The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired Jack Suwinski in the Adam Frazier trade. So what could he going to bring to the team long-term?
The Pittsburgh Pirates were one of the most active teams during the trade deadline. One of the more notable trades around then was when they sent Adam Frazier to the San Diego Padres for a three-player package. One of the players the team received was power-hitting outfielder Jack Suwinski. So what can fans expect from the prospect?
Suwinski had a breakout campaign at Double-A. He started 2021 batting for a remarkable .259/.398/.551 line while blasting 15 homers in just 276 plate appearances. Suwinski walked a ton. The lefty slugger drew ball-four in 16.9% of his plate appearances. Though he did strike out a tad at a 27.7% rate. All in all, he had a .412 wOBA and 150 wRC+.
After the trade, Suwinski continued to post solid numbers but saw a decrease in power. With the Altoona Curve, Suwinski batted .252/.359/.391 with a .337 wOBA, and 110 wRC+. He still walked at a 13.7% pace and kept a similar 28% strikeout rate, but his ISO fell from .282 with the Padres’ affiliate to just .139 after the trade.
Suwinski’s HR/FB rate took a dramatic nose-dive from pre-trade to post-trade. Before being sent to the Bucs, he had a 22.7% rate. After being traded, he had a 7.8% rate. His fly ball rate increased from 45.8% to 50%. Meanwhile, his line-drive rate also rose from 20.1% to 21.6% and his ground ball rate decreased from 34% to 28.4%. It’s a surprise how far his HR/FB rate fell given how he was hitting more flyballs, line drives, and fewer ground balls. He might not be a 20%+ HR/FB hitter, but it’s reasonable to expect a 15-18% rate.
Despite having the offensive profile of a big, lumbering slugger who’s only put in left field to try and hide his glove, Suwinski is a plus defender in the corners and even an adequate defender in centerfield. He also has a very strong arm. As a runner, he moves well for a power hitter. He’s about average but gets good range.
Suwinski will get a shot at Triple-A pitching to start 2022. That will be the real test for him. While his swing-and-miss isn’t as apparent as someone like Mason Martin, it’s still noticeable. He’s more well-rounded than most give him credit for. He’s a plus fielder with a powerful arm, is far from slow, hits for power, and gets on base.
His hit tool is fringy, but if he can bat between .220-.250 in the majors, he’ll reach base enough because of his plus plate discipline and hit for enough power to be a productive hitter. Suwinski has the potential to be a .750-.800 OPS kind of guy with 20+ home runs. That kind of offensive production would be similar to Chicago Cubs’ outfielder Ian Happ. Though Suwinski likely ends up as the better fielder.