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 top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of May. 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.
*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).
Player of the Month
Coming into this weekend, the Pittsburgh Pirates promoted outfielder Mel Rojas to Indianapolis, after Rojas put up some outstanding numbers with the Altoona Curve. There’s another outfielder in Altoona who probably deserves a promotion to Indianapolis, and who put up much better numbers in the month of May than Rojas. That outfielder is Keon Broxton. In fact, Broxton blew away the entire farm system with his numbers this month, earning him the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month award for the month of May.
Broxton, acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks in a minor move during Spring Training, was on fire, hitting for a .374/.451/.657 line in 113 plate appearances this month. By comparison, Rojas had a .331/.410/.500 line, which is good, but not the monster month from Broxton. The performance from Broxton was similar to the huge numbers that Gregory Polanco put up in April, when the top prospect had a .400/.457/.632 line.
Once Polanco goes to the majors, another outfield spot will open up in Altoona. That spot should go to Broxton. Like Rojas, Broxton is 24 years old, and has previous experience in Double-A. He’s a very athletic outfielder, and was once a top prospect in Arizona’s system. He doesn’t have the upside of a starter, but could be a future bench outfielder in the majors. He’s not going to prove much by continued dominance in Altoona, and like Rojas, would benefit from getting a challenge in Indianapolis to see how he does. The Pirates will have to make a decision on whether to add him to the 40-man roster by November, as he’s Rule 5 eligible this off-season.
Minor League Affiliates
Here were the Players of the Month for each minor league affiliate.
Indianapolis Indians (AAA) - Chris Dickerson, OF (.364/.453/.545, 2 HR, 106 PA)
Altoona Curve (AA) - Keon Broxton, OF (.374/.451/.657, 4 HR, 113 PA)
Bradenton Marauders (A+) - Josh Bell, OF (.314/.368/.448, 2 HR, 115 PA)
West Virginia Power (A) - JaCoby Jones, SS (.248/.346/.444, 6 HR, 136 PA)