Pittsburgh Pirates: One Underrated Prospect At Each Position

Who is the best underrated prospect at each position in the Pirates' system?
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First Base - Josiah Sightler

Josiah Sightler was a 15th-round pick. After a strong career at the University of South Carolina, the power-hitting 1B/RHP/COF signed with the Pirates after his senior season. While you typically don't see too many success stories from the 15th round of the draft, Sightler's first impression definitely turned heads.

Sighter missed nearly the entirety of the first half of the season, but once he returned, he caught fire. In 80 plate appearances for Bradenton, Sightler hit .516/.563/.891 with a .622 wOBA and 266 wRC+. He racked up six home runs and six doubles while drawing the same amount of walks and strikeouts, with nine apiece.

Doing that well at Low-A earned Sightler a quick bump to High-A with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. While it was pretty obvious Sightler wasn't going to maintain a batting average over .500, or wRC+ that wouldn't have looked out of place for a peak Barry Bonds, Sightler fell back to Earth, hard. His final 157 plate appearances saw him bat .232/.292/.387 with a .309 wOBA and 85 wRC+. He still hit seven home runs but struck out in 28.7% of his plate appearances, with a walk rate of 7.6%.

Sightler has the potential to be a good power hitter. He's a strongly built guy at 6'3", 235 pounds. He also went yard 15 times in his final college season with an ISO of .329. But he struggled with strikeouts, both at Greensboro and in college. Sightler split his time at both DH and first base. He played corner outfield in college and even pitched a few times. He has a strong arm, evident by his 13 IP for South Carolina, but his range definitely limits him.

Yes, I know he was a senior college draftee out of the 15th round and struggled once he was challenged at Greensboro. But that strong of a small sample size at Bradenton is hard just to ignore. Sure, you shouldn't bet on a sample size of less than 100 plate appearances, but I also don't think you should give up on a prospect after just 157 more trips to the plate. However, we will see how he handles 2024.