And that's happened as Ryan has made developing his players his top priority. As they become better hitters, series like the one against Kannapolis become more commonplace. Huntington said the young pitchers in the Pirates system need to be able to throw effective changeups. The path to that changeup might be littered with a few extra-base hits, but when the pitcher finally gets there, he has another pitch in his arsenal.
"We're not going to put guys in situations where we just try to win a game - you know, put a squeeze on with Josh Bell at third base and put him in danger just to try to get a win in the bottom of the ninth," Ryan said. "It's not going to happen.
"As far as developing them and me running a game, you don't juggle it," he said. "It'll take care of itself."
For the month of May, it has. West Virginia began the South Atlantic League season at 9-15. Since then, the Power has gone 15-7. It's second in the SAL in batting average and runs scored and moved to eighth in team ERA after spending much of April at the bottom of the league.
Huntington said the growth the Power players have shown until now is the most important aspect of the season, but he also enjoys the fact that growth also is showing in the SAL standings.
"We want to win every game we play, don't get me wrong," he said. "But there are things we have to do along the way to help them grow and help them develop and our lens is more future-oriented than just balls and strikes and hits and outs in tonight's game."
Contact sportswriter Derek Redd at derek.r...@dailymail.com or 304-348-1712. His blog is at blogs.dailymail.com/marshall. Follow him on Twitter @derekredd.