Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting the Team’s 2023 Line Up

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates /

First Base: Mason Martin

2023 Opening Day Age: 23

The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Mason Martin in the 17th round of the 2017 MLB Draft, and has risen to notable prospect status. He is currently ranked as the team’s 18th best prospect, but that’s still pretty good considering how good the Pirates’ system is.

Martin broke out in a big way during 2019. Starting the year off at Low-A, Martin hit .262/.361/.575. He also slammed 23 home runs and 19 doubles, all coming together for a 164 wRC+ across 355 plate appearances. Although he didn’t hit as well when he was moved to High-A, he still was an outstanding batter. His final 201 plate appearances of 2019 saw him post a .239/.333/.528, hitting 12 more long balls and 13 more doubles. All told, he had a 155 wRC+ at High-A.

Obviously, Martin has some serious power potential. Not only did he hit 35 home runs, and have a total of 71 extra base hits, but he has a 60 future game power grade and 70, both current and future, raw power grade. He already averages 91 MPH off the bat at just 21-years-old.

There are a few questions though. One, Martin only has a future 40 hit grade, in part because of his strikeout rate. He struck out 30% of the time in total between the two levels. But considering how hard he can hit the ball, and he still walked at a strong rate of 12.2%, Martin’s potential with the bat shouldn’t be put to too much question.

Fielding wise, he grades out as an average fielder with a future of 50 which is more than adequate considering how good of a batter he is. While he does have experience in the corner outfield, his future is first base. He has a weak arm, a 45 current and future grade to be exact, and a 40 current/future run grade. Still, an average fielder who can hit .260/.360/.550 a year, and crushes 30-40 home runs a season is still going to get recognition.

Other possible options: Alexander Mojica