Pittsburgh Pirates Prospect Watch: Shendrik Apostel


The Pittsburgh Pirates have a very “big” prospect who is turning out a really strong 2019 campaign.  He is someone to watch going forward.

Last year, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a trade with the Texas Rangers to acquire relief pitcher Keone Kela.  When the deal originally went through, it was announced that pitching prospect Taylor Hearn and a Player to Be Named Later (PTBNL) would be going in return for the reliever.  A few weeks later it was announced that the Rangers would acquire third base prospect Sherten Apostel as the PTBNL.

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Apostle out of Curacao in 2015.  Then, just two years later in 2017, the Bucs signed Sherten’s younger brother Shendrik Apostel.  Both the Apostel brothers projected as potential power bats, the older standing at 6’4”, the younger at 6’5”.   Furthermore, they both weigh over 200 pounds.  The older Apostel played third base, and as mentioned earlier, is now in the Texas Rangers organization.

While Sherten was an intriguing prospect, the younger Shendrik is just as intriguing, if not more so.  He has gotten off to a hot start this year and looks like he could be on his way to becoming a prospect of note.  The 19-year-old Shendrik stands at 6’5” and weighs 245 pounds and the Bucs signed the first base prospect out of Curacao in 2017.

Apostel is having a really strong 2019 so far.  He is showing off the tools that scouts believed he possessed.  The first baseman has played in 21 Dominican Summer League games, and has hit five home runs and drove in15 runs batted.  His slash line is at .226/.410/.468.

Obviously, his batting average is not very inspiring, however a lot of the time with younger prospects a deeper look into their numbers speaks more about them.  He has walked 18 times already this season, that is almost one time per game.  Meanwhile, Apostel has only struck out 11 times.  One would expect for his size and batting average that he would have many more strikeouts than he does.

Also, he obviously is showing off his projectable power with five home runs already and Apostel also has an impressive .242 ISO (.220 last year).  For comparison, Will Craig, who is considered one of the team’s best power prospects, has an ISO of .206.   Obviously, Apostel is already learning how to tap into his raw power.

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While the older Apostel was an intriguing prospect to give up, the Bucs may have kept the better of the brothers.  Shendrik is putting together a really strong sophomore season and looks like he could be a legitimate first base prospect down the road. The fact that he is hitting the ball hard and keeping his strikeouts limited could suggest big things in his future.