Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Prospects Who Could Be Home Run Derby Bound

(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
(Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates Craig
(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

Will Craig, First Baseman

In 2016, the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted one of the top power bats available in Will Craig, who was taken in the first round out of Wake Forest.  While there were questions about if Craig would stick at third base or move to first, there was not a lot of doubt that he would hit for power.

Craig is showing that this year at Triple-A Indianapolis, as he is quietly having another impressive season in terms of driving the ball.  Craig currently leads the Indianapolis Indians in home runs with 17, and he has a total of 31 extra-base hits to go along with a .464 slugging percentage.  Furthermore, his ISO is an outstanding .214, where anything greater than .200 suggests big-time power.

This is all after Craig led the Altoona Curve in home runs in 2018 when he hit 20.  Craig has really tapped into his power potential over the last two seasons.  This is not surprising as this was the expectation when the Bucs used a first-round pick on him.  He has a projectable frame, standing at 6’3” and has finally filled into that power.  Still, he is on pace to hit more home runs this year than last, so his power ceiling is likely still rising.

Craig at this point projects to be at least a potential 25-plus home run type player.  The big question right now is whether he will get enough playing time to hit that many.  Craig is basically blocked at first base and third base at the big league level.  Still, if Craig eventually does get into the everyday lineup, he could show off the power potential.  He has the raw power to be in the Derby one day, that is for sure.

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