Pittsburgh Pirates: Rum Bunter’s Top 10 Prospects

TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Ke'Bryan Hayes #77 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during batting practice prior to the Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 10, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
TAMPA, FLORIDA - MARCH 10: Ke'Bryan Hayes #77 of the Pittsburgh Pirates looks on during batting practice prior to the Grapefruit League spring training game against the New York Yankees at Steinbrenner Field on March 10, 2019 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Jul 7, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes Summer Training workouts at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 7, 2020; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States; Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Ben Cherington observes Summer Training workouts at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

3. Nick Gonzales

I think the Pittsburgh Pirates found their next consistent all-star in 2020’s draft when they selected Nick Gonzales with the 7th pick in the draft. Many think the Pirates got a steal with this pick. FanGraphs ranked the middle infielder as the 6th best prospect available, and MLB Pipeline ranked him a spot higher at number five.

Gonzales absolutely mashed in college. Through his three years at New Mexico State University, the first rounder put up numbers that would make Barry Bonds proud. In 596 plate appearances, Gonzales had a .399/.502/.747 line, slammed 37 long balls and ran out 39 doubles. He also showed some speed too with 13 stolen bases in 17 attempts. While yes, he was playing in a hitter friendly environment, you don’t just put up a near .750 slugging, near .350 isolated slugging, walk 15% of the time, and strikeout just 14% of the time only because the conditions were in your favor.

Gonzales has experience at both second base and shortstop. He was playing the ladder position before the 2020 college season was cut short. Though he can play short, he’s a plus defender at second base. Gonzales could be a consistent middle-of-the-order threat for the Pittsburgh Pirates for years to come.

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