Potential impact prospects
Earlier this offseason the Pittsburgh Pirates added a pair of outfield prospects to the 40-man roster in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft. These two prospects were Canaan Smith-Njigba and Jack Suwinski. While neither will crack the Opening Day roster, both are names to store away in your memory as options to make an impact later in the season.
The prospect with the biggest opportunity to make an impact in 2022 is Travis Swaggerty. The former first-round pick could make the Opening Day roster and it would not be a stunner to see him as the team’s Opening Day left fielder.
Swaggerty would have made his MLB debut in 2021 had it not been for a season ending shoulder injury. This shoulder injury came with Swaggerty owing a 108 wRC+, .772 OPS, .220 isolated slugging, 12.5% walk rate, and just a 16.7% strikeout rate in 48 PAs at the Triple-A level.
At 24-years-old as a hitter with a college pedigree, there may not be much left for Swaggerty to prove in the minors. Due to this him making the team’s Opening Day roster could make sense. Especially that Swaggerty is now on the 40-man roster as he, like Suwinski and Smith-Njigba, was added earlier this offseason to protect him from the Rule 5 Draft.
One of the biggest positives that could come out of the 2022 season for the Pirates would be Swaggety proving he is healthy and making a successful MLB debut. Hopefully this will take place as Swaggerty solidifies himself as a building block and part of the core moving forward.