Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: All-International Free Agent Team

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Jul 28, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Rodolfo Castro (64) circles the bases on a solo home run against the Milwaukee Brewers during the seventh inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Second Base – Rodolfo Castro

Of all the names we will be talking about today, Rodolfo Castro is the most MLB-ready. He’s actually already made his debut at the game’s highest level and is only one game away from collecting enough service time to graduate prospect status.

A powerful middle infield prospect, Castro’s 2021 season was a real rollercoaster of a ride. He had his highest peaks and lowest valleys of his career throughout the season. After starting the season batting .315/.356/.553 with a .386 wOBA and 142 wRC+, Castro looked like he was on his way to being a player the Pirates could easily plug in at second base until Nick Gonzales was ready.

But then, he went on a month-long streak where he had a negative wRC+, -18 to be exact. On the bright side, he did end 2021 on a high note, reaching Triple-A and collecting ten hits in 35 trips to the plate. Seven of those ten hits went for extra bases (four doubles, three home runs). He also showed plenty of power in the majors, setting a record as his first five hits were all home runs. Though this did come with a 29% strikeout rate, he did show he can blast a baseball off of major league pitching a long way.

Castro brings both above-average power and speed to the table. Though his glove and hit tool are a bit fringy, he could easily reach over a dozen home runs a year in semi-regular playing time. He’s one of the multiple players we could see at second base in 2022. Even once Nick Gonzales is in the majors, he’d be a quality power bench/platoon bat who sees time all over the infield, similar to a Wilmer Flores-type player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.