First Base: Aaron Shackleford
The regular Greensboro Grasshopper infield from 2021 is going to make the move to Double-A Altoona next season, starting with Aaron Shackelford. Now the Pirate first base prospect depth isn’t very deep. Mason Martin ranks atop the list with Alexander Mojica coming in behind him. So for right now, the current projected first baseman for the Altoona Curve to open 2022 looks to be Shackelford.
Shackelford was a 14th round pick by the Pirates in the 2019 draft. He’s a power prospect who hit .210/.290/.438 with a .313 wOBA, and 91 wRC+. Overall, those weren’t great numbers for the infielder. However, he did blast 22 home runs while having a .228 isolated slugging percentage. Plus his 8.6% walk rate was respectable. The problem is that he struck out 31.5% of the time.
Now he did get a bit unlucky. He had just a .252 batting average on balls in play. Even if he can get that up to .280, he’d be a .230-.250 hitter. Shackelford isn’t limited to just first base. He played an ample amount of second base last year and was primarily a third baseman in 2019.
Shackelford isn’t a high-end prospect in the Pirates system, but there are far worse depth options out there. He’s a power hitter who can play multiple positions who puts up an average walk rate. You can only ask so much out of a 14th round draft pick.