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).
If last week was the final week for Andrew Lambo in the minor leagues this year, he finished strong. The outfielder was just called up to the Pirates, but not before being the best hitter in the system last week. Lambo went 8-for-23 with three homers, two doubles, and four walks. The three homers gave him a total of 31 on the season, which is the best in the Pirates minor league system since Steve Pearce hit 31 in 2007. For more on Lambo’s season and his upside, check out my post from yesterday, The Book on Andrew Lambo.
Austin Meadows continues to hit well to start his pro career. Meadows went 10-for-25 with a triple and a homer last week, giving him the second best score in the system. Meadows is off to a great start in the month of August, with a .370/.383/.543 line in 46 at-bats. On the season he has a .311/.383/.529 line in 119 at-bats, with three homers.
Russ Canzler is on the 40-man roster, and could help the Pirates in September as a bat off the bench who can hit lefties. So far this year Canzler has a 1.153 OPS against left-handers, compared to a .632 OPS against right-handers. The success against lefties matches up with his career numbers. Canzler went 5-for-17 with a homer and seven walks to tie for the third best score this week.
Danny Arribas tied Canzler for the third best score, going 7-for-18 with a double and four walks. The catcher has put up some surprising numbers in the GCL this year, with a .299/.396/.378 line in 127 at-bats. He doesn’t hit for much power, but he’s very athletic and makes good contact. Arribas has been getting time at first base this year in games where Reese McGuire is catching.
Adalberto Santos has had a decent year in Altoona. He is hitting for a .287/.388/.409 line, showing a good ability to get on base, but not showing a lot of power. That, plus his lack of strong defensive skills, will prevent him from being more than a utility player in the future. Santos went 6-for-19 with three doubles for the fifth best score this week.
Walker Gourley continued his impressive hitting this year, going 7-for-21 with three doubles for the sixth best score. Two more West Virginia hitters were right behind him. Josh Bell went 6-for-19 with a homer to come in seventh, and Dilson Herrera went 8-for-26 with three doubles to rank 8th. John Dreker had a great report on how all three hitters have looked.
Alen Hanson started to hit in Altoona, going 6-for-20 with a double and a triple. It takes some time to adjust to that jump to Double-A, and the fact that Hanson is getting an entire month in 2013 to make that adjustment is a good thing. I could see Hanson spending almost all of 2014 in Altoona, then making the jump to Pittsburgh in 2015 after some time with Indianapolis.
Willy Garcia rounded out the top ten this week, going 4-for-11 with a homer and two walks. Garcia has been on fire since the start of June, hitting for a .308/.358/.543 line with 11 homers in 208 at-bats. He’s got a lot of raw talent, and it wasn’t that long ago that he was considered to be just as good or better than Hanson or Gregory Polanco. His big issue has been a lack of consistency with his hitting, fueled by too many strikeouts. The strikeouts are still an issue, with a 32% rate since the start of June.