Pittsburgh Pirates: Analyzing New INF Prospect Maikol Escotto


It has been an eventful offseason for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This has included a trio of major trades. The latest trade saw starting pitcher Jameson Taillon get sent to the Bronx to be reunited with another ex-Bucco pitcher in Gerrit Cole.

In return for Taillon the Pittsburgh Pirates received right-handed pitchers Miguel Yajure and Roansy Contreras, outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba, and infielder Maikol Escotto from the Yankees. While Yajure is considered to be the headliner of the trade, when the trade completely shakes out in a few years a different player may prove to be the best player acquired in the deal.

This player is the 18-year-old Escotto. Escotto has yet to play any state-side ball but has fared decently well in his only professional season. In the 2019 Dominican Summer League, Escotto hit for a slash line of .315/.429/.552.

These were solid numbers, but his most encouraging number was his wRC+. His wRC+ was an impressive 162. This number brings to light how good he was in the league, despite being slightly younger than the average player in it. For reference, a league average wRC+ is 100. So a wRC+ of 162 indicates that Escotto was 62% better than the rest of the league.

Currently, Escotto is marked down as a second baseman, but that is flexible. While the vast majority of his starts in the DSL were at second base (23) he also spent time at third base and shortstop, having started eight games at each of those positions.

Two areas that get the highest amount of praise would be his defense and power. These were two areas of Escotto’s game that Pirate general manager Ben Cherington raved about following the trade.

On the defensive side, Escotto had a fielding percentage of over .900 for each of the three positions that he started games at. The highest percentage of any of these three was his primary spot of shortstop. At shortstop he had a fielding percentage of .956.

Additionally, Escotto has been noted to have great power in his swing. His 20/80 scale rating for his hitting is graded at a 60. In the DSL, he hit 11 doubles, eight home runs and four triples. His power was also made known by his HR/FB percentage of 20.5%. This means that approximately one out of every five fly balls he hit left the ballpark for a home run.

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While Escotto may not have been considered the headliner for the trade, nor was he a Spring Training invitee, he has the upside to become the best piece of the trade. As he develops and rises through the farm system in the coming years Escotto is a name that fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates will want to know.