Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Jack Suwinski Pushing for Promotion to Indy
Pittsburgh Pirates slugging outfield prospect Jack Suwinski could be looking at a promotion to Triple-A within the coming weeks.
One of the many talented outfield prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates system is Jack Suwinski. The corner outfield slugger has seemingly continued to build off his breakout 2021 campaign based on early results in 2022. Now, he could be looking at an early-season promotion to Triple-A Indianapolis.
Acquired nearing the trade deadline as one of the three players in the Adam Frazier trade, Suwinski was having an outstanding season with the San Diego Padre Double-A affiliate, batting .269/.398/.551. Suwinski had blasted off 15 times while having a .282 isolated slugging percentage. Plus, he walked at a 16.9% rate. The only downside was his sub-par 27.7% strikeout rate. But overall, he had a .412 wOBA and 150 wRC+.
After the trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Suwinski still to put up solid numbers but with less power. He still managed a .359 OBP with a 13.7% walk rate. His bottom line consisted of a .337 wOBA and 110 wRC+. The downside was his ISO took a nosedive to just .138. Though some lousy luck played into his lack of power.
Despite his ISO falling by nearly 150 points, he chiseled his ground ball rate down to just 28.4%, compared to 34% with the Padres. This meant his flyball rate jumped from 45.8% to 50%, and his line drive rate increased from 20.1% to 21.6%. Despite all of that, his HR/FB ratio went from 22.7% to just 7.8%. Even an HR/FB ratio of 10% or greater would have resulted in an ISO above .150.
Despite his downturn in production post-trade, he was still one of the most productive batters at Double-A in 2021. He ranked 21st in wRC+ with a 131 mark while having the 16th best OPS (.868), 15th best wOBA (.382), 12th best OBP (.383), and 28th best slugging percentage (.485) (min. 300 plate appearances).
With his phenomenal production at Double-A, as well as his inclusion on the 40-man roster to avoid Rule 5 status, it was a bit surprising to see Suwnski start 2022 at Altoona again. It was even more surprising considering that both Calvin Mitchell and Canaan Smith-Njigba, two outfield prospects Suwinski outperformed at Double-A and are of similar age, also got the year started at Indianapolis.
Nevertheless, Suwinski has continued to hit well at Altoona. In 31 plate appearances, Suwnski has seven hits, including three doubles and a home run. He has kept up a sub-30% ground ball rate at 29.4% while having a high fly ball rate (47.1%) and increasing his line drive rate (23.5%). He also has four walks to go with his seven hits. His persistent issues with strikeouts has lingered into 2022 with nine. But the improvements with his batted ball rates are promising.
Suwinski doesn’t have much else left to prove at Double-A. He was a top twenty batter there in 2021, and he has kept hitting well early into the 2022 campaign. With the Pirates’ struggling both with the bat and the glove in one of the three outfield positions at the Major League level and the likes of Cal Mitchell, Bligh Madris, and Ji-Hwan Bae performing well at Indy, a promotion to Triple-A should be in the cards for Jack Suwinski within the coming weeks.