Catcher/Outfielder Blake Sabol
Blake Sabol has consistently flown under the radar. He had a quality 2021 campaign at Greensboro, where he had a .933 OPS, .398 wOBA, and 145 wRC+. Although he only collected 229 plate appearances, Sabol’s season earned him a promotion to Double-A Altoona to start the 2022 season. While Sabol had decent numbers in the first half, including a .792 OPS, .345 wOBA, and 114 wRC+, his second half would significantly improve upon that.
Since the outset of the all-star break, Sabol is batting .326/.402/.560 with an OPS well over .950 at .962. Sabol is only striking out 22.4% of the time, a 4.7% improvement from the first half of 2022 and a 9% improvement from 2021. That hasn’t come at the cost of his walk rate, either. He still has a healthy 10.3% BB% in this time as well. Sabol is hitting for his fair share of pop, cranking out eight home runs in 214 plate appearances and having a .234 ISO. All told, Sabol has a .414 wOBA and 156 wRC+.
Sabol’s great play at Altoona earned him the call to Triple-A Indy, where he has continued to be a force to be reckoned with. He’s only had 93 trips to the dish, but has five home runs, an OPS just over 1.000 at 1.003, a .435 wOBA, and 165 wRC+. On top of that, he’s drawn 15 walks with just 20 strikeouts.
Sabol has been trending upward this year. He’s hitting for more power and is striking out significantly less. Although he’s mostly played catcher, he’s seen a handful of games in left field and at designated hitter. Sabol also played a decent amount of first base in college. He’s not much of a defender behind the dish and has a so-so arm at best, so if and when the Pittsburgh Pirates finally decide to give him the bump to the major leagues, he might move around the diamond.