Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Underrated Prospects Who Deserve A Promotion

PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 26: Tucupita Marcano #30 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a double to right field in the eighth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on April 26, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 26: Tucupita Marcano #30 of the Pittsburgh Pirates reacts after hitting a double to right field in the eighth inning during the game against the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park on April 26, 2022 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images) /
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Mar 20, 2022; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Tucupita Marcano (30) fielded a throw for an out at second base against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 20, 2022; Dunedin, Florida, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Tucupita Marcano (30) fielded a throw for an out at second base against the Toronto Blue Jays during spring training at TD Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports /

Utility man Tucupita Marcano

Two of the three pieces the Pirates acquired in the Adam Frazier trade have already made their Pirates debut. Jack Suwinski, the outfield prospect who came over in the trade, has been a valuable defender who’s shown promise with the bat in the majors. Tucupita Marcano has only played one game for the Bucs but has hit very well with Double-A Altoona.

Through 102 plate appearances, Marcano has put up a .265/.376/.446 line, .363 wOBA, and 127 wRC+. Marcano has always been known for his outstanding plate patience, and he’s walking at a 15.7% rate this year. His 21.6% strikeout rate is a bit out of line for a guy who usually has a strikeout rate in the 10%-15% range but isn’t overly poor either.

One promising development for Marcano this year is his power. Currently, he has a .181 isolated slugging percentage. He’s never put up a .150+ mark in a full season and although it’s still relatively early, Marcano hitting for plus power, let alone any power, is more than welcome, given he already draws a ton of walks and has a great hit tool.

Marcano has done very well this month. Going into Sunday, the utility man was hitting for a .933 OPS, .401 wOBA, and 152 wRC+. He added on two more hits Sunday afternoon, going 2-4 with a double. That raised his season OPS to .859. It’s a small sample size, but his league adjusted wRC+ for the month is the equivalent to Freddie Freeman or Nolan Arenado. Not to say he’s as good as them, but to show how well he’s hit this month so far.

Marcano has mostly played the left field this year but has plenty of experience in the middle infield and third base. He’s an average defender at shortstop, so he’d make a fine defensive second baseman. He’s also a 60-grade runner, so he has plenty of speed to cover the outfield grass at PNC Park.

Once Cruz gets promoted, Marcano is likely the next man up at Indianapolis. You have to remember that Marcano is only 22-years-old and skipped three levels of the minor leagues before making his major league debut last season with the San Diego Padres. Not every player is Juan Soto, who is the exception rather than the trend.

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