Alex Dickerson – Seems like some people on this site are down on him a bit. I guess I view him more favorably. Last year, he had a solid year in High A – hit over .290 and drove in over 90 runs. Some are disappointed in his HR total last year, but sometimes home runs come later for hitters. He also played in a very pitcher friendly league last year. Now, this year, he’s off to a slow start again…but he’s been coming on of late. I could be proven wrong, but I predict he finishes this year very strongly in AA. He obviously plays a position that is thin in the organization – with no clear long-term replacement for Jones on the MLB team. Hague and Curry are near-term, but not highly regarded options. Options like Bell, Allie, and Osuna are a ways away yet. I think Dickerson could be the bridge between Jones and the longer term 1B solution. I like him.

    • Tim Williams

      “Seems like some people on this site are down on him a bit. I guess I view him more favorably. Last year, he had a solid year in High A – hit over .290 and drove in over 90 runs.”

      The stats you cite are probably why. I don’t even look at RBIs and I look past average at OPS. Dickerson had a decent season, and a better second half, but it wasn’t what you’d expect from a college power hitter. Since he won’t have defensive value, and since hitters usually struggle in the jump to Double-A (which he is currently doing), we had him ranked low due to the lack of offense in high-A.

      • BuccosFanStuckinMD

        I guess I question how you can look past RBIs, when scoring runs is what the game is all about. You want a guy who produces with men on base and in clutch situations. Seems to me, RBIs would be one number to consider if you are evaluating a corner infielder or outfielder.

        What recent college power hitter has hit a ton of HRs in the FSL? Maybe there are examples….I am just asking.

        He is struggling at AA, but the season is not quite half over and he has raised his average substantially over the past 3-4 weeks – despite a concussion. He is also hitting in a ball park that does not yield a lot of HRs, so I would not expect him to hit 25-30 in Altoona.

        Time will tell who is closer to being right, but I like him and I think he’s one of the Pirates top 20-25 prospects.

        • Tim Williams

          Because RBIs aren’t a reflection of an individual performance. You need men on base to get RBIs. RBIs are more dependent on your teammates and your position in the lineup than your abilities.

          I hope Dickerson does well. He’s a great guy and I personally pull for him. But I also have to compartmentalize that and look at the numbers and what he’s doing. Last year he had a .156 ISO in high-A. He even said that he wasn’t hitting as well as he could last year.

          So far he’s not doing well in Double-A, which isn’t out of the ordinary for hitters. He’s doing better lately. I hope that’s a sign that he’s figuring things out. But for the upper levels and a guy at his age, I’m looking more at results and less at potential, which explains why we’re “down on him”.

          • Lee Young

            I’m not a Dickerson fan. Seems rather mediocre to me. Hague had better stats.

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