Pittsburgh Pirates infield prospect Jared Triolo could have an outside the box option to contribute to the MLB club in 2023
Pittsburgh Pirates infield prospect Jared Triolo has consistently hit well in every year of his professional career. It’s only his third season, but he’s put up a wRC+ of 110 or greater. Triolo has primarily played third base in his career, and exceptionally well. But he’s seen an increasing amount of time at shortstop and center field. But could he open 2023 as the team’s second baseman?
So far this season, Triolo is hitting .275/.370/.397 with a .346 wOBA and 114 wRC+. Triolo has a slugging percentage under .400 and an isolated slugging percentage of just .122. But power isn’t Triolo’s calling card. He’s only struck out 17.8% of the time while drawing ball four in 12.7% of his plate appearances. He’s yet to strike out in more than 10% of his plate appearances in a single season, and he has a 10%+ walk rate in two of his three minor league seasons.
Those are pretty solid numbers, but Triolo has been red hot this summer. Since the start of June, Triolo is slashing .283/.383/.462. He has an even better 15.8% strikeout rate with a walk rate of 14.3% rate. He’s even hit for some power with a .176 isolated slugging percentage. This comes out to a .373 wOBA and 132 wRC+.
Triolo is a great defender at the hot corner. He’s considered a plus-plus defender at third base. He’s also seen a handful of innings at shortstop, another position he plays well. Triolo has seen 52.2 innings in center field. He has some underrated speed, with this being his second straight 20+ stolen base season. His strong arm lets him play on the infield’s left side and in the grass.
Now, Triolo hasn’t played any second base. But he’s not unfamiliar with the middle infield, indicated by his work at shortstop. Moving him over to second base would keep his defense up the middle while not pushing Oneil Cruz or Liover Peguero off their primary position. It is a bit of a waste of his strong arm, but you’re still getting the reactions, range, and reflexes up the middle.
Now, this isn’t to say that Triolo is going to become the best second base prospect in the system, even over Nick Gonzales. Gonzales is still one of the team’s top prospects, but his injury this year pushes his clock back a little bit. We may see him closer to mid-to-late next season rather than early-to-mid next season, that is, unless he comes out of the gates with red hot numbers.
Triolo is already 24 and will open the 2023 campaign at 25-years-old. The Pittsburgh Pirates were open to starting Diego Castillo on the 26-man roster after displaying strong skills in spring training, and I could see Triolo being similar. He’s consistently hit well at every stage of his minor league career and has only improved every month this year. Triolo, Oneil Cruz, Ke’Bryan Hayes, and Michael Chavis would make a very good defensive infield to open 2023.