Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Forgotten Position Player Prospects

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 20: A New Era pillbox Pittsburgh Pirates baseball hat is seen in the dugout during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at PNC Park on July 20, 2019 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Infielder Maikol Escotto

Maikol Escotto was part of the Jameson Taillon trade. Most of the time, we’re going in-depth with Roansy Contreras or Miguel Yajure. Even Canaan Smith-Njigba gets a fair amount of attention. But Escotto, despite being considered a very high-ceiling power prospect, doesn’t seem to get the same kind of love.

Now, granted, Escotto didn’t necessarily light the league on fire during 2021. In 381 plate appearances at Bradenton, the infielder batted just .234/.354/.347 with a .344 wOBA, and 100 wRC+. He didn’t hit for much power, having just 7 home runs and a .113 isolated slugging percentage, and he struck out a lot, going down on strike three 30.4% of the time. The only big upside of his season was he walked at a strong 14.2% clip.

Escotto’s lack of power was a big surprise to many. In 2019, his first professional season, Escotto had a .238 ISO, .552 slugging, and 8 home runs in only 218 plate appearances, which is about 22 over the course of 600 trips to the plate. He also has a 60-projected raw power and 55-projected game power grade.

Escotto showed some swing-and-miss back in 2019, but the potential is there. FanGraphs ranks him as the 15th best prospect in the organization. They stated he is the equivalent of a 2nd round high school pick. Escotto has the glove and hands to remain at shortstop, but once he fills out and reaches his power potential, he may be a little too slow to remain there. Though he does have the arm and skill to play either third base or second base.