The prospects from Greensboro and Altoona got some recognition for their seasons over the last two days. On Thursday afternoon, Quinn Priester was named as the Pitcher of the Year in the former South Atlantic League, while outfielder Matt Fraizer was named as the league’s MVP. Greensboro had four players make the league’s season All-Star team with Priester and Fraizer being joined by Jared Triolo and Nick Gonzales. Yesterday, Oneil Cruz and Mason Martin were named to the former Eastern League’s All-Star team.
Priester had a 3.04 ERA in 97.2 innings over 20 starts, with 98 strikeouts, a 1.24 WHIP and a .225 BAA. He finished first in the league in ERA, BAA and WHIP, though the asterisk is that only three pitchers in the entire league qualified for those stats due to the innings requirement. Priester was third in the league in innings and tenth in strikeouts. While his WHIP/BAA had players who were close to qualifying with better stats, you have to lower the standards to 70 innings pitched to find a better ERA for the league.
Fraizer moved up to Altoona mid-season, but he still just barely qualified for league leaders. He hit .314/.401/.578 and led the league in all three of those categories. He finished just outside of the top ten in runs scored, homers and walks, while playing just 75 games in the league.
Gonzales finished second to Fraizer in OPS (.979 to .950). Gonzales hit .302/.385/.565 in 80 games, with 23 doubles, four triples and 18 homers. He finished third in batting, second in OBP and second in slugging.
Triolo finished second in average, giving the team a 1-2-3 finish in the batting race. The difference here is that he played much more, getting into 108 games. He had a seventh place finish with his .849 OPS. He finished sixth in the league with 25 steals and second with 74 runs scored.
Cruz played just 62 games for Altoona, so he accomplished a lot in a short time. He hit .292/.346/.536 with 12 homers and 18 steals. He fell well short of qualifying for league leaders, but his .882 OPS would have ranked sixth in the league.
Martin hit .242/.318/.481 in 112 games with Altoona. He tied for fourth in the league with 22 homers, second with 75 RBIs and tenth with 62 runs scored.
John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.
When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.