Pittsburgh Pirates middle infield prospects Nick Gonzales and Liover Peguero have started their careers with the Bucs off with a bang
The Pittsburgh Pirates have their potential double play combo of the future playing together down at High-A Greensboro. 2020 first-round pick Nick Gonzales and shortstop Liover Peguero are lining up the middle for the Grasshoppers and have looked outstanding in their first professional games in the Pirate organization.
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Gonzales with the 7th overall selection in last year’s draft. Seen as a consensus top 10 pick and overall one of the best pure hitters in the draft Gonzales crushed the ball throughout college. He had both an OBP and wOBA well above .500 throughout his time at New Mexico State. He also performed well at the Cape Cod League. Now, he’s proving why the Bucs selected him and why he deserves to be a consensus top 50 prospect.
Gonzales has started both games at the keystone for the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In his first ever professional game, the middle infielder collected his first hit with a double and went 1-4 while drawing a walk, albeit with a pair of strikeouts. In his second game, Gonzales went 2-4. He hit his first home run, that being a laser sent over the left field fence. He also collected another single while striking out just once.
Peguero was the main piece going to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the Starling Marte trade. Peguero looked great at Rookie-Ball for the Arizona Diamondbacks having a .423 wOBA and 153 wRC+ through his first 156 plate appearances of the season. Although he didn’t replicate that when he was promoted to Low-A, he still had a respectable .329 wOBA, 101 wRC+ and saw an increase in walk rate and notable decrease in his strikeout rate.
Peguero started his Pirate career off with a bang, cranking a home run in his second plate appearance. Overall, he went 1-4 with a walk and two strikeouts in his debut as a Pirate prospect. Peguero followed that up with a 2-5 game where he hit another home run. So far, 2 of his 3 hits are long balls. One of the main concerns with Peguero was how his power would develop, however he seems to be putting any of those questions to rest. He only hit 6 home runs through his first 101 games, and has reached a third of that in less than 3 games.
Overall, this is a very impressive and promising start to Peguero’s and Gonzales’s career as Pittsburgh Pirates. Both are considered key pieces of the Pirates’ future. By the end of the year, we could see Gonzales rank among the top 15 prospects in all of baseball and Peguero rank in the top 100. After all, Peguero is considered a borderline top 100 guy buy many sources.