Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: 3 Players to Watch at Triple-A

Altoona's Cal Mitchell (5) reacts to a call as the Binghamton Rumble Ponies lost to the Altoona Curve, 5-0, at the Ponies home opener on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.
Altoona's Cal Mitchell (5) reacts to a call as the Binghamton Rumble Ponies lost to the Altoona Curve, 5-0, at the Ponies home opener on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mar 1, 2021; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Mason Martin (80) poses during media day at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports /

First baseman Mason Martin

Another Rule 5 Draft eligible player, Mason Martin has as much power potential as just about any prospect in all of baseball. Like Mitchell, Martin is a player who spent the majority of the 2021 season with Altoona before making his Triple-A debut in September.

Martin’s best tool is, and always has been, his power. FanGraphs gives his raw power a FV of 70 and his game power a FV of 45. Martin slugged .481 to go with an isolated slugging (ISO) of .239 in 471 PAs for Altoona last season. He slugged 22 home runs and collected a total of 53 extra base hits.

In 8 games played at the Triple-A level last September, Martin accumulated 27 PAs in which he flashed his power. Martin hit for a .240/.296/.600 slash line and a 131 wRC+. He hit 3 home runs with the Indians, but struck out 10 times in 27 PAs for a 37.0% strikeout rate.

The long-term outlook at first continues to be a mystery for the Pittsburgh Pirates. This gives Martin every opportunity I the world to seize a spot and run with it. A strong showing at the Triple-A level in 2022 would go a long way toward this for the left-handed hitting power hitter. To do this, however, Martin will have to improve his swing-and-miss numbers that have always plagued him I the minors, leading to a career strikeout rate over 30%.

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