Josh Bell is just ten games into his Major League career. However, through these first ten games he is proving that he belongs in the Major Leagues.
For much of the season, Pittsburgh Pirate fans were calling for first baseman Josh Bell to be promoted from Triple-A Indianapolis. While John Jaso was performing well for most of the season, fans continued to call for Bell. And it was for good reason.
At Triple-A this season Josh Bell was crushing the baseball. Bell had a 11.8 percent walk rate, .378 wOBA, 143 wRC+, .157 ISO, and 41 extra base hits. Without a doubt, Bell was, offensively, ready for the Major Leagues.
Through his first 23 Major League plate appearances Bell has picked up right where he left off at Triple-A. In his first 23 at bats he is slashing .438/.565/.688/1.253 with a .512 wOBA, 229 wRC+, and a .250 ISO. While his stats are impressive, they have not been the most impressive thing about Josh Bell thus far.
The most impressive thing about Bell is how comfortable he has looked at the plate. So far, Josh Bell has looked like a Major League veteran instead of rookie. He has looked like a hitter who belongs in the Majors.
More from Rum Bunter
- Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Stockwatch: Outfielder Tres Gonzalez
- Pittsburgh Pirates Podcast: Rum Bunter Radio Talks Winter Meetings Fallout
- Pittsburgh Pirates: Potential Leadoff Hitters in 2023
- Pittsburgh Pirates: The Rotation is not being Improved
- Pittsburgh Pirates Make Vince Velasquez Signing Official
Through his first 23 plate appearances Josh Bell has walked six times and struck out just twice. This comes out to a 26.1 percent walk rate and a 8.7 percent strikeout rate. Throughout his Minor League career Bell showed great plate discipline, and this has continued in the Major Leagues.
One of the hardest things for a young hitter to do in the Majors is to be patient and not be over-matched. Thus far, Josh Bell has done both of these things. In fact, in last night’s victory over Milwaukee Bell became the first Pirate since Barry Bonds to draw three walks in one of their first ten career Major League games. When you accomplish something that has not been done since the greatest hitter of out generation, you are in good company.
Bell has also done an excellent job of knowing the situation. One example was in Wednesday’s loss to the Astros. Bell came to the plate with a runner on third and less than two outs. Houston pitcher Colin McHugh threw Bell a pitch on the outside corner. Bell simply went with the pitch, and drove it to left field for a sacrifice fly.
While Josh Bell’s defense still needs work, his offense has been nothing short of spectacular. Bell has all the tools needed to be an elite hitter in the Major Leagues. So far, he has put all of those tools on display.
Josh Bell is only 23 plate appearances into his Major League career. However, so far, he has looked like a hitter who belongs. He has not been overpowered, he has been patient, and his baseball IQ has been put on display. The Pittsburgh Pirates have a future superstar in Josh Bell.