Top Performers: Danny Collins and Alen Hanson Lead the Pirates Hitters

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).

Danny Collins had a great first week in the Pirates’ system. The first baseman went 10-for-27 with four homers, taking the top spot in the system this week. Collins was a 13th round pick taken out of Troy, and looks like an interesting middle round pick due to his power and hitting abilities. His numbers in the NYPL need to be taken with the disclaimer that the league is pretty much an extension of college. Most of the college draftees go to the league, so the talent level shouldn’t be any greater than he’s been facing in college. We’ve seen guys like Matt Curry and Alex Dickerson put up big numbers in the NYPL, only to see their numbers drop in the upper levels. Collins remains an interesting guy to follow, and if he hits well in Jamestown he could move to Bradenton next year. But the big test will be the future jump to Altoona.

Alen Hanson was the second best hitter of the week.
Alen Hanson was the second best hitter of the week.

Alen Hanson has been on fire at the plate ever since the first two weeks of the season. He continued that this past week, going 12-for-28 with four doubles and a homer. Hanson had an .840 OPS in May, and has a .966 OPS so far this month.

Adalberto Santos went in a slump in the month of May, but seems to be coming out of it. Santos went 9-for-21 with two homers last week, and has a .983 OPS in 57 at-bats this month.

Walker Gourley has been hitting well all year in West Virginia. He continued that this week, going 9-for-16 with two doubles. The problem is that he’s not drawing a lot of walks, and not hitting for power. That leads to an empty average which probably won’t translate to the upper levels.

With the Pirates needing players who can hit left-handers, Matt Hague could be a sleeper option. The first baseman went 9-for-22 this week with three doubles and seven walks. On the season he’s doing great against lefties, with a .943 OPS. That’s only in 55 at-bats, but Hague has hit left-handers well throughout his minor league career, so it’s not exactly a small sample size issue.

Max Moroff has good hitting tools, but has been inconsistent at the plate this year. He went 6-for-10 in West Virginia’s shortened week, with three doubles. Barrett Barnes is another guy with good tools who has struggled at the plate. He went 7-for-20 with three doubles and two homers in the shortened week, and was named the SAL Player of the Week.

Jodaneli Carvajal always seems to start off hot at each level. Last year he was great the first few weeks with West Virginia, then struggled enough to get demoted to the NYPL. The same thing happened in State College last year. This year he’s off to a hot start with Jamestown, although based on history we shouldn’t expect it to last.

Andrew Lambo has carried his power production over to Indianapolis, going 8-for-27 with three doubles and two homers. Lambo seems like he’d have more value as a trade chip this year. He doesn’t provide an upgrade over Travis Snider, and he’s a minor league free agent at the end of the season. A team could trade for him, add him to the 40-man roster, then have three more years to keep him in the minors. The Pirates could add him to their own 40-man roster, but they already have a lot of similar valued players like Snider, Jose Tabata, and Alex Presley.

Elvis Escobar got off to a great start with Jamestown this week, going 9-for-26 with two doubles and a triple.  He rounded out the top ten, although he narrowly edged out Jin-De Jhang, another Jamestown hitter, who went 6-for-20 with three homers in his first week.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Pirate Tom : Polanco has a sore shoulder from a defensive play over the weekend and is day to day. And,to BFSIM : the only way you could possibly judge Santos as a good defensive player is if you compare him to Miguel Sano. Santos is a defensive liability,and if you had seen him over a long period,I am sure you would agree. But,Sano is an even more compelling case for : where are they going to hide this guy ? He is absolutely out of place at 3d base,and with his size,you can’t do much but possibly try him at 1st base.


any news as to why Polanco hasn’t been playing the last couple games?…


I wonder about Lambo and whether he will get a shot at regular playing time against right handed pitchers if Snider doesn’t improve soon.

I could see giving Lambo a chance to be a platoon right fielder and see if he can bring some power to majors. He would need to show the Bucs he is better than Pressley too.


I saw Altoona play Bowie on Saturday night, and I really liked Santos. he fielded his position well and was a tough out at the plate – HR, double, single, walk. Probably doesn’t have enough pop to stay at 3B, but what about 2B or utility role?

As for Lambo not being an upgrade over Snider, he probably isn’t – but, we really don’t know for certain. I would like to see Lambo do so well at Indy as to force the Pirates hand – at either bringing him up for a shot, trade him, or risk losing him to free agency as you stated. He seems like he has overcome a lot and maybe he has finally matured to the point of reaching his potential. I am rooting for him to make it.

Sean Matthews

I watched Bradenton vs St Lucie yesterday and even Hanson’s outs had solid contact. The homer over right field fence had a different sound off the bat than everyone else that made contact yesterday. That kid is going to be something. His fielding was solid, I left in the 7th had he had 5-6 putouts and all were sound. Can’t wait to see him in a couple years in the show

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