Pittsburgh Pirates: Previewing the Team's Infield

Pittsburgh Pirates v St. Louis Cardinals
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Depth Players

While the Pirates may not see these players play any notable role or even make their way to the major leagues, the team does have some decent depth options. One is Andres Alvarez. Alvarez batted .220/.329/.429 with a .342 wOBA, and 111 wRC+. Alvarez had a strikeout rate of 27.8% and a walk rate of 14.4% while hitting for above average power. He had a .209 isolated slugging percentage and 20 home runs. He was also a fast base runner with 21 stolen bases. Alvarez played a ton of positions, playing second base, shortstop, third base, and left field.

Another power-hitting infielder who could end up as a part of the team's MLB-ready depth is Aaron Shackelford. In 459 plate appearances, Shackelford batted .243/.306/.482 with a .341 wOBA and 111 wRC+. Shackelford had a solid 8.7% walk rate but struck out 29.4% of the time. On the plus side, he had a .249 isolated slugging percentage and hit 26 home runs. Although first base is his primary position, he played a lot of second base and a few games in right field. He also played a handful of games at third base back in 2019.

One prospect who's seen his stock significantly drop over the last few years is Mason Martin. Martin already showed some red flags in previous seasons, but they were on full display last year. The first baseman batted just .210/.387/.410, registering a .303 wOBA, and 79 wRC+. Martin has always been a high strikeout batter, but his 35.9% K-rate was a career-worst. His 9.6% walk rate and .200 isolated slugging percentage were the only positives. He also has arguably the most raw power in the system, but is severely limited by his strikeouts. He's also only limited to first base and designated hitter. While he can field his position to a playable degree, he's only ever played a small amount of outfield back in 2017 and is a well below average runner with arm strength that would only play at first.