Matt Curry and Dan Gamache Were the Top Hitters in the System Last Week

Below are the top Runs Created* totals in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the last week. 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 Team AB H 2B 3B HR BB K RC
Matt Curry Altoona 24 10 2 1 1 4 7 8.50
Dan Gamache West Virginia 21 9 2 0 2 1 4 7.73
Andrew Lambo GCL 11 7 1 0 1 2 1 7.62
Oscar Tejeda Altoona 29 10 7 0 1 1 5 7.33
Quincy Latimore Altoona 26 9 2 0 1 3 8 5.79
Alex Dickerson Bradenton 20 8 2 0 0 2 4 4.55
Gregory Polanco West Virginia 7 3 0 0 2 1 0 4.50
Adalberto Santos Altoona 25 9 1 0 0 4 1 4.48
Willy Garcia West Virginia 22 7 1 0 2 0 6 4.45
Jarek Cunningham Altoona 21 6 0 1 1 3 7 4.13
Yamaico Navarro Indianapolis 20 5 1 1 2 1 6 4.00
Drew Maggi Altoona 27 7 1 2 0 3 8 4.00
Jose Tabata Indianapolis 28 8 4 0 0 1 4 3.72
Justin Howard Bradenton 12 5 1 0 0 6 3 3.67
Stefan Welch Altoona 20 6 2 0 0 5 3 3.52
Jesus Vasquez State College 28 7 2 1 1 0 6 3.50
Ramon Cabrera Altoona 27 8 2 0 0 2 5 3.45
Chris Diaz State College 23 5 0 1 1 4 5 3.33
D.J. Crumlich State College 23 7 2 0 0 2 4 3.24
Elvis Escobar GCL 21 7 1 0 0 2 4 3.13
Chris Lashmet West Virginia 16 5 5 0 0 0 3 3.13
Matt Curry was the top hitter in the system last week. – Image Credit: Mark Olson

Matt Curry led the way this week, while extending his hitting streak to eight games. Curry is only hitting for a .797 OPS in August, and has been slumping in the second half. In 27 games since the Eastern League All-Star break, Curry has a .237/.315/.419 line in 93 at-bats. That’s compared to a .320/.376/.533 line in 244 at-bats before the break. While Curry’s numbers in August aren’t dominant, they show some improvement over his slump since the break.

2011 sixth round pick Dan Gamache has quietly put up an impressive season at the plate. When he was drafted, he was viewed as a strong defensive infielder with not much of a bat. This year he’s hitting for a .294/.358/.447 line in 378 at-bats. Since the South Atlantic League All-Star break he’s hitting for a .329/.390/.497 line in 161 at-bats.

Andrew Lambo has been rehabbing in the Gulf Coast League, which made it easier for him to put up strong numbers. He’s recovering from hamate surgery, and will likely return to Altoona when his rehab is complete.

The Pirates claimed Oscar Tejeda a few weeks ago from the Boston Red Sox. The move didn’t look that impressive at the time. Tejeda was in his second year in Double-A, and was hitting for a .262/.294/.396 line in 202 at-bats. He got off to a slow start with Altoona after the claim, but has recently been tearing the cover off the ball. In the month of August he is hitting for a .320/.382/.580 line in 50 at-bats. Even more intriguing is that the Pirates played Tejeda at shortstop on Sunday. That’s a position he hasn’t played since 2009. He’s played 30 of his 32 games in left-field for Altoona, with one game at second and one game at short. It will be interesting to see if he continues getting more playing time at short, especially with Brock Holt now in Triple-A.

Quincy Latimore is having a great month of August, hitting for a .343/.425/.571 line in 35 at-bats. He started off slow this year, with a .479 OPS in April. Since then he’s put up an .801 OPS in May, an .842 OPS in June, and a .790 OPS in July. He’s got 14 homers this year in 348 at-bats, after hitting 15 in 457 at-bats last year in the Eastern League.

Alex Dickerson joins Matt Curry as another hot hitting first baseman in the Pirates’ system. Dickerson hasn’t been slumping, putting up consistent numbers He started off slow in April and May, but took off in June, with a .906 OPS and four homers in 95 at-bats. In July he improved to a .924 OPS in 110 at-bats, with four homers. So far in August he is hitting for a .992 OPS with one homer in 40 at-bats.

He only played in two games, but Gregory Polanco did enough to land in the top ten this week, hitting two homers in one game. He went down in the same game with an ankle injury, and has been out ever since.

Overshadowed by Polanco and Alen Hanson in West Virginia this year, Willy Garcia has the same upside, without the breakout numbers. Garcia is only hitting for a .256/.304/.421 line in 394 at-bats, and has struggled with strikeouts, striking out 27.9% of the time. His biggest strength is his power, with 15 homers on the year, and a .165 ISO. He’s been hot this month, with a .306/.316/.639 line in 36 at-bats, with three homers.

One of the biggest surprises this year has been the hitting of Adalberto Santos. His bat last year was enough to make him the #48 prospect in our pre-season rankings. That was after hitting for a .314/.392/.476 line in 353 at-bats in high-A. But Santos was drafted as a college senior in 2010, so his numbers below Double-A were taken with a grain of salt. Add in that he doesn’t play any strong defensive positions, and it was even more important for him to prove his bat in the upper levels. So far he’s doing that. Santos is hitting for a .385/.481/.500 line in 156 at-bats this year. He’s added 14 stolen bases in 20 attempts, and has walked more times than he’s struck out, with a 26:19 BB/K ratio. His season was shortened due to an injury early in the year, so this is still a small sample size. But his hitting continues, and the more these numbers continue, the more it looks like he is a legit hitter. He drew consideration for the updated top 20 two weeks ago, and looks like a lock for the top 30. That’s impressive for a guy taken in the 22nd round two years ago.

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Re: Gamache: I recall reading that his jr. season offensive output was less than he might have produced had he been completely healthy. His jr. was his worst while at Auburn.

Of course, I believed — hoped — he was a sleeper pick.


Matt Curry did very well last year at Lo A and then was jumped 2 levels at mid-season to AA with predictable results. However, he is repeating AA this year and doing well, but is stuck because the Pirates have Clement 29, and Hague 27 at 1B at AAA. Curry played all 4 years of college, so at 23 he needs to move and the Pirates need to eliminate those ahead of him at 1B. Since Indy is a lock to make the post-season playoffs, and Altoona will not make the playoffs, the Pirates will probably give Curry a short break and then put him in the Arizona Fall League with a ticket to AAA next Spring.

Lee Young

****FREE ADALBERTO SANTOS!!!**********

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