A pair of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects have been named to the MLB Pipeline second-team all-prospect team of the year for the 2021 season
With the 2021 minor league season beginning to wrap up season superlatives are starting to be dished out. One of these superlatives is the MLB Pipeline 2021 Prospect Team of the Year. This group includes a pair of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects.
With the Pittsburgh Pirates having assembled one of the best farm systems in all of baseball it is a bit of a surprise that no Pirate prospects made MLB Pipeline’s fist-team. However, there are a pair of Pirate prospects on the second-team.
The two Pirate prospects on MLB Pipeline’s second-team 2021 All-Prospect Team are second baseman Nick Gonzales and outfielder Matt Fraizer. Neither the inclusion of Gonzales nor that of Fraizer comes as a surprise.
In his first professional season Gonzales hit for a .302/.385/.565 slash line to go with an isolate slugging (ISO) of .262, a 10.8% walk rate, and a 150 wRC+ in 369 plate appearances with High-A Greensboro. Gonzales also cranked 18 home runs while collecting 45 extra base hits.
Gonzales’s success should come as no surprise. He was viewed as arguably the top college hitter in the 2020 draft. If not for an injury that cost him over am month this season Gonzales could have easily reached Double-A Altoona before the end of the season. Gonzales appears ticketed for Altoona to start the 2022 season and a promotion to Pittsburgh next season should not be ruled out. At the latest, Gonzales should be manning second base for the Pittsburgh Pirates by June 2023.
Joining Gonzales on the second-team squad was Fraizer. Few Pirate prospects had a more impressive season than the left-handed hitting outfielder did as Fraizer hit the ball well with both High-A Greensboro and Double-A Altoona.
Between the two levels this season Fraizer hit for a .306/.388/.552 slash line to go with a .246 ISO and a wRC+ of 149. He walked 11.2% of the time and struck out just 21.6% of the time. Fraizer hit 23 home runs and, in total, collected 55 extra base hits.
For any fan who did not already know who Fraizer is this season put him on the map. With his big season the 23-year-old Fraizer put himself in position to start the 2022 season with Triple-A Indianapolis. This could open the door for Fraizer to make his MLB debut at some point during the 2022 season.