Pittsburgh Pirates: Breaking Down the Return for Rich Hill and Ji Man Choi

Lets take a look at the players the Pirates got in the Rich Hill/Ji-Man Choi trade
Jul 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jackson Wolf (43) pitches
Jul 22, 2023; Detroit, Michigan, USA; San Diego Padres starting pitcher Jackson Wolf (43) pitches / Lon Horwedel-USA TODAY Sports
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Estuar Suero

Estuar Suero was an international signee by the San Diego Padres during the 2021-2022 international signing period. Suero is the definition of projectability, and although he’s still extremely young, there is potential here. Keith Law mentioned him as a just-miss top 20 Padres prospect in his pre-season rankings and currently sits as the Padres’ 11th best prospect on FanGraphs’ most recently updated list.

Suero, only 17 years old, has 160 plate appearances at the Padres’ Arizona Complex League affiliate. He’s batting a meager .216/.305/.345 with a .312 wOBA, and 63 wRC+ thus far. Suero is walking at a solid 10% rate, but he has struck out over 30% of the time (30.6% to be exact). Although the Arizona Complex League is mostly filled with high school aged prospects, we are still talking about a kid who is nearly two years younger than the average position player.

Suero’s high variance comes from his 6’5”, 180-pound frame. Suero is a big kid, who has the chance to fill out and become a plus-plus power hitter. But with such a large frame, strikeouts have arisen on more than one occasion in his young pro career. Suero is also a plus runner who has a great feel for center field. The only tool that is lacking in significant projectability at the moment is his hit tool.

The ceiling for Suero is a potential 30/30 center fielder, however, that’s probably the very best outcome. His hit tool does make him a risky prospect, however, he is still so young that you can’t make a definitive conclusion just yet as to whether or not it will plague him in the long run. The Pirates are basically taking a flier on a high-risk but high-reward youngster.

Make no mistake about it, Suero is the big piece in this trade.