The first full professional season for Pittsburgh Pirates first baseman prospect Josiah Sightler started strong, but did not end on a high note
In the 15th round of the 2022 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected first baseman Josiah Sightler out of the University of South Carolina. After getting a cup of coffee in the complex league in 2022, Sightler professional career truly began in 2023.
Sightler start the season with the Low-A Bradenton Marauders and quickly began to turn heads. At first, it looked lik the Pirates may have had a collegiate diamond in the rough with Sightler. However, his season would not finish on the high note it started on.
It did not take Sightler long to earn a promotion from Low-A to High-A. In 18 games played with the Bradenton Marauders, Sightler hit for a .516/.563/.891 slash line with a 266 wRC+ in 80 plate appearances.
Sightler walked and struck out at an 11.3% clip with the Marauders, and hit 6 home runs to go with an isolated slugging (ISO) of .375. He had just a 27.1% ground ball rate to go with a 39.0% line-drive rate, and a 30.0% fly ball/home run rate at Low-A.
After being promoted to the High-A level, the struggles would begin for Sightler. Sightler played in 36 games, accumualting 157 PAs with the Greensboro Grasshoppers. Sigthler hit for just a .232/.293/.387 slash line with an 85 wRC+ for the Grasshoppers.
Sightler walked at just a 7.6% clip, while striking out in 28.7% of his trips to the plate at High-A. His ISO dropped to .155, as his ground ball rate rose to 30.9% and his line-drive rate dropped to 20.6%. His fly ball/home run rate was just 14.9% at High-A.
When the 2024 season begins Sightler will be back with Greensboro. He will be looking to once again find the success he had at Low-A. If he can start to find that success at High-A, it will ave a big positive impact on his long-term outlook as a prospect.