The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired outfielder Connor Scott in the Jacob Stallings trade. What kind of outlook does Scott provide the Pirates long term?
The Pittsburgh Pirates traded Jacob Stallings right before the work stoppage began to the Miami Marlins. For the backstop, they acquired three players; one, we already covered in Zach Thompson who has experience in the major leagues. They also acquired two prospects in right-hander Kyle Nicolas, another prospect we covered, and outfielder Connor Scott. Among all the players they got, Scott was arguably the most talented of the bunch.
The Marlins drafted Scott in the first round of the 2018 draft. He was a high school pick coming out of H.B. Plant High School FanGraphs ranked him as the 6th outfield prospect in the 2018 draft while MLB Pipeline had him as the 3rd best outfield prospect.
Scott had a slow start to his pro career but had a solid 2021 breakout season at the High-A level. In 435 plate appearances, Scott posted a .276/.333/.446 line. All told, he had a .348 wOBA, and 112 wRC+. Scott showed some pop and speed, hitting 10 home runs and having a .170 isolated slugging percentage, and swiping 14 bags. His plate discipline wasn’t anything to write home about though. He walked just 7.1% of the time and had a 21.1% strikeout rate. Solid strikeout rate, but poor walk rate.
Scott caught fire down the stretch. From August onward the outfielder batted .314/.353/.547 with a .393 wOBA, and 141 wRC+. Scott had shown an uptick in power with a .233 ISO, but his walk rate was just 4.7%. Still, it was a great way to end the season for Scott. It puts him on an upward trend for 2022.
Scott is a toolsy outfielder with plus athleticism and solid pop. He’s a 70-grade runner with a 60-grade glove in the grass. His hit tool is a bit fringy at the moment, as it only projects as a 45. Though his game power projects to a 50 and his raw power projects to be a 55. He has a typical centerfield-type projection.
Scott stands at 6’3″, 187 pounds. He also had an average exit velocity of 88 MPH in 2019, which is about the major league average. Despite his so-so-walk rate at the end of the season, his second half was still promising and gives him a bright outlook for 2022.
The left-handed hitting outfielder has the speed/power/fielding combo that you like to see young players have. He’s not as advanced as Travis Swaggerty was going into 2021, but they have a similar profile (though with Swags having a better hit and power tool). A reasonable outlook for Scott is a .250/.300/.450 batter with 25+ home runs and 15-20 stolen bases with Gold Glove level defense. Overall, that’s similar to Adam Duvall for a major league comparison.