The Pittsburgh Pirates selected these three underrated prospects from the early rounds of the 2022 MLB Draft
Earlier this month, we looked at three underrated late-round selections from the 2022 draft. There are plenty of players who become impactful players despite being picked late in the draft. But there are plenty of early-round selections who fly under the radar. The Pirates weren’t able to go with the strategy they used in 2021 because Termarr Johnson required an over-slot deal.
Many of their early-round selections weren’t among the top picks available when they were selected. There are definitely some names who flew under the radar, despite having plenty of talent. So today, let’s look at three underrated early-round selections. This includes anyone who was picked in the first ten rounds.
Outfielder Tres Gonzalez
The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Tres Gonzalez in the fifth round of the 2022 draft. Gonzalez was considered a top 150 prospect in this year’s draft for a good reason. Gonzalez brings a great glove, lots of speed, and a contact-oriented bat to the field.
A Georgia Tech alumni, Gonzalez batted .314/.442/.446 throughout college. Gonzalez drew 91 walks while only striking out 74 times. While Gonzalez only had eight home runs and a .132 isolated slugging percentage, he did have 32 doubles. Gonzalez had a 15.9% walk rate and a 13% walk rate overall. Between Gonzalez’s strong ability to rack of base hits and walks while avoiding the strikeout, the outfielder had a .397 wOBA throughout 571 plate appearances.
Gonzalez’s ability to get on base plays up because he’s a 60-grade runner. He doesn’t strike out often as his compact left-handed swing, but his approach and style only projects him to be a guy who could max out at a dozen home runs. Gonzalez can play a good center field, but his arm is on the weaker side.
He’s continued to show off this strong ability to make contact and get on base into the early stages of his professional career. Through his first 95 plate appearances, Gonzalez has 26 hits with seven walks (7.3% walk rate) and 11 strikeouts (11.6% strikeout rate). Gonzalez has swiped seven bases in eight attempts while seeing playing time at all three outfield spots.
The best way to describe Tres Gonzalez’s future is an Adam Frazier 2.0, but with a higher walk rate. He could consistently bat .280 with a .350 OBP. He’s a proto-typical leadoff hitter as he gets on base, can steal a bag, but doesn’t hit for much power. He’s a table-setter, and he could be a good one.