MLB Pipeline has identified a prospect to watch for each team this spring. Who did they tab for the Pittsburgh Pirates?
Friday afternoon, MLB Pipeline writers Jonathan Mayo, Jim Callis and Sam Dykstra teamed up once again and wrote a piece discussing prospects. In this article they discussed a prospect who is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training to watch for each team. Of course, I instantly went to see what they had to say for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Before we get into who they chose for the Pittsburgh Pirates I’ll give you time to think of who it could be… did you think long and hard? Okay, well, MLB Pipeline chose Mason Martin as their prospect to watch this spring, and honestly, it’s good to see Martin is getting the recognition.
Of course, I love when sites discuss Pittsburgh Pirates prospects such as Quinn Priester, Liover Peguero and Ke’Bryan Hayes, but it’s nice to see Martin’s name appear on a list like this.
Look, every single guy on every single club busts their humps to get in the position they’re in, but after I talked with Martin back in October, I’d say his work ethic went into overdrive. Reports coming out of the alternate training site in Altoona were praising Martin’s name. It will be exciting to see what Martin can do with the Pittsburgh Pirates in MLB camp this spring.
Now for all of you statheads out there you may be worried about Martin’s strikeout rate in 2019. While, yes, 29.0% and 32.3% strikeout rates are concerning, but I will say during conversations with him and hearing about the work he has put in to correct that I’m fairly confident these numbers will decrease. The ideal number for him would be around 20% if he continues to produce like he did for power.
Speaking of power, this kid can crush it. FanGraphs has his raw power at a 70 future value and his game power a 35 future value, which means he will only get better. In 2019 he combined to hit 35 homers, drive in 129 runs and racked up 71 extra base hits. Like I said, if that power production continues and he is around a 20% strikeout rate, and around 15% walk rate, consider me a really happy camper.
In general, the Pittsburgh Pirate farm system lacks power, and I think with a little more seasoning down in the minors, Martin will be just what the doctor ordered for the Pittsburgh Pirates. On top of all of that, he is a lefty which means we could be in store for some river shots over the Clemente Wall.
Below is what MLB Pipeline had to say about Martin:
"“While there will definitely be higher-ranked prospects in Pirates camp, seeing how Martin’s power bat plays against big league competition could be a lot of fun. Especially with the trade of Josh Bell to Washington, Martin looks like the future at first base, with the spring providing a chance for the big league staff to see how close he is.”"