The Pittsburgh Pirates added to their outfield depth with a waiver claim on Tuesday afternoon
On Tuesday afternoon, the Pittsburgh Pirates made a move to improve the depth of their outfield by picking up Troy Stokes Jr. off of waivers from the Detroit Tigers. In order to make room on the 40 man roster for Stokes, the Pirates designated relief pitcher Nik Turley for assignment.
Stokes was a former fourth round pick of the Milwaukee Brewers, but went to Detroit after being designated for assignment in September of 2019. He only had 22 plate appearances while in Detroit during Spring Training last season before his season was derailed by injury.
Stokes was placed on the 60-day injured list with a fracture in his right hand. In the limited action that he had in Spring Training, he posted a slash line of .273/.360/.500. In 2019, he had a full season with the Brewers’ Triple-A affiliate, the San Antonio Missions. While in San Antonio, Stokes Jr. posted a slash line of .233/.341/.385.
This was considered a down year for him, though, since he only managed to post a wRC+ of 80. In the four seasons prior Stokes Jr. posted a wRC+ of at least 121 in each of those seasons.
One concern with Stokes Jr. that has been brought up is his fielding.
FanGraphs has been documented stating that Stokes Jr. has a poor arm in the outfield. On the other hand though, Stokes Jr. won the Gold Glove Award back in 2018 with the Double-A Biloxi Shuckers, so this is something that may not need to be watched as closely as FanGraphs makes it seem.
In this upcoming season, Stokes Jr. will definitely be a name to watch in Spring Training, since he will be fighting for his right to get his first promotion to the Majors. His role in the MLB will most likely just be a back up outfielder, unless he shocks the world in Spring Training. He still has two minor league options remaining, meaning he could start the season with Triple-A Indianapolis.