BRADENTON, Fla. - Every year it seems like I am asked why the Pirates are giving a position player starting time in Altoona. The player typically is coming off poor numbers in Bradenton the year before but was still promoted and still receiving starts. Looking at the stats, it's hard to see what the team likes about the player. But as the Altoona season goes on, the player eventually shows why the team kept giving him chances.

This happened in 2015 with Max Moroff and Adam Frazier. Moroff had a .665 OPS in Bradenton the year before, while Frazier had a .616 OPS. Moroff had a .783 OPS with Altoona, and Frazier had an .801 OPS, propelling both to become future MLB players. It happened again in 2016, as Eric Wood posted a .782 OPS in his second year in Altoona, two years after a .739 OPS i...

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