Pittsburgh Pirates 2021: Three Young Prospects to Watch This Season

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of the field in the fifth inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 6, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 06: A general view of the field in the fifth inning during the game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds at PNC Park on September 6, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – APRIL 13: Players line up along the first and third base lines prior to the start of the Opening Day game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Detroit Tigers at PNC Park on April 13, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images) /

Maikol Escotto

The Pirates acquired infielder Maikol Escotto as part of the Jameson Taillon trade. To say the 18-year-old has looked outstanding would be an understatement. So far at A-Ball Bradenton, Esoctto has stepped to the plate 47 times, is batting .316/.447/.395, and has a .423 wOBA and 144 wRC+. He also has a very strong 15.7% walk rate, albeit with a bit of a high strikeout rate of 25.5%.

Escotto hasn’t shown much power this year yet. He only has an isolated slugging percentage of .079, but he has shown this power potential in the past before. In 2019 with the Yankees, the infielder hit .315/.429/.552 with 8 home runs, a .465 wOBA, and 167 wRC+.

Despite it only being his age 16/17 season, he had an 89 MPH exit velocity and a 40% hard-hit rate. His ISO during his first professional season was .238. This raw power potential is reflected in his 60-future raw power grade and 55-future game power grade.

As a defender, he’s almost split his time evenly between shortstop (49 innings) and second base (42 innings) this year. He also played some third base during 2019, giving him plenty of flexibility to play the infield. Overall, he’s an average defender, but his bat will surely make up for the lack of gold glove caliber defense.

Escotto is still a very young player. He’s only 18-years-old and will turn 19 on June 4th. He’s still got a handful of more years before we see him in the majors, but he’s already showing a good ability to barrel the ball and display some patience at the plate.

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