After putting together a huge power driven offensive season in 2022, Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Matt Gorski failed to replicate this success last season
Coming into the 2023 season few prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system appeared more primed for a big season than Matt Gorski. The former 57th overall pick in the draft had a huge season with across four levels in 2022, and looked like a potential power bat that the Pirates were lacking.
Unfortunately for Gorski and the Pirates, he would struggle mightily in 2023. In his age-25 season, Gorski failed to replicate the success he had in 2022. He still earned a promotion to Triple-A, but he would struggle with Indianapolis as well.
Injuries limited his season to 81 games, but Gorski hit 24 home runs while posting a .318 isolated slugging (ISO) and 152 wRC+ between Low-A, High-A, Double-A and Triple-A in 2022. It should be noted that due to injury, he played in just 1 game with Triple-A Indy in 2022.
Despite the injuries impacting his 2022 season, the expectations for Gorski were high entering the 2023. The right-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman was viewed as a prospect who could slug their way to the majors in 2023.
Gorski started the 2023 season back in Altoona, and could never recapture the success he had with the Curve in 2022. In 396 plate appearances with the Curve, Gorski hit for a .238/.296/.437 slash line with a 6.8% walk rate and a 25.5% strikeout rate. His ISO was still strong, but dropped to .199, and his wRC+ of 97 was below the league average of 100.
Gorski then got 65 PAs at Triple-A where he really struggled. Gorski hit for a .190/.262/.414 slash line with a 9.2% walk rate and a 23.1% strikeout rate at Indy. While his ISO was a strong .224, he was too much of an all-or-nothing hitter leading to a woeful 59 wRC+.
All told, in 461 PAs across 108 minor league games last season Gorski hit for a .231/.291/.434 slash line with a 7.2% walk rate and a 25.5% strikeout rate. While his .202 ISO was still strong, his wRC+ dropped to 92 and his home run total dropped from 24 to 20.
Looking ahead to 2024, Gorski could start the season with Altoona or Indianapolis. Either way, he will be looking to recapture the magic of his 2022 season. Now 26-years-old, this will be an important season for Gorski and his future with the Pirates.
If Gorski fails to bounce back this season, he could be in danger of being released and becoming a minor league free agent following the season. Even if that were not to occur, he will begin to reach non-prospect status if he fails to put together a strong bounce back season.