Pittsburgh Pirates Should Look Into Slugging Outfielder Micker Adolfo

GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 21: Micker Adolfo of the Chicago White Sox poses for a portrait during White Sox photo day on February 21, 2019 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - FEBRUARY 21: Micker Adolfo of the Chicago White Sox poses for a portrait during White Sox photo day on February 21, 2019 at Camelback Ranch in Glendale Arizona. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates should look into Chicago White Sox’s outfield prospect, Micker Adolfo, who would provide needed MLB-ready power and outfield depth.

The Pittsburgh Pirates outfield depth isn’t anything great to say the least. Bryan Reynolds is their only starting caliber outfielder. Plus, their line-up currently has little power. Until starting-caliber outfield options like Travis Swaggerty, Matt Fraizer, and Canaan Smtih-Njigba arrive, and power bats like Oneil Cruz and Mason Martin arrive, the team lacks both power and outfield options.

But a young slugging outfielder was recently designated for assignment. That’s Chicago White Sox prospect Micker Adolfo. Adolfo’s current situation with the Sox leaves him as a spare piece for the Sox. They currently have a stacked outfield with Luis Robert and A.J. Pollock, with youngsters like Eloy Jimenez, Gavin Sheets, and Andrew Vaughn sharing left field and DH duties. With a crowded outfield, designated hitter situation, and out of options, the Sox explored trade options before designating him for assignment.

Adolfo brings the power the Pirates need. Last season, he hit for an excellent .245/.311/.520 line with a .357 wOBA and 121 wRC+. Adolfo smacked 25 long balls in 405 plate appearances with the White Sox’s Double-A and Triple-A affiliates. Adolfo’s overall .275 isolated slugging percentage ranked as the best among White Sox’s farmhands who collected at least 200 trips to the plate. He also did well this spring, collecting 10 hits (2 home runs, 2 doubles, and 3 walks in 28 plate appearances. But the strikeouts persisted with 9 in the pre-season.

He brings 70-grade raw power to the table, so what’s the downside? The first thing is strikeouts. He went down on strike three 34.1% of the time in 2021. This isn’t an outlier either, as he has a career 33.1% K-rate. He only walked 7.7% of the time, though he showed better patience at the plate in 2018-2019 with an 11.2% walk rate. He also should only be limited to left field and designated hitter.

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Although there is risk, the incredible power potential that Adolfo brings to the table can’t be ignored. The Pirates need power to this line-up. The 5th hitter in the Opening Day line-up was Kevin Newman. Sure, there should be power added to the line-up as the season progresses with Cruz, Swaggerty, Smith-Njigba, Fraizer, and Martin likely to see playing time in the Major Leagues this year, but this would be both a cheap and quick solution to add a potential 30+ home run hitter.

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