Casey Sadler 3

Casey Sadler is the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month For April

Each week we run our “Top Performers” series, looking at the best pitchers and hitters from the previous week. We also recap each month in order to award the Pitcher and Player of the month. Below are the average pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of April. The rankings include every pitcher who made at least four starts for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility. The Game Score listed is the average of all of their Game Scores for the month.

*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.

Pitcher of the Month

Casey Sadler is currently in the majors, thanks in part to a short-term need for bullpen arms, but also because of his strong performance in the month of April. Sadler put up a 1.67 ERA in 27 innings, with a 16:6 K/BB ratio. It’s because of that same performance that Sadler has been named the Pirates Prospects Pitcher of the Month for the month of April.

Sadler had four outstanding starts this month, going at least six innings each time, and going seven innings in his last three starts. He allowed two or fewer runs in each of those starts, and allowed five or fewer hits each time, only giving up five hits once. Sadler limited the walks, which combined with the hits meant he never had more than an average of one base runner per inning each game.

Like a lot of pitchers in the Pirates’ system, Sadler is a sinkerball guy. He had a 1.44 GO/AO ratio, as a result of a 51.3% ground ball ratio. He doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, focusing instead on getting early contact and going deeper into games. Ryan Palencer talked with Sadler, noting how the sinker-heavy approach has been effective.

Sadler was a 25th round draft pick in the 2010 draft, and spent the first two years of his career as a long-reliever. He displayed a promising 91-93 MPH fastball in the lower levels, and was eventually moved to the rotation during the second half of the 2012 season in Bradenton. The move came after Gerrit Cole was promoted to Altoona, causing a rotation spot to open. Sadler pitched well in his time as a starter, and never looked back. Last year with Altoona, he had a 3.31 ERA in 130.1 innings during his first full season as a starter, along with a 1.74 GO/AO ratio.

The competition throughout the system was strong this month. Sadler’s teammate, Brandon Cumpton, had a 1.42 ERA in 19 innings, with an 11:3 K/BB ratio in his time with Indianapolis. He also had a nice start in the majors. However, only the minor league time was considered, which eliminated Cumpton from consideration. Adrian Sampson dominated down in Altoona, with a 1.82 ERA in 24.2 innings, along with a 23:8 K/BB ratio. Pat Ludwig moved back and forth between being a starter and throwing in a piggyback role, but put up an impressive 1.80 ERA in 20 innings of work, along with a 19:5 K/BB ratio. Buddy Borden, a 2013 draft pick, had a great start in West Virginia, with a 1.37 ERA in 19.2 innings, along with a 19:9 K/BB ratio.

Minor League Affiliates

Here were the Pitchers of the Month for each minor league affiliate.

Indianapolis Indians (AAA) - Casey Sadler, RHP (1.67 ERA, 16:6 K/BB, 27 IP)

Altoona Curve (AA) - Adrian Sampson, RHP (1.82 ERA, 23:8 K/BB, 24.2 IP)

Bradenton Marauders (A+) - Pat Ludwig, RHP (1.80 ERA, 19:5 K/BB, 20 IP)

West Virginia Power (A) - Buddy Borden (1.37 ERA, 19:9 K/BB, 19.2 IP)

Enjoy this story? Pirates Prospects will be switching to a subscription site on 4/13, so that we can continue bringing you the best Pirates coverage there is. For a very small monthly price, you can continue getting articles like this, along with coverage from every minor league city. Get more information here, and subscribe today!

Share This Article

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.

Gregory Polanco is the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month For April

Next Story »

Prospect Watch: Joely and Wandy Rodriguez Struggle, Homers For Hanson and Lambo

  • johndw28

    Tim it’s early but if you were rating prospects today would you have some changes? One that clearly comes to mind so far is Joely- from what I’ve seen just not looking like a top prospect 12, 13 wherever you had him. Maybe he comes around but he’s looked quite ordinary when I’ve seen him.

Latest Analysis

  • Alen Hanson f

    Pirates Talk With David Todd: Hanson, Ramirez, Taillon, Kingham, Richard, Worley

    3 hours ago

    I was on 970 ESPN in Pittsburgh this afternoon for my weekly segment with David Todd. The podcast can be heard below. Here is a summary of ...

    Read More
  • Billy Roth is the top prospect in Bristol this year.

    Another Projectable Prep Pitcher Sees An Increase in His Velocity

    9 hours ago

    When discussing the best Pittsburgh Pirates draft under Neal Huntington, the 2011 group has to be at the top of the list. It features Gerrit Cole, Tyler ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero

    Breaking Down the Final Pirates Roster Battles After Today’s Cuts

    2 days ago

    With less than a week remaining in camp, the Pittsburgh Pirates made their latest round of cuts this morning, sending three relievers to minor league camp, including ...

    Read More
  • Keller Supak Hinsz

    Even With the New Draft Rules, the Pirates Are Still Loading Up on Projectable Pitchers

    3 days ago

    From 2008-2011, the Pittsburgh Pirates spent a lot of resources on projectable pitchers out of high school. So far, this approach has led to breakout performances from ...

    Read More
  • Josh Bell made the move to first base over the off-season. (Photo credit: David Hague)

    Why Should You Care About Prospects?

    5 days ago

    Yesterday I had a shorter day than usual. The Pirates had cuts at the MLB level, and a road game. The day was shortened at Pirate City, ...

    Read More
  • Gregory Polanco

    Q&A: Trading Prospects For Rentals, Polanco Concerns, Meadows vs Appel

    5 days ago

    I missed the Q&A last week due to a common problem in Spring Training: I forgot what day it was. It was around 6:00 that I was ...

    Read More
  • Nick Kingham f

    Improving His Two-Seam Fastball will Make Nick Kingham a More Effective Pitcher

    7 days ago

    With Jameson Taillon returning from Tommy John surgery, and unlikely to make an impact at the Major League level early in the year, the top prospect to ...

    Read More
  • Arquimedes Caminero 3

    The Roster Situations That Could Impact the Makeup of the Pirates Bullpen

    1 week ago

    There are less than two weeks remaining in Spring Training, and the one area where the Pittsburgh Pirates had actual position battles is heating up. There were ...

    Read More
  • Jordan Luplow

    How the Pirates are Trying to Stay Ahead of the Curve With the New Draft Rules

    1 week ago

    The 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement brought a lot of changes to Major League Baseball. The biggest change for the Pittsburgh Pirates came in the draft. From 2008-2011, ...

    Read More
  • Alen Hanson

    The Key For Alen Hanson to Help the Pirates in the Majors This Year

    1 week ago

    When the Pittsburgh Pirates moved Alen Hanson to second base last year, part of the plan was to get him to the majors faster by putting him at ...

    Read More
  • Browse More Articles

    More