Yesterday we took a look at the power numbers around the farm system. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a lot of affiliates that rank near the middle of their leagues in homers and slugging, although Bradenton was second in both categories and Indianapolis led the entire International League in slugging. Today we switch from the power tool to the hit tool and look at where all of the clubs rank in their leagues in batting average and on base percentage. Just like yesterday, I’ll include last year’s final stats for comparison.
Indianapolis has a .272 batting average, which is ten points higher than the second best team in the International League. Their OBP (.337) is six points better than second place. Last year they finished second in both categories, hitting .268, with a .333 OBP.
Altoona has a .254 average, which is tied for fifth in the 12-team Eastern League. Their .328 OBP ranks seventh. Last year they were eighth in average at .255 and eighth with a .327 OBP. Basically the same numbers, except they rank the Curve higher this year.
Bradenton ranks fifth (out of 12 teams) with a .255 average and fifth with a .328 OBP. Those stats almost mirror the Altoona totals. Last year Bradenton led the league with a .260 average and a .341 OBP. Clearly those numbers didn’t carry over to Double-A, where it’s more hitter-friendly.
West Virginia is tenth out of 14 teams with a .244 average, and they rank third with a .321 OBP. Last year, their .256 average was good for fifth in the league and a .323 OBP had them fifth as well. It’s clear that the South Atlantic League is going through some down times in offense recently.
Morgantown ranks seventh out of 14 teams with a .246 average. Their .333 OBP is sixth best. They were eighth last year with a .240 average, and fourth with a .318 OBP. That’s a big different in OBP between each year, yet the lower number ranked them higher.
Bristol ranks seventh with a .258 average in the ten-team Appalachian League. A .350 OBP has them ranked sixth, so this is clearly a big year for offense in this year. They were seventh with a .249 average last year and sixth with a .340 OBP. Same exact spots for both categories, but a decent gap in the numbers.
The GCL Pirates are tenth out of 18 teams with a .249 average, and fourth with a .356 OBP. Last year they were ninth with a .248 average and tenth with a .332 OBP. They have nearly the same average as last year, but they are doing a much better job of getting on base.
The DSL has 44 teams and the Pirates1 rank tied for third in average (.265) and ninth with a .364 OBP. The DSL Pirates2 rank 26th with a .234 average (yes, 18 teams are worse) and they are tied for 33rd with a .323 OBP. Last year, the lone affiliate ranked tied for 35th (out of 40 teams) with a .221 average, and they were fifth in OBP with a .358 mark. That’s no misprint, they walked 43 more times than any other club in the league, which pushed them 30 spots higher than where they ranked in batting average.
Today’s Starter and Notes: The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Cleveland Indians by a 9-4 score on Tuesday night. Jameson Taillon will get the start today, coming off of his last outing on July 20th when he allowed one run over 5.1 innings against the Cincinnati Reds. The Indians will counter with right-hander Trevor Bauer, who has a 2.44 ERA in 140.1 innings, with 182 strikeouts and an 1.15 WHIP. He gave up four runs over four innings against the Texas Rangers in his last start
The minor league schedule includes an early afternoon game for Altoona with Cam Vieaux on the mound. He threw six shutout innings against today’s opponent (Akron) back in early July. Indianapolis starter JT Brubaker threw six shutout innings against today’s opponent (Rochester) back in early June. Bristol has a doubleheader scheduled for today after a rain out yesterday. Oliver Garcia will start game one, while game two’s starter will be announced later today. Gavin Wallace makes his fourth start for Bradenton, looking for his ninth straight outing of at least six innings. West Virginia had their game postponed for the third day in a row. Domingo Robles goes during game one of a doubleheader today and Max Kranick gets the second game. Robles allowed five earned runs in his last start. It was the first time since May that he gave up more than two earned runs in an outing. Kranick had a career high nine strikeouts in his last outing.
MLB: Pittsburgh (53-49) @ Indians (54-46) 1:10 PM
Probable starter: Jameson Taillon (3.80 ERA, 109:31 SO/BB, 111.1 IP)
AAA: Indianapolis (52-47) vs Rochester (45-53) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: JT Brubaker (3.98 ERA, 58:31 SO/BB, 72.1 IP)
AA: Altoona (51-45) @ Akron (60-40) 12:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Cam Vieaux (2.59 ERA, 39:8 SO/BB, 48.2 IP)
High-A: Bradenton (47-50) @ Tampa (50-51) 6:30 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Gavin Wallace (4.50 ERA, 10:3 SO/BB, 20.0 IP)
Low-A: West Virginia (50-44) @ Kannapolis (53-43) 5:05 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Domingo Robles (3.38 ERA, 79:21 SO/BB, 96.0 IP) and Max Kranick (3.86 ERA, 42:14 SO/BB, 46.2 IP)
Short-Season A: Morgantown (15-22) vs Aberdeen (13-22) 7:05 PM (season preview)
Probable starter: Zach Spears (6.57 ERA, 5:7 SO/BB, 12.1 IP)
Rookie: Bristol (14-17) @ Bluefield (22-10) 5:00 PM DH (season preview)
Probable starter: Oliver Garcia (9.00 ERA, 14:18 SO/BB, 18.0 IP) and TBD
GCL: Pirates (12-14) vs Tigers West 12:00 PM (season preview)
DSL: Pirates1 (21-23) vs Indians 10:30 AM (season preview)
DSL: Pirates2 (18-25) vs Mariners 10:30 AM (season preview)
From Altoona on Monday, Ke’Bryan Hayes goes the opposite way for a line drive home run.
7/24: Erich Weiss assigned to Morgantown on rehab.
7/23: Cody Bolton placed on disabled list. Oddy Nunez demoted to West Virginia.
7/23: Pirates select contract of Casey Sadler. Max Moroff optioned to Indianapolis. Josh Smoker designated for assignment.
7/23: Nick Burdi assigned to Altoona on rehab.
7/23: Jacob Webb promoted to Bristol. Juan Henriquez assigned to GCL Pirates from Morgantown.
7/23: Will Gardner promoted to Morgantown.
7/22: Bralin Jackson placed on Altoona disabled list.
7/21: Christopher Bostick activated from Indianapolis disabled list. Alfredo Reyes assigned to Altoona.
7/20: Sean Rodriguez activated from disabled list. Tanner Anderson optioned to Indianapolis.
7/19: Pirates release Johan De Jesus and Adonis Pichardo.
7/19: Chris Sharpe placed on West Virginia DL. Robbie Glendinning promoted from Morgantown.
7/16: Nick Burdi assigned to Bradenton on rehab.
7/16: Eric Wood placed on disabled list. Alfredo Reyes promoted to Indianapolis.
7/16: Pedro Vasquez placed on disabled list. Luis Escobar promoted to Altoona.
7/16: Jake Brentz activated from Bradenton disabled list.
7/16: Christopher Bostick assigned to GCL on rehab.
7/15: Pirates sign Alexander Mojica
7/15: Austin Meadows optioned to Indianapolis. Pirates recall Tanner Anderson
7/15: Clay Holmes optioned to Indianapolis
THIS DATE IN PIRATES HISTORY
Five former Pittsburgh Pirates players born on this date, plus a trade of note. We start with one of the best pitchers in the last 30 years for the franchise, possibly the best. Doug Drabek pitched six seasons in Pittsburgh and his 1990 Cy Young award is the last one won by a Pirates’ pitcher. He helped the Pirates to three straight playoffs during their 1990-92 run. Drabek went 92-62, 3.02 in 1,362.2 innings over 196 starts in Pittsburgh. You can read a full bio on Drabek here.
Other players born on this date include 2010-13 outfielder Alex Presley. Ed Sprague, who was the third baseman during the 1999 season. Jack McMahan, a pitcher in 1956 that the Pirates picked up in the November 1955 Rule 5 draft. Also outfielder Marv Rackley, who spent the 1949 season with the Pirates. He passed away in April at age 96, the second oldest living Pittsburgh Pirates player at the time.
On this date in 1896, the Pirates traded first baseman Jake Beckley to the New York Giants for first baseman Harry Davis and cash. The deal was unpopular at the time and did not work out well. Beckley is a Hall of Famer, who was the Pirates career home run leader until being passed by Honus Wagner in 1908. He also had a strong career after the deal, while Davis lasted with Pittsburgh until 1898 when he was sold to Louisville. You can read more on this deal, the players listed above and a 1956 game recap, in the link at the top of this section.