Share This Page

Pirates minor league notebook: Third baseman leading Power offensively

| Saturday, April 26, 2014, 8:17 p.m.

While the West Virginia Power, and in particular their offense, have scuffled a bit throughout much of April, third baseman Erich Weiss has provided a bright spot in the middle of the order.

An 11th-round pick of the Pirates in the 2013 draft out of Texas, Weiss put together 41 decent games with Jamestown in 2013 but seems to be hitting his stride early this season.

The left-handed-hitting infielder was batting .358 heading into Saturday night's game against Hagerstown, 56 points higher than the team's second-leading hitter, Danny Collins (.302). Weiss also leads or is tied for the team lead in runs (11), walks (11), on-base percentage (.456), slugging (.463), stolen bases (four), home runs (one), total bases (31) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.918).

And all of this after going 0 for 9 to begin the season.

“It's all about seeing the ball and trusting in the process in what you've practiced through spring training and the offseason and just carrying it over to the game,” Weiss said. “Even though results don't show automatically at first, it's a very long season, too, and in the first couple of series, no one is right there and no one is clicking.

“It's all about learning the whole year.”

Weiss' 11 walks in 20 games nearly matches his total of 13 from Jamestown a year ago, when he hit .273 without a home run.

If there is a chink in the armor, one would point to Weiss' righty-lefty splits as he is pummeling right-handed pitching at a .412 clip while hitting just .188 against lefties.

Power outage

While Weiss has shined, the rest of the lineup hasn't provided much support.

The Power (7-13) were second to last in the South Atlantic League in runs scored (72) entering Saturday, seventh in the 14-team league in team average (.250) and tied for second to last in home runs (four). The Power had recorded the third-fewest RBIs with 65.

Hitting coach Leoni De Renne said the early struggles aren't unusual for players at this level.

“The guys that were here last year, seeing them play this year in High-A, they're so much different because they know what to expect,” De Renne said. “These kids are 18, 19, some of them out of college. Playing every day is different. They'll realize at the end of a week, at the end of a month, they've still got four months left. It's a grind.”

Setting the pace

Right-hander Shane Carle (0-1, 3.24 ERA) is on an impressive early strikeout binge. His 19 punchouts in 16 23 innings over his first four starts is ahead of the pace Tyler Glasnow set last year in breaking the franchise single-season record with 164.

Glasnow struck out 16 over 15 innings in his first four outings last season.

Ryan Pritt is a freelance writer.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.