Pittsburgh Pirates: Projecting 2022 for Protected Prospects

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Indianapolis centerfielder Travis Swaggerty hit a leadoff home run to start the game against Iowa at Principal Park in Des Moines on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.20210504 Iowacubs /

Outfielder Travis Swaggerty

If not for injuries, Travis Swaggerty would have made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2021. In all honesty, had Swaggerty not gotten hurt early in the Triple-A season he would likely have a starting job in the Pirate outfield locked down by now.

Prior to getting injured Swaggerty had accumulated 48 PAs in his first 12 games at the Triple-A level. Swaggerty had already hit 3 home runs, to go with a .220 ISO, 12.5% walk rate and a 108 wRC+ with the Indians.

Even coming off the shoulder injury expectations remain high for Swaggerty. The 10th overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, Swaggerty is now 24-years-old and ranks as the team’s 9th best prospects and the 107th best in baseball, per FanGraphs.

Between his age and the fact he would already be in the Majors without his injury last season it would not be a surprise to see Swaggerty start the season as the starting left fielder for the Pirates. The team needed outfield help and having question marks on who will flank Bryan Reynolds works in his favor as well.

Even if Swaggerty starts the season back at Indianapolis he should reach the Major League level sooner rather than later in 2022. As long as he is healthy, Swaggerty should become a starting outfielder and building block in the new Pirate core during the 2022 season.