The South Atlantic League All-Star team has been announced, and three Pirates prospects have been selected to the team. Breakout hitters Alen Hanson and Gregory Polanco, along with 2011 30th round draft pick Matt Benedict, were selected as the representatives from the West Virginia Power.
Hanson has not only been the biggest breakout player in the Pirates’ system this year, but he’s also been one of the biggest breakout players in all of baseball. The shortstop is hitting for a .332/.391/.586 line in 220 at-bats, with eight homers. Heading in to games on Tuesday, Hanson leads the minor league organization in hits (73), average (.332), and slugging (.586). He is tied for first in doubles (18), triples (7), and home runs (8). He ranks second in stolen bases (14) and OBP (.391).
Polanco has also had a breakout season, hitting for a .304/.363/.480 line in 204 at-bats. His eight homers tie Hanson for the system lead. He is also tied for the system lead with 15 stolen bases. He ranks second to Hanson in hits (62), ranks third in average (.304), and ranks fourth in slugging (.480).
Benedict currently has a 2.93 ERA in 67.2 innings, with a 42:17 K/BB ratio. He has pitched in to the sixth inning in each of his last six starts, and has allowed three or fewer runs in his last five starts. The right-hander has only given up more than three runs in one of his 12 starts this year, giving up five earned runs in 5.1 innings on May 10th. He’s only given up three earned runs in two other starts, with his other nine starts going for 0-2 earned runs. Among Pirates minor league starters with 10 or more starts, he ranks third in ERA (2.93), fifth in BB/9 (2.3), and first in HR/9 (0.1).