Pittsburgh Pirates: Monthly Minor League Report

Andrew MeaseContributor IMay 12, 2009

April has come and gone, and we are now about halfway through May.  Many casual Pirates fans may be wondering how the farm clubs as well as players such as Andrew McCutchen, Pedro Alvarez, and Jose Tabata may be doing. 

Look no further as I will update you monthly, between the 10th and the 15th, about the happenings of the Pirates minor league teams.

AAA Indianapolis Indians: 13-17, 2nd place International League West division

So far during the month of May the Indians are putting up a 5-7 record. On the season five players have taken over 100 at bats including top prospect Andrew McCutchen who is hitting .254 with 29 hits in 114 at bats. 

He has also contributed five doubles, seven triples, a homer, 25 runs, nine RBI's, and five steals without being caught.  I think the most exciting part about that, if you're a Pirates fan, is the fact that he has seven triples, has yet to be caught stealing, and has walked more than he's struck out.  The negative, however, is the fact that he is still struggling to make consistent contact.

AA Altoona Curve:  9-20 5th place Eastern League Southern Division

Last night the Curve defeated Harrisburg 5-0 featuring pitcher Jared Hughes’ first win of the season.  Third baseman Pedro Lopez was also impressive last night going 3 for 4 with three RBI’s on the contest, and Right Fielder Brad Corley hit his 4th homerun of the year. 

Hughes went five innings giving up only three hits and striking out four, lowering his ERA to 2.22 on the season.  Pirates prospect Jose Tabata, currently on the disabled list, has had a solid season thus far. 

He’s hitting .250 with zero homers and six RBI’s in 17 games.  Infielders Jim Negrych and Brian Friday have been bright spots in Altoona this season with Brian hitting .414 in his eight games, and Negrych hitting .361 in 23 games.

A Lynchburg Hillcats: 20-11 First Place CAR Northern

In May Lynchburg has gone 8-3 and at one point won seven games in a row.  Lynchburg is also the current home to mega-prospect Pedro Alvarez. 

Alvarez struggled in the early goings of the season but has recently been hitting better.  He is currently hitting .215 with six homers and 26 RBI’s. 

Other big performers in Lynchburg right now are Right Fielder Miles Durham who is hitting .302 with two homers, 12 doubles, three triples and 22 RBI’s; Catcher Kris Watts who in 25 games is hitting .400 with 3 homers and 17 RBI’s and an incredible 1.110 OPS.

A West Virginia Power: 9-23 8th Place SAL Northern

The Power are 2-7 so far in the month of May after finishing April at a dismal 7-16.  West Virginia is also home to a handful of promising Pirates prospects Robbie Grossman, Quincy Latimore, and Duke Welker. 

Grossman, the 10th best prospect in the Pirates system according to Baseball America, is having a solid campaign so far hitting .280 with eight doubles, 19 runs scored, and six stolen bases.  Calvin Pace is the top offensive player right now at West Virginia hitting .320 with 5 homers and 22 RBI’s in 27 games played.

The State College Spikes

Pittsburgh’s Rookie Ball affiliate, doesn’t update standings or any player stats, so information from that team was unavailable.  I will close with an organizational leader board. 

The players with the best stat line from each affiliate, excluding the Pittsburgh Pirates themselves, will be shown with the level they are at and the stat.

Organizational Minor League Leaders: (Players not noted with a level are AAA players)
Games Played: 4 players with 30
At Bats: Miles Durham (A) with 116
Runs: CF Andrew McCutchen 25. 
Hits: 1B Andy Phillips 39. 
Doubles: Miles Durham (A) with 12
Triples: OF Andrew McCutchen 7. 
Home Runs: OF Steve Pearce (AAA), and Pedro Alvarez (A) 6. 
RBI's: Pedro Alvarez (A) 26
Total Bases: 1B Andy Phillips 60. 
Walks: Robbie Grossman (A) 14
Strikeouts: Robbie Grossman (A) 36
Steals: Jose De Los Santos (A) 10
Caught Stealing: Jose Tabata (AA) 3
OBP: Kris Watts (A) .510
Slugging: Kris Watts (A) .600
Batting Average: Kris Watts  (A) .400
OPS: Kris Watts (A) 1.110
Errors: Pedro Alvarez (A) 10

Wins: Jeremy Powell (AAA), Chi-Hung Cheng (A) and Dustin Molleken (A) 3
Losses: 5 pitchers with 4
ERA (Minimum of 10 innings pitched): Lincoln Holdzkom (AA) 0.00 (14.1 IP’s)
Games: Eduardo Pena (A) 13
Games Started: Matt McSwain (A), and Duke Welker (A) 7
Complete Games: Tom Gorzelanny 1
Shutouts: 0
Saves: R.J. Rodriguez (A) 7
Innings Pitched: Virgil Vasquez 35.1
Hits allowed (minimum of 10 innings): 5 players with 9
HR’s allowed: Virgil Vasquez 9
Hit Batters: Jason Davis 5
Walks (minimum of 10 innings): Michael Dubee (A), Eduardo Pena (A) 2
Strikeouts: Tom Gorzelanny 32
WHIP (min of 10 innings): Chris Cullen (A) 0.86
Holds: Chris Cullen (A) 4

Be on the lookout for the June update in about a month.


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