Five Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects People Have Forgotten About

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Outfielder Hudson Head

Hudson Head was acquired in the Joe Musgrove trade. He was considered a better prospect than Endy Rodriguez at the time of the deal. Head was a top high school outfielder who could have gone in the mid-second round rather than in the third round. But scouts were not able to get an accurate reading on the outfielder because his time was split between football and baseball at the time. 

His first season was the definition of a three-true-outcomes campaign. While he hit .213 and struck out 31.6% of the time, he drew walks nearly 16% of the time with an isolated slugging percentage of .181, leading to an above-average year with the bat. 2022 was yet another interesting season.

Head posted slightly above average numbers, batting .234/.343/.387 with a .339 wOBA and 104 wRC+. Head drew walks at an 11.2% pace, but once again struck out a ton, this time with a 33.6% strikeout rate. His power also trended in the wrong direction as his ISO fell to .153. Overall, while he had playable numbers, they were still far from quality. But of the few positives, he did have a strong second half.

From the outset of the All-Star Break, Head batted .266/.364/.484 with a .380 wOBA and 130 wRC+. During that time, he walked more often with a 13.3% BB% and struck out less with a 30.1% strikeout rate. Plus, he hit for good power as his isolated slugging percentage rose to over .200 at .218. The strikeouts are still highly worrying, but at the very least, he had a robust later half of the season. Plus he whittled his strikeout rate down during each month of the season.

Head is a plus runner who also can play a decent center field. If Head can continue his second half and keep cutting down on the strikeouts, he could start making significant progress. Double-A will be the real test for Head next season. But if the progress continues and he carries over his strong second half, Head could get some real prospect notoriety.