Pittsburgh Pirates: Five Surprising Prospects This Season

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports /

Matt Gorski

Matt Gorski put up pretty similar numbers to Aaron Shackelford in 2021. In 401 trips to the plate, Gorski slashed .223/.294/.416 with a .309 wOBA and 89 wRC+. Gorski also had a pretty average walk rate at 8.5%, with a K% above 30% at 31.2%. He had 17 home runs, a .193 isolated slugging percentage, and 18 stolen bases in 18 attempts. He put on a solid display of power and speed, but that’s as far as the positives go.

Gorski opened up 2022 with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. But after matching his 2021 home run total in 255 fewer plate appearances, Gorski was quickly moved to Double-A Altoona. Gorski’s season has been hampered because of an injury, but his numbers this year have been off the charts, especially in the power department.

In 277 plate appearances, Gorski has slashed .290/.373/.664. Gorski has decreased his strikeout rate to 28.4% but has seen a significant uptick in walks. He’s drawn ball four at an 11.2% rate. Gorski has 24 home runs, which puts him on pace for 52 in 600 plate appearances. Gorski’s .373 isolated slugging percentage is far and away the highest mark in minor league baseball (min. 250 PAs). Second place Brent Rooker has a .347 ISO. Gorski has a 170 wRC+ (the fourth best in minor league baseball) and .440 wOBA (the 6th best in minor league baseball), and 1.037 OPS (fifth best in minor league baseball).

Gorski has continued to be a base stealing threat, swiping 18 bags in 21 attempts. He’s fast enough and has a good enough glove to play center field, and he also has a plus arm and can easily gun runners down who are trying to stretch base hits into extra-base hits. Gorski is an outfielder by trade but can play first base.

Had Gorski not suffered an injury that kept him out for all of July and August, we may have seen him at Triple-A already. He’s a bit older at 24-years-old, but the Pittsburgh Pirates will likely protect him for the Rule 5 Draft. Gorski has 20/20 potential and could serve as a quality OF/1B option in 2023.