Underrated Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects to Protect From Rule 5 Draft

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Pittsburgh Pirates
BRADENTON, FLORIDA – MARCH 16: Jared Triolo #85 of the Pittsburgh Pirates poses for a picture during the 2022 Photo Day at LECOM Park on March 16, 2022 in Bradenton, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Jared Triolo

Jared Triolo has consistently been one of Pittsburgh’s more underrated prospects. Through three professional seasons, the infield prospect has posted a wRC+ of 110 or greater, along with a sub-20% strikeout rate in all three campaigns. Triolo is coming off a quality 2022 campaign with Altoona in which he produced at the plate and added more versatility to his resume.

Triolo batted .282/.376/.419 with a .356 wOBA, and 121 wRC+. Although he had just a .136 isolated slugging percentage, Triolo’s 12.7% walk rate and 17.6% strikeout rate were both single-season career bests for him. He also swiped 24 bases, the second time he’s stolen 20+ bags in a row.

Like Thomas, Triolo also had a fun summer. He batted .293/.391/.487 with a .385 wOBA, and 140 wRC+ from June through the end of the ‘22 campaign. In that time, he drew walks at a 14.1% rate and only struck out 15.7% of the time. He even hit for some power, posting a .194 isolated slugging percentage and popping off nine home runs in just 312 plate appearances.

Triolo is known for his excellent defensive work at third base, but with another talented defensive third baseman already in the major leagues for the Pirates, Triolo has gotten work at other positions. He saw time at shortstop and center field, both of which he isn’t entirely unfamiliar with as he played a good amount of outfield in college and shortstop in his final season at the University of Houston.

With 2023 being Triolo’s age-25 season, he’d almost assuredly be selected in the Rule 5 draft. The Pirates may have a ton of SS/2B/3B capable prospects, but Triolo is versatile enough to warrant the roster spot. The Pirates arguably should start him in the major leagues next season and let him take over a utility role or be an option at second base until Nick Gonzales is in the major leagues.