Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: How Hitters Performed in the AFL


With the Arizona Fall League regular season over, let’s take a look at how the hitting prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates had in the AFL performed

As the season of fall seems to be flying by, the Arizona Fall League season is beginning to wrap up. The regular season is in the books with the postseason beginning this weekend. So, let’s take a look at how the hitting prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates had in the AFL performed.

Pittsburgh Pirates prospects who played in the AFL played for the Surprise Saguaros. The Saguaros finished the regular season with the best record in the AFL, and are now set to play in the championship series that will begin on Saturday.

One of the top hitters, and all-around players, for the Saguaros was Pirate catching prospect Henry Davis. After Davis missed time during the minor league season due to injury it was good to see Davis get through the AFL regular season healthy as he continues to push for a MLB debut at some point in 2023.

In 69 nice plate appearances, Davis hit for a .260/.435/.440 slash line. As part of being an on-base machine Davis posted a strong 10:11 walk:strikeout ratio. In true Henry Davis fashion, he was also hit by seven pitches. Davis also hit a home run and six doubles.

Nick Gonzales also had a strong regular season for the Saguaros. Playing third base, shortstop, and second base, Gonzales hit for a .279/.351/.500 slash line in 77 PAs. Gonzales hit three home runs, four doubles, and had a triple. He capped the regular season off with a four-hit performance on Thursday.

It was a big fall for Gonzales who, like Davis, missed big chunks of time due to injury in 2022. If Gonzales can pick up where he left off at in the AFL when the 2023 minor league season begins, he could hit his way to Pittsburgh by the early summer.

Davis was not the only catching prospects the Pittsburgh Pirates had in the AFL. Blake Sabol is also on the Saguaros roster. However, Sabol, as was the case in the regular season, also got work in left field.

Sabol hit for a .234/.346/.340 slash line in 55 PAs. Sabol struggled to hit for power, hitting just one home run while collecting just two doubles. While Sabol was able to draw seven walks (12.7% walk rate), he struck out at a 27.2% clip as he whiffed 15 times.

Finally, there is first baseman/designated hitter Jacob Gonzalez. One of the most surprising breakout performers of the regular season in the Pirate farm system, after a slow start in the AFL Gonzalez went on to finish the season strong.

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Overall, Gonzalez hit for a .212/.250/.364 slash line in 36 PAs. Gonzalez hit one home run to go with a pair of doubles. He walked just twice, and struck out nine times during the AFL regular season.

Make sure to stay tuned here at Rum Bunter for coverage of the Saguaros and Pirate prospects in the AFL postseason.