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 June. 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
Josh Bell was the hitter of the month for Bradenton during the month of April and May. This month he took it to the next level, exploding for a .383/.433/.628 line in 94 at-bats. That was good enough to be the Player of the Month in the entire system.
A big part of Bell’s month came during a 14-game hitting streak, where he hit for a .472 average and a 1.263 OPS in 60 plate appearances. He added three home runs during that span. Bell had hits in 19 of 24 games this month, and reached base safely in 21 of 24 games. He ranked first in the system in hits, home runs, average, OBP, and slugging, and ranked second in doubles.
One impressive thing about Bell’s month is that he has been hitting the ball well against lefties. Bell has been crushing right-handers all year, but struggled early in the season against left-handers. He had an OPS in the low .600’s at the end of May. By the end of June, his OPS against lefties was up to .838. It’s a small sample size of 89 at-bats during the entire season, but he hit well this month to make up that much ground in such a short amount of time.
Bell has a .328/.375/.505 line in 293 at-bats this season, along with nine homers. Now that he’s hitting lefties well, he’s not giving many reasons to remain in Bradenton. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see him promoted to Altoona during the month of July, and possibly early in the month. He was the lone Pirates prospect selected to the MLB Future’s Game, and will participate in the game during the MLB All-Star break in the coming month.
Minor League Affiliates
Here were the Players of the Month for each minor league affiliate. The short-season affiliates didn’t have enough playing time this month. We will begin recapping them starting next month.
Indianapolis Indians (AAA) - Chris Dickerson, OF (.309/.415/.456, 2 HR, 82 PA)
Altoona Curve (AA) - Willy Garcia, RF (.313/.333/.578, 5 HR, 87 PA)
Bradenton Marauders (A+) - Josh Bell, OF (.385/.434/.625, 5 HR, 107 PA)
West Virginia Power (A) - Harold Ramirez, CF (.333/.374/.435, 1 HR, 116 PA)