Pittsburgh Pirates: Jared Triolo Should Start at Triple-A

(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /

Pittsburgh Pirates infield prospect Jared Triolo could skip Double-A, and start the 2022 season at Indianapolis.

Jared Triolo is one of the Pittsburgh Pirates less talked about infield prospects. When there are a ton of infield prospects in the system like Nick Gonzales, Liover Peguero, and Oneil Cruz, it’s easy for a guy like Triolo to get passed over. But could he make his way to Triple-A Indianapolis to start this season?

Triolo had an exceptional breakout campaign with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. In 473 trips to the plate, Triolo batted .304/.369/.480 with a .371 wOBA and 128 wRC+. Triolo was not a massive power hitter but did have 15 home runs and a .176 isolated slugging percentage. He also had a solid 8.9% walk rate and 19.9% strikeout rate.

Triolo had a good season with the bat but is mainly known for his defense. He won a minor league Gold Glove for his work at the hot corner. Triolo’s phenomenal defense at third base could translate to solid glovework at shortstop. He’s played his fair share of innings at short and many games in the corner outfield during college.

Although Triolo could be sent to Double-A and form a very talented infield with Nick Gonzales and Liover Peguero, both of whom were teammates with the third base prospect at Greensboro, Triolo could also be sent to Triple-A Indianapolis to start the year.

The first thing is he’s going into his age-24 season. In comparison, Gonzales is 22-years-old and will turn 23 on May 27th. On the other hand, Peguero is only 21 and won’t turn 22 until the very last day of the year. He’s old enough that he could make his major league debut before the end of the 2022 campaign.

The second thing is that Altoona could have its fair share of infield prospects outside of just Triolo, Gonzales, and Peguero. 2021 draft picks Mike Jarvis, and Jackson Glenn may start the year at Altoona. Jarvis will turn 24 on May 12th, while Glenn is already 24-years-old. Both have experience at third base, and Jarvis has plenty of outfield experience. Another infielder who will start the season out at Double-A is Tucupita Marcano. Getting Triolo started at Indy gets an extra line-up spot for one of Glenn, Jarvis, and Marcano (if Glenn and Jarvis start at Double-A).

The third thing is that he’d have more of a chance of playing time at Indianapolis. Marcano, Jarvis, and Glenn could make it tricky to get playing time if they start at Altoona with Triolo. Although all three can play multiple positions, it’d still be challenging with outfielders like Connor Scott and Lolo Sanchez, and both Triolo and Glenn aren’t guys you want to move to first base.

Indianapolis doesn’t have a fully set line-up to start the year outside of prospects like Swaggerty, Mason Martin, Canaan Smtih-Njigba, Ji-Hwan Bae, and Rodolfo Castro. Guys like Swaggerty and Castro could be in the majors by mid-May, opening even more of an opportunity for playing time at multiple positions for Triolo. Bae might make the majors by June.

The last thing is that the new regime has been more willing to move prospects up the development pipeline a bit faster. The big cases of this were Oneil Cruz and Roansy Contreras making their debut after starting the year at Double-A Altoona, but Travis Swaggerty skipped Double-A. Quinn Priester and Peguero were very young to start the year out at High-A Greensboro. Both also had limited experience above Low-A. Carmen Mlodzinski also could skip Altoona. He ended the season at Indianapolis after being teammates with Priester, Peguero, Gonzales, and Triolo.

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Triolo’s age, ability, and opportunities available make him a viable option for the Pittsburgh Pirates to start at Triple-A. He’d have a greater chance to stick at his primary position of third base at Indianapolis and not have to worry about competiting for playing time.