Pittsburgh Pirates: Looking at Jake Marisnick’s Trade Value

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

With All-Star week approaching there is only so much time left before the MLB trade deadline. Here is one underrated trade chip the Pittsburgh Pirates should be shopping

It’s no surprise that the Pittsburgh Pirates will once again be sellers again at the deadline, the difference this time, though, is that the Pirates don’t have as many pieces to shop around. Last year the Pirates were able to trade Adam Frazier, Richard Rodriguez, Tyler Anderson, and Clay Holmes before the trade deadline. This year won’t be as busy.

While David Bednar and Bryan Reynolds were rumored in possible trade scenarios throughout the first half of the season, recent reports point to the Pirates being unlikely to move them before the trade deadline. That being said, the Pirates will still have a couple veterans on expiring deals to move, with starting pitcher José Quintana and outfielder Ben Gamel being their biggest pieces.

However, there is another player who should be considered in these conversations, and that player is outfielder Jake Marisnick.

Marisnick recently returned to the big league club after rehabbing a UCL injury in his thumb, which kept him out of action since May 9th. Marisnick got to work quickly in his return, homering in his first two games after being activated while playing an excellent center field in place of Reynolds, who was placed on the 10-day IL.

Before heading to the IL, Marisnick was struggling at the plate to begin the year, but offense is not what makes him a valuable trade chip. Since entering the league in 2013, Marisnick’s +79 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) rank 8th among all outfielders in that span, this while playing considerably less than some of the names ahead of him.

So far this year Marisnick has generated 4 DRS while also producing 6 outs above average, which ranks 10th among outfielders despite Marisnick missing almost all of May and June. When he’s on the field he’s almost destined to make a highlight reel catch, which is also what landed him on the injured list in May. Its also important to note that he’s a plus defender at all outfield positions, including center field.

And though he is a below-average hitter, he can provide some power at the plate, with a career .156 ISO, as well as speed on the bases, having a sprint speed in the 83rd percentile among major leaguers. His .299 xwOBA also outperforms his actual wOBA of .264, so improvement is definitely a possibility. He also has decent splits vs left-handed pitching, with a career 90 wRC+.

Marisnick isn’t a stranger when it comes to deadline deals, either. Last year the Chicago Cubs dealt him to the San Diego Padres for RHP prospect Anderson Espinoza, who at the time was a 40+ FV and ranked 29th in the Padres’ farm system, per Fangraphs. A return for Marisnick will certainly not be eye-popping, but there’s a chance the Pirates could snag a developmental project, like a potential impact reliever or project starter.

Next. Pittsburgh Pirates: Two Jose Quintana Trades to the AL. dark

The Pirates should explore trade routes for Marisnick, and with the number of outfield prospects waiting in Triple-A and teams like the Padres and Milwaukee Brewers needing outfielders, they will. If Marisnick is able to continue hitting as he’s been since his return from the IL, that will only further his trade value, and potentially net the Pirates more than would have been thought before he returned.