These three prospects could make their debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates by cracking the team’s Opening Day roster next season
Every season baseball fans get excited to see top prospects make their MLB debut. For teams like the Pittsburgh Pirates who are not yet in a position to compete, seeing these prospects debut can be the most important part of the season.
As fans know the Pittsburgh Pirates have one of the deepest, most talented and all-around best farm systems in baseball. Due to this there will be plenty of prospect debuts for fans to look forward to during the 2022 season.
These debuts could begin when the regular season begins. When the Pittsburgh Pirates welcome the St. Louis Cardinals to PNC Park on March 31st there are three Pirate prospects who could crack the Opening Day roster, making their debuts with the team.
Outfielder Travis Swaggerty
Travis Swaggerty is a player that we have discussed plenty. The 10th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Swaggerty appeared to be primed to make his MLB debut last season. The left-handed hitting outfielder made the jump to Triple-A last season and was off to a strong start.
Swaggerty posted a 12.5% walk rate while striking out just 16.7% of the time. He hit for a .220/.333/.439 slash line and a wRC+ of 108. He was flashing his power with an isolated slugging (ISO) of .220 to go with 3 home runs through his first 48 plate appearances.
Unfortunately for Swaggerty, a shoulder injury cut his season short. Had he not gotten injured, especially with his power and on-base skills flashing at Triple-A, he likely would have made his MLB debut last summer.
This offseason Swaggerty is Rule 5 Draft eligible and is a slam dunk to be added to the 40-man roster. With Swaggerty now 24-years-old he may not have much left to prove in the minor leagues, especially having started his professional career as an advanced college hitter.
The Pittsburgh Pirates enter the offseason with plenty of question marks about their corner outfield spots. With Swaggerty viewed as a big piece of the team’s future and a building block for the next Pirate winner, it would not be a surprise to see him crack the Opening Day roster as the team’s starting left fielder. He should enter Spring Training with a legitimate shot of earning an Opening Day roster spot.