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Minor league notebook: Kilcrease shining as reliever for Bradenton

| Saturday, May 25, 2013, 10:00 p.m.
Pirates prospect Robbie Kilcrease throws for Single-A Bradenton earlier this season.
Bradenton Marauders
Pirates prospect Robbie Kilcrease throws for Single-A Bradenton earlier this season.

BRADENTON, Fla. — There's life for guys who go undrafted.

Just asked Robbie Kilcrease.

The Bradenton Marauders' left-handed reliever was a redshirt junior at Texas Tech when he signed a free-agent contract with the Pirates in June 2011.

It appears to have been a shrewd move.

Heading into this weekend's series against the St. Lucie Mets, Kilcrease had a 1.38 ERA in 26 innings over 14 appearances. He also has two saves.

Kilcrease, who turned 24 in March, also has allowed just one of 12 inherited runners to score.

And he's at his stingiest against lefties, limiting them to a .095 batting average. Righties aren't doing much better, hitting .197.

All of this follows a 2012 season with Single-A West Virginia, where Kilcrease went 2-2 with a 2.80 ERA. His 43 appearances were fourth-best in the system.

Feeling fine

A wrist injury that cost Gregory Polanco some time appears to have healed.

One of the brightest stars in the Pirates' system, Polanco is hitting .343 and slugging .642 in 18 games this month. His on-base getting is .413 clip.

He also has stolen 10 bases in 11 attempts this month.

With runners in scoring position, Polanco is hitting .356 with 19 RBI. He is hitting .321 overall and is second in the Florida State League in steals and sixth in slugging (.522).

Born to run

The Marauders rank first in the FSL with 68 stolen bases, but they've also been caught stealing a league-high 30 times.

Polanco leads the team with 19 steals. Alen Hanson has 10, and Benji Gonzalez and Taylor Lewis have nine apiece.

Hanson has been nabbed a team-high seven times.

John Lembo is a freelance writer.

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