The Pirates’ first base depth is pretty thin at the major league level. Now with Mason Martin a minor league free agent, the Pirates’ minor league depth at first base got even thinner. Andres Chaparro. may not be the long term solution at first for the Pirates, but it wouldn’t hurt to take a minor league flier and stash him at Triple-A.
Despite getting promoted to the hitter friendly International League, Chaparro wasn’t able to recapture the production he put up in 2022. In 601 plate appearances, the corner infielder batted just .247/.331/.444 with a .340 wOBA. He struck out less than 20% of the time with a 19.8% striekout rate, and had a 10.8% walk rate, but in a league where the average OPS is about .800, Chapparo finished with a 90 wRC+.
But Chaparro looked outstanding in 2022. He was limited to 292 plate appearances, but batted .296/.370/.592 with a .414 wOBA, and 158 wRC+. Chaparro reached the 20 home run mark despite his lack of plate appearances, and had an ISO of .296. It was a great season for Chaparro, and he’s only one year removed from it. He also only struck out 21.8% of the time with a 10.8% walk rate.
While Chaparro is coming off a poor season, he has power, does not strike out much, and walks some. Of course, like all names today, he’s not going to play a regular role in the bigs, but the Pirates need first base depth, and he is one of the better recent minor league players to hit minor league free agency.