Outfielder Travis Swaggerty
For multiple reasons, outfielder Travis Swaggerty might be the most logical candidate. Swaggerty was a first-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2018 MLB Draft and has steadily climbed through their minor league system.
Swaggerty is now at the Triple-A level, where he impressed in his debut at the level earlier this week. Following his impressive debut Swaggerty has stayed hot. Through his first 4 games with the Indianapolis Indians he has hit for a .333/.467/.583 slash line to go with a 176 wRC+ in 15 plate appearances. He’s drawn a pair of walks, struck out just once and has already hit his first Triple-A home run.
Not only does Swaggerty have an opportunity to make an impact for the Pirates in 2021 due to his ability and already being at the Triple-A level, the current state of the Pirate outfield works in his favor as well.
Due to ineffectiveness the Pittsburgh Pirates have already had to designated two outfields – Anthony Alford and Dustin Fowler – for assignment this season. Gregory Polanco is currently on the injured list, and even before going on the IL Polanco was struggling. Phillip Evans has been ice cold at the plate for a month and is a poor defensive outfielder.
Outside of the aforementioned Reynolds, no Pirate outfielder has been able to produce this season and lock down a spot. Ka’ai Tom has flashed some glimpses since joining the Pirates, but needs to be more consistent with his glove while hitting the ball in the air more.
Barring an injury or Swaggerty beginning to struggle mightily at the Triple-A level he will make his MLB debut at some point this season. When that happens Swaggerty will have the opportunity to make an impact with the Pirates, while also cementing himself as a long-term piece in the Pirate outfield.