A pair of Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who played in the Florida Complex League in 2021 have earned All-Star honors
It has been well documented how deep and talented the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system has become. Over the weekend Noah took a look at how the Pirate farm system has been built, including a look at international free agent signings.
Juan Jerez and Rodolfo Nolasco are two prospects who the Pittsburgh Pirates added via international free agency. Both of these prospects played in the Florida Complex League in 2021 and have now taken home All-Star honors following strong seasons.
The 19-year-old Jerez, who played both third base and second base for the Pirates Black in the Florida Complex League, has been named the league’s third base All-Star. The right-handed hitting Jerez rode both his positional flexibility and offensive output to his All-Star season.
Jerez hit for a .296/.394/.500 slash line during the 2021 season. He posted a 136 wRC+, walked in 13.3% of his trips to the plate, hit 6 home runs and collected extra base hits at a rate of 9.4%. He did, however, strikeout out in 25.4% of his trips to the plate, which is a number you want to see come down as his career progresses. Jerez had a strong 28.4% line-drive rate in 2021.
As for Nolasco, he was named the Florida Complex League’s All-Star at designated hitter. FanGraphs gives Nolasco a raw power future value of 50. Despite having big-time power potential Nolasco has long flown under the radar in the Pirate farm system.
During the 2021 season Nolasco hit for a .284/.409/.552 slash line to go with a 150 wRC+. While he struck out in 26.2% of his trips to the plate he did have a strong walk rate of 15.9%. Nolasco slugged 8 home runs and had an 11% extra base hit rate.