Outfielder Canaan Smith-Njigba
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Smith-Njigba in the Jameson Taillon trade. Thus far that trade is looking like a major steal for the Pirates, and the strong start to the 2021 season for Smith-Njigba is a big reason why.
In his first taste of Double-A pitching, Smith-Njigba is hitting for a .310/.434/.548 slash line to go with a 165 wRC+ through his first 53 PAs. He’s hit 2 home runs and collected 4 doubles, giving him a .238 ISO.
Smith-Njigba has also displayed a great eye at the plate. He has a tremendous 18.9% walk rate, which is countered by a strikeout rate of just 17.0%. This kind of plate presence and patience from a young hitter, Smith-Njigba just turned 22 at the end of April, is always an encouraging sign to see.
When Smith-Njigba was acquired from the Yankees he was viewed as a potential plus power hitter with a great eye at the plate who could climb through the farm system quickly. Thus far, Smith-Njigba has displayed all of these traits. At this rate it would be a surprise if he is not in Triple-A by the end of the season.