The Pittsburgh Pirates are adding their most recent first-round pick to their roster for 2020. It is highly unlikely he makes it to Pittsburgh.
When the Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Nick Gonzalez they knew they were getting an advanced college bat. However, no one would have expected him to be ready to play in Altoona. Well… he sort of is in Altoona already, but not to play for the Curve.
One thing that major-league baseball and the MLBPA agreed-upon was to allow teams to add top prospects and 2020 draft picks to their 60 man rosters. Many teams are taking advantage of this and a lot of top prospects are getting playing time during camp. What this really is about is to make sure that each team’s top young talent is continuing to develop under the team’s supervision.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the teams that have added multiple top prospects to their roster. This list now includes the team’s first-round pick from year’s draft in Nick Gonzales. Adam Young, the Director of Broadcasting for the New Mexico State Aggies, tweeted that Gonzales was on his way to join the Pittsburgh Pirates in Altoona.
This is not to be confused with the typical minor league levels. Gonzales is not joining the Altoona Curve. Instead, he will be joining the “Taxi Squad” and others who are cut from Major League Camp. Altoona is acting as the team’s alternate location for players not on the active roster. The players there will work out in an extended Spring Training like environment. While the Major League team is playing games with a 30 man roster, the other 30 players will be available for call-up (injuries, a positive test, etc).
This is still good news for Gonzales and the Pittsburgh Pirates. They not only drafted him at number seven overall but out of the college ranks. It is very important that the club gets Gonzales on the field as soon as possible to start his development. He has the type of plus bat and control of the strike zone giving him the potential to make the big leagues relatively quick.
That will not be this year barring some crazy scenario that would happen to play out. It is 2020, so anything is possible, but there will be plenty of other options used before him. The most important part of this is that the team was able to sign Gonzales and get him into their program. He is a big part of the Pittsburgh Pirates franchise now and will be even more so down the road. Hopefully, this is a start to a great career for him.