Month of April:
After a bad a 1-5 record to start the season the Pirates turned things around to get to 15-12 and second in the NL Central. They currently sit a half a game back from St. Louis. The Pirates really seemed to click starting in Arizona and didn’t look back. That is until they got to the House of Horrors in Milwaukee, but they still had a very respectable record even with the toughest schedule in baseball. After a slow start, the offense appeared to return along with the Zoltan and got the team back on track.
Here is the rundown of how the rest of the organization fared in this first month of baseball:
Indianapolis Indians: 20-7 1st in the International League
Altoona Curve: 11-14 5th in the Eastern League Western
Bradenton Marauders: 8-16 5th in the Florida State League South
West Virginia Power: 10-15 6th in the South Atlantic League Northern
Pirates Organization April All-Stars
Catcher: Russell Martin- .274 AVG 24H 13R 6HRs 10RBIs .904 OPS
Martin started the season very slow going 0-17 to begin his career in the black and gold but has picked it up, in a big way. Since getting his first hit, Martin has only had two games in which he has been held hitless. He now leads the team in homers and in OPS and was just recently name NL Player of the Week. Martin has also been a big help in the defense where the pitchers love him and he has already thrown out 8 runners. What an upgrade he’s been over Barajas and has been instrumental in the Pirates lineup.
First Base: Stetson Allie- .351 AVG 34H 17R 8HRs 26 RBIs 1.069 OPS
It appeared the 2nd round draft pick would be a big bust for the Pirates. The flamethrower couldn’t find the plate to save his life and Huntington and Allie agreed he would be switched to a position player. Many, including myself, thought they gave up on him too quickly but Allie has certainly never looked back. Allie is leading the Power in almost every offensive statistic and is leading the entire organization with his 8 blasts. Allie probably won’t be able to keep this kind of production going but he certainly has the power and bat to project as a top talent for years.
Second Base: Ivan De Jesus- .351 AVG 13H 5R 0HR 9RBIs .886 OPS
Going through this list second base was the toughest position to fill. There just hasn’t been a whole lot of production from the position, plus Neil Walker has been injured. De Jesus only has 37 ABs but has produced in those and is hitting for a high average. He looks like another piece of that Hanrahan trade that will work out just fine. (More on that later)
Third Base: Matt Hague- .301 AVG 28H 12R 0HR 10RBIs .770 OPS
This was another tough spot to fill. It’s not that there hasn’t been some gaudy stats, in fact there are 2 players hitting over .300 in Indy and Aldaberto Santos is hitting .400 down in Altoona but none of them have had a lot of at bats. Hague has always had good numbers in AAA but appears to be a role player at best and a Four A player at worst. Even so Hague has played the position the most and has some very nice stats, despite no bombs.
Short Stop: Jordy Mercer- .330 AVG 10R 1HR 15RBIs .838 OPS
This one was a no brainer as Mercer has been ripping the cover off the ball all year. Mercer is leading the team in average and RBIs and has 3 stolen bases to boot. Can someone give this kid a serious look? PLEASE? Or is the .134 combined average of Barmes and McDonald too good to pass up on? Mercer also has 7 extra base hits compared to the 3 by Barmes and McDonald total. O and by the way Mercer has a .983 fielding percentage at short. I’m officially starting the #FreeJordy campaign.
Left Field: Starling Marte- .327 AVG 35H 20R 2 HR 11RBIs .872OPS
Marte has been a stud this year at the top of the line up. He is constantly on base and wreaking havoc on the starting pitcher. In the first inning, Marte is hitting for a ridiculous .459 average. He has also made some fantastic plays in the outfield alongside Cutch. I wouldn’t be surprised if my All-Star is an actual All-Star in the very near future.
Center Field: Gregory Polanco- .311 AVG 28H 11R 2HR 12RBIs .817 OPS
It feels almost criminal to leave Andrew McCutchen off this list, he’s been the unquestionable best player and leader of the team and face of the organization for years. Unfortunately, Cutch is off to his worst start yet, highlighted here. However, Polanco is continuing on his breakout season last year and is playing some great baseball. The Pirates’ top position prospect is still lighting it up and should see a move up soon.
Right Field: Travis Snider- .300 AVG 18H 10R 5RBIs .799 OPS
There might be some players down in the minors with better numbers but Snider has been a stud for the Pirates this year. He’s batting .305 and has missed about 3 home runs by a combined 6 inches. Snider is a welcome presence in right field and in the 2 spot in the order. Whether the 25 year old former top prospect is finally putting it all together or if he’s just playing above his ceiling remains to be seen. I honestly believe that he is figuring it all out and will be a great player for the Bucs. Snider is out with a back injury now but should return soon.
Pitcher: Stolmy Pimental- 0.30 ERA 5 GS 30.1 IP 19H 0HR 1ER 28K 14BB .179AVG
Those numbers up there? Yeah those aren’t a typo, Pimental has been that good. In what was considered the key piece in the Hanrahan trade, Stolmy is making NH look like a genius, especially considering the play of Melancon and Grilli in the back of the pen. Pimental is actually outshining Taillon down in Altoona and should get a call to Indy at any time.
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