Each week we run our “Top Performers” series, looking at the best pitchers and hitters from the previous week. We also recap each month in order to award the Pitcher and Player of the month. Below are the average pitching Game Scores* in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ farm system from the month of August. The rankings include every pitcher who made at least four starts for a Pirates’ minor league affiliate, with no limitations on whether the starting pitcher has prospect eligibility. The Game Score listed is the average of all of their Game Scores for the month.
*Game Score is a stat created by Bill James used to determine how good a pitcher’s outing really was. The formula for game score is simple: Start with 50 points, add one point for every out recorded, add two for each inning completed after the fourth, add one point for each strikeout. Subtract two points for each hit, four points for each earned run, two points for each unearned run and one point for each walk. There tends to be an advantage for pitchers who can go longer in the game, as they have more time to pile up strikeouts, while getting bonus points for extra innings beyond the fourth frame.
Pitcher of the Month
For the second month in a row, Tyler Glasnow has been named our Pitcher of the Month in the Pittsburgh Pirates’ minor league system. Glasnow had an impressive month in July, posting a 1.82 ERA in 29.2 innings, with a 40:9 K/BB ratio. He was even better this month, with a 1.73 ERA in 36.1 innings, along with a 51:12 K/BB ratio.
This is also the third month in a row where Glasnow has been our Pitcher of the Month in Bradenton. He has a 1.47 ERA in 91.2 innings since the start of June, along with a 120:35 K/BB ratio. The 11.8 K/9 is impressive, but the 3.4 BB/9 is the most encouraging thing, showing improvements in Glasnow’s control as the season has gone on.
In June and July, the Pitcher of the Month race was a close one between Glasnow and Nick Kingham, with Kingham winning in June. This time the race was close, only it was between Glasnow and Tyler Eppler. Eppler had an 0.62 ERA in 29 innings with Jamestown, along with a 23:3 K/BB ratio. Eppler has been posting some great numbers since being drafted in the sixth round this year, with a 2.49 ERA in 68.2 innings, along with a 6.4 K/9 and a 1.4 BB/9. Ultimately, Glasnow got the edge due to a much higher strikeout rate, and due to the fact that he’s a year younger than Eppler and having success two levels higher.
Minor League Affiliates
Here were the Pitchers of the Month for each minor league affiliate.
Indianapolis Indians (AAA) – Rafael Perez, LHP (2.52 ERA, 24:6 K/BB, 35.2 IP)
Altoona Curve (AA) – Zack Dodson, LHP (3.16 ERA, 22:11 K/BB, 31.1 IP)
Bradenton Marauders (A+) – Tyler Glasnow, RHP (1.73 ERA, 51:12 K/BB, 36.1 IP)
West Virginia Power (A) – Buddy Borden, RHP (2.00 ERA, 33:4 K/BB, 27 IP)
Jamestown Jammers (A-) – Tyler Eppler, RHP (0.62 ERA, 23:3 K/BB, 29 IP)
Bristol Pirates (RK) – John Sever, LHP (1.90 ERA, 33:11 K/BB, 23.2 IP)
GCL Pirates (RK) – Mitch Keller, RHP (1.76 ERA, 17:11 K/BB, 15.1 IP)