The Pirates continue to see strong offense in the minor leagues this year, making the Player of the Month award a close race. This time around, Mason Martin powered his way to the honors, hitting for a .293/.388/.657 line to become the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month for May.
Martin not only put up that impressive line, but he also hit nine home runs in 121 plate appearances, leading the entire minor league system for the month of May. He is currently tied for the system lead with Will Craig at 15 homers each. Martin hit for power in April, but saw a big increase this past month, going from a .267 ISO to a .364 ISO.
In addition to the power, Martin also saw improvements with his ability to hit for average. He had a .222 average last month, and increased that to .293. That was largely due to a .351 BABIP, up from .298. But it also helped that he cut down his strikeouts from 36.4% to 30.6%. Martin also saw a slight increase in his walk rate, going from 11.8% to 12.4%.
One of the big concerns with Martin in the past has been that he can hit for power and draw walks, but strikes out too often and doesn’t hit for average. Hopefully the month of May is a sign that he’s starting to trend in the right direction with the flaws, while still keeping his strengths. The strikeouts are still high, but acceptable as long as the power and average stick around.
PLAYERS OF THE MONTH BY LEVEL
Indianapolis – Kevin Kramer, 2B (.310/.398/.560, 98 PA, 4 HR)
Altoona – Jason Delay, C (.339/.400/.678, 65 PA, 4 HR)
Bradenton – Robbie Glendinning, SS (.323/.374/.576, 107 PA, 5 HR)
Greensboro – Mason Martin, 1B (.293/.388/.657, 121 PA, 9 HR)