Usually we have some sort of discussion between us to decide the monthly awards. That didn’t happen this time. The month of June belonged to 23-year-old shortstop Robbie Glendinning, who you may have just read about this morning because he was also named as our Player of the Week. The only discussion really was with the Players of the Month by Level down below, and that’s because Glendinning split the month between two levels, so he wasn’t at either place long enough to get his name listed down there. Getting a mid-season promotion didn’t slow him down at all, which is why Robbie Glendinning is the Pirates Prospects Player of the Month for June.
Glendinning was a 21st round pick of the Pirates in 2017 out of Missouri. He grew up in Australia before coming to the U.S. to play college baseball. In his first year of pro ball, he hit .198/.342/.229 in 29 games with Morgantown. He followed that up by playing winter ball in Australia, where in limited time, he put up a .914 OPS. Glendinning began the 2018 season in Extended Spring Training before reporting back to Morgantown. His stay was short there and he hit above the league average in the pitcher-friendly league with a .733 OPS. He played the final six weeks of the season with the West Virginia Power, where he had a decent .749 OPS.
After the 2018 season, it was back to winter ball (technically it’s summer ball in Australia), where Glendinning got invaluable experience playing alongside MLB veteran Peter Kozma, while also seeing better pitching in the ABL than the league saw the previous season. During the winter season, I talked to Glendinning, who stated that his lack of playing time and the lower quality competition growing up in Australia, had him behind everyone else in his age range here in the U.S. The winter ball at-bats were a way of catching up to the other players and he made the most of his time. Glendinning hit .364/.467/.545 in 28 games. It seemed like they were inflated stats due to the league, but he’s basically putting up similar numbers this season split between Bradenton and Altoona.
In the month of June, he hit .379/.450/.586 in 100 plate appearances. That gives him a season slash line of .340/.398/.583 in 235 at-bats. Glendinning has eight steals in 11 attempts this year, after going 4-for-11 in his two previous seasons combined. He left the Florida State League as the league leader with a .992 OPS, where the current leader is 126 points lower. He hasn’t missed a step in Altoona, posting a .958 OPS in 24 games with the Curve. The current Eastern League leader has a .942 OPS.
Glendinning is an athletic player, who runs well and can play middle infield, as well as third base, and I imagine you could also throw him in the corner outfield spots as well. The power we saw in winter ball is coming through this season, leading to 33 extra-base hits in 67 games. The one area of concern could be the strikeout rate, which is a little higher than you like to see in the minors, but it’s coming with both power and a high OBP. Glendinning has never previously been considered for our top 50 prospect list, but it seems safe to say that he will be making his first appearance on this list when our mid-season update comes out in a few weeks.
PLAYERS OF THE MONTH BY LEVEL
Indianapolis – Cole Tucker, SS (.289/.325/.500, 80 PA, 3 HR)
Altoona – Jared Oliva, CF (.296/.378/.480, 109 PA, 3 HR)
Bradenton – Dylan Busby, 3B (.278/.350/.544, 100 PA, 6 HR)
Greensboro – Mason Martin, 1B (.272/.352/.543, 101 PA, 5 HR)
DSL Pirates – Alexander Mojica, 3B (.351/.493/.667, 73 PA, 4 HR)