Top Performers: Do the Pirates Have Their Future First Baseman in Alex Dickerson?

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).

Alex Dickerson was the top hitter in the system for the second week in a row.

Alex Dickerson was the top hitter in the system for the second week in a row.

For the second week in a row, Alex Dickerson is the top hitter in the system. Dickerson went 10-for-22 with two doubles and a homer last week to put up the top score. His bat has been on fire since the beginning of June, with a .353/.394/.622 line in 156 at-bats, with nine homers. This month he is hitting for a .424/.457/.697 line in 66 at-bats, with four homers. That makes him an early favorite for the Player of the Month award. If he keeps this up throughout the end of the season he could emerge as the top first base option in the system.

Jeff Roy came in second this week, going 10-for-18 with three walks. The speedy Roy was taken by the Pirates in the 18th round this year. He has mostly been a singles hitter so far, with all ten of his hits this week going for singles, and 33 of his 35 hits on the year going for singles. He has used his speed to turn a lot of those singles into doubles, with 15 stolen bases in 18 attempts on the year. Roy flashes a good arm and good range due to his speed, but he’s going to need to hit for extra bases to have success in the upper levels.

Barrett Barnes has been hitting well, with a .280/.383/.480 line in 50 at-bats in the month of July. This week he went 7-for-19 with three doubles and a homer for the third best game score. Barnes struggled early in the year, and early in the month of June. Part of that could have been due to the time he missed with minor injuries. Now that he’s had the chance to adjust to low-A hitting he is starting to show some good signs on offense.

Reese McGuire has been hitting ever since he turned pro. This week he went 9-for-23 with three doubles. As of the end of the week he had reached base safely in every game, and had a hit in 12 of his 13 games, with nine multi-hit games.

Walker Gourley went 7-for-19 this week with two doubles and a homer to take the fifth spot. Gourley is hitting for a .325/.365/.427 line in 302 at-bats this year. He’s not hitting for power, but continues to do a good job hitting for average and getting on base.

Stetson Allie and Dan Gamache both had big weeks for Bradenton. Allie has been hitting well for Bradenton lately. He has a .324/.444/.432 line in 37 at-bats over his last ten games, and a .303/.425/.485 line in 66 at-bats in the month of July. Between Allie and Dickerson, the Pirates might have a good chance to develop a power hitting first baseman in the majors in the next few years.

Justin Howard went 7-for-18 with a homer this week. He has been getting more playing time with Matt Curry on the disabled list. So far this season Howard has a .320/.432/.418 line in 153 at-bats. He’s not hitting for a lot of power, but has a good average and a good on-base percentage.

2013 11th round pick Erich Weiss made a strong debut this week, going 6-for-16 with a double and two triples.

Dilson Herrera rounded out the top ten going 5-for-12 with a double and a triple. Herrera has been struggling since the start of June, so hopefully this is a sign that he’s beginning to turn things around.

Author: 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 AccuScore.com, 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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