The Pittsburgh Pirates most recent first round draft pick has been sidelined with an injury for the past few weeks. He is close to returning to action.
There was a lot of anticipation for the Pittsburgh Pirates minor league teams to get back into action in 2021. For the last two years, the Pittsburgh Pirates have been remodeling their organization, development staff, and of course trying to rebuild the farm system. Ben Cherington made it apparent that he planned on building through the farm system, but 2020 gave us no season.
What was even more disappointing was that the prospects did not get much of a chance to compete last year. Yes there were some instructs and Winter League action, but nothing beats the Minor League season. Players that the Pittsburgh Pirates brought in were not getting a chance to make an impression in a traditional sense.
This can be said for Nick Gonzalez, the team’s first round pick in 2020. Gonzales was viewed as one of the best bats available in the class. After taking him seventh overall, he quickly became the team’s second best hitting prospect (after Ke’Bryan Hayes). However, he never even played a game in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization until 2021.
Gonzales was off to a really good start in his first professional campaign. The middle infielder was paired up with top infield prospect Liover Peguero at High-A Greensboro to make a very intriguing double-play combination to follow. This did not last long as both Peguero and Gonzales would go down with injuries. The good news is Gonzales is close to returning and should be back in the Greensboro lineup next week:
Pittsburgh Pirates #1 Prospect Nick Gonzales: 13 Games, .294/.368/.549 with 9 extra base hits.
The Bucs top hitting prospect got to play in 13 total games before fracturing his pinky. The Bucs had quite a few fluky injuries occur at the beginning of the year, Gonzales fractured his finger diving back to the base. Triple-A outfielder Travis Swaggerty actually tore his labrum diving back to first base. So it was very unfortunate to see Gonzales, another top prospect, lose important playing time. At least, he will be back soon.