The Pittsburgh Pirates need to get as many at bats as possible for one of their young infielders during the season’s final 18 games
There are just 18 game remaining in the 2018 campaign for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Currently sitting at 72-73, the team is looking ahead to 2019 by getting at bats for younger players. One of these players is infielder Kevin Kramer.
Kramer made his MLB debut earlier this month after having a strong season for the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians. Kramer slashed .311/.365/.492 for the Indians to go with a .181 ISO, .378 wOBA, and a wRC+ of 141.
Since being promoted to Pittsburgh Kramer has accumulated 14 plate appearances. Kramer owns three hits, a walk, and has played both second and third base in these 14 plate appearances over six games.
As the Pirates begin to plan for 2019 the team is in need of help on offense. Kramer has proven throughout his minor league career that he has the pure hitting ability and power to impact the Pirate offense in 2019. Due to this, the team needs to be getting him at bats the rest of the season.
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Getting Kramer at bats should not be difficult to do, either. With right fielder Gregory Polanco out for the season, Clint Hurdle can play Adam Frazier in right field to get his bat in the lineup. This opens up second base for Kramer.
If the Pirates would like to get Frazier reps at second base since he may be the team’s starting second baseman in 2019, Kramer can get reps at third base too. Due to defensive struggles and a lack of power Colin Moran has left a lot to be desired at third base this season, so, giving Kramer a look there may not be a bad idea, either.
Ultimately, the team should look to get Kramer in the lineup on a daily basis with most of his reps coming at second base. If Moran can develop more power, he can be a productive hitter due to his strong walk and contact rates. Due to this, it would make sense to get Moran as many at bats as possible the next 18 days.
But, regardless of position, the Pirates need to be getting Kramer at bats down the stretch.