Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Liover Peguero Cementing His Future

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Off to a strong start with High-A Greensboro, Liover Peguero is cementing himself as the shortstop of the future for the Pittsburgh Pirates

When the trade was swung many fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates were critical of general manager Ben Cherington for trading outfielder Starling Marte to the Arizona Diamondbacks. In return for Marte the Pirates received shortstop Liover Peguero and starting pitcher Brennan Malone.

In the 16 months that have passed since this trade was swung the view of the trade has changed. Both Peguero and Malone have become consensus top 10 prospect in the Pirate system. Peguero has not just done this, but he is also knocking on the door of top-100 prospect status.

Peguero entered the 2020 season coming off a so-so season with Arizona’s Low-A affiliate in 2019. Despite not playing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pittsburgh Pirates still sent Peguero to the High-A level to start the 2021 season. Thus far, this decision has payed off for the Pirates.

Entering play on Thursday, Peguero had accumulated 120 plate appearances in 26 games played with the Bradenton Marauders. At just 20-years-old, Peguero hit for a .274/.342/.434 slash line to go with a 117 wRC+ in these 120 PAs. He has also walked in 7.5% of his trips to the plate, struck out 22.5% of the time, has posted an isolated power (ISO) of .160 and has collected extra base hits at a rate of 8.3% (3 home runs, 1 triple, 6 doubles).

While Peguero’s 52.4% ground ball rate is higher than you want to see, it his 2% better than his 2019 number. His line drive rate of 23.4% is the best of his professional career, and a near 5% increase over his 18.5% line drive rate from 2019.

The performance from Peguero this season has solidified his role as the shortstop of the future for the Pirates. If all goes according to plan Peguero will be at Double-A Altoona before the end of the season, with the chance to be at Triple-A Indianapolis by the end of the 2022 season.

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Peguero is viewed by many as the shortstop of the future for the Pirates. His performance in 2021 has just further solidified this. If Peguero continues to hit the way he has earlier in the 2021 season, he will be firmly solidified as the organization’s shortstop of the future by the end of the season.