Pittsburgh Pirates 2021: Three Young Prospects to Watch This Season

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Outfielder Rodolfo Nolasco

Rodolfo Nolasco was one of the 2018 international signings by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nolasco’s first taste of professional action was very strong. Through 225 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League in 2019 Nolasco put up a .302/.373/.472 line with 5 home runs and 13 doubles.

Nolasco only walked at a 7.1% rate but went down on strikes in just 11.7% of all his plate appearances. Nolasco showed some decent power with a .171 isolated slugging percentage as well. All told, the outfield prospect had a .405 wOBA and 133 wRC+.

Nolasco has high power potential. He’s only 19-years-old, but has a 6’1″, 175-pound frame. He also had an outstanding 89 MPH exit velocity and a 46% hard-hit rate. Just for reference, a 47% hard-hit rate in 2020 would rank among the top 25 batters at the major league level. However, his overall numbers could have looked better had it not been for terrible batted ball rates. His line drive percentage was just 15.7%, meanwhile, he had a 57.6% ground ball rate.

His future will be a corner outfielder spot but his bat will play at either left field or right field. He’s only considered a 50-grade runner now and by the time he fills out, he’s only projected to be a 40-grade runner. However, he can hold his own with the glove and has a strong enough arm to remain a corner outfielder.