ALTOONA, Pa. -- Will Craig's mission to make consistent, hard contact this season has paid off. The right-handed slugging Craig leads the Eastern League with 84 RBIs and ranks third with 18 home runs, the result of him trying to develop into the player the Pirates envisioned when they selected him in the first round two years ago.
Yet, Craig isn't satisfied. Upon joining the organization, Craig's singular focus was improving as a hitter by making consistent contact and improving his plate discipline. As a result, he batted .280 at short-season West Virginia and .271 with High-A Bradenton last season.
However, his average has dipped to .250 with Double-A Altoona this season. Craig, the No. 18 Pirates prospect according to MLB.com, is trying now to hit for both average and power.
"It's definitely not where I want it to be, but ... this year was for me to show power, to show I can hit the ball all over the yard and hit the ball over the fence," Craig said. "I feel like I've done that and making that change and progress from last year to this year power-wise will help next year develop me into where I was my first two years, on-base and hitting for average, as well as power."