By Jason Shetler
According to Pirates General Manager Neal Huntington, second baseman Kevin Kramer will get some outfield time with AAA Indianapolis this season.
Kramer spent majority of last year playing for Indianapolis, which was his first season with the Bucs AAA affiliate. The former second round selection had outstanding numbers with the Indians, batting .311, while posting an .856 OPS in 129 games played. Kramer’s productive work earned him a September call up to Pittsburgh. He struggled mightily with the Pirates however, as he had only a .175 on base percentage, and struck out half the time in 40 plate appearances, mostly as a pinch-hitter.
Second base is the primary position for Kramer. He’s played some shortstop, but has only done it in spurts during his first year of pro ball in 2015, the 2017 Arizona Fall League and last season. Kramer added third base to his resume a year ago, playing 19 games there. He’s never played any outfield in his professional career.
On Monday, the Pirates optioned Kramer to Indy. While he wasn’t a long shot to make the club, it also appeared unlikely that he would. Huntington says that the decision to have Kramer play some outfield this year isn’t trying to create a utility player, but to find a pathway for him to get back to Pittsburgh since they like his bat and will need him at some point.