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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Kevin Kramer is the Pirates Prospects 2018 Minor League Player of the Year

The Pirates announced their Minor League Player of the Year last week, naming Ke’Bryan Hayes their 2018 recipient. While Hayes was close in our decision making process, he was edged out, and Kevin Kramer was selected as our Pirates Prospects 2018 Minor League Player of the Year.

Kramer is now the third Pirates Prospects Minor League Player of the Year to win the award in Triple-A, and make the majors in the same year, following Jordan Luplow last year and Josh Bell the year prior. He put up a .311/.365/.492 line this year in Triple-A, hitting 15 homers and 35 doubles in 527 plate appearances.

The power numbers for Kramer took a big jump this year over a full season. He had six homers and 17 doubles in 234 plate appearances last year, which is a similar pace. The year before in Bradenton he had 29 doubles and four homers in 513 plate appearances. The power has always shown up in raw form, but he’s doing a much better job applying that to the game.

What’s more encouraging is that his walk numbers and strikeout rate didn’t take much of a hit, and his average remained high, even with better power production over a full season.

Kramer was among the league leaders in the system in a lot of offensive categories. He had the highest OPS of anyone with more than 350 plate appearances. He was first in that same group in batting average, fifth in OBP, and first in slugging. He also led the entire system in doubles and was fourth in home runs.

So far, Kramer has yet to show this production in the majors, and might need some additional time in the minors adjusting his game to what he has been seeing at the big league level. He profiles as the second baseman of the future, and could step into that role at some point in 2019.

Below you will find our Minor League Players of the Year for each level in the farm system, our previous overall award winners, and the 2018 monthly awards.

Previous Pirates Prospects Minor League Players of the Year

2017 – Jordan Luplow

2016 – Josh Bell

2015 – Josh Bell

2014 – Josh Bell

2013 – Andrew Lambo

2012 – Gregory Polanco

2011 – Starling Marte

2018 Pirates Prospects Minor League Players of the Year By Level

Indianapolis – Kevin Kramer, 2B (.311/.365/.492, 13 HR, 527 PA)

Altoona – Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B (.293/.375/.444, 7 HR, 508 PA)

Bradenton – Jared Oliva, OF (.275/.354/.424, 8 HR, 454 PA)

West Virginia – Oneil Cruz, SS (.286/.343/.488, 14 HR, 443 PA)

Morgantown – Travis Swaggerty, OF (.288/.365/.453, 4 HR, 158 PA)

Bristol – Jonah Davis, OF (.306/.398/.612, 12 HR, 241 PA)

GCL Pirates – Jack Herman, OF (.340/.435/.489, 2 HR, 169 PA)

DSL Pirates – Yoyner Fajardo, 3B (.311/.402/.455, 1 HR, 256 PA)

2018 Pirates Prospects Player of the Month Awards


Overall – Calvin Mitchell

Indianapolis – Jose Osuna

Altoona – Jason Martin

Bradenton – Alfredo Reyes

West Virginia – Calvin Mitchell


Overall – Jason Martin

Indianapolis – Jordan Luplow

Altoona – Jason Martin

Bradenton – Jared Oliva

West Virginia – Oneil Cruz


Overall – Kevin Kramer

Indianapolis – Kevin Kramer

Altoona – Ke’Bryan Hayes

Bradenton – Jared Oliva

West Virginia – Oneil Cruz


Overall – Jonah Davis

Indianapolis – Pablo Reyes

Altoona – Ke’Bryan Hayes

Bradenton – Hunter Owen

West Virginia – Rodolfo Castro

Morgantown – Travis Swaggerty

Bristol – Jonah Davis

GCL Pirates – Pat Dorrian

DSL Pirates – Emilson Rosado


Overall – Pat Dorrian

Indianapolis – Eric Wood

Altoona – Bryan Reynolds

Bradenton – Hunter Owen

West Virginia – Raul Hernandez

Morgantown – Edison Lantigua

Bristol – Jonah Davis

GCL Pirates – Jack Herman

DSL Pirates – Carlos Arroyo

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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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