Pittsburgh Pirates: The All-Under-20 Prospect Team

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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Third Base: Juan Jerez

The second player that shows up from the July 2nd, 2018 international signing period is infielder Juan Jerez. Jerez showed some solid stuff in his first professional season in 2019. In 274 plate appearances at Rookie-Ball, he hit .272/.324/.469 with 7 home runs, a .371 wOBA, and 114 wRC+. While Jerez had a poor 5.5% walk rate, he did have a sub-20% strikeout rate (18.9%).

Jerez’s 2021 season has been very good. In 190 plate appearances with the Pirates’ Florida Complex League, he has hit .301/.396/.510 line, .417 wOBA, and 140 wRC+. Jerez’s power has seen a small uptick with a .210 ISO. His line drive rate is nearly 30% (28.4%), which is potential reason why his batting average on balls in play is so high at .399. He’s also striking out more with a 26% rate, but now has a fantastic 13% walk rate.

Jerez has mainly played third base this year but has experience at both middle infield spots. As a defender, FanGraphs sees him as an average glove with a good enough arm to play on the left side of the infield. Speed isn’t his best tool, as it’s only seen as a 45-grade tool. Jerez’s hit tool is above average at 55, while his game power is a 45-projected. He does have average-raw power. But these projected tools were before the 2021 season.

Jerez stands at 6-foot, 160 pounds. He does have a projectable frame, but he’s yet another young infielder at the Pittsburgh Pirates disposal. He has previously shown up on FanGraphs’ prospect rankings, and there’s a decent possibility he shows up again given his solid campaign.