Pittsburgh Pirates: Players Set for MLB Breakout in 2022

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PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Roansy Contreras #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 29, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 29: Roansy Contreras #59 of the Pittsburgh Pirates makes his Major League debut against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 29, 2021 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Pittsburgh Pirates Nick Gonzales Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports /

Second baseman Nick Gonzales

Nick Gonzales had himself a year of firsts. Even though he was drafted with the 7th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft, he did not play in any of the minor league teams because of the cancelation for the minor league season in 2020.

Gonzales is Pittsburgh’s 4th overall prospect and the MLB’s 62nd. Gonzales is currently proving why he should make it to the show in 2022 by tearing up the Arizona Fall League (AFL). Nick slashed .382/.482/.559 through 83 plate appearances and also smacked 2 HR, 13 RBI, and stole 4 bases during the fall season. The 22-year-old also made the AFL All-Star team with fellow minor-league teammates.

As for his first year in the Pirate system Gonzales played for the Greensboro Grasshoppers and slashed .302/.385/.565 with 18 HR, 54 RBI, and stole 7 bases over 324 at-bats. Gonzales would have to rise through the ranks quickly to get to Pittsburgh this season, but with a hole at the second base position, he could be called up straight from Double-A like Rodolfo Castro was in 2021.

His power and hitting abilities already make him a terror at the plate and in a Pirate offense where there aren’t many splash players, once he finds his grove Nick Gonzales will stand out on this Pittsburgh team.

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