Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Prospects Named Gold Glove Winners


The Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the worst defensive teams in all of baseball this past season.  Some help on defense could be one the way.

In today’s game there are a lot of metrics that can be used to measure players on both offense and defense.  One thing that remains, however, is that an error is not good for any player to make.  The Pittsburgh Pirates ranked second to last in both errors made and fielding percentage last season, which cost them a lot of games.

There are better metrics to use like DRS, UZR, and UZR150 and others, but at the end of the day nobody wants to see their team at the bottom of two general defensive categories.  This should be something that the Bucs try to improve upon this offseason with a new coaching staff and player acquisitions.

However, there could be defensive help coming up through the minors leagues from a couple of top prospects.  Baseball’s minor league staff/website, milb.com, put out their annual minor league Gold Glove Awards this afternoon.  For this, they pick the best defensive player at each level at all levels of the full-season minor leagues.  To win this award is pretty impressive, being there are all the teams that have players up for the awards.

The Pittsburgh Pirates actually had two players win minor league Gold Gloves this year.  Both players were a part of Triple-A Indianapolis this past season and could represent options to help fix the Pittsburgh Pirates defensive issues.

The first player to be announced as an award winner was first base prospect Will Craig.  Craig was the Pittsburgh Pirates first round pick out of Wake Forest in 2016.  He was a third baseman in college but was moved to first base during his first season in the Bucs system.  Craig only made one error all season in over 800 chances; for comparison Josh Bell made 13.  Firstbase can be a tough position with hard hit balls from lefties and having to make picks on throws.

The other award winning prospect is third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes.  This should come as no surprise as Hayes has long been considered one of the best defensive infield prospects in baseball.  This marks Hayes’ third minor league Gold Glove Award.  The 2015 Draft pick only made three errors all year and for comparison Colin Moran 14.

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The Pittsburgh Pirates were the only organization to have two Minor League Gold Glove winners.  The fact that both Craig and Hayes were at Triple-A is good news.  The Bucs need some defensive help badly at the big league level and both look like they could make an impact on that side of the ball during the 2020 season.