If Kevin Kramer is trying to make a case that he should be the second baseman of the future in Pittsburgh, then he went about it the right way during the month of June. Kramer hit for a .330/.375/.681 line with six homers in 105 plate appearances, which was enough for him to be the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month for the month of June.
Kramer currently has a .282/.342/.498 line with 11 homers in 273 at-bats in his first run through Indianapolis, with those numbers being elevated due to his recent success. He had a .724 and a .729 OPS, respectively, in the first two months of the season. He wasn’t hitting for power in April, and wasn’t hitting for average in May when the power started to show up. He finally combined everything for the month of June.
The Pirates could be sellers in the next month, and that could include trading Josh Harrison. That would open the second base spot, and Kramer would be the top option to replace Harrison as the second baseman of the future.
Kramer would probably need to show another month of putting everything together in Triple-A before the Pirates could consider him ready. That conveniently aligns with the trade deadline. Even if the Pirates trade Harrison, he would need to show he’s ready in order to arrive in Pittsburgh. He does have the tools and skills to take that position in the future, and the month of June was a glimpse of that. It’s just a matter of when Kramer is ready to make the jump, and then whether he can translate those tools over to the big leagues.
PLAYERS OF THE MONTH BY LEVEL
Indianapolis – Kevin Kramer, 2B (.330/.375/.681, 105 PA, 6 HR)
Altoona – Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (.333/.403/.580, 77 PA, 1 HR)
Bradenton – Jared Oliva, CF (.323/.396/.516, 107 PA, 4 HR)
West Virginia – Oneil Cruz, SS (.375/.420/.606, 112 PA, 3 HR)