Pittsburgh Pirates: Intriguing Non-Roster Invitees to Spring Training
On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Pirates announced their non-roster invitees to spring training. Here are seven intriguing players from that group to watch in Bradenton.
First baseman Malcolm Nuñez
After being acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the José Quintana trade last season, Malcolm Nuñez has the potential to become the future 1st baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After debuting with the Pirate organization at Double-A Altoona, Nuñez posted a strong .286/.381/.476 slash line with 5 home runs and a 134wRC+ across 126 plate appearances, which led to a brief 5-game stint in Triple-A Indianapolis.
Nuñez also got on-base at a solid clip, walking 13.5% of the time at the plate and only struck out 21.4%. Prior to the trade, Nuñez hit 17 home runs with the Springfield Cardinals, solidifying himself as a dominant power threat. With Ji-Man Choi and Carlos Santana holding down the first base base/designated hitter position this season, they are clearly not the future and will probably not be on the roster after the trade deadline.
With barely any competition in the minor leagues for the future first base job, this could be his chance to showcase his talent in Spring Training and lock down the position for the future. I fully expect Nuñez to start the 2023 season at Triple-A Indianapolis and potentially make his MLB debut around July or August.