Top Performers: Stetson Allie’s Power Wasn’t the Most Impressive Thing This 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. 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).

Stetson Allie had a monster week at the plate, but more impressive was his K/BB ratio.
Stetson Allie had a monster week at the plate, but more impressive was his K/BB ratio.

If you’ve followed my updates on Twitter or Facebook over the last week, then the top performer shouldn’t surprise you. Stetson Allie had a monster week, hitting four homers and three doubles for an incredible 15.88 RC. That’s a great thing to see from Allie, although it does come with a disclaimer that three of his home runs and nine of his hits came in Asheville. That’s a very hitter friendly park. The encouraging thing is that Allie had a 6:3 K/BB ratio in 31 at-bats this week. If he continued with a strikeout rate below 20%, and had this power, he’d have a very strong shot at making it as a hitter. Strikeouts aren’t impacted by park factors, obviously, which is why these numbers are more impressive than the offense, which probably received a boost from Asheville.

Brett Carroll also had a huge week, and was named the International League Player of the Week. Carroll blasted three homers in only 17 at-bats playing off the Indianapolis bench. He’s 30 years old, so he’s not a prospect and his results should be taken with a grain of salt due to his experience. But it was a very impressive performance, highlighted by a strong weekend.

Raul Fortunato currently has a nine game hitting streak going, and homered in back to back games over the weekend, which propelled him to the number three spot this week. I talked about Fortunato briefly last night in the Prospect Watch.

Josh Bell had seven doubles this week, and four of them came before the series in Asheville. It’s good to see Bell hitting, and especially hitting for power. He currently has a .293/.326/.537 line in 41 at-bats. The 11:2 K/BB ratio is something to watch. That 26.8% strikeout rate isn’t as bad as his brief time in West Virginia last year, but it is something he’ll need to improve upon.

Dilson Herrera and Eric Wood are both breakout candidates in West Virginia, and finished fifth and sixth on the list. Max Moroff finished ninth this week, and is another guy to watch in West Virginia. Not to cheapen their numbers this week, but I do want to point out that West Virginia had five of the top six hitters this week, and six of the top ten. There are some talented hitters on that roster, but I feel like the Asheville factor definitely played a role here.

Jared Goedert could be a depth option for the Pirates this year, especially if they see Pedro Alvarez go down with an injury. He’s got some impressive power, and started to show that this week with four doubles and a homer in 23 at-bats. That was good enough for seventh this week.

Dan Gamache has been rough defensively for Bradenton, but his hitting has been excellent. He had the eighth highest score this week. Gamache is a gap hitter who hits to both gaps and makes strong contact at the plate. If he could improve his defense at second, he could be a pretty good second base prospect.

Rounding out the top ten is Andrew Lambo, who hit for the cycle earlier in the week. Lambo is in his sixth season at the Double-A level, although he started very young and is only 24. He’s hitting for a .324/.419/.595 line, which is great to see. However, the experience at the level forces you to add some perspective to those numbers. You can’t take them as seriously as you could with a guy who is in his first or second year. Eventually it would be good to see Lambo in Triple-A, but he’s blocked there by Alex Presley, Felix Pie, and Jerry Sands.

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I notice a lot of talk in here about how much Asheville boosted the WV numbers this week (which I agree is likely true). But it makes me think how much of a nightmare it would be to have to evaluate performances in the PCL…

David Lewis

“Eventually it would be good to see Lambo in Triple-A, but he’s blocked there by Alex Presley, Felix Pie, and Jerry Sands.”

If anyone even on the periphery of prospect-hood is blocked at AAA by a 28-year-old corner outfielder with a career ML OPS+ of 77 who is a below-average fielder, then all hope is gone.

David Lewis

Wouldn’t it make more sense to stash the “immediate depth” players in AA and use AAA to actually evaluate your prospects against a higher level of competition?

Or am I missing something? Do these “immediate depth” players need to be facing AAA opposition to transition to ML when needed? Will they stop signing minor league deals with the Pirates if they have to ride a bus around the Eastern League instead of the International League? Does Nutting get bulk discounts on Delta tickets from IND to PIT?

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