We don’t often get highlights from the West Virginia Power, so here are some from the last couple days. It seems like the Rome Braves are the only team that posts highlights, so when the Power are in town, they usually post one per game for the visiting team.
The first video is a sacrifice fly from Reese McGuire, which gave the Power a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth. McGuire hasn’t hit much since the All-Star break, posting a .535 OPS in 29 games. He has been much better recently though and helping his team out with some key hits. In his last nine games, McGuire is hitting .353 with nine RBIs. He puts the ball in play a lot, so while the overall results aren’t anything special this year(.621 OPS), it’s good to see that he isn’t over-matched at the plate. In 326 plate appearances, he has a 20/32 BB/SO ratio, very low numbers in both categories, which is obviously good and bad. McGuire will need to show a better pitch selection, which should lead to more walks and more extra-base hits(he has just 11), but it’s important to remember that he is 19 years old in full-season ball and catchers usually develop slower at the plate compared to most other positions.
The second Power video is Maximo Rivera driving in two runs. The 21-year-old, who has played all over the diamond throughout his career, was just recently promoted to West Virginia from Bristol. Rivera has an interesting story. He has been in the Pirates system for five years and was actually a high-priced July 2nd signing back in 2009. His $165K bonus that year was the second highest one signed by a Pirates player behind Jose Osuna and ahead of Alen Hanson. He was originally a power-hitting shortstop, but not only did he not show any power his first two years, he quickly moved off shortstop. He broke out in his third season in the DSL, batting .367 and showing some glimpses of power with four homers. He moved to the GCL last year and saw limited playing time, then moved to Bristol this year and batted .310 in 19 games before the promotion.
Rivera has played every position except catcher and pitcher during his career and has never played more than 32 games at one position in any season, so you could say there hasn’t been much stability in his career. If he’s ever going to show the power/hitting combo the Pirates thought they were getting, he needs to show it soon or he will be buried as an organizational player next year, then become a minor league free agent the following season.
Finally, we have a video of Stetson Allie’s 15th homer, which he hit last night. He’s handled the AA jump about as well as you could expect from someone with his experience. The .239 average and 99 strikeouts in 306 at-bats obviously don’t look good, but he has 14 doubles, 15 homers and 45 walks, which are all positive signs. He’s going to leave the Pirates with a difficult Rule V decision this off-season, especially if he can finish strong. Some team might be willing to take him based on the huge power potential alone, so the Pirates will have to decide whether they are willing to chance him being selected, or add a player to their 40-man roster that may never hit enough to reach that full power potential.