Pittsburgh Pirates: What 2022 Could Hold for 3 Fringe Roster Players

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 18: Hoy Park #68 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 18: Hoy Park #68 of the Pittsburgh Pirates at bat during the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on August 18, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /
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PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 29: Rodolfo Castro #64 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at PNC Park on July 29, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – JULY 29: Rodolfo Castro #64 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action against the Milwaukee Brewers during the game at PNC Park on July 29, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

Rodolfo Castro

The Pittsburgh Pirates gave Rodolfo Castro his first taste of MLB action earlier in 2021. He came up and showed a ton of power potential, blasting 5 home runs in 93 plate appearances while having an above-average exit velocity and hard-hit rate. But he failed to make consistent contact, or draw walks at a decent enough rate.

Castro’s 2021 minor league season was a tale of two campaigns. Up through the All-Star Break, the infield prospect was one of the hottest hitting minor leaguers for the Pirates he batted .306/.349/.549 with a .380 wOBA, and 138 wRC+. However, from that point until he got promoted to Triple-A, Castro simply could not hit for whatever reason. He put up an abysmal .109/.180/.163 line while having a negative wRC+ (-4).

But after getting to Triple-A, Castro seemed to have figured out what was wrong. He only appeared in 8 games and received 38 plate appearances, but he collected 10 hits. Three of those were home runs and two more were doubles. He still had a poor 28.9% strikeout rate, but his walk rate increased to a usable 7.9% mark.

While Park is an infield prospect who’s a potential .250-.260 hitter who has a strong ability to draw walks and reach base, but not much power, Castro is the complete opposite. He’s a potential .250-.260 hitter who doesn’t draw many walks but has good power. He hasn’t put up a sub-.150 ISO in a minor league season since 2016, his first taste of professional action. However, his career minor league OBP is just .308.

Castro might have his flaws, but he’s still a solid infield prospect with power. On-base ability and walking might not be his strongest suit, but he’ll provide a solid power bat. He’s a guy who could hit .230/.290/.450 with 18-20 home runs in a part-time role. Overall, solid numbers for a guy who could be a holdover option until both Liover Peguero and Nick Gonzales are ready for the Majors.

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