Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Liover Peguero on the Rise
By Noah Wright
Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop prospect Liover Peguero has developed into one of baseball’s most notable middle infield prospects
The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired shortstop prospect Liover Peguero in the 2019-2020 offseason as the headliner in the Starling Marte trade. Seen as a raw prospect talent at the time of the acquisition, he’s slowly become one of the higher-end middle infield prospects in baseball right now.
This season Peguero has hit .272/.333/.459 with a .344 wOBA, and 111 wRC+ through 382 plate appearances. One of the major questions Peguero would have as he developed was his power. But this season he has 14 home runs in 382 plate appearances and a .187 isolated slugging percentage. Peguero would be on pace for about 21 home runs and 28 doubles in 600 plate appearances. Though his speed has been on full display. Entering play on Sunday he had 23 stolen bases.
Peguero’s plate discipline hasn’t been great with a 7.9% walk rate and 25.7% strikeout rate. But remember, Peguero has done this at High-A at just age-20. The shortstop is one of the youngest players at his level. So while he’s not blowing the competition out of the water when you look at it from a surface level, he’s still putting up good numbers while being at a level higher than most players his age.
Peguero has gotten better as the season has gone on. Since the beginning of August, he’s batted .295/.356/.505 with a .369 wOBA, and 127 wRC+. Peguero’s power has increased as well. He has a .210 ISO in this time as well. He is striking out at a 28.8% rate, which is a bit high, but manageable when he has a solid 8.5% walk rate.
Peguero has always been a guy with a high-end hit tool. It’s currently projected to be a 60-grade weapon. He’s highly athletic with a current 60-grade and future 55-grade tool. He also has the potential to be a good defender at shortstop for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Like I said earlier, there were a few questions about his power potential. He currently has a 45-projected game power and 50-projected raw power grade. But he’s added more bulk, now standing at 6’1″, 200 pounds. He did have a 90 MPH exit velo and a 42% hard-hit rate in 2019.
The young and talented shortstop is ranked as the 71st best prospect at FanGraphs and 88th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. This is at him being 20-years-old and two levels from the Major Leagues. By the end of 2022, he could be a consensus top 50 prospect, maybe even top 30.