Pittsburgh Pirates: Best Performing Unranked Prospects
By Noah Wright
Tres Gonzalez was recently rewarded for his outstanding performance at Bradenton with an early-season promotion to Greensboro. Even though power is not Gonzalez's specialty, he's done nothing but rack up hits, draw walks, and get on base since the Pirates drafted him out of Georgia Tech in the fifth round of the 2022 draft.
Before his bump to High-A, Gonzalez was batting .299/.427/.403 through 82 plate appearances for the Marauders. Gonzalez is an on-base machine. Not only did he have 20 total hits and had the 44th-highest qualified batting average at Low-A, he drew a walk in 18.3% of his plate appearances. That was the 30th highest walk rate. Overall, he was one of 38 total qualified batters who had an OBP over .420 at his level. In his first game at Greensboro, he hit a second home run.
Avoiding strikeouts is another one of Gonzalez's specialties. He's only gone down on strike three in 11 of his trips to the dish. That's good for a strikeout rate of just 13.4%. Like his OBP, batting average, and walk rate, this was another statistic in which Gonzalez was among the best. He ranked 21st among all Low-A hitters who had enough plate appearances to qualify.
Gonzalez has used that ability to get on base to its fullest advantage. He swiped six bags without getting caught. He's only gotten caught once in 14 attempts in his pro career. He was one of five total players who attempted at least six steals without getting caught once. It's a little surprising to see how aggressive Gonzalez has been on the base paths. Sure, he was never considered slow and actually quite fast, but he was not this prolific of a base stealer in college. He only took 11 bases in 14 attempts during 129 college games. He's attempted the same amount of stolen bases but in 85 fewer contests.
The one knock on him is he has no power. He probably has 30-grade raw power, and he's hit just two home runs this year (none last year). But he does have four doubles and sprays line drives all over the field. He has a 29.6% line drive rate, which helps make up for the lack of power he brings to the plate. Gonzalez is probably my favorite unranked position player prospect.