INDIANAPOLIS - The top performers of the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system were announced today by MiLB.com as part of the site's annual organization all-star awards. Of the 13 players recognized, five suited up for the Indianapolis Indians in 2019.
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Below are the players who spent all or part of 2019 with the Tribe and their combined season statistics.
Second Baseman - Kevin Kramer
Numbers between Indy (113 games) and Pittsburgh (22 games): .251 AVG, 42 XBH, 54 R, 59 RBI
Named as Indy's 2018 Rookie of the Year, Kramer's 2019 encore in Triple-A wasn't as strong as the season prior, but he made starts at six different positions to improve his versatility. Fifty of those starts came at second base. At the plate, the left-handed hitter posted a .251 average (109-for-435), 10 home runs and 59 RBI in 135 games between Indy and Pittsburgh. He finished second on the team with 29 two-out RBI and belted his first career grand slam on May 3 vs. Louisville. He was honored as a 2018 MiLB.com Organization All-Star, as well.
Third Baseman - Ke'Bryan Hayes
Numbers between Indy (110 games) and West Virginia (3 games): .261 AVG, 43 XBH, 65 R, 13 SB
Hayes' excellence at the hot corner continued en route to his third consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award as the best defensive third baseman in Minor League Baseball. He joined former Indy Indian Ramon Conde (1959-61) as the only minor leaguers to ever win three straight Gold Gloves. Hayes recorded a .989 fielding percentage - the highest of his career - while launching a career-high 10 home runs. He also ripped 31 doubles for a second straight season, swiped 13 stolen bases and was tabbed as Indy's 2019 Rookie of the Year. The 2019 campaign marks the third consecutive MiLB.com Organization All-Star honor for Hayes.
Utility - Will Craig
Numbers with Indy (131 games): .249 AVG, 46 XBH, 69 R, 78 RBI
Craig made a strong first impression with the Indians, leading the team in home runs (23), RBI, runs scored, extra-base hits, total bases (215) and walks (44). He had more two-out RBI (31) than any other Tribe player and was a vacuum at first base, notching a career-best .999 fielding percentage there which earned him his first career Rawlings Gold Glove Award. Craig was named as an MiLB.com Organization All-Star in 2018.
Right-Handed Starter - Mitch Keller
Numbers between Indy (19 starts) and Pittsburgh (11 starts): 8-10, 4.69 ERA, 151.2 IP, 188 SO
Keller's second go-round in Indianapolis featured a dominant stretch as the International League's best pitcher, a notion that came to fruition at the end of the season with the righty named as the IL's Most Valuable Pitcher. He racked up three double-digit strikeout performances, including a career-high 13 over five innings on June 7 at Toledo. He went 7-5 with a 3.56 ERA over 103.2 innings for the Tribe, piling up 123 punchouts along the way. Keller was a mid and postseason All-Star in the IL and was honored as Indy's Pitcher of the Year during the final homestand. Keller was previously named as an MiLB.com Organization All-Star in 2017.
Right-Handed Starter (Honorable Mention) - James Marvel
Numbers between Altoona (17 starts), Indy (11 starts) and Pittsburgh (4 starts): 16-8, 3.46 ERA, 179.2 IP, 145 SO
Marvel began his 2019 season in Double-A and pitched his way to Pittsburgh thanks to a stellar run through the minors' highest levels. He went 9-5 with a 3.10 ERA for Altoona and was even better for the Tribe, going 7-0 with a 2.67 ERA. He finished his minor league season with a 1.09 WHIP, .223 average against and 136 strikeouts, ultimately earning him Indianapolis' Hustle and Grit Award. Marvel was added to Pittsburgh's 40-man roster in September and made four starts for the Buccos down the stretch.
For more information or to purchase a 2020 tickets package, visit IndyIndians.com or call (317) 269-3545.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.