Pittsburgh Pirates rookie outfielder had an underrated rookie season compared to the rest of the National League rookie class.
This year’s National League rookie class saw many under-the-radar names come out of the woodwork and perform very well. Spencer Strider wasn’t ranked as a top 100 prospect by many publications, and only one list had Michael Harris as a top 50 prospect. Christopher Morel, Lars Nootbaar, and Brendan Donovan were all unranked going into the year, as was Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jack Suwinski. Suwinski turned in one of the more underrated rookie seasons this year.
Entering the final day of the season, Suwinski has hit for a .204/.296/.414 slash line. Although he has struck out 30.7% of the time, he also drew walks 10.6% of the time and is tied with Michael Harris II for the National League rookie lead in home runs with 19.
His .210 isolated slugging percentage also ranked fourth among all NL rookies with at least 300 plate appearances. Overall, it was roughly league average production as Suwinski had a .311 wOBA, 100 wRC+, and 98 OPS+.
Although Suwinski’s offense wasn’t anything to write home about, he was a good outfield defender. He’s only had 799.2 innings played in the grass so far this year but has +3 Defensive Runs Saved, a +8.5 UZR/150, and +1 Outs Above Average. Suwinski displayed a plus-plus arm with +5.5 outfield arm runs above average. But the best part is he provided the Pittsburgh Pirates with plus defense at all three outfield positions.
If it weren’t for Bryan Reynolds, he’d probably be the team’s primary center fielder. That is where he had his best defensive work, after all. With +1.7 fWAR, Suwinski was on pace for +2.8 fWAR across a full season’s worth of plate appearances. Overall, he had the 7th best fWAR among all NL position players.
Overall, Suwinski was one of the top 10 rookies in the National League this year. He hit his fair share of home runs and provided the Pirates with excellent defense in the outfield. Next year will be his age-24 season, and he’ll provide the Pirates with a quality outfield option for the 2023 campaign.