Pittsburgh Pirates: Complete Minor Trade with Nationals

off-season regrets and success Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
off-season regrets and success Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

News: The Pittsburgh Pirates have been quite active on the trade market this September.  Yesterday, they completed another trade with the Washington Nationals.

The Pittsburgh Pirates are acquiring infield prospect Chris Bostick from the Washington Nationals. In exchange the Nationals are getting Taylor Gushue and cash considerations. Bostick is a utility infield/outfield prospect.  Entering the 2016 season Bostick was rated as the National’s number 25 prospect overall.  He is known for his ability to hit had line drives and is a plus runner.  Also, as mentioned earlier, he is very versatile.  He is primarily a second baseman, but has seen time at third base, shortstop, and left field as well. Bostick was also designated for assignment on September 18th but the Nationals.  So the Pirates felt that he was worth a pick up to make a trade, so they must like the versatility he can bring.

Here is John Sickel’s scouting report on Bostick that he wrote for minorleagueball.com entering the 2016 season:

"Chris Bostick, INF-OF, Grade C+: Age 22, hit .258/.312/.398 with 12 homers, 31 steals, 31 walks, 100 strikeouts in 530 at-bats between High-A and Double-A, positives include power/speed production, ability to play infield and outfield, negatives include swing/miss tendency, low walk rate, lack of polish at all positions. Probably a role player but one who can do several things."

Sickel, who had Bostick ranked as the #13 prospect in the National’s system hits on a few points here.  We talked about the speed and power combination already.  However, he also mentions that he has swing and miss tenancies.  This year in 64 games at Triple-A, Bostick struck out 67 times.  In those 64 games he also only walked 16 times.  His walk to strikeout ratio is at a very low .23 percent.  Anything under .30 is dangerously low.

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With all this being said the Pittsburgh Pirates really did not give up much, nor should this be considered a significant move.

Bostick will likely fill in as Spring Training depth.  He could find himself in Triple-A, but will most likely be designated for assignment over the off-season.  With his high strikeout rate, and average at best hitting production, team most likely will not feel is he warranted a claim entering the season. If he passes through the Bucs will be able to stash him at Triple-A for later in the season when the injuries start to pile up.

The Return for the Nats

In the deal heading back the Pittsburgh Pirates sent 2014 fourth round pick Taylor Gushue.  Gushue, a catcher from the University of Florida, struggled over his Pirate’s career.  He has been a career .231 hitter with a low OPS of .658.  Gushue’s defense is regarded as positive, especially his ability to receive. However, with his highest level being Low-A and his lack of offensive production, he likely will never make it in the majors.  With that the Nationals are taking a flyer on a former 4th round pick, who can at-least provide them catcher depth in the minors.

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This as a minor deal.  Most likely many fans will not even remember this trade by next week.  However, this could be setting up the off-season.  Bostick will provide infield depth.  This may be foreshadowing the end of Max Morroff’s time or even Alen Hanson’s time as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization.  If the Pirates decide to part ways with at least one of those players, Bostick will take their place in the organization.  This move could also just be a move to make a move.  We have seen the Pirates pick up players before and cut them a few weeks later.  A lot of it will depend on their plans going into this off-season.

Finally, All Stats are Courtesy of Baseball Reference