Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting Team’s Lineup by the End of 2022

CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 08: Ke'Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a solo home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 8, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 3-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - AUGUST 08: Ke'Bryan Hayes #13 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a solo home run in the sixth inning of the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park on August 8, 2021 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Pittsburgh 3-2. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images) /
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Mar 1, 2021; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Mason Martin (80) poses during media day at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports
Mar 1, 2021; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Mason Martin (80) poses during media day at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports /

First Base – Mason Martin

Mason Martin’s power potential is up there with some of the minor league’s best sluggers. So far this year at Double-A, he’s hitting .255/.329/.537 with 19 home runs, a .367 wOBA, and 128 wRC+ in 334 plate appearances. Martin has put up an outstanding .282 isolated slugging percentage, continuing to show his high-end power potential.

Martin’s game power is seen as a 60-grade tool in the future. Meanwhile, his raw power is in the 70-grade territory. His 6-foot, 220-pound frame helps him generate a ton of power. Martin also blasted 35 home runs in 2019 while having a .304 ISO. Plus he’s also considered an average defender at first base, which is why I have him here over designated hitter.

But to say there aren’t any red flags would be an understatement. Martin strikes out a ton. He currently has a 34.1% strikeout rate. That’s a 4.3% increase from 2019. Usually, he walked enough to at least dampen the blow of such a strikeout rate. However, that hasn’t been the case this year. Although he still has a respectable 8.1% walk rate, it still falls 2.8% short of his 2019 mark. Martin’s hit tool is only a 40-projected tool.

Though there are some concerns surrounding Martin, they’ll at least give him a shot. After all, MLB Pipeline considers him the 7th best first base prospect in the minor leagues. FanGraphs ranks him as their 26th best prospect despite the system is very deep.

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