Top Pirates Minor League Hitting Performances: Week Ending 8/26

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. Only players with a 3.0 RC or better are included on the list below. Players who spent time at different levels are counted multiple times, once for each level, rather than combining their stats. Notes on the top ten players from the last week can be found below the chart.

*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
Chase d’Arnaud Indianapolis 30 12 1 0 3 1 6 9.23
Ramon Cabrera Altoona 26 12 4 0 0 2 3 8.00
Quincy Latimore Altoona 25 10 3 0 1 4 5 7.72
Dallas McPherson Indianapolis 27 9 0 0 3 3 12 7.20
Alex Presley Indianapolis 26 10 0 1 0 5 3 5.81
Matt Curry Altoona 23 7 3 0 1 5 5 5.57
D.J. Crumlich State College 23 9 2 0 0 2 4 4.84
Brock Holt Indianapolis 26 9 2 0 0 3 2 4.55
Oscar Tejeda Altoona 25 9 1 0 0 4 3 4.48
Brandon Boggs Indianapolis 24 6 1 1 1 4 6 4.29
Eric Avila West Virginia 28 8 1 0 2 0 8 4.29
Kirk Singer Bradenton 14 7 1 0 0 0 1 4.00
Matt Hague Indianapolis 28 8 0 0 1 3 3 3.90
Samuel Gonzalez State College 17 7 1 0 0 2 3 3.79
Willy Garcia West Virginia 26 7 1 0 2 0 10 3.77
Yamaico Navarro Indianapolis 3 2 1 0 1 1 0 3.75
Max Moroff GCL 11 5 1 0 0 4 1 3.60
Dilson Herrera GCL 21 5 3 1 0 3 1 3.33
Taylor Lewis West Virginia 17 5 0 2 0 2 4 3.32
Mel Rojas Bradenton 19 5 2 0 1 1 4 3.00
Chase d’Arnaud was the top hitter in the system this week.

It seems like the entire lineup from Indianapolis was on the list this week. The Triple-A squad had seven players with a 3.00 RC or better. Leading the list was Chase d’Arnaud led the list, going 12-for-30 with three homers over the last week. D’Arnaud has a seven game hitting streak, and has a .293 average and an .846 OPS over his last ten games. He could be an option for the Pirates in September due to his work on the bases alone (31 steals in 36 attempts).

Dallas McPherson was recently signed as a minor league free agent, and should help Indianapolis in their playoff run. He already made a big splash, hitting three homers last week, including two in one game. He was once a top prospect, but probably won’t factor in to the future of the Pirates, outside of being an organizational guy in Triple-A.

Alex Presley’s time in Triple-A this year has been very similar to Jose Tabata’s demotion. He’s hitting for average, but not hitting for power. Presley has a .368 average over his last ten games, but a .421 slugging percentage. In the month of August he has a .303 average, but a .333 slugging.

Brock Holt continues his hot start in Triple-A, ending up near the top of this list for the second week in a row. Holt is hitting for a .384/.425/.493 line in 73 at-bats with Indianapolis. He’ll probably regress from those totals, but if he ends up in the neighborhood of his Double-A numbers this year (.322/.389/.432) he could really establish himself as a potential starting option, rather than the utility upside he currently has.

Altoona also had a few players on the list, with four in the top ten. Ramon Cabrera got off to a slow start at the plate this year, hitting for a .228/.289/.298 line in 228 at-bats before the All-Star break. Since the break he has hit for a .350/.426/.467 line in 137 at-bats, putting up offensive numbers similar to last year, when he won the Florida State League batting title. Cabrera is strong enough defensively to catch in the majors. He’s also a sleeper two-way catching prospect with his bat. He doesn’t hit for much power, but he does hit a lot and get on base, with some doubles power. He’s more of a strong backup option, or a 50/50 split guy, but could emerge as a starter if he continues hitting for such a high average.

Quincy Latimore has shown some strides this season, but not enough to get him on the top prospect lists. He hit his 15th homer this past week, matching his season total from 2011, in 67 fewer at-bats. He’s also passed his 2011 walk totals, although his 38 walks are still low. His strikeouts are also down, going from around 30% last year to around 25% this year. Just like the walks, there is improvement, but the strikeout numbers are still bad. He’s got some of the best power in the system, but he needs more than that to make it beyond Double-A.

After catching fire in June and July, Matt Curry has cooled a bit in August. He started cooling in the second half of July, posting a .239/.327/.418 line in 134 at-bats since the Eastern League All-Star break. He hit for power this past week, with three doubles and a homer, but his average is down, hitting .235 over the last ten games.

Oscar Tejeda has shown flashes of potential since being claimed by the Pirates from the Boston Red Sox, although he’s not hitting at a consistent level. He’s got a .259 average and a .706 OPS, which isn’t much different from the numbers he had when Boston waived him. In the month of August he has a .287 average and a .792 OPS, and he had a six game hitting streak going last week. He could be a candidate to be designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for September callups.

For the second straight week, D.J. Crumlich cracked the top ten list. He currently has a six game hitting streak, and is hitting for a .378/.419/.514 line in 37 at-bats over his last ten games. In the month of August, Crumlich has a .305 average and a .761 OPS, with not much power in his stat line.

Last week, Eric Avila was the top hitter in the system after hitting five homers in a week. Avila continued his power surge, hitting two more this week. In the month of August he is hitting for a .278/.333/.639 line in 72 at-bats, with seven homers. Since the All-Star break he has a .297/.338/.579 line in 145 at-bats with all ten of his homers. It’s a small sample size and comes in his second year in West Virginia, but that AB/HR pace amounts to 38 homers over a 550 at-bat season.

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