Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Prospects to Watch at Florida Complex League

BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 22: A detail of the 2021 MLB Grapefruit league logo during a spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles on March 22, 2021 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
BRADENTON, FLORIDA - MARCH 22: A detail of the 2021 MLB Grapefruit league logo during a spring training game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Baltimore Orioles on March 22, 2021 at LECOM Park in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /
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FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 29: A general view of the first base before the spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Century Link Sports Complex on February 29, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
FORT MYERS, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 29: A general view of the first base before the spring training game between the Minnesota Twins and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Century Link Sports Complex on February 29, 2020 in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

Juan Jerez

The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Juan Jerez in July 2018. Jerez played with their Dominican Summer League team in 2019 where he put up solid numbers. He batted .272/.324/.469 with a .371 wOBA, and 114 wRC+. He walked at a very low rate of just 5.5%, though had a sub-20% strikeout rate (18.8%). But he showed off a decent amount of power. He hit 7 home runs and racked up 12 doubles in just 254 plate appearances. All told, he had a .197 isolated slugging percentage. Plus he showed some prowess on the base paths with 6 stolen bases in 12 attempts.

Jerez has continued to hit well this year. In 107 plate appearances, Jerez is hitting .275/.387/.451. Jerez’s walk rate skyrocketed this year, all the way to 15.3%. He’s still showing plus power as well with a .176 isolated slugging percentage. Though he’s striking out a ton, at least compared to 2019. His 27% strikeout rate is a large uptick from 2019. But overall, he’s been a good hitter, posting a wOBA approaching .400 (.396) and 125 wRC+.

Jerez has mainly played third base this year. Though he played both middle infield spots in 2019. As an overall fielder, he’s about average with an average arm. Though Jerez is more of a hit-over-power kind of player, he’s shown some solid power. His walk rate is also promising, but he needs to strike out less.

He’s still 19 and won’t turn 20 for a few more months, November 28th to be exact. Jerez still has a while before he reaches the major leagues, though he could become one of the team’s more notable infield prospects within the next few years.

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