AFL Recap: Kevin Kramer Reaches Base Four Times in Debut

The Glendale Desert Dogs played their third game on Thursday afternoon. After losing the opener, Mitch Keller picked up the win in game two on Wednesday by throwing three shutout innings. Thursday was a quiet game for Pittsburgh Pirates, as Kevin Kramer was the only one in the starting lineup, though he had a big day at the plate. Glendale defeated Surprise by an 8-2 score.

As mentioned in our AFL preview, Kramer was playing shortstop during the Fall Instructional League and the plan in the AFL was to get him more time at the spot. Since being drafted, he has played just four games at shortstop, all during the 2015 season. At the plate, he had a chance to break open Thursday’s game early, coming up with a runner on third base and a 3-0 score. Kramer grounded out to second base to end the inning. He would come through in the third inning in a big spot, making the score 5-0 with an RBI single.

With two outs in the fifth inning, Kramer picked up a double. He would score Glendale’s sixth run on a single from the next hitter. Kramer walked in his fourth plate appearance on seven pitches, then he drew another walk in the eighth inning. He finished the day 2-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored.

On defense, Kramer had his first play with two outs in the third inning, handling a grounder to end the frame. In the fifth, he caught a line drive and doubled a runner off of first base. Those would end up being his only two plays on defense.

** JT Brubaker is the only Pirate player who hasn’t made his debut yet. Glendale hasn’t announced their fourth or fifth starting pitchers yet, so he could be in the rotation.

  • Some guy named MAZ hit a home run today. I think it was at 3:36 at a place called FORBES FIELD.

    • What an improbable outcome but just a delight to see again. this event is what made me a Pirate fan. At the time being from NYC I was a Yankee fan and all of 8 years old at the time. When the Pirates won, I jumped ship and started rooting for them and have done so ever since. Still like the hated Yankees.

      • I actually attended one of the earlier games in that series in which the Pirates were crushed by a score of something like 14-3. Never thought they had a chance, but as Yogi would say; it ain’t over till it’s over!

  • John, what position do you see Kramer being targeted to play if he makes it to Pittsburgh

    • If he hits like he did the first 1 1/2 months for Altoona this year, then you’re talking about the starting second baseman for the Pirates. He was in a slump before he got hurt though, putting up a .560 OPS in his last 19 games, so we don’t have a great idea if he was really having a breakout year in 2017 or he just went through a crazy hot streak for 34 games. So I think it’s wise to get him time at other spots in case his future ends up being a utility player